Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for an answer? You are in the right place!

If you do not find on this page what you are looking for, check the Forum, the FAQ posts on our blog, or search on bluecataudio.com:

Also, feel free to contact us if you need more information. We will be happy to answer your questions.

Plug-ins Formats

What are DirectX (DX), Audio Unit (AU), RTAS, AAX and VST plug-ins?
VST, Audio Unit, RTAS, AAX and DirectX plug-ins are software components than can be used in "Host" Software (such as Blue Cat's PatchWork, Pro Tools, Cakewalk Sonar, Steinberg Cubase or Wavelab, Sony Vegas, Logic Pro, Garage Band, Ableton Live...) in order to perform some MIDI and/Or Audio real-time Processing tasks. To be more precise what we usually call directX plug-ins is actually a "DirectShow Filter". VST is owned by Steinberg, DirectX by Microsoft while Audio Units is the property of Apple Computers and RTAS and AAX are owned by AVID.
How can I use your plug-ins?
Download and install a host software, then download and install the plug-ins from our page. They will appear in the host "effects" menu. If you are using a DirectX host with our MIDI controllable plug-ins and they do not show up in you host list, you might need to use our freeware DXi Manager. Note that our plug-ins are sometimes shown in the "MIDI controllable audio effects" or "soft synths" sections in some host applications.
Where can I find a host?
You use Blue Cat's PatchWork standalone application to host any VST or Audio Unit plug-in for real-time operation. There are also many commercial or freeware hosts that will suit your needs. You can find a long list of applications here. You can also use demos of Cubase, Wavelab, Ableton Live, Tracktion, or Sonar software, which are usually available on the companies websites. On the Mac, Garage Band is part of the system and can be also used to host our Audio Unit plug-ins.
What are the main differences between DX, VST, RTAS, AAX and Audio Units?
VST is a protocol that works on several platforms (Mainly Windows, MacOS, BeOS, and some Linux platforms use it as well) whereas DirectX is Microsoft Windows only, and Audio Units are available only on the Mac. RTAS and AAX are available on Mac and PC, but only for Pro Tools products (AVID). AAX plug-ins are compatible with Pro Tools 10 and higher, whereas RTAS versions are compatible for Pro Tools 10 and lower versions.
What is the difference between DXi and DX effects?
DXi effects are MIDI controllable DirectX plug-ins. It's the same as DX effects plus MIDI control.
Which version (VST, Audio Unit, RTAS or DX) should I use in my host application?

See our software download help page for detailed explanations about how to choose the right plug-in format and platform.

In general, we recommend using VST over Audio Unit on Mac (when both are supported), particularly for the plug-ins that can output automation or MIDI CC messages.
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Purchase

Why is it important to try the demo version before buying?
Because there are many host applications and system configurations, and there might be compatibility issues for some products. This prevents you from having issues with the software after your purchase.
What do I really buy when I register?
You buy a personal lifetime license to use the software. If the plug-in exists in different formats and platforms, you get a license for all at the same time. You can install the software on several machines if you wish, as long as you are the owner and only user of the software on these machine. You also gain free upgrades to minor versions of the software and discounts on future major versions of the software. You will benefit from our support if you have any trouble with our software. For more information, please read our our terms and conditions. Note that we also usually have special offers on new products for existing customers.
I have received a coupon code. How can I use it?
The coupon can be entered in your shopping cart on the Blue Cat Audio store. Enter the coupon code and click on the "Update" button to update the price. You can use several coupons on a shopping cart. The system will choose the best prices for you.
I want to pay in US Dollars (USD). Why is the price I have I have to pay higher than what is displayed on the page?
You might have forgotten to choose your currency on our website or javascript is disabled in your web browser. You can choose your favorite currency (USD or EUR) on the right of each page of this website.
How long will I have to wait before I receive my order?
Just a few minutes! You should receive your licenses as soon as the payment as been validated. If you have not received your order within a few hours, please contact us.
Do you have special offers for students?
Yes, we offer 25% reduction for all students! Please send an email to our support address with a scan or a picture of your student card so that we can give you access to our education offer.
What can I do if I have lost my registration code?
Send us an email to ask us for your code. If your email address has changed since your registration, please include your former email address. We will send the code back to you within a few days.
I already own a couple of plug-ins and I would like to upgrade to a bundle that contains them. Is it possible or do I have to buy the full bundle?
Yes it is possible. Just contact us by email and we will make sure that we find the best upgrade path for you.

Discussion

Where can I discuss about your software?
Please use the Forum to exchange information and discuss about our software.
Where can I find news about Blue Cat Audio?
Most news about our company and our products can be found on the Forum. You can also register to our Newsletter to be informed on a regular basis. All announcements are also visible on the "Welcome Page" of this site: Blue Cat Audio Home Page.

Feedback

Why should I send feedback?
To improve the quality of the software you paid for, and to have a way to influence the features implemented in next versions. We appreciate user feedback and try to propose improvements that will suit your needs. Please note that feedback is especially useful during beta tests.
How can I ask for new functionalities?
Post a topic on the Forum. (Please check that the same topic does not already exist before creating it). It will be examined and added to the whish list. If you really have very specific requirements, you might as well want to look at our Consulting offer.
How do I report a Bug?
Post a topic on the Forum. (Please check that the same topic does not already exist before creating it). It will be examined and you will be warned when it's solved. If the bug is really an urgent issue, you can contact us directly.

Technology

How do you create your products? Do you use Synthedit or something equivalent?
No. Our software uses our own DSP architecture. All our products are written in C++ for performance reasons: the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) code is optimized to reduce the CPU consumption. This enables us to provide efficient and stable plug-ins without any external dependency.
Your plug-ins are said to be skinnable. Can I create my own skins?
Yes. For more information about the skinning capabilities, please check our Skins page. You can also download free skins for your plug-in on this website and submit your own skins to share them with the community.
I want to customize the user interface of the software I purchased but I cannot do it by myself. What can I do?
We can do a custom skin for you or modify and customize any software we sell. See our Consulting offer for more information.

Installation

I have installed my software and it is not listed as an application. Why? What can I do? How can I launch it?

Most software you can purchase on this website is plug-ins for host applications. It means you need another application to use it. See the "Plug-ins Formats" section in this FAQ for more information.

I have installed my plug-in and it does not show up in my host application. What can I do?

First check that you application supports DirectX, Audio Unit or VST plug-ins.

If you are using the DirectX version, check that your host application supports DXi plug-ins (MIDI enabled DirectX plug-ins). If it does not, it may remove it from the DirectX plug-ins list (some applications such as Sony Vegas 5 and Cool Edit Pro are known to do this). In this case, use our DXi Manager free utility and disable the MIDI capabilities of the plug-in. You may need to reinstall the software again before it shows up into your host application. For more information about this topic please read our DXi in Sony Vegas tutorial (it is applicable to other applications than Sony Vegas).

If you are using the Direct X version and your host application supports DXi, check that the plug-in does not appear in the 'virtual synth' or 'synthesizers' category. If you wish not to use the MIDI capabilities of the plug-in and use it as a regular Direct X plug-in, you can download the freeware DXi Manager and disable the MIDI capabilities of the plug-in.

I have installed my plug-in on windows 64-bit, checked the items above, and it still does not show up in my host application. What can I do?

You are probably running a 32-bit application. If that's the case, you need to install the 32-bit version of the plug-in: the choice for 32 or 64-bit is not determined by the operating system (64-bit windows can run both 32 and 64-bit applications), but by the host application that you are using.

Why are there two plug-ins called xxxx(Mono) and xxxx(Stereo) installed ?
"Mono effects" (which are effects that do not make any difference between left and right channels) are bundled this way for performance reasons. Some developers just deliver a stereo Version which also processes (twice) mono streams. The "(Mono)" plug-in is to be used with mono streams, and the (Stereo) one with stereo streams. The effect itself is the same in both cases but the number of processed channels is different: this may drastically improve performance for CPU intensive plug-ins.
How do I uninstall my plug-ins?
Open the Windows configuration panel/ Add Remove Programs, and choose 'Remove' on the corresponding plug-in. If you have installed the VST plug-in zip file version, just delete the corresponding dlls.
Why do your plug-ins need an installer on Windows? Do they modify the registry or system settings? Why not providing just a dll?

Our plug-ins require several additional files for default settings, skins and miscellaneous data. We provide an installer for our customers' convenience. Our installers do not modify the system settings or the Windows registry, except for the DirectX versions registration. Our installers won't harm your system.

Software Version

How do I know the version of the plug-in I am using?
You can see the version information in the about box: right click on the background of the plug-in user interface and select "About". The product version is also available in the Windows Add/Remove Programs Window.
Why do newer versions of a plug-in override older ones (they have exact same name and IDs)?
Because newer versions improve previous ones. When a new version is released, older versions are not supported anymore. In some cases the new versions may be installed as new products (compatibility reasons, major changes...), but it is explicitly documented on the product page.
A new minor version of a product I purchased some time ago is available. Where can I download the update?
The new version can be downloaded from the same place where you downloaded the original version. All information is contained in the email you received when you purchased the product. Your registration number has not changed either.

Upgrade

A new minor version of my plug-in has been released. Where can I download it?
When you purchased the plug-in, an email containing the information to download and register your software has been sent to you. You can download the new version from the exact same location as the first time.
I have downloaded a new version, do I need to uninstall the previous version?
No, you don't, except if it's specified on the product page, in the "history" section. Just run the installer and it will upgrade your software.

System Requirements

What Platforms are supported?
Today PCs running Microsoft Windows (Windows Vista or newer) as well as Macs Running Mac OS 10.5 or higher (currently Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion) are supported.
  • VST Plug-ins: no specific prerequisite except a VST host application.
  • Audio Units: no specific prerequisite except an Audio Unit host application.
  • DirectX Plug-ins: DirectX 8.1 at least is required. A DirectX-enabled host application.
Are your plug-ins compatible with 64-bit Applications?
If the "x64" logo appears on the plug-in page, yes. Our 64-bit plug-ins are compatible with 64-bit applications running under Windows x64 or Mac OSX 10.6 and newer (Snow Leopard or Lion).

Automation

What is "Parameters Automation"?
The parameters of an effect can be automated in most host software. It means that you can record the changes you do during playback or recording so that it's replayed when playing back again. It's a way of sequencing parameters changes the same way you do with Audio or MIDI data.
What is "Smooth Update"?
When changing parameter values in real time or replaying a song where parameters have been automated, our plug-ins compute intermediate values between parameter changes in order to avoid "clicks" and "pops" that may occur otherwise. It results in a non audible smooth parameters update and lets you freely use automation or MIDI control to change the effects in a song.
Do your plug-ins support MIDI Control?
Yes they do. They offer precise control over the mapping of MIDI Control Change (CC) messages to parameter values: you can adjust both the channel and CC number as well as the response curve of the control. Since some of our plug-ins are also capable of creating MIDI CC from the audio signal, they can all be connected for real time signal-dependent audio effects. See our MIDI Control in Sonar tutorial for an example.