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Absolute nub, looking to get into vst/plugin development

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

chaosbringer
KVRist
 
42 posts since 31 Oct, 2012

Postby chaosbringer; Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:49 am Absolute nub, looking to get into vst/plugin development

Heya, first of all wanna say been browsin through this community for a while and found a lot of great info. Finally decided to join it and figured I could possibly get some help from you all

I am currently in the process of going through the readings in the stickied topic on this part of the forum and am currently reading the "Sound Processing" PDF. But here in lies the issue. where should I begin in development for this tool, and which documents (from this topic viewtopic.php?t=329696 or others) would be most important for me to get started as quickly as possible?
Last edited by chaosbringer on Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
chuck death
KVRian
 
1055 posts since 16 Jun, 2007

Postby chuck death; Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:33 am

Stop reading and get your hands dirty!

Download the VST SDK, which includes the source code for a gain plugin, then work it out from there. You will probably learn more this way than reading a bunch of texts that may or may not be related to what you want to do! ;)
Xenakios
KVRian
 
704 posts since 9 Sep, 2005, from Oulu, Finland

Postby Xenakios; Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:42 am

chuck death wrote:Stop reading and get your hands dirty!

Download the VST SDK, which includes the source code for a gain plugin, then work it out from there. You will probably learn more this way than reading a bunch of texts that may or may not be related to what you want to do! ;)


Agreed...Just getting the example plugins compiled succesfully is enough complexity to deal with (unless the original poster is already familiar with the hurdles of getting C++ projects built), so there's really no need to start everything from scratch. The VST plugin system has lots of extraneous things going on that don't have much anything to do with processing audio, so just grabbing the VST SDK and looking into the examples would be the best way to start. (As the boilerplate code has already been written by Steinberg.)
ksandvik
KVRist
 
363 posts since 25 Aug, 2005, from North California

Postby ksandvik; Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:06 am

And if you venture into AU development, Chris Adamson's Learning Core Audio is a must book.

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Core-Aud ... 0321636848
chaosbringer
KVRist
 
42 posts since 31 Oct, 2012

Postby chaosbringer; Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:16 am

Haha thats actually the opposite kind of response i expected to recieve! most places tell you to go read more.

Ok, so ill check out the SDK from steinberg then? The reason i didnt dive into that originally was because i feared it would be similar to the android SDK. I dont know if you guys have done any android mobile app development, but their SDK is basically like a game engine for mobile apps- all it really is, is drag and drop kind of stuff or simply copy pasting their codes into a program (it gets more complex with the more complex systems but yeah)

which i assumed the development kits here were the same. I wanna do stuff that involves the core aspects of programming, for example, a classmate of mine told me that in a recent interview with a company, they asked him things about his projects, one of which included a game he worked on from scratch which involved rigorous use of data structures and basic programming necessities.

But i will check this out as soon as i am off work.

VST Audio Plugins 3.5.2?

Is it a standalone thing or can I use its features through visual studio?
chuck death
KVRian
 
1055 posts since 16 Jun, 2007

Postby chuck death; Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:46 am

ksandvik wrote:And if you venture into AU development, Chris Adamson's Learning Core Audio is a must book.

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Core-Aud ... 0321636848

Yeah, AU is great for learning how to write plug ins. You have to rewrite everything every time Apple update anything which means you'll get a lot of practice... :hihi:

@chaosbringer VST 3.5 is the latest SDK but a lot of developers have stayed with VST 2.4. Both are viable options to start out, the differences are: plug ins made with VST 2.4 are pretty much compatible across the board, whereas VST 3 has a bunch of new features but is much less compatible.

The search function on KVR can show you how many hosts are VST 3 capable, you'll notice quite a few of the big names and a almost all of the smaller names are missing: http://www.kvraudio.com/q.php?search=1&f2[]=vst3

Compare that to this VST 2 list: http://www.kvraudio.com/q.php?search=1&f2[]=vst

Quite a difference, eh? :shock:
chaosbringer
KVRist
 
42 posts since 31 Oct, 2012

Postby chaosbringer; Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:50 am

ohhh ok. i didnt know that the SDK was the difference between vst2 and vst3. makes sense now, VST3 never seems to work for me lol.
chuck death
KVRian
 
1055 posts since 16 Jun, 2007

Postby chuck death; Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:06 pm

I just remembered something I read the other day:
Jeff McClintock wrote:I was just looking at the VST3 SDK, seems to have a wrapper to support VST 2.4 automatically. i.e. if you make a VST3, you get a VST 2.4 for free.

From this thread: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=362469

I've not checked this but, if it is correct, it would suggest you may as well use the newer SDK and then "wrap" them for VST 2.4 use.
mystran
KVRAF
 
4199 posts since 11 Feb, 2006, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby mystran; Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:10 pm

chaosbringer wrote:Haha thats actually the opposite kind of response i expected to recieve! most places tell you to go read more.


It depends very much at someone's background, but if you "kinda know how to write code" then the right answer is usually "go write some code" because at that point it's likely that you already know how to read..

Ok, so ill check out the SDK from steinberg then? The reason i didnt dive into that originally was because i feared it would be similar to the android SDK. I dont know if you guys have done any android mobile app development, but their SDK is basically like a game engine for mobile apps- all it really is, is drag and drop kind of stuff or simply copy pasting their codes into a program (it gets more complex with the more complex systems but yeah)


When it comes to "platform SDKs" (be that Windows, OSX, Android, OpenGL, VST, whatever..) you just take what you've got, and work from that. There is enough complexity in programming anyway, without having to deal with all the really low level stuff.

which i assumed the development kits here were the same. I wanna do stuff that involves the core aspects of programming, for example, a classmate of mine told me that in a recent interview with a company, they asked him things about his projects, one of which included a game he worked on from scratch which involved rigorous use of data structures and basic programming necessities.


You get to do quite enough of "core aspects of programming" even when you have a really clean and simple SDK. In fact, your best bet is always to try to write any code in such a way, that the next layer higher up doesn't need to consider itself with any "core aspects" because it'll have it's own core aspects to deal with.

VST Audio Plugins 3.5.2?


I'd advice VST2.4, YMMV. Note that VST3 is a completely different thing.

Is it a standalone thing or can I use its features through visual studio?


These SDKs are nothing but libraries: bunch of C++ code to deal with the plugin interface specific low-level details. You will need to use Visual Studio C++ or some other C++ compiler.
Image <- plugins | forum
obiwanjacobi
KVRian
 
509 posts since 18 Jul, 2007, from Netherlands

Postby obiwanjacobi; Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:41 pm

If you like to program in C# (or VB.NET) you can use VST.NET to get started. It is based on the 2.4 SDK (no 3.x yet) and only runs on Windows. It comes with a Framework that structures the VST 2.4 features and a couple of samples demonstrating common constructs.

It's an excellent choice to get started or to do some prototyping.

Post any questions you have on the discussion list on the VST.NET site.

Hope it helps.
Grtx, Marc Jacobi.
Blog | VST.NET | GMPI.NET | MIDI.NET
arakula
KVRAF
 
1942 posts since 16 Aug, 2004, from Vienna, Austria

Postby arakula; Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:32 am

obiwanjacobi wrote:VST.NET to get started. It is based on the 2.4 SDK (no 3.x yet) and only runs on Windows.

Just out of interest, Marc - did you ever try to get it up in Mono:OSX?
"Until you spread your wings, you'll have no idea how far you can walk." Image
obiwanjacobi
KVRian
 
509 posts since 18 Jul, 2007, from Netherlands

Postby obiwanjacobi; Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:06 am

No, I have not tried. I need to dive into that and that time investment refrained me from doing it... Also I don't have a Mac OS. Not sure if that can be setup in a virtual machine (on windows). All in all too much research for now...
Grtx, Marc Jacobi.
Blog | VST.NET | GMPI.NET | MIDI.NET
overhishead
KVRist
 
150 posts since 21 Jan, 2007

Postby overhishead; Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:37 am

In what program or developing environment are the graphical bitmap elements positioned in when creating a vst2 plugin?
AdmiralQuality
KVRAF
 
6458 posts since 10 Oct, 2005, from Toronto, Canada

Postby AdmiralQuality; Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:00 am

overhishead wrote:In what program or developing environment are the graphical bitmap elements positioned in when creating a vst2 plugin?


VST 2.4 has no GUI system built in. You need to add one.

The positions of controls are typically written in the code.
overhishead
KVRist
 
150 posts since 21 Jan, 2007

Postby overhishead; Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:12 am

Is Microsoft Visual Studio (just for example) good for laying out various graphical elements in a sophisticated VST2 plugin GUI?
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