CLAP is a new plugin specification.
CLAP was originally developer Alexandre Bique’s private project: In 2014, while he was porting u-he plug-ins to Linux, Alex encountered several problems with existing plug-in formats, and became convinced that creating a plug-in should be a lot easier. He quickly developed a rudimentary format, called it CLever Audio Plug-in (CLAP) and published it on Github. Although CLAP drew some attention, it basically just sat there for several years.
Fast forward to May 2021 when Urs Heckmann was looking for a simple open source “base format” that could be wrapped to any other plug-in formats (see below for the reasoning behind this). As CLAP looked like a promising solution, Urs reconnected with Alexandre, who liked the idea of developing CLAP further and pitched it to his current employer, Bitwig.
Bitwig and u-he started CLAP as a joint venture, but it soon became clear that more people needed to be involved for the sake of a wider perspective. Within about a year, a team of over 20 CLAP developers emerged.
In June 2022 Bitwig and u-he decided that the core extensions were ready, and announced the release of CLAP version 1.0.