Plug-ins are great, and they’re a nightmare. They’re great because you have access to literally tens of thousands of virtual sound making and processing devices, from costly works of art to bizarre free toys. They’re a nightmare because the plug-ins in the latter category — the odd free plug-in you just downloaded — can crash your system, even with the plug-in validation features now in many hosts.

I’ve long suggested disabling plug-ins you don’t need, but I usually do it manually because I haven’t found a tool that manages them effectively. PlugAdmin could change my mind. First, it’s cross-platform, Mac and Windows, and the Mac release works with RTAS, AU, VST, MAS — the whole enchilada. Second, it has a whole host of cool management features, including backup. The only downside is that the Windows release doesn’t seem to cover DirectX plug-ins, probably having to do with how DLLs behave on Windows. I’ll be trying it; if you do, too, let us know how it goes or if you have a tool you prefer. US$19.99 for this software.

  • basharar

    You can manage your audio unites for free try AudioUnit Manager


  • admin

    That does nothing for your VSTs (which I use via fxpansion), and this has more features. I'd looked at AU Manager before, but didn't wind up using it for those reasons. Might be worth it to go this route . . . though on the other hand, if a plug-in doesn't work, it usually just gets deleted. 😉

  • basharar

    Pluggo used to have a free utility that managed VSTs under OS 9, not sure if they still do that for X "I dont use VST anymore…", it used to be free with the pluggo demo….!!

  • kloosterj

    It would be nice if this was a VST presetmanager too! This should categorize my sounds (VSTi and midi synth presets) and load the necessary plugins, or send bank/preset midi-commands to a synth, associated with a sound. A crashing plugin can then easily be replaced with a similar sound…