Hello, my name is Graham. Welcome to my Kickstarter appeal. Thank you for reading.
I expect most people visiting this project page will already be aware of GVST and know what it's about, but I'll try to explain quickly for the uninitiated...
A VST plug-in is a small piece of software that processes or generates sound and music. You don't use one on its own - you use it within another application - usually some kind of music production software (hence "plug-in"). There is a huge number of VST effects and instruments available today, including many free options. The freedom this gives musicians is incredible. There are probably millions of bedroom musicians around the world right now tinkering with their VST plug-ins, trying to find exciting new sounds.
As a programmer and musician, I decided some time ago to make my own VST plug-ins to use in my music projects. Then I created GVST.co.uk to freely distribute the plug-ins that I create.
There are several GVST plug-ins available today. The three most downloaded plug-ins at the moment are: GSnap - a free auto-tune effect; GClip - a free audio clipper; and GTune - a free instrument tuner.
You should be able to find out lots more on the Internet if you're interested.
If this hasn't made any sense to you so far, then you probably won't be interested in backing this project, but thanks for persevering and reading this far. If you're still interested, then read on.
I've had many requests over the years to offer Mac versions of the GVST plug-ins, and recently I've had more interest than ever.
I happen to be unemployed at the moment, which means that I have the opportunity to take this project on. However, I don't own a Mac, and I have a few bills that I ought to keep paying, which is where you come in.
I've set a funding target of £3,500, which will buy me a basic MacBook and tide me over long enough to get the GVST plug-ins working on the Mac platform.
It's important to note that GVST is a freeware enterprise and the resulting Mac plug-ins will be available as freeware for everybody to use. As a backer you can help to make this happen, but I'm not offering exclusive access to the software. I will of course keep all backers up-to-date with my progress. I don't know if that's a palatable proposition, but I suppose that's what I'm here to find out.
What will it involve
Porting the existing Windows plug-ins to the Mac platform basically involves taking the existing source code, which is written in C++, and compiling it into binary executables that are directly compatible with the Mac operating system. A reasonable proportion of the code should compile and work quite happily, but anything that is specific to the operating system will need to change.
In the case of the GVST plug-ins, the actual audio processing is basically just mathematics and should port relatively easily. The interactive elements are where things become more closely tied to the operating system, and where most of the effort will be - i.e. displaying the user interface and handling keyboard and mouse input.
My approach would be to take one of the simpler plug-ins and get that working with no user interface. At that point I'd be able to build all of the plug-ins without their interfaces and work through any niggles. Then I would tackle one of the simpler user interfaces and get that working and keep building up from there. The GVST suite is built on a common framework, so each user interface element I correct will automatically propagate across the whole collection.
So, I can foresee a slow start with lots of stress and difficulties, but once I've got over the initial, steep learning curve I'd expect things to get much easier.
What you can do to help
If you're able to pledge some money, then that would be fantastic.
It would also be great if you could spread word of this appeal on Internet forums etc. Anywhere that interested people might gather.
If you're reading this as an existing user of the Windows plug-ins, I'd ask you to consider supporting me in this venture even though it might not be directly relevant to you. A wider user base should ultimately lead to better software all round.
Here is a list of the key points, for people that like bulleted lists:
- The funding target is £3,500.
- If successful, I will purchase a MacBook and start work immediately on getting the GVST plug-ins built and working on that platform.
- I will keep going until the whole suite has been ported and is available on the GVST website. I can't guarantee a timescale, but I expect to be done within 4 months of successful funding, and hopefully sooner.
- I know that some people are interested in Audio Units versions of these plug-ins, but I'm limiting the scope of this project to creating Mac VST plug-ins directly from the existing Windows VST plug-ins. However, once that's done I will definitely look at Audio Units and hope to add these too eventually. I won't ask for more money at that point.
- Backers won't receive anything tangible, just project updates and the sense of well-being they get from making this happen. And obviously my sincere gratitude.
Good question... I have no physical rewards to offer, so I feel that my project is a little out of place here. I did consider launching a simple appeal on GVST.co.uk instead, but I wouldn't feel right if I took peoples' money, but didn't raise enough to deliver anything. Kickstarter allows me to do this on a pledge-based, all-or-nothing basis that I feel much more comfortable with. If there's enough support then this will happen, if not then nobody loses out. It also gives me a convenient platform to keep backers up-to-date with project news.
Thank you for checking out my Kickstarter appeal.
All the best,
Risks and challenges
I don't consider this to be a high-risk venture, but here are the main risks:
GVST is just me, Graham Yeadon, which means that I am very much a single point of failure. I will of course do my very best to remain alive and well for the duration of this project.
Programming on a Mac is new to me, so I can't give an accurate estimate of how long it will take me. I do have a lifetime of experience with computers though, so I'm not intimidated, and I do think the 4 months I've suggested is realistic. As I've already said, if funding is successful then I'll keep going until its done, and done properly.
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