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VST across Macs
May 13, 2020 - 4:15 am
Member Since: February 21, 2020
Forum Posts: 51
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Hey guys! 

I am finally using book 2 and feel like I have learnt so much! Today I going to use my personal plugin at the studio computer to give it a good run, but it doesn't show on my mac, only the mac I exported the VST3 on. I signed the file with my developer account as I have one for a iPhone app I am working on commercially. 

Has anyone run into this issue?

W Pirkle
May 13, 2020 - 2:34 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 569
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When you compile the plugin after exporting, it will place the VST3 in the mac-specific library for "user plugins" which is:


On ASPiK VST3 builds for MacOS, a SymLink (shortcut) to the VST3 is automatically placed there, so it shows up instantly in your DAW. The actual plugin is in your:




folder depending on your configuration. 

So, to install on a new computer you need to copy the /project/mac_build/VST3/... version into the user's ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/ folder, or you need to install it to a known (safe) location, then make a SymLink in the /VST3 folder. 

Notice that there is a second VST3 destination folder:


which is most likely where your commercially purchased plugins reside. When you sell the plugin, you need to create the installer for that part. 

I use the first one (~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/) because the other is a protected folder that requires a password or your fingerprint to access it, and the build would fail in XCode as this copy is the last step after the validator runs. In addition, the VST3 SDK sample projects are setup the same way and use the same CMake script as the ASPiK plugins.

This information (as well as the details for AU and AAX) is in the ASPiK documentation; for VST3 it is here:



May 14, 2020 - 10:52 pm
Member Since: February 21, 2020
Forum Posts: 51
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I believe that the issue is actually on the mac OS side of things, as what you said above works true for the computer I compile it on, where if I take it to another mac it doesn't work. Using codesign reveals that it is an unnotarised Developer ID Signed vst3. So I have submitted it to be notarised as a trial to see if this is the issue.

One thing I have noticed, which maybe a known issue or bug or something. When I compile multiple times, or change settings to prepare for notarisation (the requirement for 10.15) the GUI inside Ableton dis-appears as though it has one no longer. Cleaning the build folder and recompiling failed, as did deleting the entire folder and running cmake inside the mac build again and starting fresh. A complete new export was required from RackAFX. So not sure on this matter, trying to investigate further. 


Prepare Your Software for Notarisation - https://developer.apple.com/documentation/xcode/notarizing_macos_software_before_distribution

W Pirkle
May 15, 2020 - 6:02 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 569
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I have not had that issue with any GUI since ASPiK 1.6.3, which did have an issue and it had to do with the bundle name (ID) but that has been fixed for a couple of revisions. ASPiK 1.6.5 (and new RackAFX) also fixed an issue with Release versions but for AU only (having to do with cocoa gui).

Thanks for the apple link!

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