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RackAFX1 is Officially Sunsetted - RackAFX7 will be released by Jan 1, 2019
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W Pirkle
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November 10, 2018 - 5:03 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2017
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The current version of RackAFX v6.9.3.0 is the last version that will be available. It will remain download-able to support the original FX and Synth books, but no further development or maintenance will occur. This version requires VST SDK 3.6.10 and AAX SDK 2p3p0 and will not be updated to any future VST or AAX SDKs. If you intend on continued use, then be sure to find, save, and backup the VST and AAX SDKs above. 

RackAFX7 will be released on or before Jan 1, 2019. This version will support the latest VST and AAX SDKs and it will export projects in the new ASPiK format. 

While RackAFX1 has well served many newcomers to plugin programming, the plugin project core has code that dates to 2004 and does not conform to C++11 standards. In addition, it requires linking to a massive library to allow dual functionality as a VST2 or VST3 plugin, and this bloats the plugin size.

RackAFX7 is specifically designed to use the ASPiK framework - this is a separate product, designed independently of RackAFX, and will have its own website, Git, etc... This new framework removes the limitations and outdated code base of the original product.

There will be numerous tutorial videos for both existing RackAFX users as well as newcomers. The main interface to RackAFX has changed slightly, but only in a good way that allows even faster prototyping of your plugin core and proto-GUI. The integration with VSTGUI is pure - it only uses the approved UIDescription mechanism and there are no custom coded VST Editor objects as there were with the AU and AAX ported projects that RackAFX1 exported. This is not only easier for me (no more hacking of VSTGUI editor objects, and re-hacking them with each new VSTGUI4 release that breaks the old code) but it is also lean, clean and mean. Each RackAFX plugin, and its associated ASPiK exported project, fully contains all the VSTGUI implementation that is required in a completely proper and legal manner. 

Videos will be posted in the coming months to get you up to speed - if you already use RackAFX then it will be easier than you think!

- Will

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Eddie
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November 12, 2018 - 11:04 am
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Will we still have to use  CMAKE?

Yell

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W Pirkle
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November 12, 2018 - 11:42 am
Member Since: January 29, 2017
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Yes - CMake, as archaic as it may seem, is an amazing tool and a big lifesaver for me, RackAFX7 and ASPiK. 

Have you seen the AAX SDK? They do not use CMake and instead have to ship kludged up VS and XCode project files.

- Will

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TheSmile
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November 13, 2018 - 9:27 pm
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So VST2 won't be supported anymore?

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W Pirkle
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November 14, 2018 - 9:29 am
Member Since: January 29, 2017
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The RAFX2 plugin not run automatically as a VST2 or VST3 plugin - those days are over. But you can always export the project as ASPiK/VST3 and build it separately, and properly - lean. 

As of VST3 SDK 3.6.11, the old base class VST2 files are no longer there (the wrapper is, and the derived classes are too). Steinberg wants VST2 to go away and you now need to have a license to distribute VST2 plugins - it is only for developers that already had one so they are grandfathered in. 

In addition the VST2 obsolete wording also involves prohibiting of "reverse engineering" the VST2 SDK and I'm not sure that the old Sock2VST library the RAFX1 plugins link with would qualify or not - but I don't want to find out! 

- Will

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haydonc
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December 4, 2018 - 5:10 pm
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Will RAFX7 be more compatible with multichannel plugins?

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W Pirkle
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December 5, 2018 - 8:30 am
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RackAFX itself is still setup for mono/stereo. However, the ASPiK exported projects will allow you to access all of the multi-channel formats via the various APIs. In fact, ASPiK was designed with multi-channel support at the top of the feature list. And, different APIs support different channel formats - e.g. VST3 supports some of the higher channel count formats (22.1) while AAX supports some of the really obscure Ambisonics formats.

There are a couple of issues involved - one is that RackAFX is designed to be a rapid algorithm design tool and does not try to be a DAW. Another has to do with the various sub-formats and fold-down variations that a DAW is ultimately suited for and RackAFX was never designed for.

That said, I still do plan on adding multi-channel I/O in the future - this seems especially important to grad students who do multi-channel processing. 

- Will

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abeodesee72
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January 2, 2019 - 5:59 am
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i've reading your new book is due around may can pre-order on amazon it says, just wondering any updates on ASPiK ?

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W Pirkle
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January 2, 2019 - 10:38 am
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 323
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Putting the finishing touches on ASPiK right now and putting up a new website for it. Steinberg released SDK3.6.12, which caused a delay as they changed a bunch of stuff in their CMake implementations that I had do wrestle with - but it is all working correctly now. Avid also released a new SDK 2.3.1 which is also integrated and working properly - that was an easy one.

My new self-imposed deadline for ASPiK has been pushed to Jan 14 of this year, which is also the first day of the semester at the U where I teach. The majority of this time is in the website development and a couple of sample plugins to get people started, as well as 3 sets of video tutorials; I want to have all of that in place prior to launch. I have also completed the doxygen documentation so that ASPiK is fully self contained. Lastly, I have added two utilities for Mac and Windows; the AspiKreator and ControlKoder which allow you to generate fresh projects as well as write a bunch of the parameter init code for you (basically what RackAFX does, but completely independent and stand-alone).

Once ASPiK and its website are up, I will then move to release RackAFX7. We'll be using it in my plugins class so it will also be up by Jan 21 at the latest.

I will post the ASPiK website link here, and RackAFX is also getting its own dedicated site as well (yet another one for me to put up...) 

- Will

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abeodesee72
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January 2, 2019 - 4:36 pm
Member Since: March 13, 2017
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cheers for all your hard work and info.

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Werner
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January 11, 2019 - 10:57 am
Member Since: March 23, 2016
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Hi Will,

thank you very much for bringing ASPiK very soon, I can't wait:)

But I'm also interessted in your new book. Amazon still states May 25, 2019.

Is this correct, will it still take so long?

Werner

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TheSmile
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May 19, 2019 - 2:25 am
Member Since: June 25, 2018
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W Pirkle said
...

In addition the VST2 obsolete wording also involves prohibiting of "reverse engineering" the VST2 SDK and I'm not sure that the old Sock2VST library the RAFX1 plugins link with would qualify or not - but I don't want to find out! 

- Will  

Means - I can't finish a project with RackAFX7 that I started with RackAFX6?

Getting Error: cannot open file 'Sock2VST3_blabla.lib" ...

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W Pirkle
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May 20, 2019 - 9:39 am
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 323
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Yes, that is correct. The two products and their plugin projects are completely separated. However there is one thing that is common to both and that is how the project's GUI controls and settings are stored in the project file (.prj) -- this file only contains GUI control lists and settings that are abstracted from either of the APIs. 

So, one thing you can do is to start a new RAFX7 project and then use the familiar File -> Import UI Controls from Project

This will pull in all of your GUI controls, and add them to the plugin core in the ASPiK plugin parameter format. So that is 1/2 of the conversion. 

Then, you can move the code from your RAFX6 project into your RAFX7 project:

prepareForPlay( ) - these sample rate dependent inits are now done in PluginCore::reset( )

processAudioFrame( ) - this function has the same name, but is completely different from RAFX6; you can see the pass-thru code to understand how to pick up input samples, etc... 

userInterfaceChange( ) - this function does not exist directly in RAFX7. It was a sore-point for me, because the function originally caused a thread-safety issue (that was fixed around RAFX5). The GUI updates will automatically happen in a threadsafe manner so when you are processing audio you can access these GUI linking variables to use in the processing. 

I will be putting up some tutorial videos over the next week that will help explain how the new system works, and exactly what its relationship is to ASPiK. This will help you transition to RAFX7. 

The complete separation of RAFX6 and RAFX7 apis was planned from the beginning to update RAFX to more modern programming paradigms and much safer/easier operation. 

Standby for some videos coming up...

- Will

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