FXPansion VST-DX Adapter
Category: Products / pc software / s/w effects
Added: 03-Aug-01 | Author: admin
New price: $60 US | S/H price: Not listed
FXPansion VST-DX AdapterVST Effects & VST-Instruments.... Can't live with 'em, cant kill 'em as the saying goes... ha ha ha - But seriously - The VST standard set a few years back by Steinberg is very much established & there is now a veritable treasure chest of FREE and purchable VST effect s/w plugins available.
VSTi's are also very much here to stay & a again there are lashings of free ones all over the place as more and more s/w indie houses setup and use freeware VSTi releases as tempters & attention grabbers to bring in the customers for registered versions of their more esoteric wares. Having VSTi's means access to such greats as BATTERY, REAKTOR, HALION, PRO52, PPG WALDORF WAVE etc etc.... all great quality soft's.
BUT... where does that leave Cakewalk?... bravely forging forward against the VST/ASIO tide they have pioneered the exclusive use of DXi's a somewhat new format which is related to DX-FX plugins, as VSTi's are related to VST-FX plugins.
Now... DX media is core & established component on Windows, and so the DXi makes sense. Cakewalk have decided to NOT go with VST protocol support built 'in-programme' as have Logic & Orion & IQS etc... fair enuff - crazy Americans, they are going it alone; as I see it, trying to ride in on the new wave of WDM driver & DXi protocol & hopefully will come out a winner as these two standards gradualy establish themselves further & promise theoreticaly better efficiency with WDM & lower potential latency than with VST which is overlaying on top of Direct-Movie core.
BUT... even when more developers create more DXi synths & drumboxes and samplers, and even if more DX-FX Plugins continue to appear, this doesn't help Cakewalk (or other 'Direct-X FX capable only' editing & multi-track s/w's) from tapping in to the mass of excellent VST-Fx; and for Cakewalk especialy, the mass of really cool VST-Instruments (VSTi's).....
So... Emagic Logic can use VSti's, but for other s/w such as Cakewalk users, this can be a dilema, seeing all these great s/w's and not being able to use them inside their choosen & prefered host sequencer - and for users of alternative non-Steinberg audio-editors who want to tap into the VST stuff it also wasn't possible..... All those great plugins & instruments, but ONLY if they change their platform host programme... Many users DON'T want to switch from say Soundforge to Wavelab, or from Cakewalk/Sonar to Cubase just to run a few cool plugs they have seen.
Well, here comes the Cavalry!!!... FXpansion which is the company of the creator Angus F. Hewlett, have the answer to your problem!!...
The FXpansion VST-DX Adapter 3.00
I was sent this over whilst reviewing Cakewalk's new SONAR - one such host application that cannot use VST-Fx or VSTi's - I'd tried the freeware Spin-Audio wrapper which worked to a certain extent, but i was not prepeared for this FXpansion software and how well it would work...
The FXpansion VST-DX Adapter arrived via the internet download, and that's as simple as that - small and compact it belies it's incredible power. This s/w really is a must have for any user of DX compatible s/w host application; wether DX plugin FX or DXi (only SONAR right now I think uses DXi) - it is efficient, has some really nifty touches & features beyond the actual function it performs, and does EXACTLY what it says on the tin!!... It allows all or most of the available VST-Fx & VST-Instruments to run in DX based host applications.
I'll step you thru the setup after installation - You can go back to this setup anytime to apply modifications which we'll see as we check it out....
FXpansion VST-DX Adapter - Configuration
Run the application and this screen appears.... this is step One, and as you can see, i have two VSTPLUGIN directory paths added which the s/w sought out on install - You can open this applet anytime, and either ADD a new plugin directory path for scanning, or remove one which is allocated already.
Doing a FULL RESET removes all registry entries for the vst/dxi convertions and re-scans from scratch. You'll also see three checkboxes there:
Force Rescan is self explnatory; it'll re-scan previously failed attempts to convert VST plugs.
The 'Subdevide menu for CPA9 etc' is great - tick that, and all your converted VST-fx plugins are neatly stacked into sub-menu's when you go to assign them in SONAR or Cakewalk Pro Audio - in other words when you open the list you dont end up with a huge slow scrolling column of mebbe a hundred vst fx plugin titles... nope instead you see a Set of Sub-Menu's titled in ascending numerical order. In practice I found that after a while I easily remembered which plugin VST-Fx were in which sub-menu and could select them REALLY fast. It also saves screen clutter great!! - This is a really cool feature that frankly, Cubase themselves & Logic could do with adding.
Finaly, the checkbox: 'Don't add VST prefix' is simple. Ticking this simply means your VST converted plugs wont show 'VST' in front of each title when they show in the listings for selection back in the actual host sequencer.
Ok... so we go for a full Reset, and the VST-DX Adapter starts to scan the allocated directory paths. As you can see, it handily rejects any VST FX plugs that must use a VST5 host, so you don't get wasted time opening them only to see an error message back in the host sequencer!!....
The scanning goes on and on until all the plugs have been scanned and VST5 Plugs have been rejected..... then the screen flips to show the final list - This list is for all VST-Fx, AND VST-Instruments found & scanned.....
You see there is 3 columns - The actual plugin name, the MENU & DXi columns also. - MENU when switched ON means the plugin WILL appear in your DX host listings, & DXi is to say this is a VSTi and appears in the VSTi listings of your host, not the FX Plugin select section... nice and simple... Ok.. Click on any plugin listed and select 'Selection Properties'.
Properties are pretty straighforward. The selectboxes mostly all pertain to VSTi plugs not VST-Fx... there are options for using various controller protocols etc and a force to stereo out for app's like SONAR which cant use multi VSTI ouputs to it's mixer, so this forces any VSTi with multi-outs to be forced to stereo out only.
Once you've made any adjustments to your list; removing un-wanted or problem plugins, and setting midi features etc for any VSTI's, you click OK, and the final END screen appears... Click that and you are ready to go!!
WORKING IN SONAR
Here we see all the VST-Fx ready for selection in SONAR along with your DX-FX (such as WAVES GOLD, Freeverb, DSPFX etc etc) - Simply find your required VST-Fx and load it!!!... it's ready to go and that's that!!... brilliant eh!
Here we see the VSTi's all available when you choose DXInstruments menu in SONAR.
Better yet, here we see that you can in fact save & load VST protocol .FXB & .FXP Banks & patches to and from your VSTi's in SONAR... cool!... I have loaded the SC DEVELOP 101 (one of my favourite VSTi's), and I am perfectly able to load all my sounds i previously created in VST!! - Just click on the TOOLS button and save or load!!
Well... that's that! - a lifesaver little applet. It doesn't make a sound, it doesnt have bells & whistles, but for the outlay when you consider all the great free VST-fx out there and the excellent low-cpu stress FREE VST-Instruments available, you'd be a fool NOT to get this applet imo! - Works with Acid, Vegas, Sound Forge, and Cool Edit Pro as well as Cakewalk Pro-Audio & SONAR. Apparently it is 'Now available in three versions - Lite, Standard Edition and Sound Designer's Edition - to cater for every requirement'.
Cakewalk i think should seriously consider bundling this applet with all copies of SONAR & Cakewalk Pro-Audio 9 - I think it'd gain them more sales, and it's way more usefull to potential customers than for example the included s/w soundfont player imo.
Great stuff... get it, it TOTALY rocks!!
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Total stars: 8 | Total votes: 2