Programming Vst[i]s

I consider myself to be a no-good run-of-the-mill disillusioned and inspiration-lacking amateur programmer who would like to try to create my own VST-things. I understand that I need to get the VST-API from Steinberg or whoever.

But when it comes to compilers, I’m lost. There are some free ones out there, but are they any good? Or should I rob the convenience store around the corner and buy VC++? If I understand things correctly, most compilers that can be used to create VST stuff are WYSIWYG-oriented, at least when it comes to interface.
The free compiler I do know about is DJGPP which is a command-line compiler, and thus scary. (well not really, but I would appreciate some opinions!)

I have only used VC, so I really don’t know. But I found an interesting link…

Free C/C++ Compilers

There’s Dev-cpp which is open source. A lot of ppl seem to use it.

But maybe synthedit can do the trick for you if all you want to do is create your own synths.

Thanks for the feedback. I am not very interested in SynthEdit.
I have thought about various compilers, but I would like some more guiding. Which compiler is best? Surely there is some difference between them all, and I suppose they all have their strong sides. But what I’m looking for is something that can be used professionally. I would like to get to know a compiler like VC++, as I see many VST-plug coders use that one, but I am more into freeware. Does anyone know if there is a freeware compiler similar to that one?

Borland has released their compiler (or at least some version
of it) for free. (Commandline only, the IDE is not included).
I’ve heard that’s a good one.

I’ve been quite pleased with Dev-C++. I had to write some plugins for Lightwave (a 3D package) at work using Visual C++ but was able to work from home using Dev-C++ as well.

It’s a bit temperamental at times though, even though it tries to appear like Visual Studio, some of the parameters are in strange locations.

If you’re not too afraid of command line, the M$ VC++ Toolkit 2003 + M$ Platform SDK could be the thing for you. The compiler included in the toolkit is the same optimising compiler that ships with MSVStudio .NET and it is said to create very compact and fast binaries.

thanks for the feedback! I’ll check it out :)

Let us know how it turns out… I’m interested if you get a free compiler up and running (just don’t have the energy to play with it myself :) )

Hey peeps,

Don’t write off synthedit so quickly, its pretty powerful, and you can use the SDK to code your own modules if you want.

No offence to anyone, but most people under-estimate just how complex and specialised DSP coding is. Your average run-of-the-mill coder wouldn’t even know where to begin. Its a very complex business, and even if you have the coding skills, most people don’t have the maths skills needed.

Many people now use Synthedit as a framework, then code custom modules if they feel the need to. Apart from anything else, synthedit can teach you a lot of the basic theory of DSP design and how plugins work.


(I think its called something linke Superwave p8) Is one of the best sounding vsti synths I have heard, even compared to commercial synths. Is made with Synth edit.

I’m also interested in programming my own VST. Ofcourse, DSP programming can be difficult, but it depends on which effect you are going to create.

I have experience in Delphi / Java / Pascal+asm / C++ / VDF and I’m now programming libraries for terminal + barcode applications in Visual Basic so I think that I might be able to challenge VST’s.

In all of the possible languages I prefer Delphi or Visual Basic, because they have very easy ways to create DLL’s and they are high level so you can really focus on the DSP algorithm itself.

If you are interested then please let me know. Maybe we can help eachother. You can mail me at “cosmiq @ home .nl” but please be patient because I also have some other things on my mind. (Time is not an issue IMO)…

oh… and please… i’m not really interested in synthedit…