NI Guitar Rig 3 on Linux

Posted: 11/05/2009 in Software
Tags: , , , ,

Ardour’s recent implementation of the revitalised FST initiative means that Linux sound engineers now have one more easy-access path to VST plug-ins. Among the tested DLLs, Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig 2 & 3 have been claimed to work well. If you’re a guitarist using Linux, it’s blasphemy to not have been moved by this revelation, so allow me to be your road to salvation.

I have an Arch Linux laptop (1.6GHz Core Duo, 1GB*2, 5400RPM) which serves as a mobile DAW, and a Windows XP desktop (2.4GHz Pentium D, 1.5GB*1, 7200RPM) which handles the bulkier projects since it’s the better machine (please don’t remind me that both are outdated hardware). I work with Windows and REAPER coupled with an M-Audio Delta 0404 (PCI) when I’m not outside, and I’ve used Guitar Rig 3 only on that system. Running it as a VSTi never seemed like a good idea to me, but it was the only way. As I couldn’t afford inserting the plug-in into every single track I wanted amp-simulated, I had to go through the hard way and render them one by one at the end of the session. Recording output was not a solution either. I wished for a JACK-like answer, but ReWire is not even close.

Now I just had to see whether Ardour could simplify the above workflow. I could use the AUX method and have a bus housing the instrument, while I recorded each track independently with their own simulation settings. No, I’m not looking for Pro Tools. Unfortunately, something was wrong. What is it? Well, I’m told by Wine that something’s wrong – I don’t really know what it is. Uhmm..maybe the code can explain better:

Oops. My console scrollback has been cleared and I’m too lazy to start it up now.

Anyway, the plug-in does work. Just not what you would call “proper”. It’s buggy in that I have to wait 5-10 minutes for Ardour to parse it, and another round of that shortened to about a minute everytime I insert, and yet another when I call the instrument. The error message probably has something to do with this behaviour, but I’m too disappointed to figure it out.

Fortunately, Guitar Rig is a beast and I’d prefer running it standalone. Now that I have my beloved JACK and all its superior routing capabilities, this proved to be the best thing that ever happened to a computer. I did have to wait out the initial 5-10 minutes after Wine spit out its error, but after that I was all Rock n’ Roll. This laptop is doing an amazing job for what it’s worth; it has only an Intel HDA chip as its DSP hardware. Wine(ASIO) deserves most of the credit.

..And we shall let the 3 imagessiahs do the talking:

The above platform boasts the following:

KDE 4 (KDEmod 4.2.3)
JACK (0.116.2)
ArdourVST (2.8)
Wine (1.1.21)
WineASIO (0.7.4)

So in the end, Ardour’s new out-of-the-box support for VSTs didn’t have anything to contribute. As the days go by, I’ll be migrating some projects to the mobile machine and we’ll see how the other plug-ins end up. Most will be free(ware) so that you can test them out as well, particularly good ones like the DSK family, but some commercial ones which are important to me like the EMM Knagalis and Soundbytes Bagpipes will join in too.

  1. RBF says:

    dude you got to help me get my guitar rig 3 running. Im migrating from useless windows to flawless Linux. all the applications have been working seamlessly except for this one Guitar Rig. I have Ubuntu 9.10, Wine 1.1.31, just downloaded latest Ardour. Im using a dell optiplex L170 P4 2.8 GB RAM,

    please advice

  2. Ray Rashif says:

    Hi RBF

    I would suggest joining the Linux Audio Users’ mailing list, and/or the IRC channels #ardour and #lau. It’s difficult to help you here since we might need to know more details about your setup (and there are a lot of users who run VSTs on Linux more than me so you will definitely get help via those mediums), plus I think I’m sort of late with this reply as I’ve been overseas the entire year on business and rarely got motivation to visit this so-called blog of mine šŸ˜¦

    You can find me on IRC by the alias “schiv”.

  3. kelle says:

    gr3 ok with little bit changes but guitar rig 5 has problem. i tried same things.

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