Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
January 23, 2008

Ricochet Progress...

by Chris Randall

It's just about up to the fat lady at this point, because we're moving right along. As you can see in the above picture, the OS X VST is 99% done. People that are paying attention will note that the above screenshot shows the thus-far-unseen mod screen, and the value pop-ups we're using now. Those little flags will come up whenever you "grab" a knob, and show the true value, which is kinda handy, and an oft-requested feature.

Anyways, there are a couple bugs that are common to both the Windows and OS X versions that need to be addressed, and presets need to be added, then it's just the AU version (which might be a bit hairy on this one), the manual, and testing.

So, definitely not before the end of January, but early February is looking pretty good at this point. As soon as Ricochet is released, we're going to do maintenance releases on a couple of our other plugs (notably Replicant, which has an automation bug we've just discovered), and then it's movin' on.

January 21, 2008

Wait, there might be something here...

by Chris Randall

I was just flipping through Brandon Daniel's traditional NAMM photo set (Brandon likes frames, so you're gonna have to do your own browsing...) and I came across the above, for the Rozzbox One V2. Kind of a bulky name, but I suppose it is descriptive. Judging from the context of the photos, I think it was at the Big City Music booth, and thus was Fucking overshadowed by Mr. Barbour's ridiculous amp. (As ordered by NIN and Timbaland, so you know it's good now.)

I may have read about this before. Hell, I might have even posted about it. But it seems there's one in America now, which makes it more real. The L.L. Electronics site is in German, so I can't figure out what the fuck is going on there, but this is the sort of thing that tickles me. It's not on the Big City site, and it's not on the Analogue Haven site, so who knows?

Thankfully, going through Brandon's photos signals the end of my interest in Winter NAMM, and we can move along to Messe. On the whole, it seemed to just be a bigger Summer NAMM, at least from my objective. I wonder how the Super Mario Bros. theme sounds on this silly thing. Played through a Fucking Fucker. It'd be awesome.

January 20, 2008

VST3 Whee...

by Chris Randall

I realize that I run the risk of becoming incredibly tedious about this whole VST3 thing, so I'll post this one bit and leave it alone for now. Pictured above is what happens when I cold-build the supplied sample code (the ubiquitous and omnipresent AGain project, which is the Hello, World of VST, and has been in the SDK since there was an SDK) and attempt to instance it in Cubase 4.

This is amusing on several fronts. They are, in no particular order:

1: The _exact_ same thing happens on OS X. This means that either C4.1 is busted for hosting non-Steinberg VST3s, the API for VST3 is busted, or the AGain project itself is busted.

2: The AGain build verifies 100% in the little application Steinberg provides to test VST3 plugins.

3: Without a working starting project (e.g. AGain), a developer is absolutely unable to build anything. Period. If you don't have a working starting point, you don't know if a problem you're having with your product is due to the host, the API of the SDK, or the plugin itself.

So, well, that's fun. I'm wondering if it's the version of VSTGUI they included that is causing this trouble. I'm also wondering if I care enough to figure it out. Steinberg is really swinging for the fences with this bitch, I'll say that much. Never a dull moment in the plugin development world.

January 19, 2008

VST3... tastes just like chicken...

by Chris Randall

Okay, I've just got done reading through the new SDK, reading the entire monster thread on the subject at KvR, and attempting (and failing) to build Steinberg's example code. (This is no surprise, because it is usually fucked beyond all recognition. Comforting, in a way.)

Let me state the following for the record, since if you're not a developer it may not be obvious: You, The User, gain NOTHING from VST3. This should be clear from the outset. The marketing points in the Steinberg press release are referencing shit that is included, almost entirely, in VST2.4. There is nothing in the VST3 kit that makes anything better, faster, stronger, lower CPU, lower latency, more likely to get you laid, anything. Don't believe the hype.

Take some time to get comfortable with that concept. Go ahead. I'll wait.

It is clear, to me at least, that this entire Switch rests firmly on what Ableton does. If they decide to support VST3 next week, and VST3 only (and there's no reason, historically, to suppose that they won't), then we'll figure this shit out in short order. If they don't, then Steinberg can go fuck themselves sideways, basically. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Of course, it isn't as cut-n-dried as that, but that's the basic feeling in the industry, at least among the people I communicate with. That said, and taking in to account my initial issues with the kit, it doesn't look to be that complicated of a process to port our shit to VST3. Not any more complicated than porting it to AU, anyways. So if we must do it, then it can be done. But as far as I can tell, there's no pressing need. None of our products will see any gain from moving to VST3, as we tend to design with a lowest-common-denominator feature set, as far as communicating with the host goes, so that we can build both AUs and VSTs from the same code base.

For what it's worth, through all the changes on the OS X platform in the last 3 years, we've had to do nothing on Windows. I suppose you don't get a free ride anywhere these days. I truly feel sorry for someone just getting in to VST development this week, though. They're in for a bumpy learning experience.

January 18, 2008

NAMM-tastic News...

by Chris Randall

Obviously, I'm not at NAMM (what were the odds?) so I'm in the same boat most of you are, sitting back and reading the seemingly unending stream of press releases like all the other plebs. Quite frankly, this is for the better, as my temperament would probably get me in trouble were I actually to attend. So I have to live vicariously through Dave Gamble, basically.

That aside, here's the obligatory post of Things I Find Interesting So Far in all the press releases. With one exception, I haven't actually beheld any of these products in real life, so my bullshit detector is working at a low threshold. We'll see how that works out. Anyways, I'll say ahead of time that I don't find the LinnDrum II, the MiniMoog OS, or the Virus Snow interesting, really. I have great respect for two out of the three companies, but nothing new here, really. Just old stuff re-packaged for a different price point.

Moog MP-201 Multi-Pedal: At first pale, you're like, "oh, an expression pedal. Whatever." Or at least I was. Then I started to think about it, and realized how slick it was. This is the Controller Pedal Of The Gods, able to do most anything. Assuming (and this is a bit of an assumption on my part) that the buttons and pedal can be assigned to any ol' MIDI CC, this will fit in to my foot-pedaling world so perfectly I can't really believe it. I'll certainly be getting one as soon as they're available.

Sonalksis Mastering Suite: These will be fairly slick. They haven't put anything up on their website yet, but it was "announced" at NAMM. Four plugins, and to my ears much better at software limiting than other stuff I've heard. Dave did a hell of a job with these. And no motherfucking iLok bullshit.

Line 6 ToneCore DSP Development Kit: (Note that the link goes to Digital Pro Sound's iteration of the press release. That site is the worst ad farm on the planet. They make Sonic State look like, well, me, in comparison.) I know this was announced last year, but it looks like it is finally gonna be released in a couple months. This is a little module that fits in Line 6's ToneCore dock that has a chunk of blank DSP and some RAM and some knobs, so you can program your own guitar effects. I think that, for guitarists, it is a pointless product, but for those of you that get your giggles turning Furbies in to Overlords Of Sonic Death, this is about the best thing since diagonal cutters. Time will tell, but I think we'll see some interesting things come from this.

I've been keeping my eyes open, but nothing else has really caught my fancy. New 3.5 OS for Eclipse makes me happy, but I can't remember my damn username and password for the Eventide site. (And they FINALLY discovered HTML 1.1, it seems.) Anything I missed here that is on the down-low cool?


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