Upcoming plugin support and additions

Over the last 3 weeks we've been working on 3 major additions: opening audio files directly, better audio recording experience, and the long awaited experimental VST plugin support, which is an insane enhancement to the modular architecture of AudioNodes. Also coming are several minor bug-fixes and improvements, all around AudioNodes.

These updates will likely go live next week or after, but we still need to do a lot of testing before the green light.

Update: the update is now out (pun intended), more details can be found at the introductory blog post.

VST Plugin Support

Beginning with version 0.2.0, AudioNodes will add experimental support for 64-bit VST plugins. Support includes VST version 2.4 in this update, and additionally, VST3 in the next shortly after. Plugin support will be available for Windows only initially, but we'll quickly extend full support to Linux, and then macOS (likely shortly after AudioNodes becomes available there).

In a nutshell, you'll be able simply drag-and-drop a plugin (DLL or VST file) into the editor area (just as you would drop an audio file), and AudioNodes will do the rest. Both audio-processing and MIDI-processing will be supported, so you can add effect plugins and synthesizer plugins restlessly -- and fast, really fast.

Krush and Elek7ro inside AudioNodes

To get an idea of how big this addition is, there are commercial apps costing $50 to $200+ just to compose plugins together on a limited audio-bus-like interface. AudioNodes, on the contrary, can do significantly more with plugins than simply chaining them together. We are very enthusiastic about this addition, it truly is a big improvement in what AudioNodes can offer.

Development progress

We are still ironing out MIDI scheduling inaccuracies and occasional audio glitching as we speak, and node state management (undo/redo functionality for the node, persisting settings between sessions) is not finished yet. We'll likely get these done this week, and can begin the next one testing and polishing how plugins can truly work in AudioNodes.

As a footnote, plugin support might have some stability issues for some time, and as such, is labeled experimental for now. You'll likely have to either set a significantly large buffer size (around 180 milliseconds, or even more), or experience some occasional audio glitching (although there's still a lot to optimize on this one before it goes live). Plugin support is also only going to be available on the desktop edition, and there are no plans to bring it to AudioNodes Online at this time.

Other additions

Beginning with this update, you'll be able to open audio files, such as .wav and .mp3, with AudioNodes directly. When you do so, a simple project will be generated for you, with the audio file already loaded and connected (only for opening a single file, but we are also planning to add support for opening multiple files at once). If you already have a project, you will be prompted to save it, just as when you open another project.

Additionally, the Recorder Node is currently kinda rudimentary, and as such, is going under a full revamp: it gets its own user-interface, capability to delete or re-record parts, and full real-time waveform navigation similar to that of the Audio File Node on the Timeline. This is almost finished, but still under testing and performance improvements.

Last, but not least, this update will include dozens of minor bug-fixes, plus additional UI and performance improvements. These will be detailed in the update announcement when it comes, there's a lot on this list.

So there it is, stay tuned for the next update, it's going to be big!

Posted in Roadmap.