vst-mac news • true cross-platform for the masses


Crystal, which still holds the record in update frequency, has been
updated to 2.2

you can exspect the final release of (VST-i) and (AU) virsyn - tera
in about one week.


i will add (VST-i) halion string edition, just recognized that it
is a different plugin and not just the sounds ....

groovecube - exiton updated to 1.1 .

kontakt version 1.2 is officially available now.

LM4mkII and model-E are going into the OSX collection.

GRM tools 1 + 2 are OSX too since a while.

where is halion for OSX ? hallo ? steinberg ?
youre not going to make halion audiounit-only, no ?

new VST Template for Delphi with tutorial by Tobybear.

and before we forget it : (AU host) logic audio 6.0 is out.


adding (AU) Urs fx - Rumblence:zoyd preview beta, which came out
circa 18 hours after it had been announced, thats what i call fast.

motu announces mach five sampling instrument for all formats.
check the kvr site for specs and screenshots, there is no need for
me to copy their effort.


by urs heckmann

By your invitation, I'd like to add some little comment to
opinions raised on your site.
You write this :

"adding  (.vst) urs heckmann - MFM.
this plug-in is the first official release of a OSX-only VST standard
it is not supported by carbon or cocoa applications other than
cubase SX, cubase SL, ableton live, arboretum montage, cake 6.0,
or utilities which process audio at systemlevel.
these plug-ins must be installed into the root´s or users VST plugin
folder to access them from within applications.
welcome  to unix."

The Unix is one of the most amazing parts of OS X.
It may look less useful when you're used to MacOS 7-9, but if only
you dare digging deeper, you'll soon notice what it all does for you.
- It gives you security, stability, performance and a load of
professional level applications (just to mention GNU apps) that hadn't
been available to the ancient OS.
On the downside for musicians, you currently loose access to
AKAI discs (until drivers exist), some drivers for hardware like the
Korg 1212 might never appear, and developers have to learn new
There had been that "carbonized" stuff around for a while which lets
MacOS X deal with a classic-compatible flavour of applications.
This has nothing to do in particular with "Carbon" which is one of the
two major interface layers of X.
Carbon and Cocoa will coexist for as long as OS X exist.
But that classic-compatible flavour, called "CFM", will die.
To retain future compatibility, all applications have to be transferred
to "Mach-o", which is what I call "OS X native".
In fact, Apple doesn't update those CFM things in the system any
longer. Mach-o is faster (i.e. by so-called "prebinding") and easier
to work with.
One part of it are those folder-style applications.
Hence, all those "carbonized VST" which in fact are "Carbon/CFM
based VST" will be obsolete one day within next 2-5 years.
Thus, "VST mach-o" is the future of VST on Mac and all applications
will have to follow one day. At the moment, I only know Cubase SX and
Sagantech Metro that support this. Havn't checked Melodyne, though.

"adding  (VST) blockfish ,spitfish ,and floorfish : 3 dynamics plug-ins
from digitalfishphones .
the OSX versions are (.vst) too, like MFM, what a suprise.

No surprise. Surprise is only that people don't know about this
allthough VST mach-o is around for some months. I think all of Cubase
SX's VSTs are mach-o. I had email contact with Ableton recently, where
they said, If only they'd known VST mach-o, they had probably put it in
Live for OS X, because it was easier to do.

And now to your concerns about AudioUnits.
No company says it will not support AU. The opposite is true.
Most companies say they will go AudioUnit.
Why is that?
First of all, we have a disgusting "wait-and-see" mentality.
Many companies, surprisingly even big ones, havn't even had a look
at AU internals but already claim "AU support committment" although
they don't know a s*** about it.
I think we'll see a nice movement on the market. Those who will have
slept for too long will have problems.
Others take the opportunity to break into the market, like TC with PowerCore and AKAI with their sampler. Well done.
First players, instant customer base.
You'll see a load of new independent developers, thus Free- and
Shareware. The development tools are free and very exiting. They come
along with every OS X 10.2 and above. You buy an iBook, you can have
built your first AU 2 hours later from the sample projects. Instant
action. No downloads, no buy this or that, no "Apply for license".
You even have good tuning-tools (CHUD) for free. Woah, this is the
wonderful world of UNIX and Open Source. - Of corse, the same tools
let you build AU and VST mach-o.
MacOS X 10.2 is the first major system that has everything audio out
of the box. It prevents hardware conflicts and it prevents software
conflicts. How often have you wondered why this or that VST works
well in one host but f***s up in the other? - This happens
when "standards" are not open.
OS X's CoreAudio and CoreMidi frameworks are very transparent
and well documented with loads of sample code for both host
and plugin developers. Welcome to the wonderful world of
I had not been very surprised that Steinberg now offers some
detailed insight on request about how a host should behave.
Quite late, if you ask me.

And now Emagic.
I had been one of the first developers who had been
seeded with their VST porting library months ago.
I know that many developers adopted it. But one major hassle with
VST is, that allthough the processing stuff is quite open to plugin
developers, the optional user interface stuff is not (called "VSTGUI"). Latter couldn't be fully addressed by Emagic.
However, most VSTs utilize this optional stuff.
Those who don't, have no hassle porting their stuff. Those who do,
have to build their own user interface based on what OS X offers
(which btw. is much more than VSTGUI does).
meanwhile, I know developers like FXpansion who got it all working
in a way that a port from VST to AU takes less than 30 minutes
even with VSTGUI implementation.
I havn't adopted Emagics stuff, because I wanted to get more out
of AudioUnits.
And so I built my own graphics framework, which until now
helped lots of developers like DestroyFX and Antares.
Together with Airy Andre's efforts we now have equivalents to
VSTGUI which are not instantly compatible but offer quick and
versatile ways to customize user interfaces of AudioUnits without
bothering too much with Carbon's Human Interface Toolbox.
Oh, and DestroyFX have a open source library called "DFXplugin"
which lets you build VST and AU from one single project.

I don't know why we havn't seen much more AUs until now.
Some have been suspicious about bugs and preliminary things, but
these have nothing to do with AU development.
One pessimistic thought is, plugin developers wait for host
applications to arrive.
Logic's AU support in 5.4 and 5.5 had admittedly been kinda
problematic regarding graphics due to their remaining cross platform compatibility layers.
Their new engine which went into Logic 6 works flawlessly.
And then, there are hosts like RAX, Metro, AudioUnitHosting
(Apple's open source host), SynthTest and Melodyne (which I had
been seeded with with AU support in October 02!!!).

The lack of hosting applications is no excuse for not going AU.
In fact, host developers eagerly begged for alpha and beta AUs to
test and improve their AU engines. They now all support my graphics
stuff very well, because I had been early adopter. I took my chances!

Seeing it optimisticly, we havn't seen too many AUs now because
the developers want to get all out of this wonderful new world of
UNIX, CoreAudio and CoreMidi. - They must have heard Apple's
wonderful system built-in AUs like MatrixVerb which sound excellent
and are very performance friendly...

But soon, everything will be different. I will release a preview
version of Rumblence:zoyd, my new synthesizer AU within a couple
of days. Stay tuned.

;)  Ursurs heckmann


adding (VST-i) native instruments - vokator


adding (VST) waldorf - ROT analog filter step filter, this plug-in
remotes its compagnion analog 19" hardware.

the (VST-i) waldorf - PPG Red will do the same.
how lovely ! the filter was the only thing which was not 100% perfect
in the PPG plug-in, soon it will be.
but read yourself at waldorf. ->

the waldorf analog filter is my next buy.

adding (VST-i) novation - v-station.

(host) melodyne updated to 2.0 and finally supports (AU) and (VST)
sends and inserts. in addition it also gets (AU) and (VST) adaptions
for sycronisation.

adding virsyn tera now in the list of available audiounits.

the UAD-1 card plug-ins are updated to 3.0, there are 2 new plugins
called cambridge eq and dreamverb.
afaik no OSX support yet but that might be wrong info.

adding (VST-i) arturia - modular system, which is a moog modular

TC works annonced TC helicon and maybe others of their voice
hardware-effects to be made into powercore plug-ins asap, and
steinberg licensed helicons engine for future versions of their
native vst voicemachine plug-in.

TC works announced audiounit support for spark, the next 2.7 update
already does no longer support OS 9.

adding (VST) antares - tube.

adding (VST-i) intakt and (VST-i) kompakt from native instruments.

digital performer found the way to the jaguars now. should be mentioned
becasue with the right wrapper it will surely stay a "vst host".


bluetubes and liquid bundle from nomadfactory are updated to
versions 1.2 / 1.5, which includes OSX versions.

arboretum montage is now officially available.

in danger of beeing too fast i am adding (VST-i) ganymed mx which
is not mac yet.

adding one new (VST-i) called exciton by groovecube to the OS 9 list.

jolly roger (the lone roger) has a new pluggo synthesizer for you.
read the readme carefully for the whole bunch of extra runtime objects
to have to install to make it work.

the tassman synthesizer which is in the list since more than 12
months is out now - classic and carbon.

if you dont noticed it already, the links on the links page are
implemented since christmas.
(as if it would have been such a big deal)


urs fx - MFM now audiounited.

a cubase sx update fixes the problems with OS 10.2.3 .

since emu-ensoniq extinguished the brand "emu" with the year 2003
one could think the entry in the VST list should be removed ... i
doubt it will ever happen.


crystal updated to 2.1 .

i have to remove koblo - tonemill , koblo is out of business for a
long time.

akai anounced the development of VZR-8, software sampler and
remote control for the ZR-8 hardware unit following the example of
emu one year ago.

i am so sorry for those which are always 3 years late with their
new products

users of cubase SX 10.5.1 can expierience problems in OSX 10.2.3 .
steinberg recommends in this case to downgrade the package
CoreAudio.framework to the one from OSX 10.2.2 .

comment for 01-2003

a quote from the applemagic website:

"In fact, with the release of Logic Platinum, Gold and Audio for
Mac OS X, Audio Units are available for more than 100.000 users.
This makes Audio Units the most common plug-in interface standard
on Mac OS X."

we think the fact that many people have downloaded a host
application does not make a plug-in interface the most common.
the most common interface is the one which is the most known and
most used, and to use it, you must have plug-ins too.

we are glad to see that applemagic has kept the logic-interface for
their own plug-ins instead of making audiounits, but we cant seem to
understand then why - since most programs will be carbon builds in
the next 2 or 3 years - audiounits would already today make VST,
MAS and RTAS obsolete !

if there is a development kit which lets you "convert any VST plug-in
project within 3-4 hours into an audiounit" (applemagic), one could
think that somebody already used it in the last 3-4 months, but no.
why ?

true is that there are great possibilities for everything coreaudio
when the carbon age is over, and that good things take a while.
but true is also what - to name only one example - beta testers of the
waves plug-ins know about their next update of the waveshell.

right now there are 5 times more host programs and 9 times more
plug-ins for VST in OSX than for audiounit.
in a few weeks there will even be more (.vst) VST plugs than audiounits.
be prepared for a nice bundle of RTAS software when protools 6.0
(or how we call it, "5.2 carbon beta" ) comes out.

this is becoming the most boring platform war we have ever seen,
because we know before who wins.

carsten leibholz, roman thilenius (editor)

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