new functions, sounds or effects to your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Basically, these Plug-Ins are software-based models of guitars, instruments, synthesizers and effects. Plug-Ins give you access to an unlimited variety of sounds and effects that would be extremely costly to reproduce as physical hardware (don’t forget all the mess of cables you would need to hook them up). And because the Plug-Ins exist as virtual equipment on your computer, the sounds they make interface directly into your DAW, all digitally.
Early Plug-Ins were simple in form and function. But now, as computers have become even more powerful, Plug-Ins have pushed the limits of the audio boundaries with gentle emulations of both classic audio gear, to modern samplers, sound modules and effects that defy description. All effects can be set to your specs based on the programs unlimited versions of the same effect. What I mean to say is that dial up any como of effects you want to test, but not have to buy the physical parts.
First launched in 1996, VST (Virtual Studio Technology) creates a completely realistic studio simulation at home on your PC or Mac.
VST is a cross platform, open standard plug-in format. The SDK is currently available in the C, C++, Delphi and Java programming languages.
VST allows the integration of virtual effect processors and instruments such as guitars into your digital audio work area. Like having software recreations of real world stomp boxes and instruments or creative effect tools in your VST package. All are nicely integrated into the host program.
Because these connections are virtual, you can forget about tripping over an audio or MIDI cable and bringing the house down. These VST modules have the same sound quality as the elite hardware models, and are easily as flexible or better. All functions of a VST effect processor or guitar are directly controllable and automatable, with a mouse or with an external controller.
VST plug-ins are dynamic link libraries. On Windows they have the .dll extension, on Mac they have the .vst extension. Most VST plug-ins can be simply installed by copying the file into the hosts plug-in directory. Lots of folks find it useful to use sub-folders to organize their plug-ins into categories like evaluate, demos, eq, delay, echo, more.
Software Development Kit (SDK)
(SDK) Software development kit, is normally a set of development tools that allows a software designer to make applications for a particular software package, framework, hardware platform, video game, or similar.
Not to be confused with open source (where fundamental code functions are made available in their complete form).
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) means a computer system/studio specifically set up for music and audio recording.
They can be used on either a PC running Windows or Linux or a Mac . Usually a DAW consists of a sequencer, mixer and a setup for audio recording and playback. Some DAWs also have facilities for synthesis and effects.
There is a lot of interest in VST plugins being generated by the GPC crew. There seems to be a growing body of evidence that suggests musicians, old school guitarists in particular are having a difficult time detaching from the setups of old. GPC feels like this is the wave of the future and more info will be available as we collect it.
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