To save your instrument/effect plugin in Audio Units (AU) format, export it as VST3. In addition to a VST3 plugin, SynthEdit will also generate an Audio Units plugin bundle that you can copy over and use in AU host applications like Logic Pro, GarageBand, FL Studio, etc.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get your plugin exported and running as an AU.

First, Open and Configure Your Project

First, open the SynthEdit project that you want to export.

Ensure the plugin modules are on a container and connected to the input and output ports.

In the export dialog box, select the VST3 export option.

Exporting SynthEdit plugin as VST3
Exporting a SynthEdit plugin as VST3

This will give you a VST3 version and automatically generate a Mac AU bundle.

Locate the Exported Files

Once exported, your Mac AU plugin bundle will be saved in a different location: Documents > SynthEdit Projects > Mac Export folder.

It will be in a folder with the name of your plugin followed by the .component extension.

SynthEdit exported macOS supported plugin
SynthEdit exported macOS macOS-supported plugin

For example, if your plugin name is TinyReverb, you’ll find a folder called TinyReverb.component. Mac treats this whole folder as a single file.

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Check for Compatible Modules

Open the export_log.txt file located in your Mac Export folder. This lists the SynthEdit Modules (SEMs) needed to run the AU plugin.

Before, these details were shown on the sem list.txt file, but the current version (1.4) of SynthEdit saves these details in the export_log.txt file.

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export_log.txt file on the SynthEdit Mac Export folder
export_log.txt file on the SynthEdit Mac Export folder

Make sure you have the Mac versions of any 3rd party modules installed. If not, functionality will be limited.

Install Additional Mac SEMs (if needed)

If additional Mac SEMs are required, install them in the Program Files > Common Files > SynthEdit > modules_mac folder on your Windows machine.

SynthEdit includes Mac SEM versions for all the core modules, so you don’t have to worry about them.

Copy AU Bundle and Presets to Mac

Next, copy your entire AU bundle and Presets folder to your Mac system.

Place the bundle in your user Library > Audio > Plugins> Components directory. The presets folder goes in your user Library > Audio > Presets directory.

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Finally, Address Mac Security Settings

Due to increased security protections in macOS, newly developed Audio Units plugins may not load properly without additional steps.

macOS now requires all applications and plugins to be digitally signed to verify the developer’s identity.

To get your SynthEdit AU plugin working, you have two options:

  1. Adjust your Mac’s Gatekeeper and Security & Privacy settings to allow the plugin to load unsigned. This also lets you test unsigned plugins.
  2. Officially register as an Apple developer to digitally sign your plugin. This will allow it to run smoothly without any extra permissions.

The registration process associates your identity as the developer more securely with the plugin code.

This is crucial for distribution, and a signed plugin will work seemingly for other Mac users. So they don’t have to play around with any settings.

That’s it!

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If, for some reason, you’re not able to make it work, let us know in the comments below. We’ll help you troubleshoot.

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