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Installation and Setup

The content of this page will guide you through the process of setting up your computer for building the Überton VST plugins.

  1. Download and prepare
  2. Creating project files with CMake
  3. Building the SDK

1. Download and prepare

First, you will need to download and install CMake if you haven't already. Next, get the VST SDK from Steinberg. Currently, Überton works with the VST SDK version 3.7.3 and will soon be updated to work with the latest version (3.7.4). As the SDKs new versions often include breaking changes, only the mentioned version is expected to work flawlessy with the Überton repository. See the Steinberg installation documentation but before generating the projects using CMake, finish reading this document.

Download or better clone the Überton repository from Github and extract it so that the Uberton folder is in the same folder as VST_SDK (which again should contain the VST library folder vst3sdk). We will refer to the folder that contains VST_SDK and Uberton to [location].

Your file structure should now look like this:

To add the Überton library to the build process and the IDE project, you need to add the lines

# Add Uberton library

# Add Uberton Folder 
    add_subdirectory(${UBERTON_SRC_PATH} ${UBERTON_BIN_PATH})
to end of the CMakeLists.txt file (marked bold in the file tree above) found in the VST_SDK/vst3sdk folder.

2. Creating project files with CMake

Next, configure CMake for the vst3sdk folder in VST_SDK: open CMake, set the source path to [location]/VST_SDK/vst3sdk and the build path to [location]/VST_SDK/vst3sdk/build. Hit configure and select the generator for your IDE.

Depending on your operating system there may occur some issues which are explained in the following:


For Windows users, there occurs a little problem. When compiling the example plugins later, the output .vst3 plugin is compiled to the Debug or Release folder. Your audio software will not find it there and that is why the build process attempts to create symbolic links in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 folder. This should be the solution except that it isn't because the permission to create symbolic links is not granted by default on windows.

There are several solutions:

  • Run Visual Studio as Administrator (which is the easiest solution).
  • This hint in the Steinberg documentation also solves this problem, BUT: it if your user account is the administrator. So if you have only one user account on your local pc, then it is probably the administrator and for windows-specific reasons it seems you can never get this to work.
  • Instead, you can just remove the command to create the symbolic link by deselecting the option SMTG_CREATE_PLUGIN_LINK before generating the project files with CMake. But then you either need to add the Debug or Release folder to the scan locations in your DAW or manually copy the plugins into C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 each time you recompile or create the symbolic links by hand. To do that you need to run the console (cmd) as admin (!) and navigate to the VST3 folder and type

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3> mklink ThePluginName.vst3 C:\Users\Me\VST_SDK\VST3_SDK\build\VST3\Release\ThePluginName.vst3

    (and of course replace the plugin name and your sdk location).

Mac OS

For developing VST plugins on Mac OS it is recommended to use the IDE XCode. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug in the CMake files. You'll might get an error that your XCode version is too old and that you need V9 or greater, even if you have Version 11 (latest version at the time of this writing): "XCode 9 or newer is required" Funny. Maybe the version comparion fails because the version is compared as string?? Anyway, you can just go to VST3_SDK/CMake/modules/SMTG_DetectPlatform.CMake and comment out the lines that say

    message(FATAL_ERROR "XCode 9 or newer is required")
Note: this is not the solution if you are using XCode 8 or less! ;)

There should be no errors (red text in the output) after fixing these issues. Then click Generate and Open Project.

3. Building the SDK

The main project that contains projects for the VST library, some example plugins and the Uberton projects should open now in your IDE. Select the ALL_BUILD project and build all projects (actually you don't need to build all example projects too - just select the Uberton projects one by one and build them).

That's it! In case you should change the CMake files in the future, your IDE should run CMake automatically and rebuild the changed projects for you.