Developing Vst Plugins


I’ve been trying hard to learn how to develop vst instruments, but it seems no one wants to help when I post questions in the forums i’ve used (and I think I’m fairly polite in my way of asking)- or maybe people are just concerned with their own problems.

I have studied digital signal processing in theory and practice for some years now. Have been implementing real-time algorithms on dedicated hard-ware and developed several algorithms in Matlab. Now I’m very keen on using my PC for real-time processing. I’ve have visual studio dot net (7.0) installed, but I can’t seem to get my projects compiled (I’ve even used the VST wizard that can be found at I also tried to use Visual studio 6.0 but couldn’t ge it to work either.

Then I tried the Dev-C++ compiler but that didn’t help much either.

I have made use of several homepages, but couldn’t find much help there(,

I wonder why no one has made a project which can be loaded by anyone ready for compilation???

If some help soul should sit out there with some help - I can start smiling again!

Best Regards
Thomas S :)

Well, for a starter:
C++ sux big cock.

It has endless possibilities but also endless irritations.
I have a great respect for those that can really compile any sluggish newbie code to make it work in his environment.
The hordwired veterans mostly have a decent structure that it isn’t too hard to do.

Personally, i did quite some attempts to learn C, C++, ANSI C and i did reattempts much later but everytime i run into the same problems:
You need the libraries the devs used in their environment and usually a good configuration and environment variable setup. The last thing is really important, it removes most of the irritation one can have.
But other things will always remain:incompatible libraries, incorrect libraries, missing header files, incorrect header-files, wrong stack-pointers, unstructurised load of shit heaving a lot of bugs when it turned out you didn’t had the required libraries you though you had. Requiring Corba and COM+ and all that shite M$ invented to give the devs world a burden they don’t need at all.

C++ raises the chance i get a heart-attack before i become 40.
So i quit trying long time ago and went to XBasic.
And for making tools, XBasic is good enough, it’s free and has much less hassles.

Well, it may not motivate you, but i feel relieved saying that :D

Thanks for your advice - though I’m very keen on pursuing writting VST plugins using C/C++… Partly I want to use it at work where we use C-language for programming!

…still laughing of your “Well, for a starter: C++ sux big cock.” remark :)

Thomas S

I’m not a coder myself, but my bro is… (and a good one :rolleyes: )

And he just loves C++ :) As he tells me it is much much more flexible and versatile than any other language he knows of (basic included of course :) )
and that in general C++ makes much more sense… (maybe not for beginner though…)

As i said i’m not a coder but as far as i know if you want to compile a vst plugin in C you need a VST SDK from Steinberg

here is a quote from one website

How to compile a plugin - For making VST plugins in C++Builder, first you need the VST sdk by Steinberg. It’s available from the Yvan Grabit’s site (the link is at the top of the page).

The next thing you need to do is create a .def file (for example : myplugin.def). This needs to contain at least the following lines:

EXPORTS main=_main
Borland compilers add an underscore to function names, and this exports the main() function the way a VST host expects it. For more information about .def files, see the C++Builder help files.

This is not enough, though. If you’re going to use any VCL element (anything to do with forms or components), you have to take care your plugin doesn’t crash Cubase (or another VST host, for that matter). Here’s how:

  1. Include float.h.
  2. In the constructor of your effect class, write

That should do the trick.

Here is a couple of more sites you can get use of……ST%20plugin.pdf

I hope it helps a little… wish u the best…

as we composers all need good VST plugins ;)

Now I’m glad I never took that DSP course when I studied… Because now I have a better reason than just beeing lazy for not developing all those superduper cool VSTs

:D :lol:

Xbasic is something between C and Basic.

If you want to learn C / C++ but do not have a swift learning curve…

XBasic is the primary step to take (and it’s free and, it’s open source and also works in XWindows, *and * you can import external © libraries)

Hi. I am interested in a career of developing VST plugins. I am trying to choose between a university degree to enter. Would it be better to enter a Computer Engineering degree or a combination of Physics and Computer Science?

Thank you.


You will probably find a lot more help in the developer forum over at KVR Audio, which has a lot more active plugin developers lurking there:

In particular, pay attention to some of the sticky topics there, which contain a lot of useful information and advice for newcomers.

I’m no programmer since 20 years, but maybe JUCE might give you a platform.