Disclaimer: It looks like WaveLab 9 will offer significant improvements in user interface and workflow. Please forgive if the request described below is already integrated.
Use case: As a WaveLab user with numerous third-party plugins, I need to maintain a hierarchical organization of plugins within each DAW in order to streamline workflow. I find that most DAW plugin managers are less than optimal. WaveLab’s plugin manager is fairly robust, but one logical function is missing. Good news: The fix should be near-trivial to implement.
- If a user wants to impose his/her own order upon the plugin tree in WaveLab, the user really must use the custom categories feature. Further, if a user is literally wanting to have complete control over WaveLab’s plugin organization, the user really needs to set a Custom Category explicitly for each plugin - otherwise it becomes near-impossible (with hundreds of plugins) to track down which ones were auto-organized properly and which ones weren’t (and thus require a custom category.) So, essentially, it’s just easier/more straightforward to dive in and manually set all categories.
- I have (with chagrin) given in to manually performing this organization, which is tedious and time-consuming - but I nonetheless did it, preferring organization over ease. The problem arises once all plugin categorization has been completed - because later on, new plugins will be installed. When that occurs, now it becomes extremely tedious to look through the huge list of plugins in “Plug-in Settings” to find which ones now need category assignment.
Current workaround: The user can, after every round of organization, click “Remove ‘new’ status”. Then, when new plugins are installed later, they user can choose the “Only show new plugins” option to see only the new (ostensibly the only non-categorized) plugins needing categorization.
Problems with the workaround: (a) the user has to diligently remember to do this or over time the exactness breaks down and the user is forced to work back through the list manually again; and (b) When installing updates to plugins like Melda Productions’ products, an entire suite of (previously installed) plugins shows up as “new” in WaveLab, creating a mess that has to be manually worked around even if “Only show new plugins” is selected.
Feature Request: Provide a selection of “Only show plugins without a custom category”. This lets a user quickly find the un-custom-categorized plugins, regardless of their newness. This should be an almost trivial feature to implement; all you need to do is look to see if a plugin has a custom category set.
- More work would be required to make the WaveLab plugin manager more Cubase-like. However, many people prefer the more-intuitive Cubase plugin manager (the WaveLab manager is powerful but requires some “getting used-to” - thinking about custom overrides instead of manual dragging into folders). And Cubase already handles the “show uncategorized” functionality.
- Save yourself the hassle of developing plugin managers any further and have Steinberg develop a standalone plugin manager that WaveLab could hook into. (See my feature request here: Standalone Plugin Manager
Thanks for your consideration and for the world-class audio editor that is WaveLab. I’ve been using WaveLab since the 90s.