SaschArt releases PluginsMonitorFree, a freeware tool to check the security of your VST plugins.
I’m a former cybersecurity specialist by trade. It is a high-stress field of work, as I’m sure any current professional will attest. So, it certainly piqued my interest to see something security oriented for music production.
PluginsMonitorFree is a bit like WireShark, but for VSTs, if that makes sense.
It won’t help you make your next great hit, nor will it let you get the perfect compressed sound on a snare. However, it shows you what is happening in the background when you run things in your DAW.
PluginsMonitor effectively begins tracking the core functions of a plugin on load. While your plugin is running, PluginsMonitorFree is also running and analyzing every single call and action it performs.
I used u-he Diva as my test example when trying PluginsMonitorFree. U-he is a reputable developer, so it was certain that I won’t find any security issues with their flagship plugin.
Even so, I was interested to see what resources were loaded and any network communications that might have occurred.
Anyway, I’ve had Diva registered for years, and just as expected, I saw no unusual network traffic. TAL-U-NO-LX analysis was just as dull, with no juicy red flags thrown up while in use.
That said, PluginsMonitorFree could shed new light on some free plugins that might be too good to be true. At the very least, it’ll help you understand what is happening with your system.
PluginsFreeMonitor also supports logging, which I’m a massive fan of. You don’t always have time to read over every action a plugin might take. However, logs are an invaluable resource if you’re cut from the same cloth as others in the IT trade.
If there is a complaint to be leveled at PluginsMonitorFree, it is a simple fact that the software is Windows-only. I’m a recent Mac convert, and I would love to see a utility like this readily available for Silicon devices.
That said, you’ll need a Windows machine running either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows to function. Supported plugin formats are VST2 and VST3.
PluginsMonitorFree isn’t your average utility, but it is useful if you’ve ever been curious about what your plugins are doing in the background.
We always recommend scanning all VST plugins with your favorite anti-malware tool before installation. PluginsMonitorFree can be the next step to ensuring your DAW is 100% clean and safe.
And if you like handy utility tools for music producers, check out the recently released Audio Plugin Uninstaller for macOS.
Download: PluginsMonitorFree (FREE)