A word that is thrown around quite a bit in our business and as such has some subtly different meanings depending upon the context. It is often used to express that some software will run on a computer system without the need for any special hardware or software. In practice, however, the software qualifier has been ignored more often than not. As a result the ‘native’ often works out to mean something very similar to the concept defined by the term ‘host-based,’ which basically means the software uses the processor in the computer, as opposed to dedicated DSP, to manipulate the data. Where users often get confused with this is when they see software and plug-ins being made for MAS, RTAS, VST, or other host environments that are popular for DAW platforms. These are all considered native formats, even though they each have an extra layer of software between the computer (and its OS) and the plug-in.