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DIY VST?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author DIY VST?
LHOOQtius
So, for years I hoped to become a hardware hacker and make cool stuff (homebrew synths, circuit bent bobbins, whatever). But, as it turns out, I really am not cut out for hardware engineering.

So, since I have a software engineering background, I figure that's the way to go. But what has the best balance between flexibility, ease of use / good tutorials, and library depth? SynthEdit? Flowstone? MaxMSP? PureData? SuperCollider? CSound? Reaper scripting? Kontakt scripting? Something I've never heard of?

I played with Kyma for a while, but the $3-7000 dongle is a bit much.

And stuff like Audulus and Bidule is cool and fun to tinker with at times, but also not really what I have in mind.

Recommendations?

Thanks!
hermbot
If you're looking into coding a plugin, C++ is going to likely be the tool to use. I would recommend reading up in the KVR development forum:

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=33

There are several libraries available for that kind of development. JUCE is very popular - for open source work it can be freely used. It's used in several commercial applications, and the awesome DX-7 VST Dexed uses it. (In its open source form.)

There is also the wdl-ol route. I would recommend reading through this tutorial:

http://martin-finke.de/blog/tags/making_audio_plugins.html

Otherwise, Reaktor is a great development for prototyping and making effects, you're just limited to users who have Reaktor.
phase ghost
From what I can tell, JUCE is the top framework for programming plugins. I wrote some test apps with it, and found it pretty easy to get up and running with. Good docs, and decent beginner tutorials.

Max Msp is great too. The visual scripting can be augmented with actual C code using gen if you want to get low level.
Sandrine
Back in the day I used to make VST's with SynthEdit and SynthMaker both graphic interfaces (no coding) which was pretty cool. They worked but were CPU hungry compared to more C++ coded stuff
criticalmonkey
max/msp is cool for this - easy to turn a patch into a plugin and tons of resources out there to build from - but it is object oriented coding so can be a bit deep and complex

proper c/c++ is best - bonus you can get a job with the skills you develop

don't know if supercollider has a vst option - i'd be surprised if it went that way
Csound doesn't last time i used it - but that was years ago
both are great sound processors and generators but not geared towards plugin models - at least not last time i worked in them -

reaktor is fun too but i find it harder to get unique results with- prolly more me than it - lots of tools and user patches to alter through NI, which makes tinkering really fun
kinda a higher level version of the max/msp idea in some ways
commodorejohn
I admit, I don't have any direct familiarity with the specialty audio-oriented languages myself. That said, it's long been my observation that the more you add missing features to and subtract superfluous features from a programming language, the closer it becomes to C. It takes some doing to properly wrap your head around it (pointers. Pointers are the key to everything,) but once you truly understand, it's beautiful in its simplicity.
rjungemann
For simple stuff, SoundFlower or Loopback to pipe audio to and from your app to something like Max/SuperCollider/Chuck/Pd/etc. is an easy way to go, and the built-into-OS-X IAC driver for funneling MIDI.

If you want to make real VST/AU plugins, I agree with JUCE or you can also check out Faust if C/C++ is a little intimidating.
gruebleengourd
commodorejohn wrote:
I admit, I don't have any direct familiarity with the specialty audio-oriented languages myself. That said, it's long been my observation that the more you add missing features to and subtract superfluous features from a programming language, the closer it becomes to C. It takes some doing to properly wrap your head around it (pointers. Pointers are the key to everything,) but once you truly understand, it's beautiful in its simplicity.


Orthogonal to that is that any sufficiently complex C or C++ program begins to recreate LISP. Not that I would recommend any LISP for VST plugins. In fact, you want to write in C++ as that's what the steinberg libraries use.

Download their SDKs they are freely available and well documented.
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