Forums > MaxMSP

vst hosting examples

April 27, 2009 | 6:04 am

Probably like many beginners I am starting out by trying to host vsti instruments in Max/Msp. I have checked out the InVeSTigations tutorials and have made some minor progress, but was hoping there might be some other examples available that I could study. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

April 27, 2009 | 12:50 pm

I think you’ll probably get a lot better feedback if you describe what it is you wish to do. And you’ll get even better feedback than that if you provide a sample of the patching you’re doing which contains the errors you’re seeing.

April 27, 2009 | 10:01 pm

Thanks for the response Gregory!

I hope eventually to create a custom multi-vst instrument and effect host with play/record, microtonal piano roll and advanced parameter editing, plus many other features I have planned.

I would be glad to send my meager starting patcher, but honestly there is not much there yet. Just midiin to midiparse to a fixed version of qs.vstizer (from the InVeSTigations tutorials) to the vst~ and then out to audio. Although I need to do some research to understand a few points more fully, there are no errors and all the midi functions I am able to test are working fine.

At this beginning stage I am looking more for guidance on higher level organization and best practice, particularly on designing a flexible system that can load multiple vst. I have a couple of commercial vst hosts that I own, where the methodology is that I can "insert" new vst plugins into a "song project" that can be saved/loaded with the scores and vst parameter data. That is the type of example I would be most interested in seeing, because I really have no idea at the moment how to best implement such a system.

April 28, 2009 | 2:53 am

Continue patching, and patching more. The tutorials you are using sound like a good path to follow. Use also the help file and reference. Now, for management of large patches, you might get started with the Guitar Processor 5 tutorials might be a first step.
But you also want to work small versions of your upcoming monster patch. Make a simple microtonal piano roll, for instance driving the synthesizer in another program.
But most importantly, I must say your project is quite ambitious. If Max for Live were available already, I would suggest to look into Ableton Live, and to use Max for Live to create the specific functions you don’t find in Ableton.

April 28, 2009 | 5:02 am

I am not sure I understand correctly, but it seems like you are suggesting I use Max to drive a synth in a different vst host. How (without going into deep detail) could that be accomplished?

I do realize my project is ambitious, but I can always compose on my current vsthost til I get there. Also I see in Max the possibility of many capabilities not available in my current (admittedly not top-notch) vsthost.

I will follow your advice and just work on a single vst instrument version for now. Thanks very much for your advice!

April 28, 2009 | 10:15 pm

I’ve written an application in Max called HostX which is a VSTi host. The application is freely available on my site.

Look under "software" for HostX (UB).

If you want a copy of the original patcher write to me at:



It works and all, but I’d never claim to have the best VSTi host out there.


April 29, 2009 | 10:24 pm

Thank you very much Mitch, I look forward to checking out your vsthost. As a beginner I have been surprised how quickly I have been able to get a usable host up and running. In fact I could compose right now on it, editing the text-version midi file used by seq is not much different from composing with .sco files in Csound!

It is too bad that DSPAudio’s IceTools are not available for Windows, it looks ideal for many aspects of what I would like to accomplish. However FTM looks like it might do the job, so I will download it and check it out. Can anyone suggest other language extension packages that might be of use for a Windows Max/Msp sequencing project?

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