|This page describes support for VST effect plug-ins in Audacity (VST instrument plug-ins that generate audio are not supported). A list of VST effects known to process correctly in Audacity on Windows is included.
VST support in Audacity
|Note: Audacity is a 32-bit application so won't see 64-bit versions of VST plug-ins, even on 64-bit operating systems.|
There is limited support for VST effects by downloading the optional VST Enabler.
To display a VST plug-in in Audacity, place it in the Audacity Plug-Ins folder inside your Audacity installation folder, or in other VST system folders. On Windows, the Audacity installation folder is normally in C:\Program Files. On Mac OS X, it is usually in the Applications folder. Restart Audacity, then the plug-in should be visible in the Effect Menu, underneath the divider.
Plug-ins will only have a generic tabular interface with sliders which may not expose all the plug-in controls correctly. Not all plug-ins will work correctly, even if all of the intended interface elements are available. These restrictions are imposed on us because the Steinberg company who created the technology forbid us disclosing their code in our software. We are obliged to do this because Audacity is open source.
Current 1.3 Beta versions
From Audacity 1.3.8 onwards, VST effects are displayed with full GUI interface (where provided by the plug-in), and without need of the VST Enabler. This has been made possible by use of an open source VST header.
When current Audacity Beta is first launched, it will scan for VST plug-ins in the Plug-Ins folder inside the Audacity installation folder, and in other VST system folders. A dialogue will indicate progress of the scan. Your VST effects will appear in the Effect menu, underneath the divider.
If you add more VST plug-ins later, they will not appear in the Effect menu until you go to the, check "Rescan VST effects next time Audacity is started", then restart Audacity. However if you subsequently remove any VST plug-ins, they will automatically be removed from the Effect menu after restart, without need for a rescan (as long as you are using 1.3.10 or later).
The overwhelming majority of VST effect plug-ins should now display and process correctly. If an incompatible VST plug-in does cause a problem, try unchecking "Display VST effects in graphical mode" in the Effects Preferences, or rename or remove the plug-in. To report a plug-in that is problematic in current Beta versions, please add it below, or write to our feedback address.
Where Audacity looks for VST plug-ins
Audacity searches for VST plug-ins in this order:
- On all platforms:
- Directories called "Plug-Ins", "Plugins" or "VST" in the Audacity installation directory. On Windows, the Audacity Beta installation directory is normally at C:\Program Files\Audacity 1.3 Beta (Unicode). On OS X, it is normally under /Applications.
- The path specified by the VST_PATH environment variable
- On Windows, the following locations are also searched:
- The Windows Registry key HKCU\Software\VST\VSTPluginsPath
- The Windows Registry key HKLM\Software\VST\VSTPluginsPath
- C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins
- On OS X, the following locations are also searched:
The specified directories are searched recursively, which means that plug-ins that are inside their own folder in that directory should still be found by Audacity.
List of functional Plug-ins
|Instructions for adding plug-ins to the list:
- The majority of plug-ins will be for Windows only unless OS 9 or OS X is stated.
- Classic Mac OS plug-ins will only work under OS 9 and previous. Mac OS X plug-ins with a .component file marked as "PowerPC" will only work on PPC Macs (they might work on Intel Macs with slow performance under Rosetta).
Ambience - reverb plugin for Windows, OS 9/X
Antares AutoTune Evo - Mostly works with 1.3 beta. Automatic pitch correction works, but to be able to draw pitch curves clock must be set to "internal" and not "host". (commercial)
ANWIDA Soft DX Reverb Light.dll
Big Tick Dual Delay.dll
Big Tick Hexaline.dll
BLOCKFISH.dll - compressor for Windows and OS X (not Intel)
BlueCatMonoChorusVST.dll for Windows and OS X
BlueCatFlangerVST(Mono).dll for Windows and OS X
BlueCatFlangerVST(Stereo).dll for Windows and OS X
BlueCatPhaserVST(Mono).dll for Windows and OS X
BlueCatPhaserVST(Stereo).dll for Windows and OS X
BlueCatStereoChorusVST.dll for Windows and OS X
bs2b.dll stereo to binaural
Buzzroom CL 201 (Vintage Maximiser) - now shareware and known as Extreme Amplifier
Classic Master Limiter.dll
dfx Buffer Override mono.dll
dfx Buffer Override stereo.dll
EZmix (commercial, time limited demo available. Also supports OS X but only Windows version tested)
FEILEI Surround Echo.dll
FEILEI Surround Encode.dll
FEILEI Surround Pan.dll
FLOORFISH.dll - expander/noise gate for
- jVSTwRapper is a way of writing Java plug-ins using VST-based technology, enclosed in a wrapper that makes them compatible for use in VST, Audio Units and LADSPA hosts. Thus jVSTwRapper plug-ins can be run on all three platforms.
MjCompressor.dll for Windows and OS X Windows version only has a tabular interface even in Audacity 1.3.8+
Modern Plugins MonstaChorus.dll
Morphing Delay 2.1 Demo.dll
REFLEX free - a regenerating delay plug-in, a mixture of stereo delays followed by a dense cloud of reflections (Download)
Saturator.dll - analogue tape saturation emulator for added "warmth"
sc 04 sec Stereo Delay.dll
sc Multi Delay.dll
sc Multi Tap Delay.dll
sc Stereo Panner.dll
SH-1 Graphic EQ.dll
SH-1 LFO Multi.dll
Silverspike Reverb-it Demo.dll
SPITFISH.dll - de-esser for Windows and OS X (not Intel)
TB Compressor (working demo) in Tone Boosters plug-in bundle - supports "New York" or "parallel" compression
Telephone.dll - simple, very realistic telephone audio simulator.
UpStereo.dll - stereo widener
UpStereo for OS X (not tested)
VOX_DoctorDemo.dll - De-Esser
VoxengoLampthruster (a VST amp simulator)
List of Plug-ins with known problems
|Instructions for adding VST effect plug-ins to the list:|
|Ambisonic Decoders||Windows||Dec.2011||1.3.13 and 1.3.14 (works in 1.3.12 and 1.3.15 onwards)||Audacity crashes on launch|
|dBlue Glitch||Windows||Jan.2008||VST-Bridge 1.1||no real GUI, way less settings, Audacity crashes when applying|
|CM Vocoder||Windows/OS X||Sep.08||Audacity 1.3.8+||Does not appear|
|Effect Chainer DX and VST wrapper||Windows||Jan.08||All||can't host any plug-ins|
|FFX-4 DX and VST Wrapper||Windows||Jan.08||All||can't host any plug-ins|
|Freeverb2||Windows 7||Oct.11||Audacity 1.3.13||Only tabular interface, no preset support|
|GRM Tools||Windows (works on OS X)||Sep.08||Audacity 1.3.8+||unspecified|
|keFIR||Windows||Apr.08||VST-Bridge 1.1||has no effect on audio|
|Sonic Maximizer||Windows||Sep.2007||VST-Bridge 1.1||not in Effect menu|
|Soundsoap||Windows, OS X||2007 (various)||All||Audacity won't launch|
|String Studio||Windows||2007 (various)||VST-Bridge 1.1||Audacity won't launch|
|T RackS 3||OS X||Dec.2009||All||Audacity won't launch|
|VisualVOX VST||Windows||Jan.2008||VST-Bridge 1.1||No interface, just silences audio|