Cubase not recognising copys of plugins as separate version

I’m having an issue where Cubase 12 pro refuses to show a plugin copy (that has slightly different settings) in its VST plugins manager. (Both are vst2)

Plugin is Nebula 4. I bought an AlexB eq to use with it, but in the manual it recommended creating a copy of the N4.dll, rename it to ‘AlexB-N4’ and altering a few of the plugins settings in its .xml file.

The problem is, when I load up Cubase, it shows the AlexB-N4.dll plugin… but no longer lists the N4.dll. The only way to get the N4.dll to show in the list of plugins is to remove the AlexB-N4 one from the vstplugins folder. It’ll show one or the other but Cubases refuses to recognise both as distinct plugins!

Someone suggested setting a different Id number in the .xml file, but that still didn’t help.

Any ideas how to force Cubase to accept both versions of this plugin into its vst plugins list?

Sounds like a hack to me.
I would contact AlexB and ask for support. It’s not really a Cubase issue.

It is a Cubase issue that its not seeing both plugins at the same time. Both work fine on their own if only one of them is in the vst plugins folder.

The reason Alex suggests making a copy is so that his Nebula programs can run at the optimal way for his programs specifically. Already contacted Alex and he didn’t have a solution.

So it works fine in other DAWs you’ve tried?

I think some other DAWs don’t rely completely on the plugin class id, but also on the filename (iirc reaper works like that).
Cubase traditionally only used the id of plugins, be it VST2 or VST3.
It could maybe be possible with tampering with the VST3 cache.xml, (edit: forget about that, OP has a VST2.dll) but it would be, as you wrote, a hack, and every time the xml gets rewritten, you’d have to edit it again… let’s say the whole thing is a bit outside the specs…

I don’t have any other DAW’s installed right now. Like I say, if only the N4.dll is in there, Cubase see’s it fine. If only AlexB-N4.dll copy version is in the folder, Cubase sees it fine.

If both are in the folder, Cubase only sees the AlexB-N4.dll and not the N4.dll file. For some reason Cubase has decided that they’re both identical I guess and so only chooses to list 1 of them. How can I get cubase to recognise that these are 2 distinct plugins and to list both in the plugin manager?

You would probably need to patch the new DLL and replace the VST2 id with a new one. Theoretically possible, but you’re on your own there…

I would ignore that recommendation in the manual. It is definitely a hack, whether it works in some DAWs or not. It just has to work with the regular Nebula plugin dll, else it’s not worth whatever you paid for it…

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Hack isn’t quite the right word for it. I don’t know how familiar you are with the Nebula plugin, its like an engine for all sorts of different types of sampled programs to work in, eq’s, reverbs, compressors etc.

AlexB’s programs can and do run fine in the default N4.dll and its default settings. It’s just that you can tweak its internal settings for optimal sound with how he programmed his programs. Either by editing the settings in N4 itself, or by manually altering the accompanying .xml file. So that when the plugin loads, it loads those new settings by default.

By suggesting making a copy of both the .dll and .xml files and renaming them. This allows a person to load a version of N4 with Alex’s optimal settings (AlexB-N4.dll) already there (whilst at the same time leaving the normal settings as-is with the N4.dll).

This is purely to just avoid having to tweak the plugins intenal settings every time you load it, thats all it is.

But why on earth Cubase won’t show up both of them in the plugins manager is a real mystery…

This is not something you would normally do with a VST plugin, hence why I label it as a hack.

It’s most likely that both .dll files share the same VST plugin ID.

Did you ask this developer if they successfully performed this procedure and have it work in Cubase?

Yep, if you copy the dll, the plugin internal id stays the same. That’s why I wrote, you could probably change that id in the new dll with a hex editor if you know how and where.
But it’s all really a hack :wink: I would just load N4 and the program, make the settings and save that as a preset in Cubase.

the important part here is that the ID of a VST2 plugin is contained within the .dll. Since you copied the .dll both files have the same ID.
Cubase only sees these IDs, notices that they are both the same and therefore displays only one of them.
The creator of the .dll would have to compile it again but with another ID. Otherwise what you try to do won’'t work.

SOLVED! I had no idea Nebula4 itself has its own internal function that allows you to create duplicates…and these ones Cubase DOES recognise as a separate plugin

All fixed :smiley: