UR Series | VST plugins can be inserted at hardware output stage

There are now numerous VST plugins which provide functionality that pertains to the final output of an audio interface. For example, Sonarworks performs room correction functions. Audified MixChecker offers simulations of various speaker outputs. Several NUGEN and Brainworx products are designed as control room tools (soloing mid/side and L/R, flipping phase, etc.).

For some of these tools, the only place a user wants them is at (or near) the very end of the signal chain. They don’t really need to be in a DAW; they’re designed to be applied to the final outputs so a user can apply them to the full mix.

Beyond mixing, many of these tools would be useful system-wide, so that they would apply to general system audio as well as DAW output. Currently, there are a few tools that can help achieve this goal (Sonarworks Systemwide; DDMF Virtual Audio Stream; VBaudio products; etc.). But these products act as drivers themselves, so if you’re looking for the performance and features of the native UR ASIO drivers, you have to choose. So a user ends up with a hybrid situation where monitoring-stage plugins are (a) applied manually in various ASIO-driver-using DAWs; and (b) applied globally via Virtual Audio Stream, etc. for programs that use basic OS-level audio drivers.

Some problems with this hybrid use approach are that the user must:
a) remember all the various ways that the monitoring-stage plugins are instantiated, ensuring that they never overlap or conflict;
b) manage non-synchronized settings of various instances of the same plugins across various applications;
c) because the plugins might perform differently in the various uses, the settings might need to be tweaked for different apps (inconsistency);
d) these workaround virtual cable solutions tend to be unreliable/buggy;
and more.

Steinberg could solve this problem by simply including, as part of the UR drivers and software, a VST plugin host that can be applied directly to UR hardware outputs. This way, regardless of how the UR hardware is accessed (Yamaha ASIO; ASIO4ALL; OS sound drivers; etc.), the UR hardware drivers/utilities themselves would be responsible for applying the VST plugin processing. Thus, literally all the sound coming from a computer system (system audio, DAW ASIO audio, music players, etc.) would be processed through one set of plugins.

Taking this a step further, ideally the plugins could be applied to individual hardware inputs and outputs. Essentially a full routing matrix could be applied. But these would exist outside the DAW and would apply to the hardware itself.

Advantages: One set of plugin instances. One batch of settings. No buggy third-party solutions. Consistent performance.

I would really love this if it were implemented.

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bump :wink:

Would be very cool.

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Any thoughts from the Steinberg team?

…I had Sound Blaster Audigy 4 PCI card and I had 5.1 system and Direct Monitoring check box :ballot_box_with_check: enabled and working flawlessly on Windows XP. Win 7 brake the connections with amazing products and it introduced USB connection. With Cubase 2, 3 and 5 I was able to turn on Studio Room for the room correction, negative correlation quick filter and basically everything related to speakers placement and setting gain for every Speaker and those were options available for PRO versions and I am sure that it is the case with all PRO versions. Studio Room is giving you a Space a Virtual Space but with Stereo signal you will get negative correlation effect that can be used creatively and for cleaning the sound and you could get more gain in the output not in Cubase . Direct Monitoring check :white_check_mark: box is offering Live Signal with FX. If I missed the subject I am sorry and If you talk about Sonarworks , Brain Works , ect. for Monitors and Headphones measurment and ajusting Flat Response VST’s it’s much easier with Mic and Studio Room. Everything is already done ahead of it’s time in Cubase .

@Igor_Beuk Welcome to the forums!

Agreed that Cubase was ahead of its time in these - and many other - areas. But many audio applications do not have any similar features, which is why it would be useful generally to be able to add plugins directly to the hardware-routed signals, independent of any other software used.