A plugin manager is really needed

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A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Tue May 28, 2013 6:45 pm

I own a lot of VST3 - plugins and using them is really a lot of scrolling work, because the sorting / ordering scheme is so bad. :-(

Please, Steinberg, give us a nice VST3 plugin management system. Preferably with automatic removal of mono plugins for stereo tracks and multiple sets of plugins for different types of tracks.

Look, dear developers and product managers:

I AM a software developer in my daytime job. Therefore I KNOW that this is actually not that hard to do, it's something one can even give to some junior developer to get to know the GUI framework and some communication with the audio path engine or whatever you call it.

If I had to do the planning poker, I'd say about 10 man days of work for a full featured plugin management system when done by a junior.

Besides that, I also feel a little bit like this is a political (marketing) decision not to have given us that yet? Is it possible that you WANT 3rd party developers to be able to force their will upon us?

I may take the liberty to post a screenshot of the utter mess my "insert plugin" menu is.

So please, seriously, do something. I think I'm not the only one who hates the sorting / ordering scheme as it is now, because it is super ultra megabad.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby hikarateboy » Wed May 29, 2013 12:20 am

+1000
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Wed May 29, 2013 8:29 am

--- Example 1: my VST instruments ---

vst instrument list.png
My VSTis
(8.52 KiB) Not downloaded yet


Problems here:

1. I would like to create my OWN folders, my structure would be like:

- My favorites (Kontakt, Geist, BFD2, Diva) without any folder around it
- Drums (Attack, Groove Agent One, Battery)
- Bread & Butter (M1, Halion Sonic)
- First class synthesizers (Largo, Modular V, Retrologue)
- Other synthesizers (Padshop, Massive, Absynth, FM8, etc...)
- Experimental (Reaktor, Mystic, Spector, etc...)
- Old skool (all the VST classics stuff, PPG Wave 2V)
- Tools (ReViSiT)

2. I would like to have some groups open all the time, with configuration or "save folder expansion status"

3. I want presets for VSTis with regards to the output channels - for example I ALWAYS want Kontakt to have 8 stereo output channels right from the beginning, so there should be a default configuration as well

4. Seriously, the folder structure you can see in the screenshot makes no sense at all... why THREE (!!!) groups for the same thing (Steinberg classic VSTis, which I like to play around with a lot)? What is the point here? To clutter up the list?

Also, why is "Halion Sonic SE" in Synths (it's not really a synth for me, I use it for bread and butter sounds) but not the Diva, which totally IS a synth?

5. Why is "Groove Agend ONE" actually called "Drum - Groove Agent ONE"? And not in a folder "Drums"? This is hard to read, clutters up more and makes no sense to me.

6. A folder called "VSTPlugins 64 bit" with only NI - stuff in it? Are you kidding me? Are you serious, Steinberg? You really think that your automatic folder structure system makes ANY sense at all?

Please, give me a break. And don't even BOTHER telling me that this makes ANY sense at all, this is just plain pointless what you created (the automatic folder system) there.

Its incredibly annoying to have to open a pointless folder called "VSTPlugins 64 bit" to get to one of my most important tools which would not belong there, while at the same time the "Groove Agent ONE" I almost never use is on top of the list.

And yes, I KNOW that I can sort VST2s myself, but... seriously? And this would not solve the "Synth folder problem" where Steinberg put all their cutting edge synthesizers, because they are VST3.

--- Example 2: Track inserts ---

This is where I REALLY get angry, this is just retarded, really. Even more so than the VSTi list. All the points stated there apply here as well, but have a look at this:

vst insert list.png
My VST fx plugins
(14.78 KiB) Not downloaded yet


1. I DO NOT WANT (!!) reverb plugins visible all the time for normal channels, only on FX channels. On normal channels I only want them in a folder, for FX channels in the favorites (without any folder around it).

Is that so hard to grasp for a product management guy? Really?

Same applies for "mastering" or "subtle colouring" plugins which I usually only want in the master bus, and only seldomly anywhere else. So please, different sets of folders for different types of channels. Thank you.

2. beydynamic V5 and TB_Isone are only (!!!) for output channels. PLEASE!!

3. Why do I have to bother with mono plugins on a stereo channel?

4. Why do I have to bother with my favorite channel strip (SSL) in a folder called "Other"? Yes, I DO KNOW (!!!) that SSL did this, but why am I forced to accept the mistake they made and am I not allowed to correct it myself.

I would absolutely want this plugin, matching the mono or stereo configuration of course, on top of my plugin list all the time. I love it, I want it and I use it all the time.

So, yes, we need the ability to sort the folder entries as well in the plugin manager.

It is so retarded that I have to click like an idiot before I get there.

Product managers, you get a 5 (Austria), a 6 (Germany) or an F (USA) for this from me. Really. :-(

5. The usual Waves - Package - mess. So many plugins, so little use for many of them most of the time.

And so many pointless configurations most of the time. Mono plugins, stereo plugins, PLEASE!!
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Wed May 29, 2013 8:43 am

Bredo wrote:Now I'm really curious about your "real" username ;-)


"real"? I just created this account, never changed the name.

It's just that I use Cubase for some time now and really like it, except for the plugin management, which is painful and not even a crutch but rather like a disability itself. Especially when you have a good assortment of plugins, like I do (which is possible now that the prices have dropped insanely and companies like plugindiscounts.com and audiodeluxe.com give out amazing deals).

And I'm a software developer, so I know how NOT hard it would be to implement a nice plugin management system. One doesn't need to know about DSPs or other audio related stuff.

Actually I think that in a team I would simply tell two people to make a good proposal and, after the product owner signs it off, they can start implementing it on their own. This could be done more or less outside of the usual Scrum process, because it is a fun little thing to do for one or two juniors.

However, I'd give the guy who invented the VST3 - folder / category - system a STRICT (!) reprimand if I was product owner or in management. This was one of the worst and most stupid ideas ever.

And, frankly, if he insists that this was a good idea, I'd consider firing him, as hard as this may sound.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby sonicstate » Wed May 29, 2013 9:00 am

Your list is quite short, mine is several times longer. :)

With VST3 plugind becoming standard, I have problem with VST effects, they get those folders as developers make them, and I have more and more folders, it is hard to navigate.

Also, I try to use Steinberg plugins more and more, for stability. But I noticed I cannot find them easily anymore. Because now 3rd party plugins are put in the same folders too. I don't know anymore which names belong to Steinberg plugins. Could Steinberg please mark their own plugins, maybe in color, or with unique name. Melda has all their plugh starting with M. Other companies name their bundles in similar way too, so that you see by name which company it belongs to. Steinberg could pur "St" or something infront of all their plugins, for example.

Plugin management should have ability to rename plugins indirectly. Like working with links, link points to the plugin, but you can rename link in any way you want, leaving original file intact, and enabling easy updating.
Last edited by sonicstate on Wed May 29, 2013 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Wed May 29, 2013 9:03 am

+1

Renaming is an amazing idea!

But you can already have the VSTs sorted by manufacturer, it's in the preferences. This may solve part of your problem, sonicstate. :-)

(But personally I don't like this.)
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby sonicstate » Wed May 29, 2013 9:44 am

I would recommend renaming like this:
Now we click on a text with name of plugin, say "XYZplugin".
What I would like that I click on a editable text of my choice, say "my best XXYYZZ plugin", which then points to that "XYZplugin".

Like links to files od desktop, you can rename them as you like, but they allways point to the same file.

In this way even if plugin is updated, Cubase would still know that "my best XXYYZZ plugin" points to "XYZplugin", no matter if plugin was updated meanwhile.

Such links would also allow Favorites folders, and one plugin could be named in several different ways, in multiple folders, all pointing to the same dll file on disk.

Anyway, lot could be done. Lets see if anything will be done at all. Plugin management was promised already for C6, then for C6.5, then for C7.... I've given up a bit already. Maybe somebody from Steinberg can chime in. Is it anywhere close to implementation?
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Wed May 29, 2013 10:42 am

What makes me wonder most is the fact that this is not even really hard to implement, as I said.

No DSP stuff, no GUI - framework issues, just plain and simple configuration persistance, some almost trivial data management and a few standard GUI widgets.

I mean, the guys at Steinberg created a whole DAW, they should be able to create a relatively simple "put data items into folders and make it possible to give them names" - tool?

This is also the reason why I suspect a political decision, or marketing reasons. Like some secret convention with plugin manufacturers of the form "guys, create VST3 plugins and we will let YOU decide where your customers will find your stuff"
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby Steve Helstrip » Wed May 29, 2013 10:52 am

Steinberg has already said there will be improvements to plug-in management in a future update. I'm looking forward to these. But for now, at least we have search. Love this!
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby sonicstate » Wed May 29, 2013 12:24 pm

Search is good, but I need a paper with names of plugins.

BTW, does anybody know, is there a way to make a list of all plugins, and export it as Excel file? Is there some utility that does that?
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Wed May 29, 2013 1:14 pm

Steve Helstrip wrote:Steinberg has already said there will be improvements to plug-in management in a future update. I'm looking forward to these. But for now, at least we have search. Love this!


I just researched a bit. Here are my conclusions:

1. This topic is on the plate for quite some time now and people really hate the VST3 category system
2. Still, implementing this functionality is a no - brainer, if not for political or marketing reasons

Actually I would like a statement from Steinberg about WHY it isn't there, yet. One that would actually disprove 2., but their silence speaks for itself.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby Klangarchitekten.de » Wed May 29, 2013 3:57 pm

What is even more annoying is the some PlugIn which show up as INSERTs, DON`T show up when going to
==> Audio /Plugins. They are simply NOT there.

Wavlab is using a diffent sorting scheme which is fine per se, but if you are using C7 and WL you`ll have a hard time finding PlugIns quickly.

i.e.
Cubase 7 ==> The Glue
Wavelab 8 ==> Cytomic ==> The Glue

Where the HELL is "the glue" ?!?! ........ohh, I am using Wavelab gotta look for Cytomic.
Now do this for almost every PlugIn.

That`s CRAP deLuxe. :evil:

We really do need a PlugIn Management System which is inSync with Wavelab !!
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby Fantacyzer » Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm

Additionally to customizable plugin folders, there are two imperative tasks for a really useful plugin management system:

1. Inheritance:
If plugin A isn't available, define plugin B (e.g. an upgrade version of A) as a replacement.

Background: Upgrading to a new plugin version is a PITA. For example, every year when NI releases a new Komplete version, one has to manually exchance each and every old plugin instance with the new one. The latest Kontakt versions always are able to read all patches from previous versions. But to convert Cubase projects made with older Kontakt versions, you manually have to open each old Kontakt instance, save the patch, exchance it with the new Kontakt and reload the patch. One or two dozen times per project, dozens and dozens of projects. Otherwise you'll end up with countless obsolete plugin versions, that often are responsible for stability problems. I believe the same problem will appear with future Halion versions.

Solution: At the moment Cubase only lists the names of "not found plugins" on project load. A plugin manager should let me define a replacement plugin for every "not found" plugin, that tries to load the data of the replaced plugin. If the replacement plugin is NOT able to load the inherited data, it just would open with default settings.


2. Short names:
Show customizable short plugin name versions on narrow mixer channels.

Background: At the moment Cubase abbreviates plugin names to often unreadable stubs, if the channel wide of the mixer is too small.

Solution: A new column in the plugin information window, where the user may customize alternative short form names.
Last edited by Fantacyzer on Wed May 29, 2013 5:57 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby GargoyleStudio » Wed May 29, 2013 5:19 pm

+1000 please Steinberg.

Please include a 'recent' and a 'favourite' section.

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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby GargoyleStudio » Wed May 29, 2013 5:26 pm

Solution: At the moment Cubase only lists the names of "not found plugins" on project load. A plugin manager should let me define a replacement plugin for every "not found" plugin.


I quite like that idea...

But right now it's annoying that I can't turn off plugins which can't be found.

[For example, someone gives me a project where they use their personal third party plugins for mixing, I'd like to disable them and use Steinberg's native plugs to remix, and then return the project to the person. Problem is that the missing plugin buttons are all disabled, so when I return the project they are still on - which isn't useful in this situation. And I don't want to remove them because they might want to A/B. So, I say, just because a plugin is missing doesn't mean that I don't want to turn it off (or even 'on').]

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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Wed May 29, 2013 5:30 pm

+1 to each idea here.

I hope Steinberg will come up with a reply soon with a little more details than usual, so we know that there is something good going on.

I'd like to get the following information:

1. What features the plugin manager will have
2. With which version it will be released
3. What other ideas are under consideration

I think it's not unreasonable to ask Steinberg to provide this information within a week?
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Thu May 30, 2013 10:53 am

Actually I would go as far as writing the user story documents for this feature. :ugeek:

(But be aware that I'm not a requirements engineer, so they may not be 100% perfect.)
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby Antonis Tarlizos » Thu May 30, 2013 3:10 pm

Am I the only one how uses the search function and knows what he's looking for/wants to add, before opening the plugin-selector? :P no disrespect, my list is quite big too, but... :P If you don't know what you are looking for.... :D

Anyways, a bit of flexibility could be nice, but personally I think there are other priorities.

ps: a recent/most used, is indeed a quick and thorough fix
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby djaychela » Thu May 30, 2013 4:19 pm

It needs sorting.

It's needed sorting for ages.

My old thread about the lack of editability etc for VST3 plugins was noted by Steinberg, and that was that.

TheNavigator seems to know his stuff. I'm not a software developer, but I'd always thought that this was a fairly straightforward issue to fix, and it should have been done a long time ago.

Steve Helstrip: You've been around long enough to know that "a future development" could mean any time between now and the end of the universe!

Antonis Tarlizos: Maybe you are, maybe you aren't, but there are certainly plenty of people who want to be able to sort plugins in whatever way they like. I like to categorise mine, and as I spend about 50% of my time teaching people to use Cubase, I think it's something that anyone getting started in the program would appreciate. The confusion of a messy and arbitrary sorting of plugins isn't a good place to start learning from. The search function of C7 has helped a lot (although it's not perfect either), but having the ability to sort plugins into whatever schema users want is a fairly simple requirement and one which it's hard to argue against unless you're into a "I know stuff way better than you n00bs" argument. Which is futile, IMO.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby Fantacyzer » Thu May 30, 2013 4:46 pm

I thought a plugin inheritance function would have many proponents. Maybe it's not clear what it's about? How do you all manage to keep only the newest plugin versions in your system?
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Thu May 30, 2013 5:07 pm

Antonis, actually 90% or so of my plugin needs are fulfilled via SSL Channel, Lexicon reverb and Waves H-Delay.

But they are hidden in illogical places and I have to click more than I would have to if there was some half - intelligent system to manage things.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby GargoyleStudio » Thu May 30, 2013 5:24 pm

I'd also like to add a request - Steinberg, when/if a plugin manager arrives, can we place plugins in multiple places please?

For example, say I have a reverb+delay plugin then I'd like it to appear in both my Reverb and my Delay folders. And also in my 'Recent' and 'InThisProject' folders too?

Mike.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby TheNavigator » Thu May 30, 2013 5:25 pm

GargoyleStudio wrote:I'd also like to add a request - Steinberg, when/if a plugin manager arrives, can we place plugins in multiple places please?

For example, say I have a reverb+delay plugin then I'd like it to appear in both my Reverb and my Delay folders. And also in my 'Recent' and 'InThisProject' folders too?

Mike.


+1

Yes, please.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby UltimateOutsider » Thu May 30, 2013 6:36 pm

GargoyleStudio wrote:I'd also like to add a request - Steinberg, when/if a plugin manager arrives, can we place plugins in multiple places please?

For example, say I have a reverb+delay plugin then I'd like it to appear in both my Reverb and my Delay folders. And also in my 'Recent' and 'InThisProject' folders too?

This is an argument for a user-editable tagging/filtering system. You don't want to have duplicate physical copies of plugins on your hard drive (I'd prefer a method where I didn't have to manually move/copy any files ever), but you could have virtual folders in your DAW that reflected user-defined and vendor-defined rules. Like smartlists for plugins.
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Re: A plugin manager is really needed

Postby Antonis Tarlizos » Thu May 30, 2013 7:31 pm

TheNavigator wrote:Antonis, actually 90% or so of my plugin needs are fulfilled via SSL Channel, Lexicon reverb and Waves H-Delay.

But they are hidden in illogical places and I have to click more than I would have to if there was some half - intelligent system to manage things.



That's why I didn't see the need in a further sophisticated system; actually use only 5-6 plug-ins and know how to hit them in the search function - just as you said about the SSL/LEX/H-DELAY.

Anyways, maybe a kind of filtering system like in the media bay/preset manager: with categories, tags and star-rating,
sorted on most used :D?

One question - isn't it better to bundle stuff like this (requests and stuff) into one big thread?
Because I've seen some pretty good other idea's too around here, in other threads like this. Dunno...
(probably a senior member is reading this and is about to slap me with a link...:P)
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