Understanding VST3 - Myths & Facts

Discussion in 'Software Reviews and Tutorials' started by quadcore64, Jan 20, 2022.

  1. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    For those not sure about what VST3 is and has to offer, some light & in-depth reading.

    VST 2 or VST 3 – what is the difference and which is better?
    https://arefyevstudio.com/en/2019/01/26/vst-2-or-vst-3-what-is-the-difference-and-which-is-better/

    The Differences Between VST 2 and VST 3
    https://www.musicianwave.com/vst2-vst3-differences/

    ST 2.4 vs. VST3: The Differences Revealed
    https://craiganderton.org/vst-2-4-vs-vst3-the-differences-revealed/

    Welcome to the world of VST 3
    https://developer.steinberg.help/display/VST/VST+Home

    Tried to find the original announcement on the Steinberg site. Seems they have buried or, eliminated VST2 SDK information. Lots of info on Wikipedia. Only one paragraph on 2013 announcement.

    KVR Audio still had the 2018 announcement archived. 2018 was the official end for VST2.

    Steinberg announces "VST 2 coming to an end"
    17th May 2018

    Steinberg releases VST 3.7 SDK03 Aug 2020
    Steinberg updates VST Audio Plugins SDK to v3.6.12 (build 67)04 Dec 2018
    MIND Music Labs and Steinberg announce ELK Integration in VST SDK v3.6.1124 Oct 2018
    Steinberg updates VST Audio Plugins SDK to v3.6.11 (build 34)24 Oct 2018
    Steinberg updates VST 3 Audio Plug-Ins SDK to v3.6.1003 Jul 2018
    Steinberg announces "VST 2 coming to an end"17 May 2018
    Steinberg updates VST Audio Plug-ins SDK to v3.6.902 Mar 2018
    Steinberg updates VST SDK to v3.6.810 Nov 2017
    Steinberg VST 3.6.7 SDK Released (build 352) - Linux support and new licensing model08 Mar 2017
    Steinberg Software Development Kit (SDK) for VST 2 No Longer Available10 Dec 2013
    Steinberg updates Cubasis to v1.7 with Inter-App Audio, VST SDK to 3.6 including iOS support, and releases free Nanologue synth for iPad27 Nov 2013
    Steinberg ends development of VST 203 Sep 2013
    Steinberg announces VST SDK v3.5 Now Available for Developers14 Feb 2011
    Steinberg updates the VST Audio Plug-Ins SDK to v3.127 Jul 2010
    Steinberg updates VST3 SDK to v3.0.216 Jan 2009
    Steinberg updates VST3 SDK to v3.0.125 Mar 2008
    Steinberg releases VST 3 SDK17 Jan 2008
    jVSTwRapper v0.9c now available27 Feb 2007
    Steinberg unveils VST321 Sep 2006
    Steinberg releases VST 2.4 SDK19 Jan 2006
    jVSTwRapper v0.7 released31 Aug 2004
    jVSTwRapper v0.6 released04 Mar 2004
    jVSTwRapper v0.5 released26 Feb 2004
    jVSTwRapper v0.4 released10 Feb 2004
    New Steinberg Integration Interface Announced16 Jan 2004
    Steinberg VSTGUI goes open source04 Sep 2003
    Steinberg VST SDK v2.3 released21 May 2003
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
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  3. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

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    thank you for this, I'm about to ask about this thing and spend a day reading about them, I don't think I know enough about them now that VST2 is coming to an end.

    for starters I don't like how VST3 sort itself in Ableton Live's browser because I like to organize everything into folders and chose to stick with VST2 but it looks like I gotta think of some new way of organizing.
     
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  4. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    The functionality of VST3 is only limited by how a developer codes for it. This of course is within the current capabilities of VSt3 which are plentiful. Many are open to be used for dual purpose (MIDI & audio).

    Just following sources like Craig Anderton & reading the official VST Home page at Steinberg will provide you with a firm understanding as you progress.
     
  5. waverider

    waverider Rock Star

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    Thank you for posting it, I was wondering about this. For some reason, the fact that I could never specify an install path for VST3 plugins made me never install them anymore. Looks like VST3 only has advantages over VST2.
     
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  6. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    You can specify a VST3 path by creating a Symlink for the VST3 folder. I have the VST3 located on Drive E:\VST3

    On Windows you would:
    move - VST3 folder to new location
    launch/run - Command Prompt as administrator
    type - mklink /D "C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3" "disk letter:\Folder"
    hit enter key

    You should get a message that a Symlink has been created on a successful entry.
    Take care in entering command correctly to avoid an error message.

    My scenario used
    mklink /D "C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3" "E:\VST3"

    Hope that helps...
     
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  7. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Our common goal is to achieve common standards to have. But we are still a long way from that.

    Some manufacturers already fail because of the access permissions, the support then answers, please do not install them in:
    C:\Program Files\Vstplugins but in C:\ --------> C:\VstPlugins\KarmaFX

    Toontrack does not know VST3 (C:\Program Files\Vstplugins\Toontrack)

    Parawave Rapid installed in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2\Parawave (x64)

    Actually, all plugins should go here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3

    In reality, a mess on the hard drive.
     
  8. insomnia

    insomnia Member

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    is it pos they may make a wrapper like jbridge for vst2 to 3 not a program guru just wondering as ni komplete keyboard dont take vst3 ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  9. Direct drive

    Direct drive Producer

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    I think you need to back up all ya Old Vsts because they will all disappear!! The future is coming:guru:
     
  10. Quantised Noise

    Quantised Noise Kapellmeister

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    They already have, kind of...

    https://steinbergmedia.github.io/vs...ssSteinberg_1_1Vst_1_1IVst3ToVst2Wrapper.html

    But it's mainly intended for developers to get a quick vst3 output from vst2 sources.

    I'd not be surprised if Polac releases an inverted version of his vst3->vst2 shell (which acts like the waves shell vst and produces a vst2 version of everything in the vst3 directory)
     
  11. Ankit

    Ankit Audiosexual

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    For some technical reasons, VST3 pissed devs for a long time. Today, when it feels like everybody is comfortable with VST3, who knows when Steinberg will release VST4.

    Which is why some good folks created a open source plugin format - CLAP.

    About CLAP - u-he Forum - KVR Audio

    I wish DAWs and plugin devs start implementing this asap. I know that Cubase, Logic and Pro Tools will never accept it.. f*ck'em..
     
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  12. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    I agree that it is a mess where developers don't at least stay with the default C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VST
    Bandlab still uses C:\ Cakewalk. FL Studio is all over the place (from what I can remember). Most respect the registry
    setting for VST, some do not. Some just install in a random location forcing you to look for it.

    With VST2 you can install into any folder if the following conditions are met (Windows):
    • developer has not locked a plugin to a specific folder or, set of folders
    • you can point to it in the registry (even if the installer ignores the default registry setting)
    • creating a symlink to get around any similar scenario mentioned above (solved the V.R. install location for one)

    Example of current installs on internal NVMe:
    VST2 = E:\VST
    VST3 = E:\VST3
    Toontrack = E:\Instrument Libraries\Toontrack\Superior Drummer 3 (all resources & SD3 Expansions)
    E:\Instrument Libraries\Toontrack\EZdrummer\MIDI
    Reason Content = Instrument Libraries\Propellerhead Software (all resources, cache files, RE, Refill, Content)

    This started with the Aruria SQ80V file structure. 5300 files just for one VSTi. Either they don't know how to create a monolithic file structure or, they just can't be bothered. Slowly moving installs as I have time and, where it makes sense.

    The one thing to remember with using Symlinks is not to delete the link file before renaming the actual location folder if you wish to keep it. Also to keep backups of links (Windows corruption errors & such).
     
  13. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    I agree that like USB protocols, there needs to be a standard for audio software plugin formats. Steinberg, if you think about it, is the De Facto standard for most developers. Others stick to forcing proprietary formats. Some use a hlaf-ass hybrid system that either works or it doesn't. Some have adopted VST3 (partially or completely) as an alternative.

    Again as you said, a mess.
     
  14. mrichi

    mrichi Kapellmeister

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    This info is most welcome!

    As I remember. Steinberg announced long ago that VST2 would be deprecated. The early days of VST3 were rocky but, now my experience with VST3 has been trouble free 95% of the time. Faults nowadays usually originate from the host software.
     
  15. demberto

    demberto Platinum Record

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    Its just pathetic how VST3 keeps making breaking changes to its SDK and standards all the time. On top of that, most devs who use JUCE don't care about it all, since the new VST3 standards are adopted by JUCE as they wish. Devs expect some sort of stability, VST3 changes are such that if plugin dev uses a newer version of the SDK, the plugin won't even compile most likely. Hosts keep breaking VST3 standards all the time. One example is of the host bypass. Most DAWs directly hard bypass a VST3 plugin even if it supports a soft bypass. When the VST team gets notified of such a behaviour, they do inform the DAW dev about it, but it is ultimately upto the DAW dev himself to implement it.

    VST2 has a hell lot of quirks and tricks to make certain things work. Many times that knowledge is not public or hidden away in some obscure forum and its upto the plugin dev himself to figure out. VSTGUI has even greater amount of quirks and bugs. Many plugin devs have their own versions of modified VST SDK that has these bugs fixed. Sometimes the SDK has some bugs in actual stable versions, which shows their testing.

    VST3 also is very very complex for an average new C++ programmer. The docs are broken up at lots of places and example code is many times only way to understand how things work. Arturia put so much code in a method supposed to execute fast and that's why it takes a ton of time to just scan a plugin.

    Actually a lightweight VST4 protocol which gets rid of the legacy code buildup, switches to a simpler way of defining protocols (use C, not C++, so plugins and hosts can be made in almost any language), properly documented and follows efficient modern day code management practices is required. Just define the protocol like in VST2, no extra additional boilerplate code or complex use of OOP. Any extra features can be implemented via extensions like CLAP or LV2 do. Simpler the rules, simpler the game.
     
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  16. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Audiosexual

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    They probably won't, as all of these have their own format, Steinberg with VST, Apple with AU, and Avid with AAX. Or has something changed here?
     
  17. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    VST3 running natively in Linux

    Screenshot_2022-01-22_05-24-32.png
     
  18. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

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    The oly way I see them doing so is:
    1. it becomes a proven, solid format
    2. if they can get a low enough licensing fee
     
  19. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Audiosexual

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    VST3 is pretty much this already, so Steinberg has no motive here. They did clarify licensing big time with VST3, being now GPL3/commercial with no exceptions. Also the whole crossplatform aspect for VST3/VSTGUI makes me think that it's going to be a de facto standard for the time being.

    Apple won't care as the AU SDK is free to use and also provides an avenue for Mac/iOS multiplatform plugins.

    Avid... well I'm not aware of what makes AAX special apart from Pro Tools compatibility as it's not free (only available basically to commercial developers) or publicly distributed. Maybe they have some fancy certification scheme to make sure AAX plugs work nicely with their platform?
     
  20. boogiewoogie

    boogiewoogie Platinum Record

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    I think 5 % of my plugins are VST3.
     
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