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Tag: VST (page 1 of 340)

Acustica Audio releases new Red Eq equalizer

Acustica Audio has launched the new Red Eq, a free equalizer effect plug-in for Windows and Mac. Red Eq is a free equalizer which provides three fixed bands at 80Hz, 1.8kHz and 8kHz, the upper and lower bands being shelving while the middle has a traditional bell response. There’s an ample 16dB of cut and […]

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Squaredheads updates Nora to v1.4

Squaredheads has released version 1.4 of Nora, a phrase arpeggiator and MIDI key mapper plugin for Windows. Nora is a MIDI toolset that employs advanced editing tools to create MIDI phrases with ease. Its full contextual interface allows to create solo melodies, rhythmic basslines or stabs instantly. It may be used in both live and […]

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G-Sonique releases Pultronic EQ-50M plugin

G-Sonique has announced the release of the Pultronic EQ-50M, a mid-range vacuum tube equalizer plug-in for Windows. After big success of Pultronic EQ-110P, few years later we noticed there is still something missing. While EQ-110P was perfect for adding deep analog bass and treble color to your mixes, we think you still need tool that […]

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CFA-Sound releases FilterGrizzly2 free filter plugin

CFA-Sound has announced the release of FilterGrizzly2, a free filter effect plug-in for Windows. Finally, after some years in the dark the all-new FilterGrizzly 2 is available as free filter VST plugin! Rich on character and warmth, the completely overworked filter module is loaded with a tube-based filter drive unit for saturation, followed by an […]

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Saltline updates Drzewo Brzoza synth plugin to v1.0.2

Saltline has released version 1.0.2 of Drzewo Brzoza, a free FM synthesizer instrument for Windows. Brzoza is a two operator mono FM synthesizer. Each operator has three, fixed route, modulators. modulation amount is controlled by the modulator’s ADSR envelopes. A wide range of sounds and textures can be created from tight, soaring leads and deep […]

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Universal Piper bagpipe instrument updated to v3.0

The Universal Piper virtual bagpipe instrument for Windows and Mac was updated to version 3.0. Universal Piper is a new instrument that aims at faithfully reproducing the sound and the playing sensation of bagpipes of any types. The idea of this new instrument emerged facing the limitations encountered with a real bagpipe while composing, rehearsing […]

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Roland’s PLUG-OUT SH-101 Doesn’t Work in Many Hosts; What You Need to Know

Roland’s PLUG-OUT introduces a new way to deliver electronic musical instruments. You get a plug-in you run on your computer, but then the same sound-making code can be loaded onto hardware – the AIRA SYSTEM-1 synth keyboard.

The good news is, the future-y stuff all works perfectly well. As we reported in our initial hands-on, when the installation works, you can use the software alone, the SYSTEM-1 alone, or a combination, which is a nice arrangement.

The bad news is, the old-fashioned “install the plug-in and it works in your DAW” part? Well, for some – not so much.

We’ve assembled as much information we can on what works, what doesn’t work, what Roland says we can expect from them by way of updates, and how to use free tools on OS X and Windows to get your SYSTEM-1 working right away.

The first problem is, the actual plug-in for the SH-101 “PLUG-OUT” has been built for only certain plug-in formats.

OS X: 64-bit Audio Unit, 64-bit VST3
Windows: 64-bit and 32-bit VST3

64-bit AU is now fairly popular (Apple’s Logic Pro X and GarageBand support it, for instance). But VST3, while released last year, is incompatible with a number of popular hosts (like Ableton Live on Windows, for instance). We’ve also heard from readers with older, 32-bit versions of DAWs running into trouble.

If your DAW doesn’t support these formats, the plug-in simply won’t show up at all – the DAW won’t know it’s there. (We’ve also heard scattered reports where DAWs that should support the above formats can’t see the PLUG-OUT, but I can’t yet confirm those instances. One variable appears to be OS version. So, if you feel like complaining in comments here, just be sure to mention what host you’re using, whether it’s 32-bit or 64-bit, and what version of the OS you’re on.)

What does Roland say?

Brandon Ryan, a spokesperson for Roland US, has been in touch with CDM and with Roland in Japan all week to help us learn more. He tells us:

Roland realizes how important host compatibility is to SYSTEM-1 customers and we intend to support as many hosts as we are reasonably able. While compatibility is currently somewhat restricted (64-bit AU and 32/64-bit VST3) we are now examining options that would expand PLUG-OUT host support. One specific avenue that’s being considered is support for both 32-bit and 64-bit VST 2.4. That could theoretically solve the bulk of remaining compatibility issues. Along with that, we are diligently pursuing sporadic reports of some users having trouble with 64-bit AU in some hosts on some computer configurations. There is no specific time-frame for an SH-101 update yet, but it’s being actively considered at this time. Widespread compatibility and a smooth user experience are priorities to which we are deeply committed.

What can you do to make this work right now?

If you have a compatible host, you should have no problem. Some likely suggestions:

  • Mac: Logic Pro X (tested by CDM)
  • Mac: Ableton Pro 9 (tested by CDM, though make sure you have a recent OS X version and that you’re using the 64-bit version)
  • Mac/Windows: PreSonus Studio One Producer/Professional – deserves special mention, as this DAW has proven itself to be consistently modern and up-to-date, and we’re hearing from lots of happy readers. (Now I just have to put it on this machine I just got…)
  • Mac/Windows: Reaper – and Reaper demo. (tested by a reader) Another special mention, because you can install Reaper for free, make your SYSTEM-1 work — and then might decide you want to keep using this superb DAW.
  • Windows: SAVIHost – free VST host on Windows, though untested – would love to hear from readers.
  • Steinberg Cubase / Nuendo (of course, the makers of VST3 support their own format in the latest version)

On a Mac with a recent OS, your best bet is actually GarageBand 10, since that’s free. It’s just going to require some extra effort, but once you know what you’re doing, it works easily. (Apple’s developer tool AULab hasn’t been updated for some time and has problems of its own; it doesn’t work here.)

Apple has hidden how to use third-party plug-ins. You should double-check they’re enabled in Preferences > Audio/MIDI / Effects > Audio Units. Then, add a new Software Instrument track, select it, click the Smart Controls button, and then the ‘i’ icon at the bottom. Next to Audio units, there’s a drop-down, from which you can choose Audio Units > Instruments > Roland > SH-101. (It helps while doing this to repeat to yourself that Apple has hidden this stuff because it makes things so much easier for beginning users.)

Video explanation below.*

Just be prepared to authenticate once you see this warning:

Use of the requested audio unit(s) require lowering the security settings for “GarageBand”. Are you sure you want to proceed?

You do want to do this. Trust me, the SH-101 didn’t steal access to my bank account and start buying itself synthesizer friends on eBay.

Once you do this, at least, the solution works perfectly – and it’s free on every new Mac, so at this point, I stop complaining. The SH-101 even maps to some of the Smart Controls in GarageBand and Logic.

Why Roland Should Fix This

The absence of additional plug-in support is puzzling. While the VST2.4 developer tools have been deprecated, the VST3 SDK software Steinberg releases to those making VSTs still supports creating the older format. It’s likewise possible to create 32-bit versions of 64-bit plug-ins. It seems from the absence of these formats – and the warnings when you download the PLUG-OUT about which DAWs have been tested – that Roland simply hadn’t time to test other DAWs. But based on the deluge of feedback we got from readers, what they got instead was a bunch of unhappy SYSTEM-1 owners who couldn’t use the software at all.

Even stranger, Roland failed to release a standalone version. That would mean that SYSTEM-1 owners could install the new plug-in without worrying about starting a DAW at all.

In fact, even before adding more plug-in formats, a standalone version of the PLUG-OUT software seems a must.

Instead, if you install the SYSTEM-1′s 1.10 update, you get support for PLUG-OUT, but the firmware updater doesn’t add the SH-101 model.

Part of why I hope Roland solves this is that the PLUG-OUT functionality works beautifully on the SYSTEM-1 hardware. Once updated, you don’t need the computer, which is part of the appeal.

In the meantime, hopefully the information above does get you SYSTEM-1 owners up and running more quickly. Odds are you can find a compatible host, update, and get playing – and happily close your DAW, your laptop, yes, even CDM.

We’ll let you know when Roland releases additional compatibility, and now, having slightly delayed things while we solved this, will get back to our SYSTEM-1 review (and other reviews and news)!

If I had a Scottish accent and started talking about these things, I would sound like Malcom Tucker, so vendors, be glad I’m instead a mild-mannered Kentuckian.

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Cableguys launches Curve 2 beta, get free 30% discount coupon

Cableguys has launched a Curve 2 beta version, in which users can help test a new way its plugins connect to the online presets library. Some of our plugins can connect to an online sound library to backup and to share sounds and ratings. Very rarely some users could not connect to the online library […]

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Steinberg launches Groove Agent 4

Steinberg has launched Groove Agent 4, the drum workstation that comprises different drum modules each specialized in certain acoustic and electronic drum styles. Together with its additional capabilities to program patterns easily, mix drum tracks, add studio-grade effects and the perfect incorporation with Steinberg’s award-winning Cubase software, Groove Agent 4 is the ideal tool for […]

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Audio Assault updates GrindMachine to v1.55

Audio Assault has released version 1.55 of GrindMachine, a metal tone effect plug-in for Windows and Mac. No need to tweak, just plug Grind Machine into your track and enjoy instant mix ready tones that cut through your mix effortlessly. Grind Machine keeps it simple, using any of it’s 12 amplifiers and 20 cabinets it […]

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