The full VST 3 SDK is available here!. It contains :
|Windows 10/11||x86, x86_64, arm64||MSVC 2022, MSVC 2019|
|Windows 8.1||x86, x86_64||MSVC 2019, MSVC 2017|
|macOS 10.13, 10.14, 10.15, 11, 12, 13||x86, x86_64, Apple Silicon||Xcode 10 - 14|
|iOS 13 - iOS 16||arm64||Xcode 11 - 14|
|Linux - Raspberry Pi OS (Buster)||arm32||GCC 8.3 and higher||Visual Studio Code|
|Linux - Ubuntu 18.04 LTS||x86, x86_64||GCC 8.3 and higher||Visual Studio Code, Qt Creator|
|Linux - Ubuntu 20.04 LTS||x86, x86_64||GCC 8.3 and higher||Visual Studio Code, Qt Creator|
A VST plug-in is an audio processing component that is utilized within a host application. This host application provides the audio or/and event streams that are processed by the plug-in's code. Generally speaking, a VST plug-in can take a stream of audio data, apply a process to the audio, and return the result to the host application. A VST plug-in performs its process normally using the processor of the computer. The audio stream is broken down into a series of blocks. The host supplies the blocks in sequence. The host and its current environment control the block-size. The VST plug-in maintains the status of all its own parameters relating to the running process: The host does not maintain any information about what the plug-in did with the last block of data it processed.
From the host application's point of view, a VST plug-in is a black box with an arbitrary number of inputs, outputs (Event (MIDI) or Audio), and associated parameters. The host needs no implicit knowledge of the plug-in's process to be able to use it. The plug-in process can use whatever parameters it wishes, internally to the process, but depending on the capabilities of the host, it can allow the changes to user parameters to be automated by the host.
The source code of a VST plug-in is platform independent, but the delivery system depends on the platform architecture:
To learn more about VST you can:
VST 3 is a general rework of the long-serving VST plug-in interface. It is not compatible with the older VST versions, but it includes some new features and possibilities. We have redesigned the API to make it not only far easier and more reliable for developers to work with, but have also provided completely new possibilities for plug-ins. These include:
Processing can optionally be applied to plug-ins only when audio signals are present on their respective inputs, so VST 3 plug-ins can apply their processing economically and only when it is needed.
VST 3 plug-ins are no longer limited to a fixed number of inputs and outputs, and their I/O configuration can dynamically adapt to the channel configuration. Side-chains are also very easily realizable. This includes the possibility to deactivate unused busses after loading and even reactivate those when needed. This cleans up the mixer and further helps to reduce CPU load.
VST 3 also features vastly improved parameter automation with sample accuracy and support for ramped automation data, allowing completely accurate and rapid parameter automation changes.
The VST 3 plug-in parameters are displayed in a tree structure. Parameters are grouped into sections which represent the structure of the plug-in. Plug-ins can communicate their internal structure for the purpose of overview, but also for some associated functionality (eg. program-lists).
VST 3 defines a way to allow resizing of the plug-in editor by a user.
The host could ask the plug-in which parameter is under the mouse.
VST 3 defines a way to allow the host to add its own entries in the plug-in context menu of a specific parameter.
A VST 3 plug-in could access some channel information where it is instantiated: name, color, ...
VST 3 defines with Note Expression a new way of event controller editing. The plug-in is able to break free from the limitations of MIDI controller events by providing access to new VST 3 controller events that circumvent the laws of MIDI and provide articulation information for each individual note (event) in a polyphonic arrangement according to its noteId.
VST 3 supports new speaker configurations like Ambisonic, Atmos, Auro 3D or 22.2.
VST 3 plug-in library could export multiple plug-ins and in this way replaces the shell concept of VST 2 (kPlugCategShell).
VST 3 plug-in can deliver a specific parameter mapping for remote controls like Nuage.
While designing VST 3, we performed a careful analysis of the existing functionality of VST and rewrote the interfaces from scratch. In doing so, we focused a lot on providing clear interfaces and their documentation in order to avoid usage errors from the deepest possible layer. Some more features implemented specifically for developers include:
git clone --recursive https://github.com/steinbergmedia/vst3sdk.git
The VST 2 SDK is not part anymore of the VST 3 SDK, you have to use an older version of the SDK and copy the vst2sdk folder into the VST_SDK folder. In order to build a VST2 version of the plug-in and a VST3 at the same time, you need to copy the VST2 folder into the VST3 folder, simply run the following commands:
cd TheFolderWhereYouDownloadTheSDK ./copy_vst2_to_vst3_sdk.sh
cd TheFolderWhereYouDownloadTheSDK copy_vst2_to_vst3_sdk.bat
mkdir build cd build
// examples: cmake.exe -G "Visual Studio 17 2022" -A x64 ..\vst3sdk // or without symbolic links cmake.exe -G "Visual Studio 17 2022" -A x64 ..\vst3sdk -DSMTG_CREATE_PLUGIN_LINK=0 // or by using the local user program folder (FOLDERID_UserProgramFilesCommon) as VST3 folder cmake.exe -G "Visual Studio 17 2022" -A x64 -DSMTG_PLUGIN_TARGET_USER_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON=1
msbuild.exe vstsdk.sln // (or alternatively for example for release) cmake --build . --config Release
mkdir build cd build
// For XCode: cmake -GXcode ../vst3sdk // Without XCode (here debug variant): cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug ../
xcodebuild // (or alternatively for example for release) cmake --build . --config Release
mkdir build cd build
make // (or alternatively for example for release) cmake --build . --config Release
For bug reports and features requests, please visit the VST Developer Forum
More details are found at www.steinberg.net/sdklicenses_vst3