Have you ever wanted to learn how to create audio plugins such as VST or AU, but never knew where to begin? If so then you’ve come to the right place. In the next few tutorials I will show you how to build a simple saturation plugin from scratch. This part of the tutorial will be about getting your development environment set up. To get started we will need to download and install a few things.
- Visual Studio (version 2005 or newer, I will be using 2015 for this tutorial)
- VST SDK
- JUCE C++ Framework
I recommend having a decent knowledge of C++ or a similar object oriented programming language before starting this tutorial.
Installing Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition
Simply follow this link and click where it says Download Community 2015.
Once the download is finished, run the installer. The setup process should be pretty easy to follow just use the default settings, but if you have any problems just leave a comment below.
Getting The VST SDK
The latest VST SDK can be downloaded from Steinberg’s website here. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the link that says VST 3.x.x Audio Plug-Ins SDK. Click the link and the download will start.
Once the download is finished, extract the files from the zip file to somewhere that is easy to access. Create a folder called SDKs on the root of your C Drive, and put the extracted files there. This is all you need to do right now for the VST SDK.
Getting The JUCE Framework
To get the JUCE free community version, just follow this link here create an account and download the appropriate version for your operating system. Similar to the VST SDK, extract the zip file to the SDKs folder that you created earlier.
Now you should have a folder set up that looks like this. In the next part of this guide, we will set up our first JUCE project and configure Visual Studio 2015 so that we can build our first plug in!