The new version of RackAFX is nearing completion and I am very excited about it. I think you will be blown away by how great the GUIs look and how well they work in the cross-platform manner. The current publish date is approx Dec 1 or just after Thanksgiving holiday. The history of the revision may be interesting to some. In August, I began working on the "Make VST3 Compatible" option in RAFX since the new book uses VST3 and Steinberg has obsoleted VST2. For the GUI, I would need to re-write a lot of code to make the old GUI designer output work. I realized that I could use the VSTGUI4 library in RAFX as well as VST and after some proof of concept testing, found that it worked well. Really well.
Since VSTGUI4 is cross-platform compatible, it should also work for AU. After digging around, I found that there were many strong opinions on VSTGUI4 including claims it would not work with AU. This was incorrect. Not only does it work with AU, it works GREAT. In fact, it works great for all of my applications: VST3, AU and even in RackAFX, a non-VST/AU client.
Customization: the new GUI designer ships with dozens of (professional looking) custom knobs and other controls. You can generate your own custom controls with a free product called KnobMan http://www.g200kg.com/en/softw.....obman.html and what you do is import graphics files (PNG only) as resources in Visual Studio (this is done in two steps; drag the file into the resources folder, then edit one line of code in the .RC file -- easy!) into your RAFX plug-in. Then, you load it in RackAFX and go to the GUI designer. All your new graphics PNG files will be automatically found and listed. Then you can add these into the GUI design as well.
Make VST Compatible: this now creates a DLL that is VST2, VST3 and RAFX compatible. The new GUI appears identically in all three. This is the simplest way to generate a VST2/3 DLL with only the effort of checking a box in Edit Project. These are 32-bit plugins.
Make VST: this creates the old VST2 Visual Studio project as well as a new VST3 project. The VST3 project produces both VST2 and VST3 compatible plugins simultaneously. This VST2/3 plugin also has the same GUI that you designed in RAFX, both 32 and 64 bit.
Make AU: this now creates a new AU XCode project with VSTGUI4 built-in and your RAFX GUI shows up identically in the AU ported product, 32 and 64 bit.
XML: the beauty of VSTGUI4 is that you can package the GUI in an XML file. This is similar to the way Visual Studio (.RC) and XCode (.NIB/.XIB) files work. It is the right way to go. The GUI designer in RAFX generates this XML file. If you want to extend the GUI functionality beyond the stuff RAFX supports (like tabbed panels, animations, etc...) you could edit the XML file manually if you wanted, but the easiest thing to do is open the plugin in a VST3 client, and use the built-in drag/drop GUI designer that all VST3 clients have. You can then edit your GUI there and add new features - of course they will not show up in RackAFX, but they will for VST3.
I will have some screen shots soon that show the GUIs as well as a tutorial video for getting your GUIs up and running.
You can see a couple of early screenshots of two plugin GUIs made with the new GUI designer:
The top one is a student project submission for my Synth Plug-In class the lower two are my own experiments with the Dynamics Processor and the analog VU meter in the inverted mode. These are just random musings and could all stand some more tweaking/customizations. I will try to put some more together soon.
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