Using VSTHost in a VTPO Overview VST, Virtual Studio Technology, was originally developed by Steinberg for use in its’ Cubase Digital Audio Workstation software. It consists of host software and applications called plug-ins. These plug-ins can be instruments, VSTi or effects, VST. There are thousands of VST plug-ins both free and commercially sold. VSTHost is a free program written by Herman Seib that allows you to use any VSTi or VST. It handles multiple audio and midi channels. VSTHost will also record and playback the audio or midi passing through it among other utilities. It can handle multi-channel soundcards. Requirements This program is for Windows or Wine under Linux. It works on 32 and 64 bit systems. ASIO audio driver is recommended for minimum latency. If you use a built-in soundcard, install ASIO4ALL use version 2.10. To use it with Hauptwerk, the Audio Output device under General Settings, Audio Outputs, must be set to “Hauptwerk VST Link”. For a 2 channel setup, Device channels 1 and 2 should be set to “01/02[L]” and “01/02[R]”. Consult the Hauptwerk manual, the Hauptwerk Forum or the VTPO group for assistance with multi-channel configurations. To use VSTs with Soundfont Organs such as jOrgan, Grand Orgue, and Miditzer please refer to the excellent pages at http://www.sa-virtualorgans.co.za/GrandOrgueWindowsReverb.htm Windows Installation VSTHost is available in 32bit and 64 bit versions. While the 32 bit version can be used with both 32 and 64 bit OSs, I recommend the 64 bit versions on 64bit OS. The 64 bit VSTHost has a built-in bridge so it can use any VST/VSTi. Download VSTHost . There is no installation program. Unzip the entire file. Open the unzipped folder, right click on “vsthost.exe”. Left-click on “create shortcut”. Copy this shortcut to your Desktop. Initial Setup 1. Start VSTHost by clicking on the shortcut you created. Click the “File” menu, then unclick “PlugIn Auto-Connect”. In the same menu click “Set PlugIn Path”. Click the three dot box and navigate to the place where you have or will have your plugins stored. Typically this is c:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins. (note that the (x86) only exists in Windows 7 64 bit systems.) List alternate locations on separate lines. Click “File” then “Rescan PlugIns”. 2. Click on “Devices”, then “Wave”. Select your ASIO output port. Set the Sample Rate to 48000 and the Buffer to 128 to get started. Use the same sample rate as your Soundcard ASIO driver. Click OK. 3. 4. Click “Devices”, then ASIO Channel Selection. “Load all Output Paths” should be ticked. 5. Click on “Engine”, then “Configure”. Click the “Assign Output Channels”. You should see all the available outputs. Make a list of the output/channel numbers. Loading & Connecting VSTs Click “File”, then “Plugin”. Select the Hauptwerk VSTLink. (64 bit link with 64 bit VST host, etc.) Repeat the process inserting the reverb plugin you want. The above configuration includes rear surround channels. Note that you can use different reverbs for each channel pair. You can also chain reverb effects, i.e., to simulate chambers that feed into a large hall. To draw the connections you can either click and drag between two blue dots, or click the “links of chain” on the top left corner of the box. Note that each box has a unique number that distinguishes it from another. Clicking on the linked chains on box #2, in this case Freeverb3, displays the above. That box number also appears in the now opened dialogue. The dialogue box is entitled “Chain After”. Note that Freeverb3 is chained after the Hauptwerk VST link. Make sure only one item is checked. In the example above if you clicked the linked chains on Engine Output box #1 the two reverbs would be checked. Now you can tell VSTHost which channels to use for each reverb. To do that, click on the small speaker icon located above the “db” on the reverb you want to assign. Engine Output #1 corresponds to the left main channel on my soundcard. Using the three dot box, “…” the output from Freeverb3 was routed to the left and right channels of the sound card. Any Source from Engine Outputs 3 and 4 was removed. Clicking on the second instance of Freeverb (#4) in the Engine Output, then the small speaker icon, the following dialog appears: For rear channels note that the first two outputs have no inputs while 3 and 4 outputs are connected to the second reverb. Even though the names are the same there are two distinctly separate instances of Freeverb Impulser in use, each one using either a copy of the same IR file or a different one. Different reverbs can similarly and simultaneously be used. Notice too, that there are sliding controls for each reverb. These act as mixer volume controls. Misc Multiple effects can be combined, i.e., chambers. Sub-mixes can be created to combine multi-channel into two for separate reverb channels. Storing Your Settings Once you have tinkered and found some basic settings that work, you will want to save it. “File”, “Save Performance” then name it. The box underneath the File, PlugIn… menu bar has the performance name. You can store dozens of performances. VSTHost remembers and load the last setup you used.