VST Tutorials

Virtual Studio Technology (a.k.a. VST) is a software specification developed by Steinberg. VST plugins can be used as effect and instrument devices in a number of different music applications. VST is the most popular form of music plugin.

VST tutorials, articles, and plugins are listed below.

Q&A: How do I send notes from a MIDI file into a VST instrument using Ableton Live?

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Ableton Help, Ableton FAQ, MIDI, VST Plugin. Having trouble using MIDI files with Ableton Live? Do you want to use a MIDI file you downloaded from the internet within Ableton Live? Then read on. For this lesson you will need:

  • Ableton Live 4.0 (or newer)

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Better Compression Using an Oscilloscope

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Compression, Mixing, Side Chain Compression, House, Tutorial, Oscilloscope. In the old days, mixing engineers would study the volume meters as they danced along the console. By playing back well-mixed songs, these early pioneers learned how to read proper song dynamics. This skill is invaluable when trying to understand and utilize compression. This article discusses a modern approach to developing the same talent cultivated in the old masters: the ability to create pleasing dynamic compression. For this tutorial you will need:

  1. A VST Host (Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Digidesign Protools, etc.)
  2. S(m)execope VST/AU Oscilloscope. Download S(m)execope for Windows / Mac OS X.

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Free VST/AU Oscilloscope

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oscilloscopeVST, Plugin, Free, Mixing, Oscilloscope.A good oscilloscope is useful in many contexts: synthesizer programming, understanding phase cancellation, compression, etc. Lucky for you, there is a fantastic free digital storage oscilloscope from Bram at SmartElectronix. This plug-in can be dropped anywhere in your DAW’s signal path for quick and easy analysis. You can use this tool to fix all kinds of dynamics-related issues.

Download the S(m)exoscope VST / AU plugin for Windows & Mac OS X.


Nepheton: 808 Drum Machine VST

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Nothing beats the 808 drum machine for a solid, club-worthy low end kick. Its sound is immediately recognizable in all styles of dance music. It is an essential component of every electronic music producers gear collection. For years, musicians have paid large sums of money for the real thing. But, thanks to the D16 Group you can get Nepheton, a VST instrument that faithfully recreates the 808 sound. Best of all, instead of samples, this VST synthesizes the sounds. This allows you the same sound design flexibility enjoyed by owners of the actual hardware.

Nepheton is a commercial VST recreation of the Roland 808 drum machine. It is available for Windows and Mac OSX. Click here to learn more about the Nepheton.


Free Side Chain Compression for Mac

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Finally, free sidechain compression for Mac OSX producers is now available! Get that house music pumping sound using Teragon Audio’s DualComp VST Compressor.

UPDATE: The SSS Side Chain Compressor is now available for Mac OS X. You should definitely check it out, because there have been complaints about the DualComp’s sound quality. Click here to download the SSS Side Chain Compressor.


Read a DualComp Compressor Tutorial.

Learn how to Install the DualComp Compressor on a Mac

You can download the DualComp Compressor using the links below.

Download DualComp Compressor for Mac OSX

Download DualComp Compressor for Windows


How To Create A Drum Kit From A Synthesizer

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Creating a Synth Drum Kit Using A Free VST Synth & Ableton Live. Programming synth drums allows you the freedom to precisely design your drum frequencies and dynamics. However, it is easier to sequence drums using a drum machine rather than a bunch of synthesizers. This tutorial explains how to record the audio output of a synthesizer into a drum machine using Ableton Live. For this tutorial you will need:

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How to Use Distortion in Electronic Music Production

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VST Distortion Tutorial on Ableton Live, Mixing, Return Tracks, Boogex. Distortion is used by electronic music producers on basslines, synthesizers, drums, and even entire songs. It is a vital tool that can give your music a much rougher, louder sound. While distortion is often used during mixing, this SonicTransfer.com tutorial will focus on using distortion during music production. To follow this tutorial you will need:

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Voxengo Boogex – Free VST Distortion for Windows

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Voxengo Boogex Distortion VST ScreenshotVoxengo Boogex is the best free distortion / guitar amplifer VST plugin for Windows. It offers cabinet modeling, wave shaping, and uses a relatively small amount of system resources. This is one plugin you definitely want in your sonic arsenal.

Voxengo Boogex Distortion Plugin – Free Windows VST


How To Use Side Chain Compression

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Sidechain Compression Tutorial, Sidechaining, SSS Side Chain Compressor. The whole french house scene is practically defined by a signature sound. While the music itself is very different, every track seems to have this really loud sound. Some DJ’s call it a “push, pull”, “breathing”, or “suction” sound. It isn’t just artistry that creates this signature sound, it’s a lot of studio magic. That magic has a name: Sidechaining. After reading this SonicTransfer.com tutorial, you’ll know exactly how to do it.

To follow this lesson you will need:

  1. A VST Host (e.g. Ableton Live, Cubase, Pro Tools, etc.)
  2. SSS Stereo Side Chain Compressor – Free VST Compressor (now for Windows and OS X). Click here to get the SSS Stereo Side Chain Compressor.

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SSS Side Chain Gate/Expander – Free VST for Windows

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SSS Side Chain Gate/Expander ScreenshotThis is an excellent free VST gate that supports sidechaining. The SSS Gate provides easy ducking and keying effects. Ducking and keying are some of the hottest effects in electronic music production today. Stay tuned for a ducking and keying tutorial from SonicTransfer.com. In the meantime, click the link below to download the SSS Side Chain Gate/Expander.

SSS Side Chain Gate/Expander – Free Windows VST



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