Getting Started with VSTs on OSX


Hi Jules,

I’m just evaluating the VST support on JUCE as an alternative to VSTGUI, I have made a VST using the standard SDK and was looking to use JUCE to do the GUI. I’ve downloaded Introducer + juce through it, created an audio plugin and looked at your sticky posts in the forum and I can’t find any readme files or documentation. The plugin build is failing to find the 2.4 VST SDK and dropping tons of error messages like Pluginterfaces/vst2.x/aeffect.h: no such file or directory. I’ve tried adding the SDK to the header search path and putting it in /Users/foobar/SDKs and in /Developer/SDKs in the hope it would get picked up

I’m working on a dual boot machine so I have a 10.8.3 xCode 4.5.2 which is building using the VST 3 SDK and a 10.6.6 with Xcode 3.2.3 which I have been using so that I can actually build vsts using the 2.4 SDK. The problems I am having are on the 10.6.6 setup. Which configuration would you recommend?

On the 10.8.3 xCode 4.5.2 build I get the error:
failed to find AudioUnit/AudioUnit.r/Users/adbc/repos/JuceAudioPlugin2/Builds/MacOSX/…/…/JuceLibraryCode/modules/juce_audio_plugin_client/AU/juce_AU_Resources.r:27: ### /Applications/ - SysError 2 during open of “AudioUnit/AudioUnit.r”.Fatal Error!Command /Applications/ failed with exit code 3

I followed some forum posts that said to download the CoreAudio developer tools and put them inside a folder called Extras but that didn’t seem to do anything (path looks like /Applications/xCode/Contents/Developer/Extras/CoreAudio/PublicUtility…



Hi Alistair,

I have written a step by step guide to help you setting up your first JUCE VST plugin on OSX. I am on 10.7 with XCode 4.6, but my guidance should also work for your XCode 4.5 setup.

There it’s also mentioned how to set up a standalone version of your plugin. Quite handy for debugging.

By the way, I’m quite sure the VST 3 SDK is not backward compatible, so you NEED the VST 2.4 SDK.


Thanks Dude! Can I just check what version of the Mac SDK you are building against? I could only get the vst 2.4 sdk to build against the OSX 10.6 SDK and not the 10.8 SDK and I don’t seem to be able to get the 10.6 SDK for my newer Mac install