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Beware of Synthmaker and Synthedit based plugins in Nuendo 4.3 (and others?)
Old 21st April 2010
Beware of Synthmaker and Synthedit based plugins in Nuendo 4.3 (and others?)

This is just an FYI. I got bit by this problem twice now and it caused me so much aggravation and wasted time that I thought it worth mentioning here and spreading the word about. Please note that I experienced this problem on Nuendo 4.3, so these problems may be specific to this host. However it might be worth checking if you're experiencing stability problems with your host as well.

While many Synthedit and Synthmaker plugins are really interesting and offer attractive DSP processing at often free or bargain prices, I've experienced a different problem in Nuendo with each type, both causing host crashing or freezing up. This applies to both VST plugins and VST instruments.

With Synthmaker plugs, I found that they work fine as long as the project isn't too complex. In fact everything seems totally stable until a line is crossed in the level of complexity; over a certain number of channels, group channels and plugins, suddenly Nuendo will start freezing or even refuse to connect to the audio hardware on startup. Removing the offending plugin usually fixes the problem, unless there's been corruption of the project on a failed save. It's a good idea to save incremental versions of projects to backtrack. If you really can't start the project, remove the plugin from the VST folder. Nuendo will load the project and ask for the missing plugin(s), but at least you'll be able to start the project.

This is a particularly thorny problem because usually the level of complexity required to trigger the problem is the one that you get when you're close to the end of a project... It had me practically tearing my hear out as I was both working against deadlines and trying to troubleshoot.

The problem with the Synthedit plugins is that many plugins out there are using an older version of Synthedit that has a problem with multiple plugin instances in Nuendo and cause an almost immediate crash of Nuendo when instantiated. It's possible to create renamed instances of these plugins so that many can be used at once but they have to be renamed properly. In general:

PlugName1.dll / PlugName2.dll / PlugName3.dll .... WON'T WORK!!

I'm not sure why but this will:

Plug1Name.dll / Plug2Name.dll / Plug3.Name.dll ...

Maybe because the number has to be within the first 8 characters, I don't know. In any case you really have to be really careful not to use the same named one twice or it's a guaranteed crash. Again, it's a good idea to save incremental versions of the project.

I really wish ALL plugin makers would identify if they're products are made with Synthedit or Synthmaker. The last problem plugin I had wasn't identified as such and it took some digging to find out. Not cool.

Final tip list:

  • Always save many incremental versions of a project so you can go back to a point where the problem didn't exist. This is actually just a good general policy in production which most people already do. You can just erase irrelevant versions later.
  • Keep all Synthmaker and Synthedit plugins and instruments in folders within your VST plugin path called "Synthedit" and "Synthmaker" respectively. This way they can be quickly removed from the VST folder for testing and troubleshooting.
  • If you run into an older Synthedit problem plugin make sure you rename the Synthedit plugins according to the proper convention: the number that changes must be in the early part of the plugin name. And make sure you don't use two of the same name.
  • When in doubt, find out if a plugin is developed by Synthedit or Synthmaker before you use it. Try to find out if the version of Synthedit being used solved the multiple-instances problem.
  • When really stuck, just remove the Synthedit / Synthmaker folders from your VST plugin path and try to load the project that way.
It would seem that these plugins are great for limited use, and experimental purposes. My experience has shown that not using them at all in N4 results in a totally stable system and I have lots of other commercial plugins, even some betas, none of which have created the problems I've had with these. I hope this helps someone.

Old 21st April 2010
Lives for gear

Try Mokafix plugs
Old 21st April 2010
Lives for gear
LQM's Avatar

Odd - Crysonic and Variety Of Sound (Bootsy)'s plugins are made with these programs and they all function perfectly for me in Cubase 5. (and did so with SX3).
Old 21st April 2010
Originally Posted by LQM View Post
Odd - Crysonic and Variety Of Sound (Bootsy)'s plugins are made with these programs and they all function perfectly for me in Cubase 5. (and did so with SX3).
I can't run either of these reliably live in a loaded project on Nuendo 4.3. I'm talking about projects taking up more than 2 gigs of memory (I'm on W7-64 where a 32-bit app like Nuendo should scale easily to 3 gigs of memory use). They work fine in small projects or for offline processing. The whole point of my OP is that they work but there are caveats under N4.3 Not C5, FL, Reaper, whatever... I'm just offering this as a troubleshooting suggestion for others that may experience stability issues. That's it.

But keep this post in mind if things do start to go wonky on you...
Old 22nd April 2010
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by undertone View Post
I can't run either of these reliably live in a loaded project on Nuendo 4.3.
FWIW, I have the same showstopper issues and only run Nuendo3 (under XPPro32). Every so often someone would rave about the Variety Of Sound stuff online and I'd try them again, only to get a fatal crash within a few minutes. Finally read about the issues with Synthedit plugs and figured it just wasn't going to work on some machines. Hope it doesn't stay that way. They seem interesting.

Take Care
Old 22nd April 2010
Lives for gear
LQM's Avatar

OK. Although Nuendo and Cubase share so much code that it seems odd it occurs in one and not the other. I am also running Vista 32 Ultimate SP2 and not win 7.
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