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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Virtual Studio Technology & Audigy

Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is an interface for integrating software audio synthesizer and effect plugins with audio editors and hard-disk recording systems. VST and similar technologies use Digital Signal Processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware with software. Thousands of plugins exist, both commercial and freeware, and VST is supported by a large number of audio applications. The technology can be licensed from its creator, Steinberg. 
VST plugins are generally run within a Digital Audio Workstation, providing the host application with additional functionality. Most VST plugins can be classified as either instruments (VSTi) or effects, although other categories exist. VST plugins generally provide a custom GUI, displaying controls similar to the physical switches and knobs on audio hardware. Some (often older) plugins rely on the host application for their UI.
VST instruments include software simulation emulations of well-known hardware synthesizer devices and samplers, emulating the look of the original equipment and its sonic characteristics. This enables VSTi users to use virtual versions of devices that may be otherwise difficult to obtain.
VST instruments require notes to be sent via MIDI in order to output audio, while effect plugins process audio data (some rare effect plugins do require a MIDI input too though, for example they might use MIDI sync to sweep the effect in sync with the tempo). MIDI messages can often also be used to control parameters of both instrument and effect plugins. Most host applications allow the audio output from one VST to be routed to the audio input of another VST (known as chaining). For example, output of a VST synthesizer can be sent to a VST reverb effect for further processing.
With appropriate hardware and drivers, such as a sound card that supports ASIO, VST plugins can be used in real-time. ASIO bypasses Windows' slower audio engine, offering much lower latency.


ffe is a simple, powerful Windows® front-end for FFmpeg, designed for rapid testing of its many multimedia conversion parameters, enabling you to save lots of slightly different versions of a file very, very quickly; in other words, "find the best settings". You basically throw in video files, set the output format, and click "Do It!", at which point FFmpeg leaps into action.
FFmpeg, by Fabrice Bellard, et al., is a quite incredible command-line-only multimedia converter, capable of converting a truly vast number of input and output media formats, and depending on which binary you use, supports either a HUGE number of control parameters, or a REALLY HUGE number of control parameters.
I find it most handy for converting YouTube FLV files, and the raw video from my camera. As well as converting DVD VOBs, of course.
You can basically convert anything to anything, whilst doing crazy stuff like mixing MP3 audio tracks with H264 video, and adding ID3 tags to AVI files. Big fun. Of course, it allows you do do things the correct way, too. No limits.
While converting, the console output from FFmpeg can be viewed live inside ffe, and when complete, the entire process log is available for viewing/searching.
Audacity::Installation and Plug-Ins:: install ffmpeg
Comparison of audio player software

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