Testing different builds of a plug-in

This feels like a very naive question with a simple answer. But I’m asking to see if there is perhaps a service or some mechanism available that I am missing. I am attempting to create an open source MIDI plugin that displays the chords from a MIDI track in a scrolling window. The idea is to be able to use that when playing back to be able to then see the chords coming in order to play an appropriate note/chord in a new track. For real musicians, this would not be useful. But for the others (e.g., me) it turns out to be kind of handy. GitHub - markwilkins/midi-chord-reader: DAW plugin for scrolling the chords for a midi track

None of that is really relevant to the question other than as background. I currently only own a Mac and have exactly one DAW on it. So that is what I targeted. But it would be kind of cool to be able to build some of the other formats and verify that they might actually work. Is there any basic way to do that without installing a DAW that utilizes a given format? (I’m ignoring the Windows and Linux aspect for now, but the question is kind of the same). I could install the demo versions of various DAWs, but that is a very limited solution given the limited time they can be used for free. It would be kind of cool if there were some software that provided a mechanism for testing various plug-in formats. … Hmmm … and as I finished typing that last sentence, I remembered that I purchased PlugInGuru Unify a few months ago and that it (I think) supports different formats. I will look at that. But leaving the question here in case there are other answers.


Pluginval is the amazing software you are looking for regarding testing. Plugin Doctor is also great to analyze what its doing on the dsp side.
Regarding the formats: VST3 and AU can be built easily and can be tested in a daw for free using Reaper.
AAX is way more complicated, you have to request a license to get the sdk. But once you have it, you have an Avid developer account which enables you to test your plugin in Pro Tools.

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Built by some fantastic forum users, there is also this free service that uses Pluginval to validate your VST3 / AU plugins on macOS, Windows, or Linux!

There is also a VST3 validator, which I think comes with the VST3 SDK and there is auval builtin on macOS.


Thank you moritzsur and anthony. This sounds perfect. I appreciate it very much.


One followup on this to clarify for anyone finding this thread in the future. It does not appear that Reaper is free. It does have a 60 day free evaluation option. It is $60 for an individual after that. That seems supremely affordable and reasonable.