It all started during the 90′s when David Viens and Sébastien Beaulieu were hacking sounds from all kinds of rare and gloomy gear. They were also making some IDM/minimal DJ performances under the name while(1)fork(); at Bily Kun, then one of the well known addresses of Montreal’s electronic scene.
The First VST Plug-ins
After getting their degree from University of Montreal in Computer Science, they started coding their own VST plug-ins to add new virtual toys to complement their experimentation with hardware. An entity was needed for releasing the first plug-in “Rebuilder”. A Quebec Anglicism/slang word for plug came up and so Plogue was born in 2000.
Next came “MixedGrains”. Both were featured by the Electronic Musician magazine in their “Website of the month” article about Plogue.
Digging Into Modular Audio Environments
While experimenting with VST plug-ins, the Plogue duo saw a real challenge to improve the hosts and modular audio environments available at the time. They thought that the perfect modular host would be instantly fun to play with and easy to learn while at the same time also allowing the hardcore users to delve into some lower-level objects. Because that application did not exist, they started doing it by themselves… from scratch!
Ambitious? Sure! Why not?
As silly as their new project, they even called it ‘Bidule’, a french slang term for thingy! What was first a part-time project grew up into a day and night dedication!
Today, Bidule reached it’s original target of shortening the learning curve while doing more. It is constant evolution and is now being used by tens of thousands of users.
The Making Of An Audio Engine
Plogue’s powerful tool Bidule got the attention of some of the biggest names of the industry. Garritan and Sibelius came to Plogue and were the first to license their technologies.
In 2005, Plogue started the development of a brand new Audio Engine in collaboration with Garritan. The ARIA Engine was designed from the start to be as flexible as possible. Which means it would something that could be used for Plogue’s own products too. This explains why it was developed as a sample playback/synth hybrid engine rather than a straight sample playback one. The project quickly became the next big beast for Plogue. And what a pleasure it was to see the very first product launched using this Engine: the Steinway & Sons Grand Piano !
Today, the ARIA Engine is used in a dozen products and it has proven that it could respond to the most demanding tasks.