About CLAP

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Urs
u-he
Topic Starter
26733 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:00 am

CLAP is an open source plug-in format originally designed by Alexandre Bique a few years ago that we currently help to bring forward, along with friends at Bitwig and a whole bunch of other developers from both host and plug-in side.

While there is no official launch date, we have decided to include the current state of CLAP in all future updates and installers. That's why now it's in the MFM 2.5 public preview/beta installer.

The main reason we (u-he, others may have other reasons) try to bring forward a new plug-in standard is very simple: It's liberally licensed. No one needs to pay fees, hire lawyers or go through vetting process. No need to sign weird contracts or NDAs that may turn into future risks of investment.

Another reason is its robustness. CLAP is very easy to grasp and very determined to avoid misinterpretation. CLAP is designed to minimise bugs that arise from different host implementations or plug-in implementations. CLAP offers ways and helpers to avoid conflicts between hosts and plug-ins that commonly happen all the time.

A third reason is its completeness. It's got all the modern features and quite a few that we haven't seen yet. For instance it takes into account that some hosts are not just modern tape recorders, some hosts are modern modular synthesisers. Such that CLAP offers parameter modulation which is non-destructive (unlike classic automation) and which can be polyphonic. Things like that, including event based parameter, tempo and timing changes.

Another reason is, it solves common problems. It has fast plug-in scanning, it offers host controlled multithreading (which we have benchmarked with eye popping results), it offers plug-in meta data to organise your plug-ins, resource consolidation (i.e. the plug-in can tell the host about the samples and stuff it references so that the host can gather all that in its project file) and a lot more.

As for reasons that we haven't mentioned, maybe because they're not as important for u-he as others, CLAP is a pure C ABI, so people can develop in any programming language they like. It can run on pretty much any hardware and operating system, even embedded. I'm writing this off my head, I'm sure there are numerous reasons to develop and deploy CLAP that I can't possibly all mention here.

But: Please don't expect a full blown roll-out in the next few months! Even if we offer ready-to-go CLAP plug-ins, we can't speak for our partners on the hosting side, and CLAP is still in development, i.e. specs might change a bit.

We are however happy to include host and plug-in developers in our chats once the specs are finalised. This is going to happen, we hope, before MFM 2.5 is released, and then MFM 2.5 can be used as one reference implementation for host developers to try.

We are also offering some financial support to open source projects which would like to offer CLAP support. We're currently supporting three initiatives, we may have room for some more. So if you have a project that's currently compiling to any other audio plug-in format, or hosting such, we're happy to hear from you and maybe it fits within our budget.

Btw. some cool open source projects are already running as CLAP in private branches, we can't wait to see them running in a cool host soon!

Now for some dev talk:

http://cleveraudio.org <- new link to repository

Keep an eye on it, bookmark it.

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surreal
KVRAF
2377 posts since 3 Dec, 2006

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:09 am

Fantastic!!

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Urs
u-he
Topic Starter
26733 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:10 am

(oh, and yes, we know that "Clap" is a colloquial term for an STD but in the end we decided to stick with it anyway ;) )

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surreal
KVRAF
2377 posts since 3 Dec, 2006

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:31 am

Nope.. a clap, it is a start of an applause which you deserve.. I hope cAkewalk Bandlab adopts C.L.A.P soon!

suthnear
KVRian
651 posts since 22 Aug, 2002 from on the inside looking out

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:33 am

Urs wrote: Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:10 am (oh, and yes, we know that "Clap" is a colloquial term for an STD but in the end we decided to stick with it anyway ;) )
Feature not a bug :D

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Dirtgrain
KVRAF
2689 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:45 am

Rock on all of you involved. This sounds cool and promising.
"Have you ever noticed how anyone driving faster than you is a [jerk] and anyone driving slower than you is a moron?" - George Carlin

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zvenx
KVRAF
11467 posts since 16 Feb, 2005 from Kingston, Jamaica

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:50 am

I am of course curious where this will end up.

I am not a developer, but as an end user married till death to Cubendo (for now anyway) and who beta tests for quite a few companies, my first second and third thoughts are: "Great, just what the world needs yet another plugin format or DAW".
I would be shocked if Steinberg, Logic or ProTools would ever adopt it.

Maybe years from now I will be a convert.
Time will tell.
rsp
sound sculptist

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
31202 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:06 am

zvenx wrote: Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:50 am"Great, just what the world needs yet another plugin format or DAW".
Well, actually, it does...
I would be shocked if Steinberg, Logic or ProTools would ever adopt it.
And those three companies are the reasons why we need one. Just the one, mind, unencumbered by the constantly moving goalposts and corporate-self-interest that impact the ones we have now.
:?:

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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
6047 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:25 am

Cubase/Steinberg may indeed be the hardest sell, but they also are a huge part of why an open modern standard is needed that isn't tied to a company that is pushing it's ideas down developers throats.
The story of VST3 was a complete disaster and the behaviour of Steinberg in that regard a real eye opener for many devs I think.

Logic/Apple is rolling it's own thing mostly anyway. Pro Tools too.

But I think CLAP can grow quite naturally into something that VSTX/AVX/AU will never become.
And quite a lot of splendid things came up rather unexpected from small developers, like "Ableton Link" which wasn't originally developed at Ableton at all, but by a bunch of creative independent devs.

The worst situation is always, when the only option is tied down by the corporate gatekeepers.
Apple, Steinberg, ProTools all are the total opposite of "open".

So either this will take off and the bighats will have to move their behinds to not be left behind, or it won't, which at least provides the world with something interesting to think about instead of just admitting to the gatekeepers and it shows that it can be done.

There is so much a plugin can do that the current standards are just too primitive to even acknowledge.
Urs' list reads like manna to me :-)

So a big kudo to Alexandre, Urs & Co, Bitwig and the other parties involved!
Amazing that this evolves since 2014 already (at least that is when I first heard about the idea).

This makes me very happy :-)

Cheers,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
22673 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:32 am

I think this is gonna be a pretty big thing, given a bit of time and support from host vendors. If the "CLAP consortium" :) gets at least Reaper, Studio One, Live (especially Live), I'd say it's gonna become pretty interesting.

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waltercruz
KVRAF
2220 posts since 4 Dec, 2011 from Brasília, Brazil

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:53 am

I'm all in for open standards. Good luck and congrats to everyone involved!

tony10000
KVRian
1315 posts since 4 Aug, 2017

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:10 am

What I have been waiting for! BRAVO!

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justin3am
KVRAF
11837 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:15 am

Very interesting! :tu:

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antic604
Banned
11467 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:31 am

That sounds fontastic!

Congrats to all involved and looking forward to seeing it take over the (DAW & plugin) world :clap: :party:
Music tech enthusiast
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

AngusHewlett
KVRer
3 posts since 16 Dec, 2021

Post Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:33 am

Urs wrote: Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:10 am (oh, and yes, we know that "Clap" is a colloquial term for an STD but in the end we decided to stick with it anyway ;) )
Doesn't seem to have done the C++ Standard Library any harm.

(std::string and friends, for non c++ devs).

Congratulations on the launch Urs, this is brilliant news for the industry!

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