More depth on the VST / GUI problem

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More depth on the VST / GUI problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by jongalloway » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:06 am

I understand the issue with the VST bridge not displaying GUI elements - the Steinberg SDK requires non-disclosure of the source, and that conflicts with Audacity's GPL license which requires that everyone can get all the source. Meanwhile, the users are stuck with stupid sliders that are mostly unusable.

Would it be possible for Audacity to use a different VST Bridge with full UI display under a non-GPL license that was loaded as a plugin such that the GPL, Steinberg, and the rest of the world were all kept happy?
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Re: More depth on the VST / GUI problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:41 am

<<<Would it be possible for Audacity to use a different VST Bridge>>>

There's nothing preventing you from asking Steinberg to write a paid module for Audacity. Full graphics and no Bridge software needed. PayPal accepted.

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Re: More depth on the VST / GUI problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by jongalloway » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:59 am

I'd be happy to contribute towards a VST UI - I'm not rich, but I'd definitely contribute towards it. I'm just trying to understand the problem a little better here - is it that Steinberg charges for a license for anyone that wants to use the SDK in a way that shows the UI? What's necessary to fix this problem - money, code (GSOC?), something else, or is it impossible?

I love Audacity, use it all the time and tell people about it. Just wish we could use VST plugins, and we'd rule the world!
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Re: More depth on the VST / GUI problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by jan.kolar » Sun May 03, 2009 6:56 pm

(BTW, Koz, why should it be paid ?)

The licensing is probably question for developers not for Forum.

Steinberg's licence can be viewed on web, somewhere in the docs (accessible without registration, but somewhat hidden).
(Steinberg says we can use SDK for creating VST plugins, I hope the licence is not that restrictive. We want to use VST plugins, which sounds different to me :?)

VST GUI (if useful) is free on source forge, but slightly(?) depends on (=includes) licensed VST SDK.

VST enabler (=VST bridge) made by one of the developers had to solve the same licensing problem. Sources and binaries are distributed by Audacity people separately from Audacity.
The remaining problem is programming.
When looking in VST enabler sources, I see that the entry function name (and philosophy) is different from the one from VST documentation. This perhaps might explain why some plugins crash in Audacity (simply, they might depend on being initialized), but it gets too messy for me.
If I would like to proceed further, I would ask audacity-devel whether somebody was exploring the possibility of GUI and where he stopped and why. There is danger of writing pages of code and then realizing something does not work, which is not anything to repeat.


I always hear that there are too few programmers. Code is certainly needed.
Magical licensing solutions might be sometimes helpful. Programmers get more time for programming.


If VST enabler license problems are solved, they are (probably) also solved for VST GUI enabler (the one to be coded).

I suppose that VST SDK and ASIO have same or similar licensing.
Developers decided ASIO licence is too restrictive. Anyone is able to use ASIO if he downloads Audacity source
and compiles it with ASIO obtained from Steinberg (for free, I think). Definite ASIO licensing solution is pending.

Generally, code is needed and licensing-mess solutions are needed too.
And what is needed very much is code review.
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