A shot across Steinberg's VST3 bow?

You don’t realize it, everything changes…

You’re very wise, unfortunately the average person isn’t, and would think Linux is a model of Lexus, despite it maybe even running Linux.

If I’m not mistaken this new format was born out of the developers dismay about VST2 being abandoned, which I don’t even know where to begin with that irony if true.

Where I live, I think I would do a whole lot better than you are expecting… (hint, look at my nick).
Just saying.

Central and So Cal native here, love the bay area but… Frisco lives in its own little microcosm separate from the rest of reality… Try it in Ventura or even further down in LA… Nobody knows or cares what Linux is unless you get paid to.

But a very large portion of DAW users “just get a Mac, because it just works”. Do they know what Linux is? Maybe. Do they care? Not at all. It’s a non-thing generally speaking in our industry. To date I’ve seen exactly zero studios and production facilities running Linux on a client machine. Zero.

I think the people that would care about Linux for a DAW are a fraction of the fraction that DIY DAWs (currently Windows). Tiny market.

False equivalencies… And, I remember in grade 9 the smartest kid in the class was talking about Linux way back then - and, it hasn’t caught on that much. Not much has changed.

According to this Wikipedia article Linux dominates web servers and supercomputers, as well.


Already discussed by me, still a false equivalency, and 99.999% of the world still doesn’t know what Linux is nor do they care. It would be like caring what OS your washing machine is running.

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Anyway, macOS is actually a Linux clon with a fancy GUI :wink:


Having been through similar paths in the past several times (I’ve literally designed shipping commercial real-time audio APIs in the past,) that’s unfortunately not in spot 1, 2, or 3 for a real-time audio API.

VST 3 is actually pretty well put together. It went slightly too heavily on the COM-like interfaces IMO, and the full separation to allow the GUI to run on a different machine than the processing is probably overkill, while powerful and likely useful for very high end studio/location setups and, say, Yamaha control surfaces or whatever.

Unfortunately, all of the Linux plugin formats (open source) aren’t solving the right problems. (JUCE, LADSPA, and so on.) I looked at a previous version of CLAP, and it was a start – slightly more experienced design than the Linux stuff – but not really a reason to change the world.

Also remember; There’s also been Audio Units, and there’s the Ableton plugin API. Neither has really taken the world by storm (although AUs is the closest.)

(first post after a long haitus)

The Linux comparisons feel spurious to me, for one reason - Avid. Were this just Bitwig and a few developers, I wouldn’t be paying attention. If Avid fully gets CLAP (trying hard not to just go for the gags here), then the idea this will be a niche / boutique standard will be for the birds.

From what I can see so far, it’s only upsides from the consumer perspective. I’m worried that Steinberg will refuse to get involved on a point of principle, and Cubase will fall further behind development-wise. Already it’s near the bottom of the DAWs for efficiency.

What I meant is that even as a non C programmer I could roughly understand how clap works while browsing the header files. Simplicity can be a virtue, and it seems to me like this is where VST3 failed, despite maybe being properly designed from a CS engineer’s viewpoint. I mean, there are reasons why VST3 didn’t gain much traction in the plugin world until Steinberg used their legal power to obsolete VST2.

I don’t know what will happen to clap after the initial excitement. From what I gather reading all the threads about it, it will probably be used by developers as a replacement for VST2 for their internal format from which other formats will be wrapped (this is e.g. the case for u-he and one of the main motivations behind their support of clap).
All developers who started out on JUCE won’t probably do anything about it unless it gets officially supported by JUCE.

What I am not sure about are the clap extensions. I can understand the reasoning of having a very simple base api and implement additional features as extensions, but to me there is also the risk of fragmentation, plugins and hosts having different feature sets and not all of them supporting everything. Kind of like VST3 is already.

To read Avid on the list of “parties to look into it”, I was actually a bit surprised. Avids narrative for their own plugin format AAX for ProTools and the locking-down of it is, that this is the only way they can assure a stable environment not endangered by half-developed plugins. Actually it is nothing more than a lock-in, and all the plugins have to be signed as well (costs money).

So, we will see if they are actually going to open up their precious system for something like CLAP. I don’t see it yet, but who knows.

Without an adoption of the “big” players/products (market-share wise), it would probably remain a niche solution. Avid, Apple and Steinberg have all their own plugin formats tightly integrated into their DAWs. None of them supports one of the other formats (some licenses even forbid that). Avid is on the list of “looking into it”, so whatever that means - they are probably the last party I would have expected to go that route…


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Urs from u-he today said he’s “sure” Avid will support it. If that proves to be the case, everyone will need to take it seriously.

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Where did you get that idea?

LINUX, like the MacOS is based on UNIX., originally called Multics, a joint project among MIT, GE and AT&T. in the mid 1960s. There are many versions that predate LINUX by decades including SCO, SUN, CB, HP, CWB, BSD and IS/1 among many others. The MacOS version is based on BSD and Mach — Linux has never had anything to do with it.

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first avid will need to improve a lot their product, it is very outdated dealing with multi cores etc

Back OT, something becomes a standard when it’s widely adopted. Heck, VST3 has barely qualified although Steinberg’s discontinuance of VST2 should hasten that along. The second that the world’s most popular DAW is able to access VST3, then I’ll agree it’s truly a standard.

At the moment, CLAP is a pipe dream. I wonder what they’re smoking in that pipe when they call it a Standard… not yet, perhaps never.


Standards come and standards go. If someone actually invents a new better plugin format that is capable of being a true universal standard it will be adopted.

Considerable resources go into developing plugins in multiple formats. Even more resources go toward making host software compatible with all the various formats…or developing their own formate and ignoring the others. Every time hardware and OSs change, the plugin developers are forced to make multiple versions of their plugins compatible with hosts and other plugins by other vendors. What a mess.

So, if one plugin standard could reduce all the complexity and expense associated with multiple formats that might be a good thing.

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It’s more than a pipe dream, supported in a major DAW, with others to follow. This is very much live and in people’s hands.

Cockos will no doubt follow, and only takes one of Presonus, Image-Line or Avid to gain serious traction. I think Presonus would be most keen.

As a Cubase user not sure I want to see it succeed for selfish reasons, We all know that Steinberg wouldn’t be adopting it, as it undermines their own VST trademark which is the backbone to all that they do.

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the hype it´s less real then a dream i would say