Bitwig and u-he have announced the official release of CLAP (CLever Audio Plug-in API), a new open standard for audio plug-ins and hosts. CLAP offers modern features, innate stability, and rapid support for developers of plug-ins and host apps and is open source and liberally licensed.
Here's what they say:
Developed in collaboration with experts from diverse fields in the music software industry, CLAP is a plug-in standard designed for modern computers and modern paradigms. It caters to novel DAW concepts, opening up new horizons for what a plug-in can do or be.
Designed for Modern CPUs
Developed with modern CPUs in mind, CLAP takes multi-thread management to a new level, with a clear and efficient allocation of roles between plug-in and host. Specifically, CLAP allows collaborative multicore support between plug-in and host through a so-called "thread-pool", also allowing hosts to manage CPU-threading for plug-ins that provide their own multicore support. Preliminary tests show significant performance gains compared with current solutions.
Better and Faster Organization
CLAP hosts can read plug-in metadata and help organize your plug-ins. As CLAP hosts can retrieve information from plug-ins without having to wait for them to initialize, plug-in scans can be much faster.
Furthermore, an extension is being finalized which lets plug-ins tell the host which files they need (e.g. samples or wavetables) and the host can consolidate those in the project file. That means you'll never lose a sample while transferring a project between systems.
The CLAP standard promotes new ways to create music with automation, modulation, and expressions. CLAP supports per-note automation and modulation (in accordance with the recent MIDI 2.0 specifications), and takes it one it one step further by allowing for temporary parameter offsets. Parameter modulation is non-destructive, so as soon as the modulation has finished, the target parameter will return to its original state. CLAP makes it possible for polyphonic plug-ins to have their per-voice parameters modulated for individual notes (Read "MPE on steroids").
The standard has reached V1.0, CLAP is now "ABI stable", so developers are invited to help make it a success. Musicians are invited to check out CLAP in Bitwig Studio betas and several u-he plug-ins, as well as open source projects already ported to CLAP such as Surge XT. More and more plug-ins and hosts are expected to support CLAP in the months and years ahead.
The KVR Product Database has been updated to support CLAP plug-ins so developers can flag their products as available in the CLAP format straight away and users can now search for CLAP plug-ins using the KVR Product Search.
CLAP enabled software available from Bitwig, u-he and others today:
- Bitwig Studio 4.3 latest beta
- u-he CLAP beta versions
- Chowdhury DSP
- Surge Synth Team