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Quick Tip: How to Use 32-bit Plug-ins in Logic Pro X

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Logic Pro X introduces a bunch of great new features and enhancements, including a full 64-bit only architecture to take advantage of all the benefits that 64-bit brings to audio production. In this tutorial, I will show you how to use 32-bit plug-ins inside of Logic Pro X using two existing utilities on the market.


Crossing the 32-bit Bridge

With all the great new features included in Logic Pro X, there is one notable feature that has been dropped in this new version; the 32-bit Audio Unit Bridge for running 32-bit plug-ins when using Logic Pro in 64-bit mode. While this was a utility Apple provided in Logic Pro 9, it was also a sign of where Logic Pro was headed; 64-bit only.

While there are many benefits of using a 64-bit architecture for audio production, there are still many developers who have yet to support 64-bit in their audio plug-ins. While Apple did not provide a workaround in Logic Pro X by including the 32-bit Audio Unit Bridge as with Logic Pro 9, there are actually third-party plug-ins that can accomplish the same thing.

1. jBridgeM from J’s Stuff

jBridgeM is a bridging tool that will create 64-bit compatible files for your 32-bit plug-ins, and vice versa. Once you install and run jBridgeM, you will have a directory created that will contain the files that are, in this case, 64-bit compatible. jBridgeM will run in the background much like the 32-bit Audio Unit Bridge, allowing the bridged plug-ins to run inside of the 64-bit Logic Pro X environment.

jBridgeM will allow you to scan your Mac for 32-bit VSTs and create 64-bit compatible versions, and vice versa
jBridgeM will allow you to scan your Mac for 32-bit VSTs and create 64-bit compatible versions, and vice versa.
  1. Select the type of plug-ins to be bridged. In this scenario, we want to bridge 32-bit plug-ins for use in Logic Pro X.
  2. Select the type of VST host you will be using. Logic Pro X is 64-bit only, so select I'll be using a 64bit VST host.
Once jBridgeM has scanned your Mac it will give you a summary of the created files
Once jBridgeM has scanned your Mac it will give you a summary of the created files.

The only downside—which you may have picked up on by the dialog wording inside of jBridgeM—is that it only supports VSTs and not Audio Units, which Logic Pro X uses exclusively. In order to use the newly created 64-bit plug-ins, we would need some sort of Audio Unit plug-in that can load other plug-ins, allowing you to use a VST plug-in inside of the Audio Unit only Logic Pro X; and that is exactly what Metaplugin from DDMF can do.

2. Metaplugin from DDMF

Metaplugin is a plug-in that can host other plug-ins; in this case our 64-bit VSTs that we just created using jBridgeM and want to use inside of Logic Pro X, which doesn’t support VSTs natively. With Metaplugin, you can use VSTs inside of Logic Pro X and still have all of the available functionality that you have when using native Audio Units.

Metaplugin is a "plug-in that loads other plug-ins. As simple as that."
Metaplugin is a "plug-in that loads other plug-ins. As simple as that."

32-bit plug-ins Inside Logic Pro X

It’s a bit of a rabbit hole, but by taking the original 32-bit VST, wrapping it in 64-bit compatibility using jBridgeM, then finally wrapping that in Audio Unit compatibility for use inside of Logic Pro X using Metaplugin, the end result is an originally 32-bit VST plug-in now running stably inside of Logic Pro X, wrapped in 64-bit Audio Unit compatibility.

Sylenth1 bridged with jBridgeM loaded inside of Metaplugin
Sylenth1 bridged with jBridgeM loaded inside of Metaplugin.
Sylenth1 running inside of Logic Pro X using Metaplugin in combination with jBridgeM
Sylenth1 running inside of Logic Pro X using Metaplugin in combination with jBridgeM.

Conclusion

If 32-bit compatibility is a consideration for you upgrading to Logic Pro X, or if, like me, you did upgrade and immediately lost hundreds of dollars in software because of developers not supporting 64-bit, rest assured that there are solutions.

In this tutorial I have shown you how to use 32-bit plug-ins effectively inside of Logic Pro X, which is 64-bit only, while waiting for 64-bit support from your plug-in developers, or while you search for replacements.

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