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Does 1st edition help to understand algorithms?
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September 11, 2022 - 12:27 am
Member Since: June 8, 2015
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Hi - I recently purchase the 2nd edition of the synth plugins in C++ book.  I think I understand somewhat your rationale for your approach to the 2nd edition as compared to the 1st edition.  You mention that you don't really discuss the details of the underlying algorithms in the new book, as those are covered elsewhere.  As I have not read the 1st book cover to cover, my question is:  would the 1st edition serve as a good reference for those details?

Thanks.

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September 12, 2022 - 10:08 am
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In a nutshell, no. The 1st edition IMO was not a good book but that was mainly because of the way I tried to write code for all 3 APIs (RAFX, AU, VST3) together and that made the code difficult to read in the book and difficult to suss out later. It even pains me to have to look at that old code these days. This was one (of many) motivations to write the ASPiK plugin framework - far, far lighter in weight than JUCE and allowed me to only write C++ objects/structures that had no ties to any API. 

I think what I was referring to as far as "underlying details" involves the basic DSP theory, Fourier transforms, complex algebra, the z-plane, and especially the bilinear transform, etc... which are all covered in the 2nd edition FX plugin book as well as other DSP books. So, I was more referring to that book, and content, than any synth algorithm stuff. This was also part of what my publisher really wanted me to do - not replicate/duplicate the lower level DSP theory from the other book, as it would just be re-hashing the same stuff that was in the FX plugin book. That was also an issue with the 1st edition that contributed to its bloated size. 

But, I do go into the theory of all of the synth modules and C++ objects in the book, in some cases in **more** detail than the original 1st edition book. For example, I derived a way to make all of the virtual analog LPF and BPF filters have a finite gain at Nyquist and those details (how I derived them) are included. But to understand why finite gain at Nyquist is an issue, you would need to refer to the 2nd Edition FX book's section on all-pole filters and the finite gain at Nyquist problems that arise from the bilinear transform's mapping of poles and zeros at infinity to Nyquist. So, those are the kinds of things I am referring to as underlying details, and not the synth algorithms themselves. 

Lastly, I went through great pains to make sure that every single C++ object that performs synth operations may be used in a purely stand-alone mode, allowing you to pick and choose which bits you want to incorporate into your own plugins, rather then being forced to build the full synths. For the 1st edition book, that was a HUGE problem. And, I use the SynthLab code all the time these days, even when working on FX or guitar modeling stuff - I pick out what I need for the project, and leave the rest behind. 

I hope that helps with your concerns - if you already have a solid DSP background, then that's all you need - no reason to buy the 1st edition book (which is also woefully out of date because of changes to the VST3 API - the new book us pure C++ with no frameworks getting in the way.

Will Pirkle

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September 18, 2022 - 10:21 pm
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Will - thank you so much.  You did address exactly what I was wondering about.  And thank you for being so candid.  I would like to purchase the 2nd edition FX plugin book and I am leaning toward eBook this time.  I purchased the paperback Synth book.  I downloaded the sample for FX from Amazon, and it looks like it doesn't re-flow, which they call Print Replica.  I assume like a pdf?

Do you know if that is also the case if I get the eBook from Routledge?  https://www.routledge.com/Designing-Audio-Effect-Plugins-in-C-For-AAX-AU-and-VST3-with-DSP-Theory/Pirkle/p/book/9781138591936.  It appears that they us a format where they only guarantee access for 5 years, which isn't very appealing, lol.

I can see that you put a ton of work into these projects, including providing all of the additional documentation online.  Thank you for that as well.

Mike

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September 19, 2022 - 10:41 am
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Hi Mike

Unfortunately, I have no control over how the book is published and I have heard numerous complaints about the formatting of the text on the Kindle versions. I have not looked at the Routledge version either - they don't supply me with that, they send some physical copies. But in general, I have found my editors and everyone on staff to be extremely sensitive to this kind of thing, and very professional as well. I'd suggest contacting someone by email and asking about it. If you are met with no replies, let me know and I will prod them from the production side. 

Will 

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September 19, 2022 - 4:18 pm
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Excellent - thanks again, Will.

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