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How to better support remote (UI and hardware) for parameters.

Introduction

Since VST 3.5, a new interface is provided: Vst::IXmlRepresentationController

Extended plug-in interface IEditController for a component: Vst::IXmlRepresentationController

A representation based on XML is a way to export, structure, and group plug-in parameters for a specific remote (hardware or software rack (such as quick controls)).
It allows to describe each parameter more precisely (what is the best matching to a knob, different title lengths matching limited remote display,...).

  • A representation is composed of pages (this means that to see all exported parameters, the user has to navigate through the pages).
  • A page is composed of cells (for example, 8 cells per page).
  • A cell is composed of layers (for example, a cell can have a knob, a display, and a button, which means 3 layers).
  • A layer is associated to a plug-in parameter using the ParameterID as identifier:
    • it could be a knob with a display for title and/or value, this display uses the same ParameterID, but it could be another one.
    • switch
    • link which allows to jump directly to a subpage (on another page)
    • more... See Vst::LayerType


This representation is implemented as XML text following the Document Type Definition (DTD): http://dtd.steinberg.net/VST-Remote-1.1.dtd

Example

Here an example of what should be passed in the stream of getXmlRepresentationStream:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE vstXML PUBLIC "-//Steinberg//DTD VST Remote 1.1//EN" "http://dtd.steinberg.net/VST-Remote-1.1.dtd">
<vstXML version="1.0">
    <plugin classID="341FC5898AAA46A7A506BC0799E882AE" name="Chorus" vendor="Steinberg Media Technologies" />
    <originator>My name</originator>
    <date>2010-12-31</date>
    <comment>This is an example for 4 Cells per Page for the Remote named ProductRemote 
             from company HardwareCompany.</comment>

    <!-- ===================================== -->
    <representation name="ProductRemote" vendor="HardwareCompany" version="1.0">
        <page name="Root">
            <cell>
                <layer type="knob" parameterID="0">
                    <titleDisplay>
                        <name>Mix dry/wet</name>
                        <name>Mix</name>
                    </titleDisplay>
                </layer>
            </cell>
            <cell>
                <layer type="display"></layer>
            </cell>
            <cell>
                <layer type="knob" parameterID="3">
                    <titleDisplay>
                        <name>Delay</name>
                        <name>Dly</name>
                    </titleDisplay>
                </layer>
            </cell>
            <cell>
                <layer type="knob" parameterID="15">
                    <titleDisplay>
                        <name>Spatial</name>
                        <name>Spat</name>
                    </titleDisplay>
                </layer>
            </cell>
        </page>
        <page name="Page 2">
            <cell>
                <layer type="LED" ledStyle="spread" parameterID="2">
                    <titleDisplay>
                        <name>Width +</name>
                        <name>Widt</name>
                    </titleDisplay>
                </layer>
                <!--this is the switch for shape A/B-->
                <layer type="switch" switchStyle="pushIncLooped" parameterID="4"></layer>
            </cell>
            <cell>
                <layer type="display"></layer>
            </cell>
            <cell>
                <layer type="LED" ledStyle="singleDot" parameterID="17">
                    <titleDisplay>
                        <name>Sync Note +</name>
                        <name>Note</name>
                    </titleDisplay>
                </layer>
                <!--this is the switch for sync to tempo on /off-->
                <layer type="switch" switchStyle="pushIncLooped" parameterID="16"></layer>
            </cell>
            <cell>
                <layer type="knob" parameterID="1">
                    <titleDisplay>
                        <name>Rate</name>
                    </titleDisplay>
                </layer>
            </cell>
        </page>
    </representation>
</vstXML>

Graphical overview

Example of implementation using helper class

See Steinberg::Vst::XmlRepresentationHelper.


Location table for VST XMLs representation

When a host needs to use a VST XMLs representation (for internal use, like quick control assignments, to get the most important parameters sorted per page of a plug-in), the host will check the presence in a specific location for a given remote and for this given plug-in a representation XML file with the remote name as filename (check below about how the path is defined). If this is not found, the host will ask the plug-in by using Steinberg::Vst::IXmlRepresentationController (if implemented).

Explanation:

  • priority column:
    • specifies the scan order by the host. Path #1 will be checked first, #8 will be checked last. The first XML found will be used and overrides the others.
  • type of column:
    • user : specific to the currently logged in user
    • shared : for all users of this machine
    • factory : installed by Plug-in or App installer with the Plug-in
  • $COMPANY and $PLUGIN-NAME folder names contain only allowed characters for file naming
    • replace characters "\\*?/:.<>|\\"\t\n\r" by "_"
  • $UID is the Unique ID of the processor in its string representation (for example: "57F704D1FA974D668083E4B9AF581D23" len=32)

For Mac platform

PrioTypeScopeWritablePathComment
1UserUserXUsers/$USERNAME/Library/Audio/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/
2UserUserXUsers/$USERNAME/Library/Audio/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/
3Shared_FactoryPublic-Library/Audio/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/Computer shared FactoryROM
4Shared_FactoryPublic-Library/Audio/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/Computer shared FactoryROM
5App_FactoryApps-[$APPFOLDER]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/Host Application (Cubase, ...)
6App_FactoryApps-[$APPFOLDER]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/Host Application (Cubase, ...)
7App_FactoryApps-$PLUGIN-PATH/Contents/Resources/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/Plug-in Bundle
8App_FactoryApps-$PLUGIN-PATH/Contents/Resources/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/Plug-in Bundle

For Windows Vista/7/8/10 platform

PrioTypeScopeWritablePathComment
1UserUserX[Users/$USERNAME/Documents]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/FOLDERID_Documents
2UserUserX[Users/$USERNAME/Documents]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/FOLDERID_Documents
3User_FactoryUserX[Users/$USERNAME/AppData/Roaming]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/FOLDERID_RoamingAppData
4User_FactoryUserX[Users/$USERNAME/AppData/Roaming]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/FOLDERID_RoamingAppData
5Shared_FactoryPublic-[ProgramData]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/FOLDERID_ProgramData
6Shared_FactoryPublic-[ProgramData]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/FOLDERID_ProgramData
7App_FactoryApps-[$APPFOLDER]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/Host Application (Cubase, ...)
8App_FactoryApps-[$APPFOLDER]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/Host Application (Cubase, ...)

For Windows XP/2000 platform

PrioTypeScopeWritablePathComment
1UserUserX[My Documents]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/CSIDL_PERSONAL
2UserUserX[My Documents]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/CSIDL_PERSONAL
3User_FactoryUserX[Documents and Settings/$USERNAME/Application Data]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/CSIDL_APPDATA
4User_FactoryUserX[Documents and Settings/$USERNAME/Application Data]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/CSIDL_APPDATA
5Shared_FactoryPublic-[Documents and Settings/$ALLUSERS/Application Data]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA
6Shared_FactoryPublic-[Documents and Settings/$ALLUSERS/Application Data]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA
7App_FactoryApps-[$APPFOLDER]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/$UID/Host Application (Cubase, ...)
8App_FactoryApps-[$APPFOLDER]/VST XMLs/$COMPANY/$PLUGIN-NAME/Host Application (Cubase, ...)

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