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Teragon Audio has announced the release of a beta version of MrsWatson, which is the successor to Teragon Audio's MissWatson - a command-line plug-in host capable of doing detailed plugin debugging, batch processing, and plugin benchmarking.

Teragon Audio explains:

Some years ago, I started a project named MissWatson, a command-line VST host which I wanted to use in developing plugins. The project eventually found many other uses beyond which I had originally imagined, and in 2009 I sold the rights to this software to a company which wanted to use it for processing audio on a streaming server. Since then, I have received dozens of inquiries and emails about the project, mostly from people who wanted to report bugs, add features, see the source code, and so on. I was unfortunately compelled to answer these emails by saying I no longer had the source and was not allowed to make new releases of the project.

Instead of bemoaning this fact, I decided to fix this mistake and start a new project from scratch. Enter MrsWatson.

I always felt that MissWatson was a very useful tool and one which should have remained available to the community. So, in 2012, after my NDA and other contracts with the aforementioned company expired, I set about doing a black-box rewrite of MissWatson. I set aside one full week of holidays after New Year's do do this project, building everything from the ground-up. MrsWatson is the result of that labor.

Just to be clear -- MrsWatson has no code in common with the original MissWatson. They are not even written in the same language (the original was in C++, MrsWatson is in pure C), and the command-line syntax and architecture is completely different. So if you were using the original MissWatson application or code, migrating to MrsWatson is going to be no walk in the park for you. But, in doing so I was able to learn from my previous mistakes and make a leaner, more flexible host.

MrsWatson also has the following features:

  • Build plugin chains from a combination of instruments and effects.
  • Support for reading MIDI files.
  • Native support for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • WAV/AIFF/PCM file support (via the audiofile library).
  • Streaming PCM support via pipes.
  • Colored console logging output for easy debugging.
  • Flexible architecture to allow for easy extensions of new preset and plugin types.

As this is the first initial release, there are a few big features missing from MrsWatson, but these are coming soon. In the next several months, you can expect to see the following:

  • AudioUnit support on Mac OS X.
  • LADSPA/DSSI support on Linux.
  • VST support via WINE on Linux.
  • 64-bit support (all platforms).
  • Scriptable automation for plugin chains.

Keep in mind that the first release of MrsWatson should be considered beta software until version 1.0. Until then, what is needed is lots of testing and a bit of patching -- and both are appreciated.

Download source code at the MrsWatson project page on GitHub, or grab some precompiled binaries from the project's download page.

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