Thanks for the report, and I know where you are coming from. There is something interesting about how WaveLab handles VST3 plugins compared to other DAWs. I also use REAPER and Pro Tools (long time user) and for as short time used Logic in a basic way and I had never seen these kinds of troubles with those DAWs using AAX and AU formats. As I started using WaveLab more, it was incredible how many plugin issues I saw. Whether it was a minor GUI bug, serious crashing, or situations where plugins were audible on playback but were not included in the rendering.
To say who is right and who is wrong is subjective I suppose, but I do wish that WaveLab could be more friendly to 3rd party plugins. Either providing better tools and resources for coding, or relaxing some extremely strict and deep specs to avoid these recurring issues. When I started using REAPER which uses VST and AU, I decided to stick with AU instead of VST3 just based on my WaveLab experiences with VST.
In general, I try to stick with the bigger companies like UAD (which doesn’t technically support WaveLab but works surprisingly well), Plugin Alliance, iZotope, FabFilter, Waves etc. because those seem to have less issues. The smaller companies seem to be more problematic, probably due to resources. For me, if it’s a smaller company the plugin has to be VERY good to even bother to try in WaveLab because most of the time, there will be an issue of some kind to deal with. To my surprise, I recently started using Limiter No 6 to replace NUGEN ISL2 as my “Intersample Peak Limiter” after my main limiter. It’s from a small company, and free (usually a sign of troubles), and to my surprise works perfectly so far. However, they have only made a VST2 version and from what I hear from developers, VST3 is very challenging to code for vs other formats so it’s no surprise they are VST2 only. Sonnox and UAD ares still VST2 only as well.
Nearly all NUGEN plugins have some SERIOUS issues in WaveLab where even opening the GUI or manually typing in a value will crash WaveLab. I have provided NUGEN and PG plenty of info and crash reports but still, no solution so I gave up on using NUGEN in WaveLab.
I recently tried another unique plugin from a very small developer and again, there is only VST2 because VST3 is “such a mess” to them. When I reported a GUI issue with even the VST2 version in WaveLab, I received a reply saying they simply stopped testing plugins in WaveLab because of all the headaches. This is not the only time something like this has been said from other developers as well.
This ties into my theory that many of these companies (large or small) are not even testing their plugins in WaveLab. I think they mostly use Cubase as a testing point and assume or hope that they will work OK in WaveLab as well. It’s probably a combination of WaveLab having a smaller user base than Cubase, combined with the quirks of WaveLab, and challenges of VST3 in general.
This is clearly a problem.
I’ve spent so much time providing info to PG as well as the plugin developers regarding plugin issues. I’d say most of the time, the fix needs to happen on the plugin side but not always.
I’m now on the beta team for over 5 major plugin developers…not because I want to be but because I end up reporting WaveLab issues and nobody else seems interested or willing to help test and figure it out so they send me beta versions to try. This is great on one hand for me personally, but on the other hand…could be a paid gig for somebody instead of passing it on to users/customers.
I would urge somebody at Steinberg to take a look at VST3 and how they can make it easier for developers to make plugins that work correctly in any DAW that uses VST3, instead of the mess we have today.
WaveLab 9 is clearly better than 7 and 8 in this regard, but still more problematic than any other DAW I’ve ever used.