MrsWatson is a command-line audio plugin host. It takes an audio and/or MIDI file as input, and processes it through one or more VST plugins. MrsWatson was designed primarily for two purposes:
- Audio plugin development and testing
- Automated audio processing tasks
Say you have an audio file which you would like to process with an effect plugin.
mrswatson --input mysong.wav --output out.wav --plugin myplugin
This will run
mysong.wav through the
myplugin VST, placing the processed
out.wav, as well as logging some output to the console:
- 00000000 000000 MrsWatson version 0.9.7 initialized, build 20150112 - 00000000 000000 Setting 2 channels - 00000000 000000 Setting sample rate to 44100Hz - 00000000 000000 Plugin 'myplugin.vst' is of type VST2.x - 00000000 000000 Opening VST2.x plugin 'myplugin.vst' - 00000000 000001 Starting processing input source - 00010752 000002 Total processing time 1ms, approximate breakdown: - 00010752 000002 MrsWatson Initialization: 1ms (69.4%) - 00010752 000002 MrsWatson Input Source: 0ms (12.4%) - 00010752 000002 MrsWatson Output Source: 0ms (11.6%) - 00010752 000002 myplugin.vst Audio Processing: 0ms (3.9%) - 00010752 000002 myplugin.vst MIDI Processing: 0ms (0.0%) - 00010752 000002 Read 10595 frames from mysong.wav - 00010752 000002 Wrote 10752 frames to out.wav - 00010752 000002 Shutting down - 00010752 000002 Closing plugin 'myplugin.vst' - 00010752 000002 Goodbye!
To see more or less logging output, use the
respectively. MrsWatson generates colored output (if your terminal supports
it) with two times per line, the first for the current sample and the second
for the time in milliseconds since processing began. The sample time also
changes colors after every 44100 samples to help visually break up processing
To process a MIDI file through an instrument using an FXP preset to be loaded into the VST, you'd do something like this:
mrswatson --midi-file mysong.mid --output out.wav --plugin piano,soft.fxp
Like the first example, a list of plugins separated with semi-colons can be given here so that the audio generated by the instrument can be processed through any number of effects. Note that you might have to escape characters like semi-colons from your shell.
Complete help for MrsWatson can be found by running the program with no
arguments, or with
--help. To see extended help for all options (which prints
quite a lot of output) run
mrswatson --help full.
Currently, MrsWatson loads plugins by their short name by searching in the
standard installation locations for your platform, as well as the current
working directory and by absolute path. Use the
--list-plugins option to see
the order of locations searched and the plugins found there.
MrsWatson supports setting plugin parameters with the
However, if you would like to set many parameters on a plugin, it may be more
efficient to create an FXP preset and load it with the plugin. For information
on presets, run
mrswatson --help plugin.
MrsWatson supports both 32-bit and 64-bit plugins, but not from the same
executable. Two executables are shipped in the distribution zipfile for each
mrswatson64, which are the 32-bit and 64-bit
variants, respectively. Each one is only able to process with plugins of the
same architecture. Running either executable with the
will print out all supported plugins that the program is compatible with.
Although on Mac OS X, a single Universal Binary could theoretically be used to suport both architectures, Darwin prefers to launch the one which matches the system architecture, which thus makes it impossible to load 32-bit plugins on a 64-bit system. For this reason (and also to be consistent with other platforms) Universal Binaries are not used on Mac OS X.
If you believe you have found a bug in MrsWatson, please try first running it
--verbose argument. This will generate extra logging output which
may help to solve the problem.
The easiest way to report a bug is to send an email to Teragon Audio's support
address: support (at) teragonaudio (dot) com. MrsWatson has a special
command-line switch to aid in diagnosing runtime problems,
When enabled it will create a zipfile on the desktop containing the input,
output, logs, and optionally the plugins themselves. Please include these
reports for bugs resulting in incorrect behavior or crashes.
A test suite program, named
mrswatsontest, can be found in the Mrswatson
zipfile. If tests fail on your platform, please report this along with your
bug. Please note that there is also a 64-bit version,
MrsWatson uses GitHub issues for bug reporting, if you would like to submit an issue yourself.
Instructions for building MrsWatson can be found in the file BUILDING.md.
If you are using MrsWatson to do something cool, please send me a link to your project! If you appreciate MrsWatson and would like to donate money, please instead make a donation to a charity on our behalf, and let us know about it. The organizations which have helped us the most are:
- EFF: Without the EFF, programs like MrsWatson would be significantly harder to create and distribute.
- Wikipedia: Writing MrsWatson involves a lot of research as well as coding, and Wikipedia is an essential part of this.
Big additional thanks to:
- Andrew McCrea, (@thrusong)
- Michael Pruett, (@mpruett)
- Jarl Friis (@jarl-dk)
MrsWatson is made available under the BSD license. For more details, see the
LICENSE.txt file distributed with the source code. MrsWatson also uses the
following third-party libraries, which are licensed under the respective