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VST Audio Plug-ins SDK (C++)

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SDK Plugin by Steinberg
VST Audio Plug-ins SDK (C++)
VST Audio Plug-ins SDK (C++) by Steinberg is a Virtual Instrument and a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin and an Audio Plugin Host and a Mobile Audio App and a Standalone Application for macOS, Windows, Linux and iOS. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin, an AAX Plugin and a Standalone Application. It can host VST 3 Plugins.
Product
Version
3.7
System Requirements
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 and Windows 10 (32 and 64-bit)
Product
Version
3.7
System Requirements
Mac OS 10.x (32 and 64-bit) - (Intel/ARM)
Product
Version
3.7
Product
Version
Instrument
Formats
Effect
Formats
Can Host
Instruments
Can Host
Effects
Other
Stand-Alone Utility / ApplicationDevelopment Tool
Copy Protection
None
Open Source
GPL 3
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Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is developed by Steinberg and first launched in 1996. The SDK/API is freely available to all.

VST 3 is a general rework of the long-serving VST plug-in interface (VST 1 & VST 2). It is not compatible with the older VST (1 & 2) versions, but it includes some new features and possibilities. We have redesigned the API to make it not only far easier and more reliable for developers to work with, but have also provided completely new possibilities for plug-ins. These include:

1. Improved Performance with the Silence Flag
Managing large plug-in sets and multiple virtual instruments on typical studio computer systems can often be difficult because of CPU performance limits. VST 3 helps to improve overall performance by applying processing to plug-ins only when audio signals are present on their respective inputs. Instead of always processing input signals, VST 3 plug-ins can apply their processing economically and only when it is needed.

2. Multiple Dynamic I/Os
VST 3 plug-ins are no longer limited to a fixed number of inputs and outputs, and their I/O configuration can dynamically adapt to the channel configuration. Side-chains are also very easily realizable. This includes the possibility to deactivate unused buses after loading and even reactivate those when needed. This cleans up the mixer and further helps to reduce CPU load.

3. Sample-accurate Automation
VST 3 also features vastly improved parameter automation with sample accuracy and support for ramped automation data, allowing completely accurate and rapid parameter automation changes.

4. Logical Parameter Organization
The VST 3 plug-in parameters are displayed in a tree structure. Parameters are grouped into sections which represent the structure of the plug-in. Plug-ins can communicate their internal structure for the purpose of overview, but also for some associated functionality (eg. program-lists). Parameters like "Cutoff" and "Resonance" could be grouped into a section called "Filter". This makes searching for a certain parameters easier, such as on an automation track. This also allows assigning a group of parameters to a specific MIDI Channel input and audio output bus.

5. Resizeable UI Editor
VST 3 introduces a new approach to plug-in GUIs though window resizing, allowing for extremely flexible use of valuable screen space.

6. Mouse Over Support
The Host could ask the plug-in which parameter is under the mouse.

7. Context Menu Support
VST 3 defines a way to allow the host to add its own entries in the plug-in context menu of a specific parameter.

8. Channel Context Information
A VST 3 plug-in can access channel information where it is instantiated: name, color, ...

9. Note Expression
VST 3 defines with Note Expression a new way of event controller editing. The plug-in is able to break free from the limitations of MIDI controller events by providing access to new VST 3 controller events that circumvent the laws of MIDI and provide articulation information for each individual note (event) in a polyphonic arrangement according to its noteId.

10. 3D Audio Support
VST 3 supports new speaker configurations like Ambisonic, Atmos, Auro 3D or 22.2.

11. Factory Concept
VST 3 plug-in library could export multiple plug-ins and in this way replaces the shell concept of VST 2 (kPlugCategShell).

12. Support Remote control Representation
Remote controllers for audio and MIDI software applications have become increasingly popular. VST 3 offers far more flexible control of VST plug-ins by remote controllers. Using the knobs and faders on the control surface, parameters can be recorded, renamed and edited in many ways. Parameters that cannot be edited can be routed for display purposes to the control surface, for example, to show Gain Reduction on a compressor.

13. Others
While designing VST 3, we performed a careful analysis of the existing functionality of VST and rewrote the interfaces from scratch. In doing so, we focused a lot on providing clear interfaces and their documentation in order to avoid usage errors from the deepest possible layer. Some more features implemented specifically for developers include:

  • More stable technical host/plug-in environment.
  • Advanced technical definition of the standard.
  • Modular approach.
  • Separation of UI and processing.
  • UTF16 for localized parameter naming.
  • Advanced preset system.
  • Multiple plug-ins per library.
  • VST 3 SDK package:
    • Test Host included.
    • Automated testing environment.
    • Validator (small command line Test Host).
    • Plug-in and host examples code included.
    • Project Generator.
    • ...

VST is a trademark of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, registered in Europe and other countries.

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Comments & Discussion for Steinberg VST Audio Plug-ins SDK (C++)

Discussion
Discussion: Active
olivier75
olivier75
15 February 2013 at 1:31am

Hi,

I am developping a VST plugin, it works well with cubase but I cannot debug it with cubase, I can only debug it with a small VST host (SAVIhost), but i'dd like to debug it with my cubase 6 element. How can i do this?

(I work with visual express C++)

thank you if you can help me

msmaocong
msmaocong
16 February 2013 at 9:38am

Hi, olivier75,

I'm learning VSTi plugin program, you said your VST plugin works well but I can not. I tested the examples, again, pitchnames and get again.dll, pitchnams.dll, they can be recognized by VST3plugintesthost(menu view->Open Plug-In Information Windows) but can not be recognized by cubase(menu Devices->VST Instruments). How did you do it?

olivier75
olivier75
16 February 2013 at 11:31am

Hi msmaocong
Did you try with the example vstxsynth?
again should be a VST effect, not a VST instrument.
If you want to specify that your plugin is an instrument, and not an effect, you should add
isSynth();
in the constructor of the main class (like it is in vstxsynth)

olivier75
olivier75
16 February 2013 at 11:31am

Hi msmaocong

Did you try with the example vstxsynth?

again should be a VST effect, not a VST instrument.

If you want to specify that your plugin is an instrument, and not an effect, you should add

isSynth();

in the constructor of the main class (like it is in vstxsynth)

msmaocong
msmaocong
17 February 2013 at 12:40pm

Thanks olivier75,

I tried vstxsynth, it can be recognized by cubase now, thanks!

olivier75
olivier75
17 February 2013 at 8:11pm

You're welcome!

again is an effect, you should see it in cubase in the list of VST effects when you want to assign an effect on an audio track.

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