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All.

I'm wondering how developers have addressed what I'd think is probably a tricky aspect: if I understand correctly, Reaper is basically all about VST, but VST is strongly Windows oriented.

Has anyone tried Reaper's native Linux version? Does it come with the usual library of VST plugins? What do you make of it? Have the developers put lots of Wine into Reaper to make it work? (As Reaper seems to work well under Wine.) Does Reaper support additional formats (other than VST) for this sort of instrument / effect extension?

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    VST was originally a Mac construct, so I'm not sure I follow your logic.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 30 '20 at 15:32
  • Wow!, I'm clearly clueless, looking at your statement. For some reason I thought its origins were related to Cubase. Anyway, is the current VST SDK not oriented to C++ under the Microsoft ecosystem?
    – Alex Lopez
    Apr 30 '20 at 15:39
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    It is by Steinberg; it just happens that it came to the Mac first. I have no clue what it's written in, nor do I know anything about coding for Windows [or anything else, but even less about Windows ;) The reason so many VSTs exist for Windows is probably the reason so much exists for Windows… a lot of people use it, so a lot of amateur coders make only Windows versions of their plugins.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 30 '20 at 15:44
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    This is really interesting, thanks. Out of curiosity I just read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology#History It shows why I thought the origins were related to Cubase. I remember myself as a young enthusiast back in the day, tinkering with my Pentium PC to stretch its capabilities, all excited when a friend showed me it. Great memories. Anyway, the thing is that Wikipedia article also shows that my notion of it being related to Windows is wrong!
    – Alex Lopez
    May 4 '20 at 7:24
  • I hope you do manage to find VSTs for nix. The SDK exists, it's just getting people to want to code specifically for it. I'm afraid I know absolutely zilch about coding; my history with 'the Berg' was as a user from about 85, but then through the 90's I worked for Yamaha, who had strong ties to Steinberg, so I got free copies of everything ;) I stayed on until 2015 as a beta tester for them, so some of the team I've known for nearly 30 years.
    – Tetsujin
    May 4 '20 at 7:39
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I use reaper mostly on windows - mostly due to 3rd party plugins and it is the only time I use window - but occasionally also use Reaper on my main computer, which is running Ubuntu Linux.

I have found Reaper on Linux (the native version) to be running very smoothly and to be very stable indeed. All bundled plugins that come with Reaper work, as far as i can tell, on Linux as well. The only problem, as you suspect, are 3rd party plugins (i.e. VSTs) and also the SWS extensions which do not seem to be currently available on Linux. It is possible to run some VSTs on Reaper/Linux using wine, but it was not the smoothest experience for me.

I have used reaper on Linux mainly to practice mixing wav stems (exported from my windows machine) using reaper's bundled effects (compressor, reverb etc, even a simple guitar amp emulator) and it never ever crashed on me. In general I find Reaper an amazing program, and it's smooth Linux implementation (and the fact it exists!) really sealed the deal for me.

I would recommend downloading a fully functional trial version from http://reaper.fm/download.php (don't be put off by the fact that the Linux version is experimental, it is very stable) and go from there.

Reaper also is extremely reasonably priced and the license covers both your Linux and Windows machine - as long as you only run Reaper on one machine at a time.

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A lot of people are now publishing native Linux VSTs, both freeware and commercial. So you can download the Linux version of Reaper and the Linux version of some VSTs, and they all work together, no need to use Wine at all if you don't want to.

I've had no problems using:

and you'll find many more synths listed at http://linuxsynths.com/index.html

I haven't explored effects plugins, but I expect you'd find a similar range.

If there are Windows-only plugins that you really want to use in Linux, there are various types of bridging software that you can use. In this case you do need Wine to be installed. I haven't done much of this myself, but I've found that LinVst can convert the Fathom .dll file into a .so file that Reaper will load as if it's a regular Linux VST. I've heard that Airwave can do similar things. This method doesn't work on all VSTs, it's a bit hit and miss.

There's also the LV2 plugin format which I think is native to Linux. I haven't explored this one myself. (I don't think Reaper supports it directly, but you can bridge using Carla: see https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=227754) Edit: Reaper now supports LV2 natively, since early 2021.

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