Steinberg is making its VST SDK interface ready for the future with version 3.7 that includes numerous new features including MIDI 2.0 and ARM support.
VSTs are indispensable today. They are part of DAW-based music production. The VST interface that Steinberg published in 1996 for the first time, is already in version 3 also known as VST PR3. Each new version becomes feature richer and more modern. For developers, it means to familiarize themselves with the new version and update plugins so that they are up to date. With Apple switching to ARM processors in the coming years, VST 3.7 could be the version no developer can avoid.
VST 3.7 introduces several improvements of the SDK interface that allow new ways to integrate VST3 hosts and plugins including a new VST 3 project generator, better documentation, MIDI 2.0 support, and the development of plugins compatible with the new ARM-based Apple Silicon chips.
Initially launched in 1996, VST creates a professional studio environment on PC and Mac computers, allowing the integration of virtual effect processors and instruments into any VST host application. Being an open standard, the possibilities offered by VST continuously grow.
2008 sees the release of VST 3, now featuring multiple MIDI ports, surround sound capability and side chaining. Since then, many new capabilities have been added to Version 3 and hence has received great acceptance across the entire industry.
VST 3.7 introduces VST 3 Project Generator that further simplifies the entry into the VST development world. It allows users to create a VST 3 plugin project with just a few clicks, which can then be used as the code skeleton in Xcode or Visual Studio. That could bring even more developers to the market. I don’t know if that’s good. Consider the plugin market is already very saturated. The SDK documentation has been enhanced and can now be accessed online. It provides information on how to develop plugins, also including tutorials with lots of examples for both beginners and advanced developers.
Two of the biggest addition to the SDK in my opinion is the MIDI 2.0 and ARM support. MIDI 2.0 standard announced by MMA (MIDI Manufacturers Association) is already widely supported by VST 3. Detailed documentation on how to employ the MIDI 2.0 enhancements with VST 3 is available at the Steinberg Developer Resource. The question remains when the first wave of MIDI 2.0 controllers will be launched. I don’t think it will be at NAMM 2021 but let’s see.
Also new is that VST 3.7 SDK supports the development of plugins compatible with the upcoming ARM-based Apple Silicon chips. It will be interesting to see how quickly developers update their plugins and how they behave on these new devices. So CPU consumption, how many instances, etc. On iOS devices, the ARM processors already showed nicely their power.
The Steinberg VST 3.7 SDK can be used under free license and is available for download on the Steinberg website.
More information: Steinberg