Chainer

What is Chainer?

Click to enlarge pictureChainer is a multi-effect and multi-instrument rack for musicians and sound designers. It's a VST host that runs as a standalone application, VST effect and VST instrument.

Chainer allows you to stream the ASIO or VST input signal through up to 10 chains of VST effects so you can use your PC as a realtime multi-effect processor.

In addition Chainer enables you to play several VST instruments at the same time. You can layer several instruments to create complex sounds or you may play instruments on different MIDI channels: Chainer turns your PC into a multi-timbral sound generator.

To achieve very low latencies, the standalone version supports ASIO 2.0 compatible soundcards. A fast PC, a good ASIO driver and Chainer enable you to use your VST effects and instruments almost like real hardware devices.

It is possible to load up to 100 VST plugins per instance of Chainer, but since you can load Chainer in itself there is no actual limit.

The parameters of Chainer and also parameters of the loaded VST plugins can be controlled through MIDI CC messages or VST automation.

A bonus feature of Chainer is the ability to create multi-samples from your VST instruments in WAV and SF2 format for instant use in samplers.

System Requirements

The following technical data are minimum requirement for running Chainer on a PC:

  • 300MHz CPU
  • 64MB RAM
  • Win98/ME/2000/XP/Vista
  • DirectX 7.0 or higher
  • 800x600 16bit color video mode
  • ASIO 2.0 compatible soundcard (for the standalone version)

The signal path of Chainer

The complete signal path is stereo. Mono inputs of plugins are fed with a 50:50 mix of the original stereo signal. Mono outputs of plugins are mixed to the left and right channel.

A slot can contain a VST effect, VST instrument or the (ASIO or VST) input signal.

A channel consists of 10 slots which are arranged one beneath the other. The signal passes "from top to bottom". That means that the output signal of a slot is the input signal of the next slot.

There are 10 channels in Chainer. The signal of a channel can be either routed directly to the (ASIO or VST) output or it can be routed to another channel, so up to 100 VST plugins can be chained up.

Features

  • VST(i) and ASIO host.
  • Standalone application and VST(i) plugin.
  • Turns your PC into:
    • Realtime multi-effect device.
    • Multi-timbral sound generator.
  • Streams the ASIO/VST input signal through up to 10 chains of VST effects.
  • Several VST instruments playable simultaneously.
  • VST instruments playable on different MIDI channels.
  • 100 slots for VST(i) plugins per instance of Chainer.
  • Chainer and VST plugin parameters controllable through MIDI CC messages and VST automation.
  • Creates 16/24/32bit multi-samples from your VST instruments (WAV, SF2).
  • Loads/saves Chainer preset files for fast access to your complex effect and instrument presets.
  • Wet, dry, panning and transpose parameters per slot.
  • Volume, panning, routing and MIDI channel parameters per channel.
  • No clicks during volume and panning changes (volume ramping).
  • FXP/FXB import/export with browse functionality:
    • Loads preset files directly without closing the open dialog.
    • Loads single presets from FXB files.
    • Opens the VST plugin belonging to the preset file automatically.
  • Copy/paste for plugin presets.
  • Captures the sound output to a 16/24/32bit stereo WAV file.
  • PC keyboard usable as virtual midi keyboard.
  • Random function for VST plugin parameters.