Sunday, January 27, 2013

VSTShell 3.77

Following some user comments, I made a rash promise that I would have an update to VSTShell within a week - OK, so it's more like two weeks, but I have been busy...

First of all, the interface has been cleaned up, with easier to read text and toggles that more clearly show their state.
Multi-timbrality has been implemented, so you can access all channels of a plug-in; to make this more usable with the arpeggiator, you can now send any arpeggiator slot to any instrument slot and target specific Midi channels.
Plugs are now loaded via menus which, as long as you're using the default locations, should automatically display all your VST and AU plugs (you can also store your plugs elsewhere and direct VSTShell to find them, but this may not be remembered).
A Patches window is available to load VST/AU presets by name (if the plug supports this).
State saving has now been implemented: most settings can be saved/restored, including the plugs loaded and arpeggiator sequences - with some caveats. A 'Safe Load' mode has been implemented, to  avoid crashes when trying to load all your plugs at once.
A Record window is available so that you can record the audio output to disc, either as a stereo mix, or as multitrack files for the various instruments plus an Fx mix.
Some minor tweaks like a pause button for the arpeggiator and solo buttons.
Bug fixes; slots now output in stereo, all 4 LFO's should work etc.
ReadMe updated & corrected.

Find it here

I will post a new video when I've got rid of this stinking cold; my voiceovers are croaky at the best of times - you wouldn't want to hear me now.
 Feedback always welcome, though bearing in mind that the Six Nations starts next weekend, it may be a while before I respond.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

VSTShell was one of the first Max apps I ever shared, a little over ten years ago.
 It's nothing fancy, but obviously people still find it useful, because I occasionally get emails about it. Quite early on in it's development I had an email from a games developer called Fernando Covett, who kindly loaned his graphics skills to improving the look of it - the background, and the knobs and sliders are all his work.
 It also got a mention in Sound-on-Sound magazine, in the 'Pro Tools Notes' section, back when you could use DirectConnect (remember that?) to play stuff into Pro Tools, and I even had an email from Behringer asking for permission to include it on a disc of freebies they were including with some of their gear.
Cut to late 2012, and someone submitted a bug report, which reminded me that I hadn't posted an update for quite some time, and as I had been tinkering with it quite a bit over the past few months, I thought it was about time to post a new version.
 So here it is, along with a couple of Youtube videos explaining what it is, and how to use it.
Funny how Youtube has taken the place of written manuals, and although it patently isn't, it almost seems easier to make a Youtube video than to actually sit down and write a 'manual'.
And of course, nobody reads manuals any more, do they? Did they ever...?

Anyway, the new version features a much improved arpeggiator, and I've already had feedback asking for some kind of state-saving to be implemented, so I will be looking at that in the near future.

Download it here

Here's the basic intro video:

And here's one telling you how to use it with Pro Tools via Rewire