on plugins and macOS

If you are experiencing difficulty running igorski.nl plugins on macOS, the underlying reason might be that the application is denied execution (by a built-in security program known as Gatekeeper) because the plugins are not signed with a developer certificate. This has been around for a while but since macOS Big Sur, security has tightened.

I don't care, TL;DR tell me how to install.

So why don't you have this developer certificate thing?

Being able to get an Apple certified developer certificate requires one to sign up to any of the Apple Developer programs, with the lowest membership program costing US$99, per year... regardless of whether applications are distributed through the App Stores or not and whether they are free of charge. igorski.nl is currently not eligible for Apples fee waiver.

While the amount itself won't exactly break the bank, as a recurring fee it is substantial enough to be considered too much given that all igorski software is distributed for free.

So are you one of those "Apple is evil and I won't budge to their terms!"-type people?

Oh please, if I had that level of ethical concern I wouldn't be using any type of consumer electronic equipment. While I often find their changes to the hardware and software dubious or worthy of disabling within the OS, I get the rationale behind Gatekeeper: keep the software ecosystem associated with your products free of shady content to make yourself look better than the competition. It makes sense. Also it is definitely helpful for the average consumer.

For reasons stated above I find that getting (read: repeatedly purchasing) the certificate is an unnecessary expense. Basically I'd be paying a subscription to give things away for free.

Consider that any kind of activity I undertake requires an investment in one form, e.g. hosting, distribution, server security certificates, equipment purchases, etc. it's a list that is constantly growing as is. Maybe I need to rethink my business strategy. Wait, what business ? I'm an individual who takes pleasure in making these things.

Aha. Guess I can't run your plugins then ?

Ah, you reached the "maybe I can interest you in a dubious workaround"-section. Yes, there is a way to run the plugins. However understand that you are willfully ignoring the reason Gatekeeper exists : Apple cannot vouch for the legitimacy of this software. I can pinky swear that none of the plugins contain malware of any kind or engage in any form of morally incorrect behaviour within your computer. Heck, the code for all plugins is fully open source. The most upsetting thing in the code is probably my formatting preference or downright weird math.

Give us the workarounds then.

You could build the plugin from source which would make it a trusted application since it was made on your computer. Unless you know what CMake is and aren't afraid of it, you probably want to ignore that suggestion.

You will need to open up your Terminal application for the following alternatives. Note: you will only need to run these commands once (per plugin). Once executed, Gatekeeper will add the plugin to its trusted list. You have a luxurious two different options to pick from:

1. Disable Gatekeeper for the plugin

You will need to provide the full path to the plugin. In the README file of the archives you would have selected a specific file and moved it to a specific folder. That's the full path you need. The command is:


So if you were to add the Regrader VST3 plugin into your allow list, you would type:

spctl --add "/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/regrader.vst3"

You can also just type:

spctl --add

(with a space at the end!) and drag the plugin file from the Finder into the terminal window to automatically append the full file path to the command. Press enter and you're done.

2. Disable Gatekeeper entirely

Please don't do this. Or if you must, disable it temporarily. You will need to provide your administrator password for execution of these commands.
The first command is:

sudo spctl --master-disable

If you now launch a DAW / editor host and load the plugin, it should now work. You can now enable Gatekeeper again by running:

sudo spctl --master-enable

Now forget all about what you just did. Of course you feel dirty, if you had no moral issues you would already have Gatekeeper disabled to begin with.