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A self-contained software signal processor, such as an Equaliser or Compressor, which can be ‘inserted’ into the notional signal path of a DAW. Plug-ins are available in a myriad of different forms and functions, and produced by the DAW manufacturers or third-party developers. Most plug-ins run natively on the computer’s processor, but some require bespoke DSP hardware. The VST format is the most common cross-platform plug-in format, although there are several others.