Beginner's Plugin Book

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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Audio Plug-in Development


  • 473 pages
  • PDF & EPUB formats
  • Access to private Discord group for Q&A

Paperback Version via Amazon

"I want to create my own plug-in! How do I get started, even if I’ve never written a line of code?"

If you’re asking this question, then this book is for you!

Audio programming merges the realms of software development, digital signal processing (DSP), and creative expression. It's both enjoyable and rewarding once you master the basics, but where do you start?

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Audio Plug-in Development is a foundational guide for anyone looking to get from “0 to 1” in creating their first audio plug-in. This includes:

  • Music producers
  • Sound designers
  • Audio engineers
  • Product designers

This step-by-step guide walks you through the development of a simple delay plug-in, giving you the fundamental skills and understanding needed to start your journey into audio programming including:

  • Step-by-step setup to audio development tools for Windows and macOS
  • The basics of digital signal processing in audio
  • Creating the functional elements of your plugin
  • Introduction to designing your plug-in graphics
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In this book, we guide you through developing your first plug-in using C++ and the JUCE Framework. These professional tools are widely used across the industry.

We offer comprehensive explanations that cover the how AND why behind each step of the process. This resource is invaluable for developers at all levels, whether you're completely new to coding or an experienced professional.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: How plug-ins work
  • Chapter 2: JUCE and Projucer
  • Chapter 3: Getting started with Xcode
  • Chapter 4: Getting started with Visual Studio
  • Chapter 5: Using a host for testing
  • Chapter 6: Output gain
  • Chapter 7: Plugin parameters
  • Chapter 8: Adding the delay
  • Chapter 9: The user interface
  • Chapter 10: Styling the editor
  • Chapter 11: Feedback
  • Chapter 12: Ping-pong delay
  • Chapter 13 - Filters
  • Chapter 14 - Tempo sync
  • Chapter 15 - Diving deeper into DSP
  • Chapter 16 - Adding a level meter
  • Chapter 17 - Sweating the details
  • Chapter 18 - Releasing your plug-in
  • Chapter 19 - Where to go from here
Getting started is the biggest challenge in any new skill, whether playing an instrument, learning to draw, or creating your first audio plug-in! When I started The Audio Programmer, I envisioned a world where anyone could get started with building their own audio plug-ins and the right creativity. This book is a huge step closer towards that vision.

This is also a fantastic resource for those like myself who go through the motions of plug-in development, but also desire a better a better understanding of WHY. As I’ve said many times, audio programming is like layers of an onion, where over time we can get a better understanding of how everything fits together. This book has helped me peel more layers of that onion, and I feel confident it will do the same for you as well!Joshua Hodge
Founder, The Audio Programmer
Synth Plugin Book

About the author

Matthijs Hollemans

Matthijs Hollemans is a professional audio programmer. In his spare time he's a hobbyist musician who really needs to learn how to play the piano properly. Matthijs wrote the best-selling book The iOS Apprentice and is a co-author of Machine Learning by Tutorials from Kodeco (formerly Check out his audio development blog at