AAX/VST3 and Apple Sillicon Support?

Daniel Bloch753 views25 posts
  • Daniel Bloch

    Just wondering what the future holds :) Will there be VST3? AAX? Apple Sillicon native?

    Thanks!

  • Fredrik Lidström

    As of today, my answer would be: hopefully not, no, and yes. But things may change. ☺️

  • Magnus Lidström

    I would like to elaborate a little on this. What we are talking about here are three new platforms. Once we take on support for a platform we never abandon it, so it is not something we take lightly.

    VST3: It's hard to motivate moving to this format since we do have a license to continue making VST2. VST2 is still more widely supported and has all the features we need. If Cubase would ditch VST2 support entirely one day I would probably take a look at making a VST3 bridge, just like I made Symbiosis for AU, so that we can continue supporting all formats with the same binaries.

    AAX: I still think the ProTools-only market is too small for our plugins for it to be worthwhile. One major obstacle is that they require us to wrap and "copy protect" our products with iLok. I hear nothing but complaints from other developers about this process (e.g. always late with support for new Apple technology etc) and it wouldn't be compatible with our own protection system. (Or our build system for that matter.)

    Native Arm: Yes! I had a prototype Arm Mac last year already and the performance gains for going native are very impressive. On the other hand, Rosetta works very well and our plugins are not exactly the most CPU hungry. Also, we are waiting for more DAWs to support native plugins. But you can expect us to support this in the future.

  • Ploki

    could we get an Arm beta by any chance (AU)?

    the thing with rosetta is that it generally works fine - but if i run logic natively to reap benefits of other plugins that are native, microtonics parameter popup overlays disappear

  • Magnus Lidström

    - Ploki wrote:
    could we get an Arm beta by any chance (AU)?
    the thing with rosetta is that it generally works fine - but if i run logic natively to reap benefits of other plugins that are native, microtonics parameter popup overlays disappear

    Oh, I didn't know this. I will check to see if there's anything I can do. I will try to get beta versions for Arm out soon, but before this happens we need to make the final x86 build of the Microtonic 3.3.2 "skin branch" and then merge this into Microtonic 3.3.3 (with Arm support and other small fixes).

  • Ploki

    yeah logic is fiddly with running wrapped plugins when native. I generally avoid it, nearly every plugin misbehaves in that mode.
    Memory leaks (Softube), GUI glitches (like the disappearing menus - voxengo had that as well), some u-he plugs Mono>Stereo capability simply stops working.

  • Magnus Lidström

    - Ploki wrote:
    could we get an Arm beta by any chance (AU)?
    the thing with rosetta is that it generally works fine - but if i run logic natively to reap benefits of other plugins that are native, microtonics parameter popup overlays disappear

    "Funny" enough, even when I build for native Arm our popups disappear. And this doesn't happen in Reaper for example. I can only conclude that something is funny with the Arm build of Logic. Maybe we need to investigate if this happens to other plugins too.

  • Magnus Lidström

    - Ploki wrote:
    GUI glitches (like the disappearing menus - voxengo had that as well)

    Is this the same problem as with Microtonic's popup hints you mean?

  • Ploki

    yes - in Voxengo case it was drop-down popups, in Microtonic it's the control value pop up.
    The issues disappears if the plugin is running in logic rosetta, so it's likely something about the host wrapper process used by M1 version of Logic.

    afaik, it was never solved, voxengo just went native.

  • Magnus Lidström

    - Ploki wrote:
    afaik, it was never solved, voxengo just went native.

    Ah, ok. Thanks. Not the same issue then, because in my case, going native didn't make any difference.

  • Ploki

    oooh can i get a beta?

  • Ken Porter

    What I found is that MicroTonic doesn't work when running Studio One 5.4 natively and using MicroTonic with macOS' AU Rosetta bridge. The transport bar is grayed out and no sound is coming out of MicroTonic.

  • Fredrik Lidström

    We're trying to iron out some final things before we can start beta testing. If you wish to participate in our closed beta, please sign up on https://soniccharge.com/betareg

  • Rod Staples

    Does the recent Steinberg announcement, that VST2 will be withdrawn in 24 months, change you views on releasing a vst3 version.

    Just wondering, maybe you don't have many Cubase users.

  • Fredrik Lidström

    Yes and no, for now, we'll continue focusing on VST2 as it's a better format. But as Magnus said, we'll take a look and see if we can create a bridge for Cubase users, so they can continue using our products, even though some features are missing in VST3.

  • Rod Staples

    Thanks for your answer.

    I do not understand what you mean by "a bridge". Is it like a vst3 wrapper sort of thing.

  • Fredrik Lidström

    Ah, yes, sorry for being unclear. We would probably bridge the VST2 <-> VST3 calls internally just like we do today between Apple Audio Units and VST2. But to the end-user, you wouldn't have to use a separate wrapper, it would show up as a native plug-in.

  • Rod Staples

    Ah, ok I understand. In other words, to Sonic Charge it will effectively be VST2 still, but to us users, it will be a normal VST3 plugin.

  • Magnus Lidström

    Let me chime in too. We have not decided how to deal with VST3 yet, but naturally, we will not leave our Cubase users behind, even though we think Steinberg acted irresponsibly when they dropped VST2 support. (Take it from me, VST2 is very simply to host, support, and port to different CPU architectures. I wrote the VST2 support for Reason, and we use this format internally for our AU and standalone.)

    Since VST2 and VST3 have different feature sets, the only way to continue guaranteeing 100% backwards compatibility is to provide both VST2 and VST3 versions of our existing products. One way of handling the extra support that this would generate is to only support VST3 for Cubase, at least initially.

    And just like Fredrik already said, internally we would bridge to VST2 (or something very close to it anyhow), as we do with AudioUnits today. From the customer's perspective, it would just look like a regular VST3 of course.

  • Ken Porter

    Regarding AAX support from the above comment, I don't think the statement is correct regarding iLok copy protection being required for plugins. There are many other plugin companies like Arturia, u-he, Plugin Alliance, Native Instruments, etc. that don't have iLok copy protection and they all run natively on Pro Tools. Just wanted to point out that this could be an interesting market. I don't know if it's too small, since it's still the most taught DAW on the planet.

  • Chris Gilcher

    Do you have any news regarding this internal bridging? Really miss my Microtonic in Cubase 12. ;)

  • Maria Voumvaki

    - Chris Gilcher wrote:
    Do you have any news regarding this internal bridging? Really miss my Microtonic in Cubase 12. ;)

    me too....

  • Michael Fuchs

    Cubase 12 user on Apple Silicon here. I would like to know too.

  • Magnus Lidström

    We are beta-testing VST3 right now. If you are not participating already and want to help us, please sign up here: https://soniccharge.com/betareg

  • Benson Fables

    I'd love to test this but using Reason 12.2.8 standalone so I presume it's no go at the mo!!

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