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No VST. Why?

  • Antti Karhu

    Antti Karhu - 2011-09-20


    Why is this software not VST capable? Really nice sound and all, but you just cannot plug it into any DAW software to make it usable. A standalone virtual is of course nice thing to PLAY with (playing in this context meaning goffing around with it), but is it really any use in the music production? If you cannot integrate a software to the market leader DAWs, it is usable.

    • Antti

    ps. This is not a linux vs win or linux vs mac thing, in case you think. VST just is a leading virtual instrument standard, that's all.

  • Antti Karhu

    Antti Karhu - 2011-09-20

    Hmm, not edit in forums? "Nice".

    "f you cannot integrate a software to the market leader DAWs, it is usable. " -> "f you cannot integrate a software to the market leader DAWs, it is UNusable. "

  • Nick Copeland

    Nick Copeland - 2011-09-20

    Bristol does not work as a VST, it works with Jack, Ardour and related applications under Linux where this kind of app (vintage synths with semi realistic graphics) is unique. There are lots of other synths under Linux and I chose to put this one together since it is an interesting and fun approach. Under Windows/Mac/VST there are _loads_ of them, I wanted to bring this stuff to Linux and I like the platform, it is fun for developing software.

    So the reason this is not available as a VST is that it _is_ Linux software - Free Open Source.

    What exactly do you want under VST? Free synths? There are lots of stuff available as VST, admittedly with lots of different price tags associated with them. So what if I did release Bristol under VST and then started charging $$$ for each emulator, I don't think it would then be so attractive in an already overcrowded market.

    Yeah, no editing in the forums. I don't totally agree that the app does not integrate but it does only integrate with Jack enabled applications, Ardour is a very respectable platform, admittedly you have to want to make the move over to Linux to get all the benefits of a healthy and free application environment.

    Kind regards, nick.

  • Stephen Hookings

    Interestingly enough, I also dont agree that Bristol not being VST based makes is unusable.

    I look on linux as a godsend, wrt audio.
    Low latency even with "on board" audio (my garage system is a P4 2GHz with 1.5 G RAM).
    So I treat this as a synth.

    JACK connects the synths up, MIDI is used to "Play" the synths either in real time (and yes the latency is excellently low) or via an external sequencer/DAW (Cubase on XP). It's amazing what uses you can find for a midi cable :-).

    Ultimately, you want to get the sound out, so the final mix from Linux is mixed back into my desk for audio processing in the DAW.

    All very low latency, low cost.

    A "throw away" PC is now a decent, capable synthesis system.

    Thanks Nick for creating Bristol.


    Steve H

    One day, when Android devs get cheap / powerful enough, I will replace the P4 with a portable, touch sensitive audio-synth workstation :-)

  • Nick Copeland

    Nick Copeland - 2011-10-07

    > when Android devs get cheap / powerful enough, I will replace the P4 with a portable, touch sensitive audio-synth workstation :-)

    And by that time I hope to additionally have the B3, ARP2600, Solina, and a few other emulators available on Android, then also with some sequencing capabilities. At the moment I have a selection of the emulators ported across, there are a few that are giving me issues. And I need to work on support for tablets rather than just the handsets.

    Thanks Steve, kind regards, nick.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous - 2011-11-17

    I'm using the Bristol B3 two different ways:
    1)Using it through alsa midi connected with alsa's aconnect to a vmpk(virtual midi keyboard) that I can  run with different midi note settings.
    2)Using Jack with guitarix.

    Both are not only usable, but high performing: 

    The alsa setup uses VERY little resources, and I can load it on my students boxes that have little memory.  For its limited resources it sounds pretty good, and the gui settings for the drawbars are REALLY cool.

    Connected with Jack, guitarix adds all the distortion and reverb I need.  It sounds tight.  If I wanted to add more effects, it is trivial with Jack to pipe it through a plethora of  ladspa/lv2 etc. effects. 

    This matches the old Unix adage, 'do a simple thing really well.'  Bristol is an emulator and it does it's job well. 

    Nick IMHO would spend what time he has for the project best to keep improving the emulator/instruments themselves, just as the developers of guitarix, qsynth etc, do for theirs.  We then can mix, match and customize for our needs. 


  • Nil Geisweiller

    Nil Geisweiller - 2012-12-27

    More and more Linux shoftware support linux VST, like QTractor, Renoise, OOM, soon MusE. Bringing linux VST support to Bristol would be AWESOME.

    Jack isn't enough, I once tried to connect ZynAddSubFX to Renoise via Jack, so much troubles:
    1) Renoise doesn't support midi Jack yet
    2) After installing a program to create a Jack midi port redirecting ALSA midi, I plug ZynAddSubFX
    3) Renoise play ZynAddSubFX, all happy!
    4) But when I through out too much notes it starts craccling, so I increase the jack buffer size
    5) Now the syncing is completely messed up and I fall into depression…

    Even if that could be fixed (maybe if the host support midi jack, this problem doesn't occur), there is still the pain of saving the settings within the rest of the song, and don't argue with me about LADI, it's not nearly as convenient as having the host support VST, and it doesn't work as relyably (to me experimence at least).

    What about launching a kickstarter campain to bring native linux VST support to Bristol?

  • Nick Copeland

    Nick Copeland - 2012-12-27

    Not sure that a campaign would really work very well. Although I have taken some very respectable contributions from a diversity of sources I am the only active developer. I don't really want to work on VST as I have other stuff on which I prefer to concentrate and the application is driven by where I am interested in going. Perhaps somebody could take a fork of 0.60 (with Philippe Didier's patches which are pending and probably relevant) and make it VST capable? That is one of the beautiful things about open source, that I don't want to do it is no impediment to somebody else doing it. The source is out there.

    Kind regards, nick.

  • Nil Geisweiller

    Nil Geisweiller - 2012-12-27

    I don't have enough time to dig into the code and do it myself, though I may try.

    I'm wondering if there is some kind of crowdsourcing website like kickstarter that connects users to developers. For instance, I would add an item to add VST support to Bristol + my inital donation, likely not big enough to motivate a developer to take over the task. But others may donate as well till the pot reaches an amount high enough to interest someone.

    Also, if a fork of the code occurs we definitely need a way to merge it back, it would be too bad if the 2 versions would remain seperated. To that end, may I suggest to move the code to github which is a much better collaborative platform. Merging others' branch is really natural with git and github. I can help there as I am very familiar with github.


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