A good VST host


I am starting on a VST instrument and I wanted to find a good VST host that would allow me to debug quickly. I have many programs that I could use (Tracktion, Live, Orion etc.) but I am specifically looking at something that is quick to load and is to the point.

I was using Minihost (from TobyBear) which is almost perfect… except that it has a MIDI bug (on my system, at least). No matter what plug-in I start, it is always generating 1 looping bar of MIDI code (the example juce VST plugin stays on and keeps looping, no matter what I press). I will send a message to TobyBear as well in case to inform him of this; has anyone seen this type of behaviour in this program? I haven’t really tested the time it takes other larger, commercial hosts to reload when debugging, but I will do so and keep everyone posted if interested…

Ideally, it would be nice to have a small juce-based VST host to help in the development of VSTs (stepping into the host would be a nice thing to be able to do). Something that I can say start, stop, loop for a given number of measures and set the tempo.

This would be a trivial project for some. For me, not so trivial since I am just starting out.

Any suggestions? I am assuming there may be alternatives to a VST host already in juce (i.e. an application that will allow me to develop a non-platform-specific plugin and then target VST when I need to test it) but I am new to the code-base and unaware of this functionality…



you can check out Jost: it’s a VST2 host, actually for linux only but can be tweaked to make it works under win and mac, and it uses only a little part of specific underlying OS code.

ah it is made with JUCE and is open source :slight_smile:

(also it shows some good examples on how to use ViewPort class, application commands, drag and drop and model-view paradigm in the JUCE manner of thinking applications… :D)

I think what you’re after is the stuff in wrapper/formats/standalone, which lets you build an app that hosts your plugin. Makes it very quick to test and debug, and then you can do a VST later when it’s all working.

i always use energyXT as my ‘quick test host’, as it loads quickly, and you can simply drag the DLL onto the window to load it without needing to do a scan or anything.

ultimately though, remember that you need to test your plugin in all hosts. i can basically guarantee at least one host will cause strange things to happen! and all of them are used by someone!

Awesome, and thank you for all of the responses!


Bit late, I know - but for PC I can recommend Hermann Seib’s VSTHost

He’s got a few - one’s a very sawn-off host.