VstPlugin pre-release (outdated)

EDIT: here’s the stable release VSTPlugin v0.1.0 released!

Hi, I’m happy to share a pre-release of VstPlugin. It’s been a month since the last test release and the project has developed a lot thanks to all the valuable feedback and discussions I had.

Binaries (just unzip into your Extensions directory):
Windows 64-bit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=134Fr053BXFu5HtQMCZeb51L4cOxV36wp
Windows 32-bit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LcYCvWSQJZea-EprHEL3rJVI5g1K4Y7T
macOS 64-bit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BWGmgQoAoNyYArGszsjAn_aWJgpgYkgy

Here is the source code: https://git.iem.at/pd/vstplugin/tree/develop

NOTE: Many method names and parameters have changed, so old examples probably won’t work.
I’ve updated the documentation and added some examples (could be more, of course).
I think it would be also good to have a short Tutorial/Guide.

If possible, send bug reports to https://git.iem.at/pd/vstplugin/issues (needs an GitHub or gmail account) because it’s easier for me to track them. Otherwise just post them here.

What’s new:


  • VstPlugin is now fully realtime-safe!
  • class methods for searching a Server for plugins (in the platform specific default paths and/or user provided paths).
  • the plugin info is cached on the Client side, so you can access it without actually creating plugin instances
  • each searched plugin is stored under a key which is generated from plugin name + subfolder (e.g. ‘GVST/GChorus’). those keys can be used in -open.
  • -open now also accepts relative paths (which are resolved to the currently executing file).
  • easier to use VST instruments: the -midi method returns an instance of VstPluginMIDIProxy which basically has the same interface as MIDIOut and can be used as such (e.g. as the MIDI target for \midi Pbinds). all other MIDI messages have been removed from VstPluginController (except for raw MIDI).


  • -showGui is gone; instead there’s -editor to show the VST editor (Windows and Linux only) and -gui for the Qt GUI.
  • you can use the Qt GUI and VST editor simultaneously (but you have to -open with ‘editor: true’)
  • -gui now follows the SC conventions and can be either opened as a new Window or embedded in existing views!
  • it’s possible to change models, so you can use a single view and switch between different VstPluginController instances
  • parameter displays are now text fields, where you can type the value as a string (not supported by all plugins)
  • VstPluginGui also has a pop-up menu for changing programs, panels for reading/writing program/bank files and a dialog for searching, browsing and opening plugins.
  • various customization points on class and instance level


  • several optimizations for local Servers (most data is now transferred via temp files)
  • more reliable OSC communication with remote Servers
  • proper MVC via object dependency. you can add objects as dependants and they will receive all necessary updates. (needs to be documented.)

Cheers, Christof


The improved Qt editor:

The plugin browser:



WOW ! Thanks a lot, this was really needed ! Hope you’ll find a solution to display VST Gui on MacOSX ! Superb !

I’m afraid that this won’t be possible without changing some internals in SuperCollider. I have to discuss this with the devs and maybe we can work on a solution together. But first I need to integrate VST3 support, finish the release and get it into the SC3 plugins. Only then it makes sense to even approach this problem.

1 Like

This is really awesome work, thanks a million ! Will try a few VSTs and report back if needed !

1 Like

Definitely! I’ve been in touch with Christof during the last weeks and did some testing with patterns. I used simple vst instruments, but had enourmous fun with pattern control of basic params (via midi and/or VstPlugin setting, both can be handled with comfortable event types, one possibility was shown by @Geoffroy). Together wíth LFO controls and vst fxs this is an overwhelming extension of SC’s possibilities. GUIs are fine and a nice way to explore, but IMO the real power lies in the combination of the myriad of existing vstis/vstfxs with SC’s control and processing options. Myself I’m currently a rare vst user but I don’t know if this will change in future, thank you so much for this, Christof!

thanks again for your input, Daniel! Its great to hear that people enjoy it.
porting this project from Pd to SuperCollider was definitely a challenge, but a fun one :slight_smile:

VstPlugin.search crashes my sc server:


searching in /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST …
Server ‘localhost’ exited with exit code 0.
server ‘localhost’ disconnected shared memory interface

osx: 10.13.6 High Sierra
sc: 3.10.0

@droptableuser that can happen if you have some nasty plugins in your path. if you do the following:
VstPlugin.search(verbose: true)
you will see which plugin causes the crash. maybe I should make verbose: true the default…
would be interesting if you could give me the console output (maybe in a PM).

EDIT: I’m actually thinking about probing plugins in a seperate process to avoid any crashes of the Server. it’s probably worth the hassle.

Thanks a lot, this is really great!!!

I am on Windows 10, SC 3.10.1 and could not manage to add LADSPA plugins…

searching in C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins ...
probing 'alias_1407' ... failed!
probing 'allpass_1895' ... failed!
probing 'amp_1181' ... failed!
probing 'am_pitchshift_1433' ... failed!
probing 'bandpass_a_iir_1893' ... failed!
probing 'bandpass_iir_1892' ... failed!
probing 'bode_shifter_1431' ... failed!
probing 'bode_shifter_cv_1432' ... failed!
probing 'butterworth_1902' ... failed!
probing 'chebstortion_1430' ... failed!
probing 'comb_1190' ... failed!
probing 'comb_1887' ... failed!
probing 'comb_splitter_1411' ... failed!

And goes on… Also checked the verbose. Any idea how to solve it?

as the name suggests, VstPlugin can only load VST plugins :wink: thanks for testing!

1 Like

When I added some of this mercuriall free VST I got the following when evaluating VstPlugin.search(s) :

CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  
CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  
CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  
CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  
CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  
CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  
CURRENT SIZEOF(struct fann_layer) = 16   ann->last_layer - ann->first_layer = 3  

Many times until the IDE crashes.

Other times when evaluating the same line the server cashed posting this:

-> VstPlugin
searching in C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins ...
Server 'localhost' exited with exit code -1073740777.
server 'localhost' disconnected shared memory interface

This was not happening with the TubeScreamer, Mesa Boogie and Chorus VST. It was mainly happening with the amp emulation.

always use VstPlugin.search(verbose: true) to find out which plugin crashes.
only buggy plugins should crash the Server in the search because I’m doing nothing but opening them, getting some info and closing them. this works with every decent plugin I’ve tested… but I’m working to make the search safe in a way that it never crashes the Server.

for the mercurial VST it seems like it’s printing repeatedly to stdout which floods the console.

Many times until the IDE crashes.

how many? I might need to deactivate stdout during the search… anyway, thanks for reporting!

Thank you for this fantastic work. VST in SC is one of my dreams!

Currently, I am on macOS 10.14.3. I have copied the folder “VstPlugin” into “~/⁨Library⁩/⁨Application Support/⁨SuperCollider⁩/⁨Extensions⁩”.

After booting the server via launched SC in SC-IDE, I evaluated the following code:


, but the result was same as @droptableuser.
I then evaluated the following:

VstPlugin.search(verbose: true)

The result is as follows:

-> VstPlugin
searching in /Users/prko/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST ...
found 0 plugins.
searching in /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST ...
probing 'ARIA Player VST' ... ok!
probing 'Relay' ... ok!
probing 'Kontakt 5 16out' ... ok!
probing 'RX 7 Spectral De-noise' ... ok!
Server 'localhost' exited with exit code 0.
server 'localhost' disconnected shared memory interface

This is the result of the third time.
At first time and the second time, it ended with

'Relay' ... ok!

, and the server status bar was changed to yellow. I killed the server and rebooted Server or relaunched sclang, then re-evaluated the two codes above.

I have the following VST3 and VST2 plugins:

Please let me know if I should create an issue on https://git.iem.at/pd/vstplugin/issues?fbclid=IwAR3W3t04QtFbzBQ2j671D5tt3TQiK8vFTlr6l9N4TBikv5hV65Sw9Ar8j1w.

Daniel(or anyone), can you post an example of controlling parameters with patterns? On my machine (macOS 10.14.3) vsts aren’t showing up as MIDIClient destinations and I can’t figure out what to name the midi port.

Much thanks,


@robertf just pass ~fx.midi as the MIDI target

(~fx.midi returns a proxy class which just mimicks MIDIOut)

see the documentation for VstPluginController’s ‘midi’ method or see “VST Instruments” in the examples


Now, the code

VSTPlugin.search(verbose: true)

returns the followings (Strangely, it does not detect ‘Waves Mercury’.):

searching in '/Users/prko/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST':
found 0 plugins.
searching in '/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST':
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/ARIA Player VST Multi.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/ARIA Player VST.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM BandPass Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM BandPass.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Comb Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Comb.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Contrast Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Contrast.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Delays Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Delays.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Doppler Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Doppler.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Equalize Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Equalize.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Evolution.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Freeze Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Freeze.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM FreqShift Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM FreqShift.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM FreqWarp Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM FreqWarp.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Fusion.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Grinder.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM PitchAccum Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM PitchAccum.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Reson Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Reson.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Shuffling Stereo.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Shuffling.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM SpaceFilter.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM SpaceGrain.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/GRM/GRM Spaces.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Insight 2.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Kontakt 5 16out.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Kontakt 5 8out.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Kontakt 5.vst
probing '/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Melodyne.vst' ... failed!
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Compressor.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Equalizer.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Exciter.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Gate.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Mix Tap.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Transient Shaper.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2 Visual Mixer.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Neutron 2.vst
probing '/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/NotePerformer.vst' ... failed!
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Ozone Imager.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 Breath Control.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 Connect.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-click.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-clip.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-crackle.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-ess.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-hum.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-plosive.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 De-reverb.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 Monitor.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 Mouth De-click.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 Spectral De-noise.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/RX 7 Voice De-noise.vst
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/Tonal Balance Control.vst
found 61 plugins.

It seems great. I will try VST-instrument and effect as soon as possible!
Thank you for your great work!

@prko cool! dunno about Waves mercury. as long it is a VST2 plugin and a bundle with .vst extension, it should be recognized…

‘Waves Mercury’ provides VST2 and VST3 as well as AU under macOS.

Usually, plug-ins provide individual VST files in the VST2 folder. However, Waves plug-ins provide only one file: “WaveShell1-VST” in VST2 folder (“WaveShell1-VST3” in VST3 folder and “WaveShell1-VST” in AU folder).

This WaveShell1 then links all plugins in the Waves plug-in folder. This is very unique. Could they be detectable in SC?

@prko I see, it’s a shell plugin. I’ve only read about those. is there a chance you can send me the plugin bundle? I don’t need the license, I just want to see the bundle structure and investigate the binaries to figure out how to deal with them.