VST Plugin Node

Loads an external VST plugin to process audio or melody (MIDI). This Node can also be created by dropping a plugin’s DLL file into AudioNodes.

Caution: this Node is experimental and still under development, and is more of a proof-of-concept feature at this time. Some plugins may crash AudioNodes. Remember to save your project frequently. See the technical details and limitations & known issues sections for more information.


Audio and Melody inputs are automatically created if the plugin supports audio or MIDI input, respectively.


Buffer sizeNumber of sample frames to process (audio is processed in blocks). Larger values can help reduce and eliminate audio glitching (see the limitations & known issues section), but increase latency in real-time playback.Note: this setting is only applicable to real-time playback, i.e. not when rendering to an audio file.

For plugins without a GUI, plugin parameters are also shown as sliders.


If the plugin supports audio output, an Audio output is created automatically.

Technical Details

The only supported plugin format at this time is VST version 2.4, 64-bit, as well as all 64-bit VST plugins compatible with the 2.4 VST specification (e.g. VST 3+ plugins with VST 2.4 wrapper), on windows.

The Buffer size setting is not used when rendering to an audio file, and instead a buffer size of 256 is used automatically (this also means there is exactly 256 sample frames of latency when rendering, which is ~5.8 milliseconds at 44.1 kHz). Unlike during real-time playback, this low buffer size will not cause any glitching, as rendering can pause and wait for audio processing to finish, even if your device is considerably busy.

GUI-less plugins are supported, and sliders are automatically created for plugin parameters.

Unlike references to opened audio files, paths to plugins are currently not converted to relative paths when saving, and instead the full absolute path is kept to reference the plugin.

Some plugins define more channels than they actually use, and AudioNodes makes no assumptions about whether these unused channels should be considered or not, they are simply up to the plugin. As such, channel mixing issues might occur; for example, if a plugin produces a stereo output but actually defines 32 channels, and this audio output is summed with a mono audio output (e.g. the audio output of an Oscillator Node), the mono audio is added to channel-0 of the plugin audio output, instead of being mixed to the correct stereo left/right channels. To work around this issue, a combination of a Channel Splitter Node and a Channel Merger Node can be used to create a channel limiter on the plugin’s audio output.

Limitations & Known Issues

  • Major UI interactions, such as switching between Patcher and Timeline in a heavy project, may cause audio glitching on low buffer-size settings during live playback (not when exporting to an audio file); consider using 8192 or higher to reduce and eliminate glitching; opening long audio files can also cause occasional glitching for a moment after opened
  • Automation of most parameters is not supported yet (however, the amount of effect applied can always be controlled easily using a Crossfader Node, and mix between the original signal and the one with the audio effect applied from the plugin)
  • The only supported format is 64-bit VST 2.4 (and compatible plugins, such as VST 3 wrapped with 2.4), and only on Windows at this time
  • Some plugins may not load, and some may even crash AudioNodes — please let us know when this happens (note: if you experience load crashes with your project, try restarting AudioNodes with experimental features disabled)
  • Some plugins define programspresets, or banks — switching between these is not supported by Undo/Redo inside AudioNodes, and doing Undo/Redo will only affect plugin parameters