Am I The Only One Who Hates VST’s?

I’ve never liked VST’s. Never. There’s just something about them that I find so distracting from the whole music process. And what’s crazy is that I’m one of the only people who feel this way.

There’s a lot of different reasons why VST’s just feel wrong to me, wrong like someone walking outside in the dirt with bare socks and no shoe on. Wrong because…

Pop-up windows kill the immersion

Nearly all music software started out emulating physical music studio hardware. VST’s started out this way too. So it just seems wrong having these floating pop-up windows. The idea of virtual hardware floating on top of another and another…

It just breaks the immersion of creating music like you’re in a music studio. I feel, if you’re going to imitate the look and feel of real hardware, then don’t operate via a crappy pop-up method.

Plopping down VST’s like lego blocks

The concept that VST instruments and effects are just these things to plop down like lego blocks is something that just feels so amateurish for some reason.

Using a computer to create music doesn’t feel that much different than browsing the internet and checking emails; a mouse and keyboard are used for both. It’s already hard enough to feel like real music creators using a computer when musicians in the 80’s and earlier didn’t use computers.

For me, VST pop up windows makes it feel even less like someone is creating music and more like they’re using Microsoft Excel. Even when I’ve watched video interviews of millionaire music producers using their favorite DAW, when they start clicking and dragging VST windows all around the screen… it feels like I’m watching some middle schooler play with MTV Music Generator and not some music industry legend.

This is why I’ve only ever wanted to use Reason

Reason is the only DAW that doesn’t use the disembodied-floating music window system for generating music that all other DAW’s employ. You don’t have hardware-envy using Reason. You don’t feel the need to qualify your VST workflow by buying redundant, real-world hardware devices, like rack effects or keyboard synthesizers.

For me, having a DAW that’s built around the same concepts of a physical studio… rack furniture, rack rails, screws, power cords all virtually represented… connecting audio and CV cables the way it’s done in physical studios, it’s all so rewarding. Freak, you can even unscrew the rack screws of the Subtractor!

VST’s just don’t do that for me. I realize those of you reading this are probably head-over-heels over VST’s and can’t fathom how anyone could be against them. But I’ve felt this way from the start.

You’d think VST’s being introduced into Reason would make me feel better about them, but I only feel worse. They cheapen Reason’s immersion. My loathing towards VST’s hasn’t been because Reason never supported them before. If anything, Reason made me assume I wouldn’t be so repulsed by them if they were introduced into Reason.

Nope… VST’s gross me out even more, now that they can be used in Reason. There’s already a few visual things Propellerhead has implemented that hurt immersion, such as pop up spectrum analyzers, audio / mix devices lacking wires leading to the SSL mixer and (worst of all) combinators and audio / mix devices lacking rack screws or other realistic hardware visuals. Using VST makes immersion that much worse.

But the world loves VST’s

I support VST’s being in Reason for those of you that want to use them, but I’m completely against using them personally. It lessens the immersion and enjoyment I get out of creating music. I actually feel a kind of uneasiness when watching people use VST’s. A feeling of “wrongness”, like watching someone eat a Snickers bar with a knife and fork.

Just odd I seem to be the only one who feels this way.

Later. – MJ