Cubase 12 and VST2 support?

Being unhappy about old software not being supported is like complaining when the tide comes in. It will always happen at some point.

Steinberg have supported VST2 for much longer than they intended to. Perhaps this move will encourage the last stragglers to convert. I’m glad to see Kontakt 6 is now VST 3.


There are developers out there who were smart enough to register as VST2 developers before Steinberg stopped that. Any one of them would now have a fairly trivial time releasing a WRAPPER that could easily allow VST2 plugins to be loaded in VST3 hosts. If any of them cared enough to do so.

This sounds like it would eliminate your concerns, as it would mine: I’m a developer planning to release a host, and being unable to support VST2 puts me at a significant disadvantage (forever) next to any of the existing DAWs that had VST2 support. Only because I am doing it later. All of those developers, of Reaper, Cakewalk, FL Studio, etc., etc., etc., can continue to support VST2 as long as they want, and none of them - besides Steinberg - would ever have any reason to drop that support.

There are many VST2 plugins that people still use that have never been released as VST3, and others for which the VST3 versions still have problems. The market, producers, developers, musicians - none of those people prefer not to have the option to use VST2. Only Steinberg.

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If you dislike the VST3 plugins you can still use AU-V1, RTAS, DX or AAX32 plugins instead…or not?

This sums rather well the issue. And yes, I know, C12 won’t be affected on an Intel based system, ya da, ya da. What I’m wondering about is what will happen/is planned AFTER it…

You asked for the instruments I was concerned about. In answer, I listed them here (post # 12), 17 days ago. So, I’m still hoping that I’ll get a comment in return from you. Thanks in advance…

Loomer Strings already supports VST3. All the others, but Sylenth, are not actively developed any more I guess. Our VST team is working with a lot of companies that are actively developing their products and want to switch to VST3 like i.e Native Instruments. But we can’t help companies that are out of business. I understand that currently if feels like Steinberg is the only DAW that stops supporting VST2 out of sudden, but all DAWs have the same problem. Supporting and maintaining VST2 requires resources that could also be used for other projects. It needs quality assurance and engineering resources, but also support, since a high share of our Cubase support cases are caused by faulty 3rd party VST2 plug-ins. Sooner or later all DAWs will drop VST2 support in favour of future-proof technologies and I don’t think that you could blame the DAW manufactures for it.

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A couple of things regarding general VST 3 support:

  • Soundtoys, which had been silent for a long time and made many users worry about their future plans, have finally announced that their complete suite will support VST 3 very soon:
    Apple Silicon and VST 3 - Soundtoys

  • A month ago I inquired Joao, the guy behind JBridge, about a possible update to his software to include VST 3, so we could wrap VST 2 plugins as VST 3 once Cubase stops supporting the VST 2.4 protocol. He wasn’t very convinced about the idea at this point, though, so we’ll have to wait and see.
    Another alternative to do this could be Wusik X42, which currently allows VST 2 <> VST 3 bridging, but doesn’t seem to be very stable and is only available for Windows.

Also, PSP Audio, which is another company with a wide catalog of plugins, are releasing updates to support VST 3 these days. However, on this particular case, PSP decided to change the VST IDs for the VST 3 versions, which is a complete mess because this way their new VST 3s don’t automatically replace the corresponding VST 2s on old projects. Fortunately, not many developers are following this route.


All the DAWs don’t have ‘the same problem’. As the VST 2.4 support is already implemented, I don’t what is to be maintained : the involved plug-ins either work or they don’t. In my case they do - all of them, and as reliably as any VST3 ones.

FYI (in case you’d ignore it), Reaper is still maintaining the compatibility with the DX format. Remember it ? It was something like the beginning of this century. And, AFAIK, they are only two persons to do so and needless to say, there is no question about dropping either DX or the VST 2.x support. If I read correctly the Help>About Cubase pane , you are 79 in charge of Cubase development and servicing…

But point taken : I’ll have to find a solution for the years to come, as I’m no longer motivated to upgrade to Cubase 12. I’ll use 11.0.41 as long as possible, as it seems that there won’t be further updates of the 11.0.x generation. At the worst, I still have a Reaper licence to be able to use my instruments.

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You are right: You don’t know it.

No, you don’t read it correctly. My name is on there as well, the Marketing team, my boss, the manuals team, sound designers…

But point taken: You will turn the back to Cubase in favour of some VST 2 plug-ins, that are not even developed any more. Even though you are not even on Apple M1, so the changes in Cubase 12 won’t even affect you. Sounds like a plan. Good luck.