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VST for MacOS
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January 26, 2015
9:39 pm
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W Pirkle
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January 28, 2017
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I just added MacOS support for the [Make VST] functionality in RackAFX v6.5 Release Candidate 5 (RC5). This addition really helps you distribute your RackAFX plugins for Mac users, especially VST2 for Ableton Live.

When you use [Make VST] in v6.5, the VST3 project version now includes a subfolder named /mac which has the XCode project files needed to compile the same VST code for MacOS. If you use Parallels like I do, then your VST3 SDK can be shared across the PC/Mac boundary and you can compile for both Windows and Mac at the same time.

The VST3 project will also compile as a VST2 plugin for MacOS, just as it does on the Windows side. But unlike the Windows version that only requires you to change the file extension from .vst3 to .dll, the XCode version requires a re-compile. Here's how:

1) in XCode, open the projectname.xcconfig file and change the "wrapper" extension from VST3 to VST

2) in the Build Settings, change the Installation Directory from

~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/

to

~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/

Now, you can recompile and get the VST2 version which will have the proper .vst extension.

Of course the GUI you designed in RackAFX ports out to the MacOS version identically to the rest.

Stay tuned for the official v6.5 release!

Will

March 20, 2015
12:18 pm
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Kay
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March 19, 2015
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Dear Will

Thanks a lot for providing this. I have been looking for a XCode VST template project, but couldn't find a working one.
Unfortunately it doesn't work for VST2, only for VST3. I can't load the plugin in Live 9 or any other host (it doesn't appear in Live's list). The VST3 one shows up in the VST Test app from Steinberg with the custom GUI.

I have changed the wrapper to vst and also made sure the plugin get's copied to the VST folder in the Library.
I have seen that in your tutorial videos you also use Live, is it working for you?
Once it's working, would it be possible to add a VST scheme (?) to the Xcode project to build a VST2 product along the VST3?

I'm using RackAFX 6.5.15.

Thanks for your help.

March 21, 2015
12:39 am
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W Pirkle
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Hi Kay

OK, there are several issues at hand here and I will definitely need to do a new version update to address everything; I like the idea of having separate VST2/VST3 build configurations.

If you followed the instructions above, then your VST plugin did get built but it is in the wrong folder. If you browse to

~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3

you will see the .vst3 and the new .vst files. You can then copy the .vst file into your Ableton Live's "VST Custom Folder" which you set in Preferences->File Folder. Then, rescan or re-open Ableton and it will be there.

The problem is actually the symbolic make file which Steinberg wrote that forces the plugin into the ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3 folder; it overrides the XCode project settings as well as the config file settigs. Unfortunately, they also only wrote the script for Debug version, so Release versions must be copied by hand from the link directory. Ugh.

To fully address this I will need to modify the RackAFX installer and that will take some time. The issues are not in RackAFX itself, but rather the core template files that it uses to generate the final XCode project.

The best thing to do is just use Debug configuration (the default) and move the .vst file manually for your testing now, and wait for the new version.

If you want to mess with the make file (named make_vst3_symbolic_link.sh and inside the /mac folder), you need to alter it when you compile each version, VST3 vs VST2. You can use a text editor to alter the make file.

Alter it as follows:

For VST3:

if [[ "$CONFIGURATION" == "Debug" ]]
then
mkdir -p ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/
cd ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/
ln -f -s "$BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR/$WRAPPER_NAME" .
fi
if [[ "$CONFIGURATION" == “Release” ]]
then
mkdir -p ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/
cd ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/
ln -f -s "$BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR/$WRAPPER_NAME" .
fi

And then for VST2:

if [[ "$CONFIGURATION" == "Debug" ]]
then
mkdir -p ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/
cd ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/
ln -f -s "$BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR/$WRAPPER_NAME" .
fi
if [[ "$CONFIGURATION" == “Release” ]]
then
mkdir -p ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/
cd ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/
ln -f -s "$BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR/$WRAPPER_NAME" .
fi

Note that you still need to change the .xconfig file as in the above instructions.

RackAFX will let you know when the new version is ready (each time you open it, there is a check) and I will post a note here explaining the changes.

- Will

March 21, 2015
1:09 am
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W Pirkle
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January 28, 2017
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EDIT:

I have changed the way the Mac-VST XCode project works to eliminate the need for the make file (assuming you don't want to use command line make-ing). It produces two targets at once, one for VST2 and the other for VST3 and places them in the appropriate folders. There is no need for multiple build configurations or schemes.

I should have a new version by monday March 23 that will use these new project files. This only applies to Make VST in RackAFX. The VST Template generator is for advanced users who are already familiar with the VST3 SDK and have already designed and built VST3 plugins.

- Will

March 22, 2015
2:54 pm
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Kay
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Dear Will

Thanks again, I will try it out and let you know whether it worked.

March 25, 2015
1:26 am
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W Pirkle
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UPDATE

The addition of the added target is simple in XCode, however it presents a problem when RackAFX synthesizes the project - just programming stuff, not technical issues. So rather than rush this release, I will roll it into the next version which will include an option in the GUI designer to force the knob behavior (linear, circular) rather than relying on the VST client to dictate it (as Steinberg suggests). We found that for some controls, circular behavior is non-intiutive.

That is going to be a big release since I will need to recompile all the GUI libraries, so it will be a good time to include this change to Make VST as it impacts it as well.

- Will

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