Noob Question about making AU plugins on Windows and plugin frameworks | Setting up RackAFX for the first time | Forum


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Noob Question about making AU plugins on Windows and plugin frameworks
New Member
April 29, 2017 - 12:18 pm
Member Since: April 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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Greetings morals!

I'd like to make a audio plugin that comes in AU, AAX and VST3. 
I've been fluttering around wdl-ol, iplug and now RackAFX stuff for a while and I'm quite confused.

I have a Windows machine (VS community 2015). Am I able to create AU or AAX effects? I want my plugin to work in pro tools on mac and Reaper in Windows.

Is RackAFX the right way to go? Can someone perhaps please explain to me what iplug is? And what WDL-OL is? I've seen many frameworks seem to incorporate each other.

Does RackAFX use the VSTGUI stuff included in the Steinberg SDK? Does that get used if I make an AU? Am I correct in assuming a VST on mac is a AU? (Such as how on windows a VST is a DLL).

I don't have a macintosh computer but I want to make audio plugins that run on the mac. 🙁 Am I in trouble?

I appreciate any help you guys could offer. I'm looking forward to picking a framework I can ..sink my teeth into. Haha. ...hahaha.... muahahaa.. AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

April 30, 2017 - 12:57 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 689
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With RackAFX you can develop AU, AAX and VST3 plugins for Mac and Windows. AU is Mac-only, so you must have a Mac to compile and test the AU plugins. AAX and VST3 have Win and Mac versions. AU, AAX and VST3 are all completely different APIs, so a Mac-VST is not an AU plugin. 

In order to compile an AU, VST3-Mac or AAX-Mac, you must own an Apple Mac computer and use XCode to compile your plugin. To compile AAX-Win or VST3-Win you must have a windows computer and Visual Studio to compile your plugin. This is true no matter what framework you are trying to use, whether it is RackAFX, WDL-OL, JUCE, etc... The binaries for Win and Mac are incompatible.

RackAFX uses VSTGUI4 for its GUI designer and GUI implementations. And yes, this is the same VSTGUI that is packaged with the VST3 SDK, however VSTUIG4 is completely independent from VST3 and does not rely on any VST3 SDK files for its operation or implementation. 

When you use RackAFX's porting functions, Make AAX, Make AU and Make VST, RackAFX will create the Visual Studio and/or XCode projects for you with your RackAFX plugin-core inside. The AU projects are self-contained. The VST and AAX projects both require the SDK's from the manufacturer, and you need to follow the instructions on this forum regarding placement of the VST or AAX project folders within the SDK folder hierarchy and the preparation of the VST3 SDK for use (caused by changes Steinberg made to the SDK, not because of RackAFX which is independent of all APIs). 

- Will Pirkle

New Member
April 30, 2017 - 1:36 pm
Member Since: April 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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holy cow thank you very much.

thanks for taking the time to tunnel through my block of confusion. thats very kind of you. 

i was under the impression that VST on mac was implemented as an AU. It looks as though I was wrong and AU is a full standard on its own. Good on apple for making that for their system. Thinking ahead.

It was new to me that VST3 existed on the mac. Its just that so many of these frameworks incorporate each other I kinda got confused as to which big fish was eating which little fish. 

rackafx is pretty impressive. quite an achievement.

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