I am looking at related threads. What is the difference between the Instrument Host and The FX Host and should I just get the HOST XL since it seems to contain both Instrument and FX?
Thanks. Sorry for this basic question. The answer is probably obvious to those who know more. I very much appreciate your help.
Host as an Instrument has polyphonic CV/Gate inputs and stereo output.
Host-XL has, in addition, 8 inputs and outputs, and you can assign all the important inputs in the plug matrix above. So yes, it can host either an audio effect OR an audio instrument.
Host-FX is tailored to stereo audio effects. You could actually load a VST instrument into Host-Fx, because CV/Gate are also possible inputs in the assignable input matrix.
Host only works with VST instruments, as it has no provision for audio input.
So yes you could just use Host-XL or Host-FX for everything, instruments and effects alike, but Host handles the straightforward case for VST instruments just fine.
When you buy Host, you get all 3 plus 3 expanders for CV, Gate, and CC.
Might also mention that there are VST/AU instruments that can also take audio input, so Host-FX or Host-XL would be needed to handle that.
A good example of a VST instrument that also accepts audio input? VCV Rack Pro