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by TheLoneRoger; Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:16 am
And a video explaining it here:
For those of you who don't know, VSTShell is a host for VST & Audiounit instruments and FX (up to 4 instruments and FX), with a built in arpeggiator and sequencer, which can be used as a standalone host or to play/record into Pro Tools (or whatever) using Rewire.
Oh, and it's free.
Currently it's Mac only, but I will be releasing a Windows version when I get some time
by Breeze; Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:56 pm
by TheLoneRoger; Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:53 am
And following a couple of comments from users, I'm going to try to implement some basic state saving, so you can save/load if not complete sessions, then at least some of the parameters.
...and the video showing how to use VSTShell with Pro Tools is now up at:
by TheLoneRoger; Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:05 am
http://the-lone-roger.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... l-377.html
This version contains several significant improvements as a result of suggestions from users, including state saving, loading plugs from menus, the ability to record multi-track files from the output, plus a few bug fixes,
by Breeze; Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:27 am
BTW, there's a couple of long standing problems with the default plugin hosting within Max that remain unresolved to this day. With regards to VST plugins: it can't deal with variable GUI sizes. You can resize the VSTi, but the VST window remains the same size. The solution is to use the AU version which has no such problem.
However U-he encapsulates multiple plugins into one AU (as does Apple) and the file selector way of choosing plugins results in another problem: only one plugin within the package is seen this way and the others remain unavailable.
The other Max-based host where this became evident is Audio Plugin Player. A candid disclosure of the issue was made by its author here where he states that a solution is available for the AU problem from Cycling but that he isn't using it.
VSTShell currently has the same problems. I hope something can be done about them.
by TheLoneRoger; Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:35 pm
I'll have a look at that other issue when I have a minute,
by Breeze; Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:26 pm
If you have any of U-he's synths or plugins, you can easily test the VST plugin resizing issue. And you can easily see the AU problem by comparing u-he's plugin listing between VST and AU for Zebra and the Uhbiks (sounds like a band!).
by Breeze; Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:18 pm
1. For some reason the Level controls no longer work. If the level is Off before the VSTi is operational the volume is in fact off, but once the levels are moved they don't seem to do much anymore. This affects all 4 slots.
2. The VSTi Enable switches ("VSTi #") seem to work at first but then become ineffective when toggled.
The Level controls work fine in 3.76.
by TheLoneRoger; Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:27 pm
The volume sliders are actually working, but what you're hearing is play-trough from the Fx matrix, even though you shouldn't be.
What appears to be happening is that even if you mute the Fx, this has no effect unless there is a plug loaded at the time; Max's vst~ object does not consider there to be anything to mute, so it just passes audio through. I've questioned this behaviour with Cycling74, because it seems counter-intuitive to me.
If they decide that there is a good reason for this, I can find a workaround, but I'll wait to hear what they say.
In the meantime, setting all the knobs in the Fx matrix to zero or loading some Fx and then muting will silence the matrix so the instrument volume sliders can work as expected - not ideal, I know.
As for the plug Enable buttons, I probably didn't explain it very well. Perhaps they should really be called 'Load Enable' buttons, but they seem to be behaving as expected here, though admitedly the button states don't reflect things properly, so I will change that.
With 'Safe Load' enabled, no plugs are loaded unless you click their 'Enable' buttons. When a button is 'lit', it will pass whatever is selected in the menu to vst~, loading the plug; when it is not lit, it will not load. Clicking a button so that it becomes lit, loads whatever is in the menu into that slot.
Deselecting the 'Safe Load' check box loads all the slots - this last bit is not reflected in the button's states, so I will correct that.
Selecting then de-selecting 'Safe Load' actually re-loads all the plugs, which is probably not a good idea - I think I need to work on the switch logic a bit more.
I see what you mean about the U-he plugs; I'll look into it and maybe ask Dan Nigrin exactly what he means by Cycling74 having another way to access those plugs which use a single package,
by Breeze; Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:06 pm
TheLoneRoger wrote:The volume sliders are actually working, but what you're hearing is play-trough from the Fx matrix, even though you shouldn't be.
What appears to be happening is that even if you mute the Fx, this has no effect unless there is a plug loaded at the time;...
So the FX sends are pre-fader; it might be nice to have the option of pre/post. A simple way of doing that in GUI could be that double-clicking on an effect knob turns it from dark-grey (post) to light-grey (pre); and it should probably default to post-fader. And I agree that having no plugin should mute by default; could the Mute function & switch be enabled automatically when there's no active plugin?
TheLoneRoger wrote:As for the plug Enable buttons, I probably didn't explain it very well. Perhaps they should really be called 'Load Enable' buttons, but they seem to be behaving as expected here, though admitedly the button states don't reflect things properly, so I will change that...
There must be a purpose for the Safe Load option, but I don't see it. For my needs, it seems to me that having the option not to load a plugin in the form of an "empty" entry in the load menus, would obviate the use of these "Enable" switches. It seems like an unnecessary complication, but again, there must be something I don't get.
by TheLoneRoger; Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:50 am
The Safe Load thing was a response to the fact that I was getting quite a few crashes when recalling a preset, which I took to be connected to the simultaneous loading of 8 vst~ s. I wanted to be able to recall all the plugs that I'd loaded in a session, but have the option to load them individually.
There may yet be another workaround to this issue, and the whole thing could certainly be made a lot neater, but at the moment, Safe Load at least give you the option to not have all your plugs attempting to load at once.
It is enabled at start-up as a safety measure, but you can always just uncheck it; once it's unchecked, you can ignore the 'Enable' buttons - the menus just load plugs straight away,
by TheLoneRoger; Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:31 am
It's fairly straightforward to implement, so I hope to be able to upload a new version at the weekend.
Next on the to-do list is implementing a more sophisticated sequencer, probably based on note~ (see noteformax.net for more details),
by TheLoneRoger; Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:48 am
I haven't updated the blog yet, but the new version:
• Addresses the multiple-plugs-from-one-component issue,
• Adds pre/post switching for the Fx,
• 'Safe load' buttons now reflect their state properly,
• Improved preset handling so that saved presets are available again when you re-open the app,