Using Mac OSX and/or Linux | Setting up RackAFX for the first time | Forum


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Using Mac OSX and/or Linux
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January 12, 2014 - 7:53 pm
Member Since: January 12, 2014
Forum Posts: 1
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I don't see anything about installing RAFX on Mac OSX or Linux systems. Does anyone know if this is possible and if so, how to go about doing it? The development environment would be XCode or Code::Blocks (preferred).

January 13, 2014 - 9:46 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 693
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You are correct about RackAFX - it is Windows only-software. It runs very well in WinXP - it was designed in XP at the start.

I do both Mac and Windows plug-ins so my solution is to use Parallels to run Windows and MacOS at the same time. I can export projects from RAFX as AU plug-ins and compile them natively in XCode on the Mac side. At the University we use Boot Camp on all our Macs to run either Win7 or MacOS. Boot Camp is part of the MacOS so it is free - Parallels is not.

Many of my students use Virtual Box (also free) to run Windows on their Macs - RAFX and Visual Studio both run just fine in Virtual Box though you still have to install a Windows OS in it. You can get Virtual Box here:

A few months ago, a book reader emailed me about yet another solution called WineBottler (also free) which lets you run PC applications like RAFX and Visual Studio natively on a Mac without installing a Windows OS. I have not tried this myself but you can get WineBottler here:

I will try to contact that person and have them write a tutorial about WineBottler - he said he is 100% up and running RAFX on a Mac using this.

Hope that helps - if you do use WineBottler, let me know how it works for you.

All the best,

December 26, 2014 - 9:06 am
Member Since: December 25, 2014
Forum Posts: 8
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This is probably a little late, but setting up the RackAFX on Mac OS 10.9.5 using winebottler was not too bad. It was a little tricky.

The steps below are assuming you have wine and winebottler installed.

These were the steps that I followed:

1. Open winebottler and click on the advanced option in the upper pane so that you can choose your installer
2. The first field is the prefix template. I just used default and it created files and directories that the EXE needs
3. Select the rackAFX installer and choose the "this is an installer, execute it" option
4. In the wine tricks this is what I had to select to make it work: A. sound=coreaudio to use Mac OS CoreAudio library and B. vcrun2008 for the Visual C++ 2008 libraries
5. I was not sure of the other fields but the field that I renamed was the identifier field (it should have default string "com.yourcompany.yourapp" ) because that string you input will be used to name the overall directory in the ~/Library/Application Support/ directory.
6. Hit install and follow the installer prompts. The first thing it will ask is where to install the overall app (i just chose my applications directory)
7. At the end when all is installed, it will ask which executable should it run. It should default to the rackAFX.exe, but sometimes it doesnt. Make sure that it will open the rackAFX.exe.

That should do it and it shouldnt give any linking errors or anything like that. I was able to export my AU template to Xcode and I let the IDE update some of the templates and was able to build, extract the component, and open it up in garageband (or your respective DAW)

Sidenote: The template is exported into this directory: ~/Library/Application Support/YourRackAFXSupportFolder/users/username/Application Data/AU Templates

December 26, 2014 - 8:47 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 693
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Wow - thanks for the instructions. I had actually gotten WineBottler to package RAFX last year with the VS2008 winetrick but I didn't know about setting the audio to CoreAudio, and I didn't think about using it purely for AU Templates, which it sounds like you are doing. This will be of great benefit to those who are working through the Synth Book using AU only - making the templates in one click is pretty sweet. In addition, you should know that the newest version of RAFX, still in beta testing, will allow you to make AU Synth templates as well.

My problem was/still is, that I can't figure out how to bottle some version of VisualStudio into the same package and have it looks like it is installed into the same Windows Registry, which requires the same WineBottle. So, when I tried to create a new project, I got a RAFX message that there was no Visual Studio compiler installed on the computer - I left it at that state. I also did not know where to find the /AppData/Roaming/RackAFX/ folder. All great information.

If anyone can figure out how to bottle a version of VS into the same package, allowing full development of the code (guessing that only VS2008 would be available, but it works great with RAFX) -- please let us know! That would really help those on Macs who don't/won't use WinOS's, as well as me - the only reason I run WinOS these days is for the RackAFX/Visual Studio combination and of course development of RAFX itself; 100% of my music production stuff is done on Macs.

Thanks agin burningTr33 - you rock!

All the best,
- Will

December 27, 2014 - 3:50 am
Member Since: December 25, 2014
Forum Posts: 8
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Yes Will I did not think of that and I am running into the same issues.

I did purchase your book "Designing Audio Effect Plug-Ins in C++" and I was wondering if I could still follow through on the examples just by porting the AU template over. I really did not want to install windows and all the visual studio stuff on it if possible.

December 28, 2014 - 12:00 am
Member Since: January 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 693
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Hi tr33

I thought you had an excellent suggestion for doing the FX book projects in AU, so I created a sample AU project you can use as your template. It is kind of like the volume-in-dB project in the book but with an added Mute control to show you how to use string-list controls (called "enumerated UINT controls" in the FX book).

What you need:
1) the FX book, for the project code and the variable attribute tables that have the control name, units, limits, etc... You can also download the book code and do some cutting and pasting as well.

2) the sample code I posted assumes you are coding by hand, as I discuss in the FX book. It is important to code at least the first 6 or so projects on your own before doing too much cut/pasting.

3) you need OSX 10.7 (Lion) or higher

4) you need the latest XCode built for your OS. I used XCode 5.1.1 to develop/test the sample code

5) you need an AU client for testing/debugging

You can get all the information here:

Be sure to read the posts in order, starting with "No RackAFX?" and going forward. You also need some XCode skills too.

- Have fun!


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