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Why use VST 3 SDK ?

There are different use cases you can realize by using the VST 3 SDK:

  1. You are a plug-in developer and you want to create audio FX or instrument plug-ins which can be included and used in a VST 3 host application.
    • an audio FX plug-in is an audio processor effect taking audio as input and creating audio as output: such as Delay, Phaser, Compressor, Reverb, 
    • an instrument plug-in is a sound/audio generator, taking as input note events and creating audio as output: such as emulations of well-known hardware synths. There are 2 kinds of instrument plug-ins: virtual sample-based (using audio samples as the basis for sound generation) and virtual synth (using different types of synthesis: physical modelling, additive, subtractive, FM, sample-based, …)
  2. You are a host developer and you want to load in your application VST 3 plug-ins:
    1. audio FX and/or
    2. instruments plug-ins.

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Advantages of using VST 3 SDK

By using VST 3 SDK directly:

  • you are sure to be compliant with the VST 3 format.

  • developing your plug-in based on the VST 3 format allows you to support easily new VST 3 features that improve the integration of these plug-ins inside a DAW. Some 3rd party SDKs use only a common layer between all plug-in formats, limiting in this way the possibility for a better integration, for example exclusive VST 3 features:

  • you get optimal integration of the VSTGUI tool with VST 3

  • it includes the major plug-in format wrappers:  AAX, AUv3, AU, VST2 (deprecated)

  • the included Validator allows you to check your plug-in's conformity to the VST 3 standard

Examples of VST 3 host applications

CubaseSteinberg Media Technologies
NuendoSteinberg Media Technologies
WavelabSteinberg Media Technologies
DoricoSteinberg Media Technologies
LiveAbleton AG
BitwigBitwig GmbH
MaxCycling 74
FL StudioImageLine
SamplitudeMAGIX Software GmbH
Digital PerformerMOTU
BidulePlogue Art et Technologie, Inc.
Studio OnePreSonus Software Ltd
WaveformTracktion Software Corporation
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