devlog: refreshing imitone’s plugins

We’re working on an overhaul to imitone’s DAW plug-ins, bringing them to Mac and incorporating our designer interface. In the long term, this will connect with our work with the MIDI 2.0 standard where we chair the Pitch and Tuning subcommittee.

Currently, most of our users stick to the imitone stand-alone app to control MIDI instruments in their music-making software.

A prototype plugin has been available for Windows users since 2019. This plugin is available in VST2 and VST3 formats with some variations that allow it to work in DAWs that don’t properly support pitch-to-MIDI plugins. However, these early plugins don’t incorporate our colorful interface, instead relying on the DAW to provide basic controls.

Moving forward, we will be porting our VST plugin to Mac and examining new formats like Apple AudioUnits. We are interested in developing a workflow that can facilitate key and scale management across multiple performers similar to the current stand-alone app. This will have the advantage of knowing some things about the song you’re making in your DAW, such as its tempo.

Different plugin formats bring unique challenges; in particular, modern plugins are designed to provide “remote control” where multiple computers can work together as part of a musical setup. Our last round of plugin development got us thinking about how imitone could embrace this technology. Since then, we’ve put a lot of work into cleaning up and modernizing our codebase in order to create the flexibility that connected music-making will require. We’re thinking about bringing some of this connectivity to our stand-alone app as well, in time.

For the moment we’re at a breaking point in our process of paying down “technical debt” from earlier chapters of imitone’s development, and we’re laying the groundwork for these new and improved plugins. Fleshing them out will take a few months. Check back here for more news as our work continues.