If you are a music producer or a recording or sound engineer or even a live sound engineer using software to produce, record, mix or master music, you might probably have come across the term “VST”. But, do you know that it is something to do with synthesizers, instruments, sounds and effects? If you are new to this term, you can gain a better understanding here:
What is VST?
VST is acronym for Virtual Studio Technology. The launch of this technology was done in the year 1996. It was release by Steinberg Media Technologies. They did this along and for their flagship DAW, Cubase. The purpose was to help musicians add instantaneous effects to audio tracks that are being recorded. With VST, it was able to turn the computer into full-fledged music producing, mixing and recording platform as against simply being an audio recorder or MIDI Sequencer. The VST was actually considered a revolution in the music industry when it was launched. But, now we have taken it for granted.
Why become VST so widely spread?
The good thing and even the essential key to the success of VST is its open format. It means that any individual developer and even companies can use this technology to develop their own software. In turn, many Digital Audio Workstations understood the capability of VST. They started adopting it and even people began to write effects that are compatible with this technology. They were able to run the effects on any recording software they were using for their music production.
What should you know about VST Effects?
When you have to work with VSTs, you should also make contact with VST Effects. The term is actually used for generally indicate audio effects. It actually means the effects that are dedicated to mimic the effect of hardware gear. For instance, effects like reverb in which you can give a sense of space to the audio recording. Otherwise, you can also take the case of a chorus, where it introduces modulation and wobble to a signal. Even, you can find the VST effects on guitar stomp-boxes that offer different sound-modifying effects. When we are talking about mixing and mastering part of music production process, we should always consider the dynamic processing which is almost every time just a chain of vst effects apllied. There are EQs, limiters and compressors to improve the track, the master, the song and the sound.
Hardware vs. Software processors
You might think about using VST effects is the very same thing of using hardware in your studio or in the projects, after case. But, the thing to pay close attention here here is that hardware has some physical restrictions. For instance, there will be a restriction in the number of external effects boxes or mixer channels you physically have in your studio. On the other hand, when you choose to move with software, the only limitation you will have to handle is the power of CPU in your system and for almost all the VST effects the poor quality of emulation, unfortunately, but this is a long discussion here.
A VST Plugin is piesce of software that give similar effects as if the hardware is physically present in your studio. In other words, they will provide you with a virtual gear at the insert point. As you are plugging in an effect on your audio channel, it is referred to as plugin. You should also learn about VSTI in this process which are simulation or emulations of real instruments