Multi-Format Video Player for Audio Workstations
VidPlayVST is a plugin for producers composing music synchronised to video. It uses FFmpeg, which is an Open Source library of tools for working with video and audio data in multiple formats. The plugin is able to open and play video files in any format supported by FFmpeg (as of August 2016).
If you have a video file formatted with any freely licensed codec, then VidPlayVST will probably be able to open and play it.
Loop mode may be set with loop points to cycle through a sub-section of the video.
By default video playback starts at time zero in the host transport. Optionally, a MIDI note C can be sent to the plugin to cue the start of the video.
The plugin window is resizable and, optionally, the video may be viewed in a detached window or full screen.
The video may be viewed at its original aspect ratio or scaled to fit a chosen window size.
The plugin plays audio if it is present within the video file, or it can be muted. So, this is an easy way to extract audio from a video file and use it in your own production.
Distribution downloads are available for Microsoft Windows (version 7 up) and Apple OSX/macOS (version 10.7 up), in 32-bit and 64-bit compilations. Each version is a single .DLL (Microsoft) or .VST (Apple) file. There is no complicated installation procedure, and no license key validation is required.
The plugin conforms to Steinberg VSTi 2.4 and has been tested with FL Studio, Cakewalk Sonar, Ableton Live, Tracktion, Cubase, Reaper, Bitwig, EnergyXT, Studio One, Renoise, Harrison Mixbus, Propellerhead Reason, MAGIX Samplitude, Zynewave Podium, MOTU Digital Performer and MuTools MuLab.
VidPlayVST has been designed to be light on CPU usage and memory, so that it can be run in complex audio projects. The two main processing threads run at low priority, and the memory requirement should not normally exceed 350 megabytes.
The processing load depends mainly upon the frame size of the input video. Frame sizes up to 1920*1080 should play smoothly (in a simple DAW project). Click on the VidPlayVST logo to see statistics about the current video file.
I have come across some stock video footage as large as 3840*2160, which not even Quicktime or Windows Media Player could play smoothly. There are websites available online where videos can be resampled down to a smaller frame size.
The user interface is simple and features large buttons. This is to make the plugin easy to use on a touch screen without a mouse.
Usage Notes and 'Gotchas'
Audio Render - using the plugin to extract audio:
Most DAWs have a 'Fast Render' option and many also have track 'Freeze'. These options will not work with VidPlayVST. Please render audio at the normal playback speed.
VidPlayVST is configured as an 'Instrument' (VSTi v2.4):
Most DAWs distinguish between 'Instrument' and 'Effect' plugins. Instruments accept MIDI input and also internally can 'see' the status of the host transport. Applications which work only with 'Effect' plugins (e.g. Steinberg Wavelab, Audacity, Adobe Audition) are not able to run VidPlayVST.
Synchronisation in Sonar, Bitwig and MOTU Digital Performer:
In these DAWs VidPlayVST synchronises to the host timeline ONLY WHEN THE TRANSPORT IS RUNNING (i.e. the user has hit 'play'). When the transport is stopped the plugin window does not refresh if the timeline is moved by clicking or dragging within the project. This is a limitation of the plugin interface provided by these particular DAWs.
Looping in Sonar:
There is a strange feature of Sonar when the transport is looping. At the end of the loop, when the timeline cycles back to the start, the sample position reported to plug-ins just carries on incrementing. The result is that VidPlayVST does not 'see' the timeline cycle back to the loop start. A fix for this is to use the 'SYNC: Follow Tempo Changes' option.
In these DAWs the VidPlayVST option 'SYNC: Follow Tempo Changes' MUST BE SET. Without this setting video playback runs free and does not synchronise to the transport timeline.
The latest release adds the option to choose a grayscale interface...
Beta Test Release
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Beta testing. Your help is much appreciated!
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