Digital Brain Instruments has released vPlayer 2, a freeware standalone application for hosting VST/AU plugins on PC and Mac.
Our regular readers might remember Digital Brain Instruments from Drogomir Smolken’s review of their Voxpat ($159) real-time FX software for creating robotic voices. The plugin received a respectable 85% score in our test and was described as “well thought out and easy to use” piece of software.
Coming from the same developer, vPlayer 2 is a lightweight VST/AU plugin host application capable of loading up to eight plugins simultaneously. It features four channels, each with two plugin slots. Every channel includes separate volume, pan, and bypass controls, along with a volume meter on the left. It is possible to load one virtual instrument and one effect per channel. Also, each channel can correspond to a different MIDI input, so it’s possible to use, say, two different MIDI keyboards to play two different virtual instruments within a single instance of vPlayer 2.
Positioned on the right side of the GUI are the audio setup controls and the recording section. vPlayer 2 can capture your performance as 16-bit, 24-bit, or 32-bit recordings in WAV or AIFF format. The recording gain can be adjusted separately from the output volume and it is also possible to determine the destination of the recorded file.
The audio setup window hosts the options for setting up the active audio device, the clock source, output limiting (very handy for use on stage), audio inputs and outputs, the sampling rate, and the signal vector size. The CPU performance meter is also shown in this window. The application features a 5-band parametric equalizer with an HP/LP filter.
I was pleasantly surprised by the stability of vPlayer 2. I loaded a bunch of different virtual instruments and effects in it, mostly freeware ones like Tyrell N6, TAL-Elektro, Charlatan, HY-Delay, and haven’t experienced any crashes during the test. One annoying bug I found is that the lower channels (2, 3, and 4) wouldn’t output sound instantly after loading an instrument. Instead, I had to bypass each channel a few times in order to get the output to work properly. This seems like a minor issue that will hopefully be fixed in a future update. Being a Windows 10 user, I wasn’t able to test vPlayer 2 on a Mac computer. It would be interesting to see how the application handles AU plugins.
As for its usefulness, vPlayer 2 is definitely a keeper in my arsenal. I test new VST plugins almost on a daily basis before featuring them in our news section, so a lightweight plugin host like this one is an absolute godsend. It could also prove to be very useful for quick jams, or even some simple live performance setups. Having the ability to load four different virtual instruments and play them simultaneously in such a lightweight host application is a pretty cool option for users with less powerful computers.
vPlayer 2 is available for free download via Digital Brain Instruments (89.1 MB download size, ZIP archive, standalone application for Windows & macOS).