The Broadcast Radio Encoder can use audio processing plugins. In this guide, we will walk through how to set up Stereo Tool to be used with the BR Encoder, without needing virtual audio cables or extra software.
As Stereo Tool connects its licence key to the logged in Windows user, you will need to configure your Encoder to run 'interactively' instead of as a service. Otherwise, you may hear audio interruptions as Stereo Tool would run in demo mode.
- Download your VST plugin. In this example we will get the Stereo Tools VST v2 (32bit) plugin from the Stereo Tools website (https://www.stereotool.com/download/). Download the file (vst_stereo_tool.dll) to a location you can easily find again for the next step.
- Now you need to use Windows File Explorer to locate the following folder location.
TIP: If you cannot see the ‘ProgramData’ folder, you may have to tick the ‘Hidden Items’ option on the View tab of the File Explorer ribbon.
Once you have located the correct folder, simply copy your VST Plugin .dll file into that location.
- Now here is the tricky bit! The BR Encoder runs as a service and as such cannot have a UI, but now we want to configure a VST plugin directly in the service, we have to stop the regular version of the BR Service and then use a special ‘Interactive’ version of the service that does allow us to configure the VST plugins! As we mentioned, Stereo Tool will always need interactivity, so it can read the licence key, so this needs to be set permanently.
- Firstly, we want to add the interactive Encoder to the list of programs to launch automatically. If you're using BootStuff:
- Click Add Test/Action Sequence
- Under Actions, click the "+" button
- Choose External Program and enter EncoderInteractive for the title
- For the Program Location, type C:\Program Files (x86)\Broadcast Radio\Encoder v1\Service\BrEncoderService1.exe
- Importantly, in Additional Command Line Options, type /r
- Press Save.
- The next thing to do is disable the regular BR Encoder Service:
- Press the windows key on your keyboard and type ‘services’
- Run the ‘Services’ app which shows you a list of all the Services running on your PC
- Scroll down until you find the Broadcast Radio Encoding Service v1.
- Right click in on it and select Stop from the right click menu. Note that THIS WILL STOP YOUR STREAM.
- Right click on it again and press Properties.
- Change the "Enabled" drop-down from Automatic to Disabled.
- Press Save
- Now that the main Service has been stopped, we can run the ‘Interactive Service’.
- Click on the Windows Start icon to bring up the Start Menu.
- Scroll down until you see the Encoder Service (under ‘e’) and expand that menu.
- Click on the Encoder Service (Interactive Mode) option.
- To change the Stereo Tool settings, click on the Configure VST Plugin button.
- The Encoder Service (Interactive Mode) is basically the same as the standard Service but runs as a normal application so can also have interactive user interface elements.
- You can now change the Stereo Tool settings, load a preset, etc. Note that all plug-in settings are immediately saved and remembered, so it is recommended to back up your Stereo Tool settings before making changes. You can do this by pressing the Save button in the top menu.