I intend to build a VST, however, I'm struggling to figure which technology stack would be best suited.

I'm mostly leaning towards either building it all myself, or using Max/MSP, however, building it myself is some serious wheel reinventing, and I can't figure if Max/MSP does or doesn't support VST. It seems like it used to, but doesn't anymore.

I'd prefer to be able to work with a flow like Max/MSP, though not necessarily graphical programming. What are some good resources or programs for VST development?

  • 1
    Are you trying to build a commercial product that you can sell, or do you just want to do some custom signal processing for your own music? Apr 5, 2013 at 16:05
  • You are correctly identifying that it is for a possibly commercial product. For now I just wish to validate the concept, though. Of course, it wouldn't hurt if the validation could be used as base for the final product.
    – Chris Jensen
    Apr 5, 2013 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


You should start by sketching your idea out in Max/MSP, PureData, SuperCollider, Reaktor, or another environment designed to facilitate audio processing. Once you have demonstrated to yourself that your idea works as expected, then move on to building an actual VST plugin.

I haven't built a VST myself, but keep in mind that the core VST SDK is a C++ library. There are various higher-level VST builders out there that may work for you, but they do abstract you away from the actual VST API itself. Depending on the needs of your plugin and your target market, this may or may not matter.

Of the prototyping environments I listed above, Max/MSP and Reaktor seem best suited to creating commercial products. I'm not sure if Max/MSP can be wrapped in a VST, but Max4Live does exist. Reaktor is definitely a VST, but your customers will have to own Reaktor in order to play your ensemble. The free Reaktor Player only works with NI-tagged ensembles.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.