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Options for fast-tracking native VST support
Hi musers!

I've been playing with muse 2 when I've had spare time the last few days and I've been kicking myself for not having tried it sooner because I'm very impressed with v2 and it would seem to be that it has become the premier Linux DAW


You don't use MIDI or you only use MIDI sound modules or you're happy with the integrated or external DSSI softsynths. Sadly though, I'm not in any of those categories so before I can use muse as a sequencer (which IMO is its real strength and seems to have been its focus over audio) I really need native VST support so that I can use Loomer Aspect which my research has shown to be the only pro-grade Linux softsynth plugin currently available as well as the excellent DISTRHO plugins like TAL-Noisemaker, Highlife etc. As much as I'd prefer to use muse due to its many extra features over its Linux alternatives, its not an option for me until this gets added.

I wrote to Rob J. a few days ago and was disappointed to hear that no-one is working on LinuxVST support for muse yet. More encouraging is that I have also wrote to Mike @ LinuxDSP - the author of Ardour 3's native VST support - and he has said he would be able to advise anyone who does take up the challenge of adding native VST support into Muse. On top of that, we also have FalkTX's excellent Carla plugin host which supports LinuxVST as well as the work he did to add VST support to OOM - both of which I'm sure would also be useful references if not drop-in fixes.

Ardour 3, qtractor and renoise all support native Linux VSTs. There aren't many native Linux VSTs now compared to Windows and OSX but this may change with the imminent release of Bitwig and a stable Ardour 3 release, both of which I expect will attract more musicians and plugin devs to consider Linux. These potential new users and devs may look at muse too and decide that it suits them better but I expect many will need VST support like myself and and it'd be even more of a shame if muse still lacks VST when more plugins get Linux ports.

I'd love to be able to start using muse ASAP so I've been wondering what I might be able to do to help get us muse VST support sooner rather than later? Would any of the muse devs be willing to focus on getting this implemented if we could raise enough funding? Who of the existing devs would be the best candidate to do this? Can any of the devs suggest a fair and reasonable asking price for doing this? Maybe it could be done through kickstarter? Suggestions please!

This weekend I'll be writing a brief article comparing muse 2 with Ardour 3 and qtractor which I'll post to the linuxmusicians forum and LAU list and hopefully this will gain the project some much needed attention. You can expect it'll be mainly in muse's favour but I will be highlighting muse's current lack of VST and LV2 support as a major showstopper for many potential users like myself.


For the full explanation on how I came to conclude that Loomer's Aspect is the only pro-quality softsynth for Linux right now see my 'Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook for Linux users' guide:

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I still think TAL-Noisemaker is a fantastic sounding synth. It is the best GPL softsynth plugin I'm aware of and I'll still be using it even though I'm likely to be making heavier use of Aspect. Aspect is def. more powerful than Noisemaker but you could argue Noisemaker sounds better than Aspect and I'd like to think Noisemaker will be upgraded to a similar level of functionality as offered by Aspect now.

I'm also pushing for VST before LV2 because not only is it 'the standard', its much more mature than LV2 and think of all those instruments that could be ported! There are 1000's of VSTs out there and they're much more likely to arrive on Linux as VST's than LV2s and on top of that I suspect VST support would even be easier to add. Just a shame its not an open format with official FOSS-friendly headers - this is one area where LV2 does definitely win hands down vs VST although there is of course vestige etc.
I may still write the muse/A3/qtractor comparison piece this weekend if I can get audio recording to work but I will mainly be writing this to try drum up more interest and support in muse and I can't say I'll be able to do a good and honest job of that if I have to say 'but I wasn't able to record' under muse as this truly is the mother of all DAW showstoppers!

I have just reported my recording prob and how I think it is supposed to work to the bug tracker.

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