Effect plugin support

Why is there no wavetable synth that allows me to use my own effect plugins? If my DAW can automate these settings, my synth should be able to.
I understand why it wouldn’t be a development priority. And how it could conjure hard to solve bug reports related to compatability. But i think there’s more of us who would love to play around the possibility of using any type of plugin in the effects panel. And i wouldn’t be surprised if it’ll be the staple of next-generation wavetable synths.
Long-term it could also save development time on the build-in effects.

I’d love to hear from the developers what their thoughts on this are. Reasoning to or not to implement it, or any roadblocks i’m overseeing.

Love the software! Keep it up!

Because that’d mean the synth is no longer just a synth but full-time vst host (if we assume this is the type of plugins we’re talking about and not for example something else like aax or au… which would only add to it’s complexity). That host will need to be hosted in your DAW which puts a lot of processing power just to let you load your effects. As with any synth you probably would love to be able to load 5, 10 or even 20 instances without unnecessary impact on your CPU - easier to achieve it having synth with build-in effects rather than having full vst host. And you’ll want to automate parameters of loaded plugins, right? Well forget about it - not possible with that kind of solution. Not to mention issues with not working plugins that the developer will have to handle instead of working on new features or updating existing ones - it’s simply not reliable solution that has many drawbacks and non-existent or questionable profit.

Even stuff like KiloHearts plugins (snapins) are just actually one piece of code that loads “modules” on demand depending on what user wants - in fact their system is not even made of separate plugins but one big plugin. Their solution allows to have stable environment where you can “host” plugins (in reality it doesn’t host anything but runs everything as one plugin under the hood and because of that you cannot load own plugins but have to stay limited to snapins).

However there are plugins that allow you to host vst plugins while behaving as vst plugins, for example Minihost Modular from Image-Line and Blue Cat’s PatchWork, but their main purpose is to let you load plugins in them, which brings us to beginning - a synth that allows you to host other plugins as effects is just simply waste of time of a developer with potentially low to non-existent profit.

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There was or is Plug and Mix Chainer which allows the loading of VST and VSTi plugins.

I was involved in the testing quite some time ago but I don’t think it’s been updated in a long time and I remember it being a bit buggy.

It’s still for sale but any plugin that shows Pentium IV and Athlon in the requirements is likely a bit outdated so I’d try the demo first.

Hey! Thanks for the quick responses! :slight_smile:
I will look up your recommendations to see if it it fits my needs. In the meanwhile i installed Juce and started working on a prototype. I’m quite curious to see where his journey ends.

probably any of the modular synthesizers such as VCV, Bespoke, PureData, Cherry, Reaktor and the like ought to either have the functionality you’re looking for, or at least they should have them one day.

But as far as Vital is concerned, it’s a total masterpiece, but it could certainly use more explicit routing, individual outs and ins for anything. i suggest multichannel inputs and outputs (for external audio input and sidechain sends, etc), and a node based routing page with scroll wheel zoom and middle click pan.

Late to the party, but whatever.

The closest thing I’m aware of for doing this is MeldaProduction’s MSoundFactory, and even then, the idea of hosting other effects plugins was discarded early in development. MeldaProduction has enough plugins to get pretty much any effect, though. But if you compare the processing requirements for MSoundFactory using wavetables and standard effects to MSoundFactory using wavetables, basic effects, and more complex effects, it quickly becomes apparent that hosting non-native effects in a synth isn’t the best idea.

Funnily enough, my favorite MSoundFactory patch has two versions, standard and quick-nofx. My M1 Macbook pro can only handle 3-4 notes of the standard version, which isn’t enough for a pad. The nofx version, with the same effects hosted in the DAW, can handle 10-12 notes in real time. Exact same settings, exact same output.

The difference? The VST format (and AU, etc.) isn’t designed to host other plugins. The amount of inefficiency varies from DAW to DAW, but in general, it’s better to let the DAW host things.

Vital takes enough CPU power as it is.


Hi Ted,

Bit of a late reply from me too but I’ve only just seen your post and it made me wonder a couple of things… A) Which DAW are you using? B) Why would you want to host an effect that’s native to your DAW inside a synth plugin? (this doesn’t really make any sense at all)

If you’re using Ableton, you could put an Instrument Rack on a new MIDI track, drop Vital or any other wavetable synth (as that’s what you mentioned but will obviously work with any native or 3rd party plugin instrument) inside the Rack, chain as many effects (both native and 3rd party) after the instrument as you want and then simply create macro’s to control paremeters. Instrument Racks are essentially a plugin host that have additional, extremely versatile and powerful functions; useful for intricate performance setups. They’re also native to Ableton so they’re gonna work in an optimal way rather than using a 3rd party plugin host.

I’m sure other DAWS have similar offerings but most people I know stick to either using the onboard fx within a synth plugin or simply insert fx after the fact (or both!)

Whichever way you go about it, there shouldn’t be any problem mapping MIDI controls to your controller of choice.

Hope that’s of some help :slight_smile: