The VST interface specification was updated to version 2.0 in 1999. One of the additions was the ability for plugins to receive MIDI data. This allowed for the introduction of VSTi (Virtual Studio Technology Instrument) format plugins. VST Instruments can act as standalone software synthesizers, samplers or drum machines.
Neon was the first available VST Instrument (included with Cubase VST 3.7). It was a 16-voice, 2-oscillator virtual analog synthesizer.
The VST interface specification was updated to version 2.4 in 1999. Changes included the ability to process audio using 64 bit precision.
The VST interface specification was updated to version 3.0 in 2008. Changes included:
- Audio Inputs for VST Instruments
- Multiple MIDI inputs/outputs
- Optional SKI (Steinberg Kernel Interface) integration