Plugins Explained / Installation Notes

Plugins Explained

Plugins are the software equivalent of a guitar "stompbox" - just like a guitar chorus pedal, they don't make sound themselves, they change a sound that already exists. For a stompbox you have to have a guitar and amplifier, while for a plugin you need a digital audio "host application".

There are two types of audio host apps:

Most audio apps use a technology called VST (originally invented by Steinberg, but it has become a standard), others use one called DirectX. In each case it allows the application to have more "options" available in their menus - options like my Clone Ensemble, Alien Solo, Bass Chorus and Water Glass.

There are two ways you can use these effects:

Installing and registering the Clone Ensemble family of plugins

In the examples below, the filenames refer to Clone Ensemble. These notes also apply to Alien Solo, Bass Chorus and all the others - except that the filenames (and version numbers) will be different, and in the case of Bass Chorus and other free ones, you don't need to register!

First - choose which version to download! If your audio host app is from Steinberg, you'll want to download the VST version. For most others, you'll need the DirectX one. See the Compatibility page for more information.

When you download a plugin file, you'll notice that it is a .zip file. If you're running a recent version of Windows, all you need to do is double click on this file, to see what's "inside". Otherwise, you'll need to have WinZip installed. WinZip can "extract" files from inside a .zip file. Just surf over to, there's a free version you can download (you get an annoying message until you pay).

If you downloaded the DirectX version, you should have a file called After double clicking on it, you'll see there is only one file inside it - CloneEnsembleX42.exe. You can just double click on this application, or you can extract it and run it separately. Anyway, that .exe file is the installation wizard for the DirectX version. When you run it, it will lead you through a series of questions and info displays, including asking you for the name of the folder to install Clone Ensemble into.

If you downloaded the VST version, you'll have a file called Once again using WinZip, you'll find a handful of files inside. This time, there's no installation wizard, because we don't need one. For VST effects, you just have to copy the ".dll" file to your "vstplugins" folder. (The actual location of this folder is determined by your host application).

At this stage, you should be able to open your host app (SONAR, Cubase etc) and while selecting a track of audio data, bring up the plugins / effects menu and see Clone Ensemble in the list. If it doesn't appear, and the audio data is mono, you might want to convert it to stereo (this is often the case for Cool Edit 2000 or Sound Forge).

After selecting Clone Ensemble, and perhaps double-clicking, you should be able to get two things to happen:

However, if you haven't completed the registration process yet, you won't be able to twiddle the knobs - they're disabled. This is my little trick to encourage you to buy the full version. You can do that from the "Register" links on each plugin's page. I use a service called Shareit, and after they process your credit card info, they'll automatically email you with an "unlock code", it'll look something like this (only with your real name and a real code):
   Your registration details are..
   Name: Bart Simpson
   Code: {F03EAE47-C9CD-8702-1B47-5E14C544F731}

When you get this, you press the "Register" button on the Clone Ensemble control window, and you'll get the "registration" dialog box, but the OK button will be disabled. You need to enter the Name and Code data, exactly as it appears in the email:

After you've entered that data, the OK button will spring into life, so press it. Now you'll be able to twiddle all the knobs and press the buttons, and everything should be fully functional.

If you downloaded the VST version, and you're running under Cubase VST (or some other Steinberg application) it can be difficult to enter the name and code into this registration dialog - Cubase messes around with how the keyboard works. For that reason, I included the RegCloneEnsembleMkII.EXE file in the VST version - you simply run that app, and it pops up the registration dialog, so you can enter your code etc, while not running "within" Cubase.

Installing DirectX plugins under Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 etc.

Recent versions of Windows have a beefed-up security system that makes it a little trickier to install DirectX plugins, and register them (VST and DirectX) than you'd hope.
The classic symptom of this is the "Failed to set data for Name" error message.
Here is how to get around that:


All content and software Copyright 2007 Trevor Magnusson