VST testbench alternatives?

Hi, noob here.

I’m looking into making a GUI app that can also be used as a plugin. This means I’m not ready to put down the cash for Ableton, but I would like to test VSTs. Are there free alternatives or other ways out there for loading/testing audio plugins?

Thanks! Apologies in advance for all the things I’ve done wrong. [Unless people here are nicer than at Stack Overflow :wink: ]


studio one is a good free daw. you’re at the right place btw. the people here are super nice.

there are also vst hosts like cantabile and audacity which have not all features, like tempo- or project position information. so you can’t test all features in every host. but i think studio one should be fine

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Hi there,

I agree, Studio one is really great, (I switched from ProTools, which was a bit too big for what I do) but the free version of Studio one does not support VST, you need at least Artist with an addon or the pro version.

Also the JUCE plugn host can help with first testing.

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I like to test my plug-ins with REAPER - it has a free 60 day trial (but it doesn’t stop you from using it beyond that period)


There is a free version of Tracktion: https://www.tracktion.com/products/t7-daw

Also, the engine is open source. https://github.com/Tracktion/tracktion_engine/blob/master/examples/PluginDemo.h

So if you test your plugin in the engine’s PluginDemo and you are having issues you can step through the host code and your plugin code which can be helpful.

Other the JUCE PluginHost, the PlginDemo offers a playhead with position and tempo info which might be needed for your plugin.