Carla from KXStudio is a feature-rich modular audio plugin host that works with a large number of plugin formats and audio drivers. It comes with many cool functionalities, including remote control over OSC, transport control, and more. It lets you work with many plugins like VST3, LADSPA, DSSI, VST2, AU, and more and also supports SFZ, SF2 files. The program makes use of JACK as the default audio driver but gives you the option to utilize native drivers such as CoreAudio, ALS, or DirectSound.
It has multiple types of engine processing, including Single-client, Patchbay, Multi-client, and Rack. KXStudio Carla aims to be the best freeware tool with all the features to help all kinds of performers. It works at lightning-fast speed, which allows you to start and run plugins quickly.
KXStudio Carla Alternatives
Blue Cat’s PatchWork is a highly customizable multi-FX and universal plug-ins patch bay developed using the latest technology to process up to 64 built-in plug-ins, VST, Audio Unit, or VST3 into the desired Digital Audio Workstation. You have the choice to use it to chain effects in series or create up to 8 parallel chains and enable them individually. This functionality allows you to create multiple instruments or effects configurations directly in the plug-in, without requiring busses.
The configurations are saved as presets, making it easy for you to recall them quickly using one of the supported plug-in formats. It provides built-in audio effects, which come in handy for adding color to plug-in chains. Blue Cat’s PatchWork comes packed with a bundle of features, including fully configurable VST3, Audio Unit plug-ins, or VST. It includes 30 built-in effects such as waveshaper, Reverb, filters, compressor, EQ, bit crusher, delays, and many more.
It allows you to create your own effects chains, undo/redo to reapply or cancel an effect, and Copy/paste the state of the plug-in. It offers a clean UI that is customizable and supports multiple screen sizes. Blue Cat’s PatchWork provides a built-in CPU meter for 24/ monitoring and shuts down when fed with silence to release the load on hardware resources.
Cantabile is the ultimate VST host developed to help live-performing stage musicians achieve their goals. It offers powerful MIDI routing capabilities and is a great companion no matter if you are a beginner or expert. It is an ideal tool for keyboard players and has been tested on stage. It allows stage musicians to perform better and works perfectly well with other MIDI hardware.
Cantabile makes it easy to switch between songs quickly. With it, you can take command over everything through MIDI, add reminders using show notes, and activate MIDI and audio clips on the go. Apart from these features, it also lets everyone play VST virtual instrument live and create effect racks and instruments which can be reused.
VSTHost is a freeware tool for Microsoft Windows that has the ability to load VST effects, parameterize/edit them, sound output for VSTis, and many more. It has its own built-in Wave Player or Recorder as well as a MIDI Player. It detects I/O via Windows MME or ASIO drivers. VSTHost loads and saves files in the form of .fxb or .fxp. Keyboard artists can download the program and implement it in the Live setup. It supports both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 2000 and up and Windows NT4, 98, and ME. Apart from the mentioned versions, it also runs in other iterations but with fewer functionalities.
SAVIHost is a mini derivate of VSTHost developed and published by Hermann Seib for Microsoft Windows with the main intention of automatically loading one VSTi. For this very reason, savihost.exe should either be renamed or copied. To demonstrate renaming, suppose we have a PlugIn called blabla.ddl, in which case savihost.exe will be changed to blabla.exe. The recent update of SAVIHost added a built-in keyboard bar to help you test PlugIns that require external MIDI input with great ease. It is an ideal tool for people looking to run their VSTis as independent programs without hassle. SAVIHost makes it easy to create an executable for the plugins, which you can invoke in a few clicks.
MB-7 Mixer is a feature-rich, easy-to-use plugin developed by Blue Cat to divide a signal into multiple frequency bands, after which you can re-mix and process them, customize levels, insert third-party plug-ins, and more. It gives everyone the ability to apply various effects to any band to reach the desired spectral manipulation. The tool gives you the choice of processing every band independently with any VST3, Audio Unit plug-ins, or VST or pick one of the included effects.
You can load a maximum of four plug-ins on every band. It comes packed with 25 built-in effects that you can add to each individual plug-in slot in any order. It provides various features like latency compensation, undo/redo, and presets management for optimal performance. It uses multi-instance technology to make it easy for you to chain bands within a single instance or among various instances on separate tracks.
Other highlights of Blue Cat MB-7 Mixer include support for Multicore processing, no extra latency, multiband mixing console, undo/redo, copy/paste, fully customizable user interface, automatic shutdown when fed with silence to preserve CPU resources, and more. You can adjust the spectrum on several tracks through a single slider and receive visual feedback coupled with a spectrogram, CPU workload meter, and more.
Metaplugin developed by DDMF is a plugin with the ability to load other plugins. It lets you create your own effect networks using VST3, VST, or any other effect present on the storage. It provides a four-band crossover filter, a Mid-Side matrix, and a routing plan to help you get comfortable with the tool. Other functionalities include Reverb, Compression, Cross-track routing, Distortion, and many more.
With this program, anyone can build custom layered synth sounds or develop full-fledged sound generators without difficulty. It supports a maximum of eight separate channels for multichannel needs. It is capable of double-precision audio processing when powered by DAW and any plugin format. The software includes a plugin organizer that enables you to scan a plugin and then add it onto the graph area via simple drag and drop.
It is compatible with Apple Audio Unit plugins and adds no additional load to the CPU. You can define the color palette for the plugin, and change its size window according to requirements. The dry/wet ratio can be configured separately for each individual plugin. Other built-in features include a multiband splitter, cross-track helper plugins, and a mid-size matrix to enable you to do more cool stuff without restrictions. DDMF Metaplugin works seamlessly with both 32 and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
Pedalboard 2 is a VST plugin host built from scratch for live use. It is a JUCE-based audio plugin host that is suitable for everyday audio-related tasks. It is packed with several features, including Modular patching, and you can queue and switch any number of patches and manipulate each plugin parameter in real-time with the help of MIDI CCs. It is an open-source program released under the GPL v3 license and provides the source code with the download files to make it easy for everyone to view and use. It works flawlessly with Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
Gig Performer is a popular and advanced VST/AU plugin built to help liver performers perform better. From Guitarists to Wind Players, it gives everyone full control over their instruments. It features a Global Rackspace that enables you to share your effects globally. It can route audio in both directions and preprocess incoming audio before applying any effect on it.
The program offers Zoomable Wiring View to make it easy for everyone to layout their plugins no matter the size of the display. This feature lets you Zoom In/Zoom Out and scroll either vertically or horizontally to arrange plugins according to needs. Another great module is scaling curves which lets you pick from predefined shapes or draw a new one, copy them or save them to storage for future reuse.
Gig Performer includes a MIDI File Player that can load a maximum of 128 standard MIDI files into the player plugin at any given time without difficulty. Send separate tracks to various plugins to get the best possible sound. Get full control over playback speed via Tap Tempo or leave it up to the built-in global BPM. You can select many interconnected plugins and save them in the favorites for instant reuse whenever required. Create unique sounds or customize the ones available through controlled randomization of few attributes of any plugin. Gig Performer is optimized for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, so you can use its features on your favorite platform.
Console Sound Modular Studio is the most advanced modular plug-in host for Microsoft Windows that supports DirectX Audio plug-ins and VST. You can also use it as a DX instrument, effect, or VST. The main highlight of the program is that it makes use of a modular system to enable the intuitive operation and graphical patching of sound devices and plug-ins. It is compatible with DXi, VST effects, DirectX audio plug-ins, and VSTi.
Console Sound Modular Studio provides mouse-based operation and is not CPU intensive. You can control plug-in parameters via the MIDI Learn function. It comes packed with a mini pattern sequencer and mixer plug-ins. It supports I/O of MIDI clock and ASIO drivers to allow for the best possible audio playback with low latency. Lastly, it supports multiple input and output drivers, including MME and Standard DirectSound drivers.
Splash Pro is a fully-featured software that gives you the tools to write music like a professional. It supports several digital audio workstations, including Pro Tools, Ableton, GarageBand, FL Studios, and Logic. It lest you create compositions, browse the library of music styles, controls, and tinker with multiple ideas via midi clips, source genres, and styles. You can pick select your singer and run vocal ideas using custom lyrics. Design and configure your drum kit to support any genre and playing style. Splash Pro is fully compatible with multiple Operating Systems, including Windows 10 and macOS.
Vienna Ensemble Pro is a multi-platform network solution used in production facilities and studios worldwide. It allows you to create a network of multiple computers with Windows and Mac computers without requiring additional audio and MIDI interfaces. The sole requirement is an Ethernet Cable, and you are all set. It works with high efficiency on single or multiple computers and significantly improves your workflow through Preserve, an advanced function that maintains the state of your samples and plugins when moving from one project to the next.
You can use the sample players from the developer or add third-party AU/VST instruments without hassle. It offers a variety of advanced plug-ins with a clean and effective GUI. These include Analyzer Pro, Compressor pro, Limiter Pro, Equalizer pro, and Exciter pro. It provides names and details of all automatable parameters included within the program as well as other plug-ins inserted by the end-user. To identify the relevant parameter, click on the “Learn” button, and it will display its values and name.
Vienna Ensemble Pro features an intuitive UI that shows the CPU to convey the resources being used. It offers an overview to control and observe audio and MIDI activity. It comes with a Favorites Manager that makes it easy to create a list of frequently used plug-ins. Check previously used plug-ins on the top of the list and customize plug-ins through preferences. It provides a powerful Plug-in browser with a search feature to quickly find an item. Other notable highlights of Vienna Ensemble Pro include Optimized Plug-in Scanning, Instance disabling, Faster saving times, FX Mini GUI Displays, and many more.
Mainstage is a music application designed for use on stage and in the studio. It lets you transform your Mac PC into a live rig and unleash the full power of guitar, keyboard, or vocal plugins with a vast collection of sounds and plug-ins. It includes many tools that fulfill the needs of all performers and help them perform better. You can utilize the preferred effect plug-ins and instruments from Logic Pro and use the hardware controllers of your choice.
Keyboardists can upgrade their performance using note-based remote controls and chord triggers. Use Retro Synth to produce electronic sounds from the classical era with a smart set of controls. Guitarists can make use of Pedalboard, Amp Designer, and Bass Amp Designer to play great tones during a live performance.
It also comes with stompbox graphics, full-screen tuner that shifts based on the corresponding patch to represent various pedalboard stompboxes being used. Mainstage includes a powerful editor that allows everyone to create sounds with their Mac computer without needing external software. The Editor UI provides a clear and bright view to make it easy to work with.
BloXpander is a powerful, easy-to-use VST host developed by EaReckon to fulfill the demands of sound engineers and musicians during live performances. All the tools are clearly laid out to make them easy to find for both beginners and professionals. It provides a timeline with time signature, loop option, tap tempo feature, and controls to rewind/previous/play/stop the track. You can switch to the full-screen mode to complete your work without distractions.
It supports multi-screens and lets you drag and drop plugins while preserving their states. It has no main menu and doesn’t crowd the screen with overlapping windows for effective work. The program offers advanced support of MIDI controllers to make it easy to manipulate plugins and mixers. It shows the detailed names of controlled targets and enables you to work with up to 8 plugins with 8 buttons and potentiometers. EaReckon BloXpander features an Advanced Libraries system to help you save favorite presets and plugins and invoke a plugin with its state via double-click.
Freestyle from New Sonic Arts is a VST Host for Studio and Stage compatible with Mac and Windows PC. You can use it in the studio to layer, split, and consolidate your FX and VST instruments to discover a wide range of sound design possibilities. It works seamlessly with your existing DAW, operating as an AudioUnit plugin or VST. New Sonic Arts Freestyle can be used on Stage to make your laptop into a fully capable live rig.
Work with Macro Controls, map several instruments via the keyboard, and more. The program offers several features like creating rich multi-layered sounds, defining zones and key splits, re-aligning and merging FX chains, using drag-and-drop functionality. You can build unique patches with infinite possibilities, made possible by the Structure View. Navigate parallel FX processing, and perform other advanced tasks with Crossfade and BandSplit modules.
The software provides a Plugin Browser that gives access to all FX and VST instruments. Locate the desired plugin in no time at all by using Favourites or text search. Check tons of pre-categorized VST presets through PatchCloud. You can utilize the Event player to create phrases and loops without difficulty. Quickly draw better musical ideas by using the loop-based workflow.
vPlayer is a standalone software developed by Digital Brain Instruments to allows you to test new vst/au instruments instantly without relying on DAW. You can set up and play loading a loading jam session with colleagues, friends using preferred instruments and simultaneously play a maximum of 4 instruments by controlling 1 to 4 various MIDI keyboards. The program allows you to play up to 4 au/vst instruments and record audio with great ease using the built-in recorder. It supports Master EQ and enables you to run and save plugin presets. The software is capable of loading a single vst/au effect plugin on each individual instrument output at a time without complications.
LiveProfessor from Audioström is a plugin host compatible with Mac OS X and Windows computers. It allows you to build a flexible, powerful, and portable effect rack using either AU or VST plugins. It has been developed with the assistance of audio professionals from broadcast, live sound, and theatre and is used by production facilities and studios worldwide. It includes Signal Chains, a collection of plugins in which all of them are linked in series. This functionality makes it an easy task to organize plugins, and put them in their specific category.
The software features an intuitive and responsive UI with customizable features and provides WorkSpaces and View Sets to load window layouts instantly. The program includes Snapshot automation which lets you save individual plugin settings or retrieve the complete state of any project. Audioström LiveProfessor comes with an advanced system of hardware controllers with which you can swiftly handle program functions and plugin parameters without any restrictions.
VIP from Akaipro is a state-of-the-art, top-ranking software platform built from scratch to provide composers and musicians with an all-in-one solution to manage their virtual effect collection and virtual instruments. It offers you unrestricted access to effect and virtual instrument libraries, combining software and hardware experience, and delivers the freedom to unleash your creativity. The software supports all VST compatible effect units and plugins.
It comes with an Effects Browser to help you search for an effect by audition and type instantly. It includes a Setlist Feature, which makes it easy to switch from one patch to the next from any plugin via the keyboard. You can access, modify and mix up to 8 instruments simultaneously in a Multi. Akaipro VIP provides Effect Stacks to merge several stacks into recallable patches.
inTone 2 from AUDIFIED is a lightweight program for Microsoft Windows and Mac that allows you to make your performances multifarious without hassle. It offers several functionalities, including opening apps and files with the preset load, merge multiple tracks in 9 playlists and play them all at once, map any of the available functions to MIDI easily, and more. The software is cable of playing background tracks, virtual instruments, and real instruments.
With AUDIFIED inTone 2, anyone can route sound card inputs to the desired audio chain instantly. All of them have a volume fader, gain knob, recorder, FX section, and solo, mute buttons. It features an FX Section that lets you use the included 36 effects, along with an entire set of filters, dynamic effects, simulation, equalizers, and many more. It provides a powerful built-in Recorder that can record the audio signal of any track at the desired point.
You have the complete freedom of recording the complete mix, record multiple tracks at the same time, or record in the Master Chain. It is also possible to record unprocessed audio or insert a track recorder module to any area without restrictions. Audified Intone comes with a Track Player that is in the league of its own and serves as a powerful AIFF, MO3, AAC, and WAV player. Using the Track Player, you can create multiple playlists, adjust the speed of songs, and more.
Tone2 NanoHost is the ultimate, lightweight host application for Microsoft Windows for loading VST-synths. It can also serve as a wrapper to help with the conversion of VST-synthesizers into standalone applications with great ease. It is suitable for testing, live performance, jam sessions, and sound design. The software supports old 32-bit plugins and provides a soft-clipping algorithm with less latency and tube sound. It is capable of creating random patches and records output of a plugin to a .wav file in top quality. Tone2 NanoHost works seamlessly on multiple versions of Windows, including XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and Linux running Wine.
Audified Live Guitar and Bass Bundle provides all the tools for bass and guitar. It comes with GK Amplification, AmpLion, Pedals, and many other effects, along with the best-in-class live performance host. It includes Intone 2 to help you mix and effect sounds from different sources and implement various VST/AU effects on the fly. This functionality makes it easy for you to merge guitar and bass amp simulation with effects that are virtually non-existent in the modern world. Audified Live Guitar and Bass is pre-loaded with the exact models’ GK bass amps and multiple speakers.
LiveFactory Rack Performer is a live-oriented modular host with better user interaction and interface ergonomy. You can connect a microphone, guitar, and keyboard one at a time or all at once. Add as many effects and virtual instruments and orient them according to requirements. It supports all VST-compatible plugins, including both instruments and effects, and lets you start right away. It works with any MIDI Controller like fader boxes, keyboards, knobs, and Pedals.
The program offers a Quick MIDI Map feature to make it easy to adjust controllers on the fly. LiveFactory Rack Performer supports multiple monitors and Virtual Screens, which eliminates overlapping windows and increases accessibility. The built-in Modular host supports multichannel MIDI and audio, VST, VSTi plugins, and internal modules. You can use effects and instruments to create advanced patches without requiring technical knowledge. Build multiple modules and define the audio signal flow by moving cables between inputs and outputs. The patch size depends on the specifications of your computer system.
inTone Solo from Audified is a multi-platform live VST/AU host with fewer capabilities than intone 2 and is designed to make it easy for you to mix one playback channel with one stereo audio channel processing your audio interface input. It is compatible with Mac and Windows Operating systems and provides a Master track and Aux track. The built-in features allow you to record at any point in the signal chain without hassle. It features a user-friendly UI built to be easily understandable for both beginners and professionals. The software can work with motorized faders and is capable of sending notes and MIDI commands to your external hardware.