NanoHost Is A FREE VST Plugin Host Released By Tone2


Tone2 has introduced NanoHost, a minimalist freeware VST plugin host application and plugin wrapper for Windows and Linux-based computers.

NanoHost is a standalone application designed for hosting virtual instruments in VST plugin format. It provides a limited set of features while focusing on fast load times, stability, and ease of use. In addition to hosting VST plugins, NanoHost can be used as a plugin wrapper for converting VST plugins into standalone applications.

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As soon as NanoHost is launched, a file browser pops up asking the user to load a VST instrument plugin. Once the plugin is loaded, NanoHost will ask the user to choose the MIDI input channel after which the loaded plugin’s user interface will be displayed. The plugin loading process is much quicker than having to launch a digital audio workstation and use its internal browser for loading. This type of workflow for users who frequently test new VST plugins or musicians who simply want to jam with a virtual instrument outside of their DAW.

The application’s configuration options are minimal. The user can adjust the internal BPM clock, turn soft clipping on or off, adjust the audio and MIDI inputs and outputs, and manage the loaded plugin presets. It is also possible to filter MIDI channels, adjust velocity curves, and record internal audio. The latter option is useful for those late night jam sessions when inspiration strikes out of nowhere.

If there’s any feature I’d like to see included in a future version of NanoHost, it would be GUI resizing. Some plugins, especially older ones, come with tiny user interfaces which aren’t optimized for modern high-resolution screens. Having the ability to resize the screen in NanoHost would make such plugins far more convenient to use, but I’m guessing that this kind of functionality is harder to implement than it might occur to us non-developer types.

NanoHost can be downloaded directly from Tone2’s website, no registration required. The application is portable, meaning that you won’t even need to install it on your computer. Simply extract the downloaded ZIP archive and run the program from your hard drive or directly from a USB stick. While you’re visiting Tone2’s website, be sure to check out their FireBird 2 synthesizer which is now freeware (originally priced at $79).

NanoHost is available for free download via Tone2 (3.68 download size, ZIP archive, portable application for Windows & Linux).

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. was excited about it because it said “LINUX” …… only to find out that their website says “Linux via Wine” which isn’t a big thing to be excited about imo…. if i would search BPB for linux tagged posts and find this, i’d be kinda disappointed really.


    • Tomislav Zlatic


      Hi Jojo, sorry for the confusion. I’m not a Linux user, so I don’t know much about this OS to be honest. When I see that a developer mentions that their plugin is compatible with Linux, I tag my post accordingly. So you’re saying that NanoHost isn’t compatible with most Linux distros?

      • Tomislav: Wine is a compatibility layer that lets you run Windows applications on Linux. Its performance and stability can be pretty hit or miss depending on what you’re doing with it. Claiming your application is Linux-compatible using Wine is a bit like saying your computer is SNES-compatible because you can use SNES9x to load roms.

    • Download a free copy of Bandlab’s Cakewalk – that seems to have no problems dealing with 32 bit plug-ins in a 64 bit daw.

    • Tomislav Zlatic


      I agree that an on-screen keyboard would be a great feature to have. But I don’t think NanoHost is useless. Been using it ever since I posted this article.

  2. NanoHost asks to “Select MIDI Devices” every time you start it. Anyway to prevent this? I’m only running a compressor VST.

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