VCV Rack interface with Cakewalk using VCV Bridge

VCV Rack plays and records reliably with Cakewalk using the VCV Bridge and the setup is pretty straightforward.
Find the VCV-Bridge-64.dll file usually found in in C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins, following VCV Rack installation, and copy to the DAW VST search path. Start up VCV rack and select Bridge as the Audio Driver and Port 1 in the Core Audio module.
Open Cakewalk and add the Bridge VST as an FX Instrument to an audio track (it may be slightly different for other DAWs). Start playing and recording!.

Further extensions to VCV Rack are also possible with VCV-HOST capable of hosting third party VST instruments. VCV-Host costs $30.

VCV Polysynth demo

I first became aware of VCV Rack early last year however with the 0.6 release a VCV Bridge became available allowing a rack patch to play and record in a DAW which makes it altogether more interesting. The main rack is free with a large number of module libraries. Click 'Manage Plugins' to see the wide range of plugins, many of which are also free. Took a while to find a reliable solution for a poly synth. The MidiPoly16 module from moDllz works well. The attached screenshot is a hybrid polyphonic/paraphonic (shared filter) test synth. 
The patch can be found here. The manual for VCVRack is here and a manual for moDllz's module is here. VCV blog is here.

VCV Rack is a standalone application and I'll be looking at the VST Bridge in a later post. Also there appears to be a Plugin Development SDK.

Free Cakewalk (Sonar Platinum) from BandLab

(Originally posted here on 21-4-18)
Very nice of Bandlab to provide a free version of Sonar Platinum. Available 4-4-18 and simply using its original branding of Cakewalk, it has fewer addons than the orginal Platinum but crucially has unlimited tracks!. Supports 32/64bit versions of VST2 and VST3. Chews through a bit of CPU power on default settings but this can be adjusted. Looking at it closely as an alternative to Ableton 10 since Able only supports 64bit VST2 now.

Visual Studio 2017 configuration for Synthesizer VST builds

(Originally posted here on 10-3-18)
My previous blog about building Synthesizer VSTs on Windows used Visual Studio 2017 for all build tests. A couple of notable fails were the mda-vst examples and the blessed SynthEdit SDK3 component build. The mda examples simply needed a compile flag addition:
The SynthEdit SDK3 build needed to use the Visual Studio Installer to add further toolsets:
I tried again to build VST.NET after the VS2017 update but sadly no improvement. I confirmed JUCE and HISE examples continue to build.

Build a Synthesizer VST on Windows

(Originally posted on here on 28-2-18) 
For a while I've created paraphonic synthesizer VSTs for my own use using SynthEdit and despite its age, it remains the most productive method I've discovered so far. Very complex systems can be integrated and tested quickly and then exported for use in your VST Host or DAW. As a graphical design design system you stay 'connected' with routing and signal processing thoughout the design process and of course you can easily hear things as you go along. GUI panel design is pretty simple. As an intuitive design process there is little need to go hunting for examples and documentation though this is worth a read and its currently a free download. However the software developer in me wanted to review currently available code-centric approaches. There are a quite a few and I've wasted a lot of time on some of them. Despite the last comment there are a several notable exceptions such as JUCE, the new HISEPure Data (Pd) and more fru…