Unify Manual

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Working with plug-ins

Unify doesn't produce any sound by itself. It relies on plug-ins to produce and modify sound. Unify includes a substantial set of plug-ins, some of which are actually built into the program, and can also work with just about any other plug-ins you own.

Types of plug-ins

Unify can deal with three categories of plug-ins:

  • Built-in plug-ins are part of the Unify program itself
  • Bundled plug-ins include free and/or open-source instruments and effects, whose authors/developers/maintainers have given us permission to distribute with Unify.
  • Other plug-ins you own includes just about all the plug-ins now on your system, and others you may buy later.

Click here for the full list of plug-ins included with Unify.

As you may know, plug-ins also come in various, mutually-incompatible formats. Unify can load any of the following three formats (Audio Units is Mac-only):

  • VST (“virtual studio technology” was developed by (and remains a registered trade mark of) Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH.
  • VST3 (VST version 3) is a newer format also developed by Steinberg.
  • Audio Units (AU) is a format developed by Apple Corporation.

There are a handful of other formats which Unify cannot use, most notably AAK (Avid Audio eXtension), a proprietary format developed by Avid Technology, Inc. for use with their Pro Tools DAW.

Unify itself comes as a stand-alone app and as a plug-in, in VST, VST3, and Audio Unit formats. (An AAX version of Unify may be available at some time in the future, but even it would not be able to load AAX plug-ins.)

Unify's plug-in database

Unify maintains a simple database of plug-ins it knows about, which includes details like the plug-in name, manufacturer name, format (e.g. VST, AU, etc.), and the path to the folder where the plug-in is stored.

You can inspect the contents of this database by clicking on the plug icon near the bottom-right corner of the Unify GUI (highlighted in blue-green in the following screenshot). This is called the plug-ins view. (Note some details, such as folder paths, don't appear in this view, but they are still present in the database.)

This plug-in database is automatically populated with details about Unify's built-in and bundled plug-ins, but other plug-ins on your computer must be registered with Unify, so it can add them to its database. This can be done in either of two ways:

  1. Drag-and-drop: To register one or a few plug-ins at a time, locate the plug-in file(s) and drag its icon directly onto Unify's plug-ins view.
  2. Scan: You can also have Unify scan your system to locate plug-ins, as described on the page Scanning and using your own plug-ins.

Functions available on the Operations-button menu

Clicking on the Operations button at the bottom of the Known Plug-Ins view pops up a menu like this:

The functions available (as of Unify v1.6.0) are:

  • Clear list: Remove ALL scanned plug-ins from the list, leaving only the built-in and bundled plug-ins. Don't click this. It's only there for certain tech-support situations.
  • Remove all … plug-ins: Remove scanned plug-ins of specific types. (On Mac, an item for Audio-Units will also appear.)
  • Remove selected plug-in(s) from list: Allows you to select one or more plug-ins by clicking them in the list, and then remove only those.
  • Remove any plug-ins whose files no longer exist: If you have manually removed any files from your system's plug-ins folders, this will ensure that your Known Plug-Ins list will no longer have phantom entries referring to files you have removed (or renamed).
  • Remove “redundant” plug-ins: Attempts to remove extra versions of plug-ins as follows:
    • Remove VST3 versions of every plug-in for which a plain VST version exists.
    • On a Mac, first remove Audio-Unit versions of any plug-in for which a VST or VST3 version exists.
  • Show folder containing selected plug-in: This item will be available when you select exactly one plug-in from the list. (You can also access it by right-clicking the list entry.) It allows you to see where Unify will look when attempting to load the selected plug-in.
  • Scanning… items: See Scanning and using your own plug-ins.

All the Remove… items will pop up an “are you sure” dialog, allowing you to cancel. However, the Clear List item does not. This is an oversight and will be addressed in a future update.

plugins.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/03 01:18 by shane