Opening a pre-existing VST



Hello everybody, I want to open a pre-existing VST in Projucer, but I don’t have the source code. I’m completely new to this. Is there a way to do this with only the plugin or do I have to have the source code as well?


You cannot do what you are asking. Projucer (and JUCE) is for working with C++ source code.


So there is no way even with anything other than JUCE?


you could open the compiled binary with IDA or some other disassembler. but you won’t be able to see the original source code the developers wrote.


There are tools like @matkatmusic said disassemblers, that would generate one possible C++ code, that would result in the same binary. This process is called reverse engineering.

The problems with that:

  • The original source code usual shows the intention of the programmer, making it easy to understand how it is supposed to work. This information is not present in that disassembly.
  • all symbols like variable names and method names are cryptic (in fact arbitrary generated letters), so again making it hard to understand, how it works
  • it is a little better, if you manage to get a debug version. Here are the symbol names present, to allow the mapping during debugging to the function names in the source code and also variable names might be present
  • when you buy/download a plugin (any proprietary software), you usually get a legal document that you have to agree, terms&conditions, end user license agreement or similar, that specifically forbid to reverse engineer that code (which you might mind or not…)