I've been planning to update the effects for a long while. The last version of the effects had some issues which proved problematic for some users.
The whole package as one file has sometimes proven an issue especially with the installer for some users. This is more of a preference or general hatred of all installers than a practical issue as the installer I use is NSIS, pretty much a self-extracting zip file and nothing more.
That said, I'd like to make the next version available as both a complete zip (far larger than the installer, as zip is incredibly inefficient at compressing many plugins) and individual zips for every file.
The latest alpha already includes the skin data inside each plugin individually. This is terribly inefficient as you'll need to load a separate copy of the bitmaps in memory for every plugin, although they are shared between instances.
It is also not so great that the same bitmap data is replicated over and over in each plugin file, although the compression used by NSIS takes care of that in the installer without issue.
I've considered using an external "skin dll" to solve this issue but this of course just brings us right back to square one with external skin files.
Considering the ample memory in most machines these days, unless someone reports this as an issue I think I won't be too bothered by it.
I've updated the layout of the GUIs for each plugin and made some minor tweaks and improvements.
I've attempted to fit each layout into the same sized rectangle as this makes the smaller plugins (only two or three knobs) easier to use. Certain layouts like the reverb simply won't fit in the same size GUI, so they are larger.
I've also added side-chain inputs to the limiter, compressor and gate. I'd like to extend this to any plugin with an internal side-chain, such as the envelope follower as well in time.
Some improvements have been made to the limiter, decreasing distortion. Proper log ratio controls have been added to the compressor and limiter in place of the old mix controls. I'd like to add some mix knobs back in time as I find them far more useful, but have not fully decided on that as many (if not most) hosts provide wet/dry mix controls already.
Please have a look at the alpha page and test these out if you like. I'd like to hear about any bugs before I update them.
Certain features like tempo-sync for LFOs and others will need to wait, as I feel I've put off this update long enough due to a lack of those sorts of features while the far more important features are those like the new embedded skins.
I've already begun updating the documentation for the effects, so if you'd like to see screenshots you can have a look at the documentation pages.
At the time I had shuffled around my goals for the next release of both Xhip and the effects and wanted to make the 0.8 release even bigger than the 0.7 release was. The 0.7 release contained too many shortcomings and issues for my taste and so I've wanted to try to ensure this next release comes a lot closer to the final product.
The major hold-up for the last year has involved several side-tracks which took my attention completely away from Xhip as well as a small set of issues that I've needed to solve in Xhip. The issue I'm working on currently is the beginning of the system to replace the bender/velocity modulation inputs with a more mod-matrix-like system.
Specifically, the last issue that held me up way back in January was that I needed to allow both additive and multiplicative modes in order to eliminate the need for the "offset" from the old system.
In both additive and multiplicative mode, you'd have your [input], [scale], [destination]. In addition to that I've been implementing a "numerical" [input] option which will replace the [scale] value with a box where you can type in a number or an equation. This will allow the "offset" to be replaced with a row set to additive, with numerical input for the value.
There have been a large number of other changes. One of the most interesting changes I made last year was a "category" for presets. Rather than having the presets split into predefined categories like "1...16" you're now able to type in "Bass" or "SFX" as desired. This came very shortly after I implemented a text-edit control for the preset name.
There are of course many, many more changes that have been made and many issues that have been fixed.
The next release 0.8 is still on its way.