NLA Releases Free “Snapshot” Image Loader VST/AU/AAX Plugin

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Non-Lethal Applications has released Snapshot, a freeware image viewing utility in VST, AU, and AAX plugin formats for macOS (Windows version expected soon).

Snapshot is a simple tool intended for improving the workflow of producers and mixing engineers who use a combination of hardware and software in their studio. The most obvious example would be a studio setup consisting of a digital audio workstation with software plugins and several hardware effects connected to the DAW’s master track. The idea behind Snapshot is to help users with such a setup to remember the settings of their hardware gear for each session by saving a photo of the hardware gear in the project file itself.

Ah, forgetting the settings used on your trusty LA-2A compressor the other day… happens all the time, right? Joking aside, what may initially seem like a solution to a first-world problem could actually be useful for more budget-oriented setups as well. For example, if you own an affordable analog synthesizer such as the Arturia MicroBrute, Snapshot will make it possible to attach the photo of the patch to the audio track you used for recording, meaning that you could come back to it later and dial in the same sound despite the fact that the MicroBrute can’t save presets. Another real-life example would be saving the settings used on your guitar amp or keeping a photo of the microphone setup.

So, how does this work in practice? In essence, Snapshot is a simple image viewer in the form of a VST/AU/AAX plugin. You can capture a photo with your phone, transfer it to the computer, load Snapshot on a channel in your DAW, and then load the image in Snapshot. The image will be saved in the DAW’s project file, just like any other plugin’s saved state. Snapshot uses virtually no CPU and doesn’t affect the sound in any way whatsoever.

Snapshot is compatible with all major digital audio workstations on macOS, although it seems that the Windows version will be released soon as well. The software is available for exclusive free download from Pro Tools Expert for the first seven days and will probably be released on the Non-Lethal Applications website after that. A valid email address required to get the download link, subscription to Pro Tools Expert is optional.

Snapshot is available for free download via Pro Tools Expert (3.87 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin format for macOS).

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About The Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the owner and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

4 Comments

  1. It all made sense when you mentioned Microbrute, much better than templates or written notes.

    Will give Snapshot trial.

  2. Why not just take a screenshot of your workflow if using Windows by utilising the snipping tool? I don´t use a Mac so I don´t know what features Mac users have for capturing screenshots. My own method is to take a series of screenshots and save them directly to a project folder. I really don´t see the need for a VST app for this purpose – especially one where you have to take images on your phone and then transfer those back again to the computer – what a drag and time consuming business! Quote; “You can capture a photo with your phone, transfer it to the computer, load Snapshot on a channel in your DAW, and then load the image in Snapshot. The image will be saved in the DAW’s project file, just like any other plugin’s saved state. Snapshot uses virtually no CPU and doesn’t affect the sound in any way whatsoever.” – Sounds like normal everyday screenshot procedure except for the part about capturing an image with your phone – that´s ridiculous – and that is supposed to be time saving and helpful? Sounds cumbersome to me and a very “all around the houses approach” for a simple screenshot. No-one wants to type out exhaustive session notes but there´s a handy note box inside Adobe Audition for storing session text data and that´s super helpful! i did write out complete session data in OpenOffice as a pdf document but its just quicker to get a screenshot and save that in a folder. Its a good thing that developers are thinking about this workflow issue, so a round of applause for the thought if not the cumbersome method described in this particular VST! If it captures the screen in a re-sizeable box within a session without recourse to the smartphone, then I´m going to be very happy the moment its available for Windows! For the present I´m very satisfied with the Snipping Tool and see no need for any change – if it aint broke, why fix it?

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      The idea here is to store the settings of your outboard gear (effects, amps, guitar pedals, analog synthesizers) by taking a photo and saving it in your DAW’s project file.

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