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Intro to VST plugins
#1
Hi guys,

I'm new to JamKazam, and I'm excited to learn about all of its features.  Can anyone recommend a good intro tutorial on getting started with VST plugins in JamKazam?  I have not used VSTs before, so something at the beginner level would be best.  Initially, I'm looking for a way to add some reverb to my Mic track and some simple effects (reverb, maybe a little distortion on occasion) to my Guitar track.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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#2
Hi Marty, and welcome,
I'll try to be clear but quick , and apologies upfront as my knowledge is Windows-only. VST's are the software equivalent of effects units, like stomp boxes for guitars, or a rack-mount unit for reverb, etc. They can also be more, like an entire guitar modeling system, with pedals, amps, cabinets, post-cab FX. The term VST implies its use inside some other audio program (such as JamKazam or a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), such as Pro Tools, Reaper, etc), where those programs find them on your computer in specific folder locations(Ex: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins), so you can call them up as "plug-ins". VSTs typically install themselves in locations, and will even create the folders if they don't exist already. I chose that specific example of "Program Files (x86)" for Windows 10 64-bit, to highlight an important JamKazam limitation: while JamKazam itself requires the 64-bit Windows 7/8/10 Operating System, the application can only utilize 32-bit plugins, which are those installed in that "Program Files (x86) folder. When you go hunting for free or purchased VSTs, ensure that a 32-bit version is available. Many VST manufacturers are dropping 32-bit support, so they will start being less common. Still plenty of excellent stuff out there, but just letting you know.
So what does a VST look like? It's actually just a "*.dll" file in windows, such as "OldSkoolVerb.dll". The audio applications will know how to utilize that file as a plug-in in their app. In JamKazam, when you configure your audio channels, there are options to manage plug-ins and scan for VSTs. This is where you will point to the VSTs that you have installed for your needs. By the way, should the VST installer put the .dll creat an additional subfolder, such as C:\\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins\Voxengo, don't worry, JamKazam will scan the parent folder and all subfolders to build the list of available VSTs. Speaking of that, My reco for reverb would be Voxengo's Old School Reverb. It's free, 32-bit Windows & Mac, and simple. Simply Google it. Good enough for vocal reverb in a jam session.
The second important tip: each audio channel can only have 1 VST. You cannot load multiple ones. For this reason I would recommend a more complete amp modeler for your guitar track, such as Positive Grid's Bias FX, Amplitube Custom Shop, Guitar Rig 5 Player, or my favorite, Overloud's TH-3 Cakewalk Edition, included in Cakewalk by Bandlab, a completely free DAW (of course, you would have to install the DAW to get it). The others are good enough, have enough variety, include a tuner, have the ability to save a configuration as a patch, etc.
Hope this helps
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#3
(04-29-2020, 12:31 AM)Marty Wrote: Hi guys,

I'm new to JamKazam, and I'm excited to learn about all of its features.  Can anyone recommend a good intro tutorial on getting started with VST plugins in JamKazam?  I have not used VSTs before, so something at the beginner level would be best.  Initially, I'm looking for a way to add some reverb to my Mic track and some simple effects (reverb, maybe a little distortion on occasion) to my Guitar track.

Thanks in advance for your help!
I realize that this is an older thread, but having installed VSTs more recently, and helped a couple of friends do the same, I thought I would add in my own version in case it might help someone else.  In fact, the first reply was quite helpful to me, but there were still a few stumbling blocks.  So, here it is:  The process of installing VSTs for Jam Kazam is NOT plug and play, unfortunately. It is not terribly difficult, but you have to be specific on a number of points. The first and most important thing to know is that JK only uses 32 bit plugins.  Jam Kazam will scan for VSTs, but it needs to be told where to look.  If you tell it to search your entire hard drive, it may simply crash.  When specifying the search folders parameter, you need to identify the folder that the VST is in, not the VST itself.  If you have several plugins in different folders, you can group them into one folder to make it easier, or you can include multiple folders in the scan. 
Some sources say that 64 bit files show up as VST, VST3, etc. and 32-bit as .dll, but I have learned that while all 32 bit versions appear as dll's, not all dll's are functional 32 bit VSTs.  I cannot for example get some of my fun VSTs to work in JK that are dll's.
So, with all that in mind---
1) If you already have VSTs installed, identify the 32 bit folders they are in by looking in c:\Program Files (x86).  Tree out the common files folder and look for a VST plugins folder both there and directly in the x86 folder.  They may be under the "brand" name, for example, Voxengo.  Since I installed Steinberg's Cubase before Jam Kazam, many of mine ended up in the Steinberg folder in Program Files (Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VST plugins, and the 64 bit versions in the Program Files\ \ folder).  I think that where they went then becomes a default installation point for other programs installed afterwards.  
2) If you are installing new VSTs, when you do the install, you need to specify (it will hopefully ask) exactly where the 32 bit and 64 bit files will go.  Your best bet is to either use the folder your DAW does, or tell it to put 32 bit files in x86\vst plugins.  If you don't have that folder, make it first.  So, doing step one will help you decide!
3) Now you need to tell Jam Kazam where to look.  You can make sure that you have your VSTs in the default folders for JK, or add the folder you would like it to look for.  Once that is done, it will always scan that folder when loading, just like your DAW does.  You do so through folder management in Jam Kazam, which is a little complex with a lot of buttons to push.  First, go to "Add New Gear" under your audio profile. Once you click on that, there is a six part sequence to go through.  In Step 3, (configure tracks) click on update. On the bottom right is a yellow drop down menu to manage audio plugins. Click on that, and the second choice is manage folders.  You can view the default folders, as well as adding a folder by clicking on the “add scan folder" option. Add your VSTs folder’s location or locations.  Complete all six steps, and do not be surprised if you need to restart JK after completing all six steps in order for it to find your VSTs.  Once installed, you can easily add any to your audio tracks, and open them right from the track to modify settings. 
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#4
(04-30-2020, 05:23 PM)blandis Wrote: Hi Marty, and welcome,
I'll try to be clear but quick , and apologies upfront as my knowledge is Windows-only.  VST's are the software equivalent of effects units, like stomp boxes for guitars, or a rack-mount unit for reverb, etc.  They can also be more, like an entire guitar modeling system, with pedals, amps, cabinets, post-cab FX.  The term VST implies its use inside some other audio program (such as JamKazam or a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), such as Pro Tools, Reaper, etc), where those programs find them on your computer in specific folder locations(Ex: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins), so you can call them up as "plug-ins".  VSTs typically install themselves in locations, and will even create the folders if they don't exist already.  I chose that specific example of "Program Files (x86)" for Windows 10 64-bit, to highlight an important JamKazam limitation:  while JamKazam itself requires the 64-bit Windows 7/8/10 Operating System, the application can only utilize 32-bit plugins, which are those installed in that "Program Files (x86) folder.  When you go hunting for free or purchased VSTs, ensure that a 32-bit version is available.  Many VST manufacturers are dropping 32-bit support, so they will start being less common.  Still plenty of excellent stuff out there, but just letting you know. 
So what does a VST look like?  It's actually just a "*.dll" file in windows, such as "OldSkoolVerb.dll".  The audio applications will know how to utilize that file as a plug-in in their app.  In JamKazam, when you configure your audio channels, there are options to manage plug-ins and scan for VSTs.  This is where you will point to the VSTs that you have installed for your needs.  By the way, should the VST installer put the .dll creat an additional subfolder, such as C:\\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins\Voxengo, don't worry, JamKazam will scan the parent folder and all subfolders to build the list of available VSTs.  Speaking of that, My reco for reverb would be Voxengo's Old School Reverb.  It's free, 32-bit Windows & Mac, and simple.  Simply Google it.  Good enough for vocal reverb in a jam session. 
The second important tip:  each audio channel can only have 1 VST.  You cannot load multiple ones.  For this reason I would recommend a more complete amp modeler for your guitar track, such as Positive Grid's Bias FX, Amplitube Custom Shop, Guitar Rig 5 Player, or my favorite, Overloud's TH-3 Cakewalk Edition, included in Cakewalk by Bandlab, a completely free DAW (of course, you would have to install the DAW to get it).  The others are good enough, have enough variety, include a tuner, have the ability to save a configuration as a patch, etc.
Hope this helps
Hi Blandis.

How did you manage to make TH3 work with Jamkazam? As as VST3 plugin isn't it automatically a 64-bit VST and hence incompatible with Jamkazam? Or have you managed to install Cakewalk as 32 bit and hence you have the 32 bit version of TH3?

Kind regards

Fred
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