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There are different use cases you can realize by using the VST 3 SDK:
You are a plug-in developer and you want to create audio FX or instrument plug-ins which can be included and used in a VST 3 host application.
- an audio FX plug-in is an audio processor effect taking audio as input and creating audio as output: such as Delay, Phaser, Compressor, Reverb, …
- an instrument plug-in is a sound/audio generator, taking as input note events and creating audio as output: such as emulations of well-known hardware synths. There are 2 kinds of instrument plug-ins: virtual sample-based (using audio samples as the basis for sound generation) and virtual synth (using different types of synthesis: physical modelling, additive, subtractive, FM, sample-based, …)
You are a host developer and you want to load in your application VST 3 plug-ins:
- audio FX and/or
- instruments plug-ins.
By using VST 3 SDK directly:
- you are sure to be compliant with the VST 3 format.
- developing your plug-in based on the VST 3 format allows you to support easily new VST 3 features that improve the integration of these plug-ins inside a DAW. Some 3rd party SDKs use only a common layer between all plug-in formats, limiting in this way the possibility for a better integration, for example exclusive VST 3 features:
- you get optimal integration of the VSTGUI tool with VST 3
- it includes the major plug-in format wrappers: AAX, AUv3, AU, VST 2 (deprecated)
- the included Validator allows you to check your plug-in's conformity to the VST 3 standard