In the context of electronic music, computer software which allows a plug-in to be run as a stand-alone application. Plug-ins are usually intended to be loaded into sequencer or DAW software, but there may be times when it makes more sense to dispense with the overhead of a large sequencer or DAW package, such as when using a plug-in as an effect during live performance. The shell usuallly provides only the minimal resources needed by the plug-in in order to run -- MIDI and audio routing, access to the user inteface, and access to CPU and storage resources; thus it is a lower-overhead solution. Some shells are intended for plug-in code development and contain specific features for testing and debugging.

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