Spring 2020
Sound VST Plugin
view and download on Github

A VST plugin written in Rust that provides 10 different kinds of noise.

I started this project like I often do, by learning a piece of technology and seeing what I can make with it. In this case, VST plugins. This is a continuation from my earlier experiments with sound shaders, which kind of blew my mind.

It was a happy discovery that VST plugins are not so hard to make after all. I followed this tutorial, which made a simple white noise generator, and then expanded it with 9 extra kinds of noise.

What I really like about this is that I previously only knew what these noises looked like, in a cloud or terrain for example, and now I’m also able to hear them.

What’s interesting here is that I’m using a tool, a function, a formula very well known in computer graphics and apply it to sound.  Sound is more ‘feelable’, and a change of medium lets you see the formula from another side. You feel the character of the different kinds of noise. White noise and it’s variants like pink and brown noise are commonly used in
It sounds pretty good because it’s part random, part an always-repeating pattern.

Perfect loops are boring, there always has to be both a familiar and an unfamiliar element.  That’s a music tip (how you structure a song) that I encountered on YouTube, but apparently it applies equally to sound itself. I discovered this later while working on another plugin, StockSynth, that uses stock data as a waveform. Because it repeats perfectly, it sounds boring.

When it was finished, my brother immediately used the plugin to make this song:

I’m also using the plugin for most of the sound effects in our new 5G game. I like the constraints of working with one type of instrument…

I”d also really love to learn how to make GUI’s for these kinds of plugins, as audio software is one of the few places where GUI’s still look wild.

Also I hope I’m not just recreating Sebi’s thesis :P.