Some VST3 plugins misbehave, persistently

Support for VST3 plugins in Audacity was a welcome addition, but some plugins don’t behave the way they should. One is the dpMeter5, which (at least two years ago) would allow measurement of a selected stereo track by clicking “Apply”. Now it runs a progress bar but no loudness measurement results. (Only real time readings in “Preview” work.)
The old Oril River VST3 reverb processing has some excellent effects but I have to be careful because its processing seems to double at times, possibly depending on whether or not I’ve run a Preview before applying, but it may be a random issue. In any case I have to be careful to see if the processing was unexpected doubled on track audio.
I’ve been waiting for a later version of Audacity to correct these issues, but am still waiting. Otherwise, the program works well for editing on my Win 11 HP desktop.
Are these happening to others, or are these problems correctable? Thanks

I’ve had similar issues with dpMeter… It used to work but it no longer does. :frowning:

Technically, compatibility is up to the plug-in developer. Most commercial VSTs have a list of officially supported hosts… If you go in the Antares (Auto-Tune) website you’ll find a list and Audacity isn’t on it.

Most commercial plug-ins don’t officially support Audacity but sometimes they work so it’s hit-or miss. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a commercial plug-in that claims to support Audacity. And as we’ve seen, it may stop working after an Audacity update.

With free plug-ins they usually don’t have the budget to test, troubleshoot, or support all hosts/DAWs, so again it’s hit-or-miss.

As an alternative to dpMeter, Youlean has an online loudness meter (with limited capabilities).

Audacity obviously has LUFS measurement built-into Loudness Normalization but unfortunately it’s not “user accessible”. It would probably be an easy feature to add.

I’ve never done this, but you could “trick” Audacity into revealing LUFS… Check the peak level (one quick way is to run Amplify, note the default change, and then cancel the effect.) Then run Loudness Normalization (at any level you wish), check the new peak and note the difference. It’s a linear adjustment so the difference in the peaks is the same as the difference in the LUFS levels. Of course, you’d need a backup or you’d need to un-do to get back to where you started.

LUFS measurement is built into GoldWave ($60 USD for a lifetime license).,

Thanks for the background! I was thinking that there is mutual compliance between plugins and hosts if they are both VST3, so I didn’t know support is “hit-or-miss”.

I’ve used the YouLean meter since it came out but didn’t reinstall it after it lost the track measurement feature a few versions back. I keep version 3.1.3 of Audacity in a separate file to run plugins that have failed. I often use the Loudness Normalization feature to check how far my classical recordings are from target (I use -23 LUFS if the peak margins allows, which it usually does).

Mixing multiple tracks to a loudness target is another issue with Audacity, but I’m probably asking too much from a free product, versatile as it is. If I have say 4 tracks, say a stereo orchestra and two solo mic tracks the normalizer acts on the supporting tracks separately, rather than jointly with the main stereo track. That affects level balance and results in exported tracks that are higher than the target used individually. That would be nice to fix but I expect few folks produce recordings for You Tube that follow the -24 LUFS standard for video. (Fortunately they don’t mess with LPCM audio in my video and it comes out sounding very nice, even if it gets one pass with OPUS when online!)
Thanks, John

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