I'm writing a specialized plugin host which currently supports VST2.4 plugins only. When I have a bit of time, I will also include support for AudioUnits on the Mac and LADSPA on Linux.

As one of the purposes of this host is to facilitate in plugin development, I was also considering VST3. However, a quick search at KVR's host database reveals that the only VST3-capable hosts are those made by Steinberg (though please correct me if I am wrong here). Though a handful of plugins support VST3, I haven't come across any plugins which only support this format and no others, while the reverse is certainly true for AudioUnits, RTAS, etc.

Is there any point to supporting VST3 in a host? Is this something that people actually use or want? Or is everybody happy just using VST2.4 until the end of time?

2 Answers 2


I think side-chaining is only possible (or at least much simpler) with VST3 so if that's something you use you should give it some serious thought.

VST3 also (allegedly) demand less of the CPU by stopping processing when there's no audio signal.


Probably this is a bit oftopic, but writing LADSPA is way too 90s today. Instead please target LV2 that is the state of the art API for effects and virtual instruments. Using a toolkit such as JUCE should help you with single concistent UI between VST/LV2/AU versions.

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