Dorico 4 always complaining about plug-ins

I have five plug-ins from SSL that I had a 6 month license for (now expired). Every time I launch Dorico, I get 5 error messages that these five plug-ins are not activated. I have deleted these plugins from iLok and I have deleted them from my hard drive.

I also got these messages from Logic Pro and from Universal Audio Luna on start-up, but removing them from my hard drive and from iLok has solved it.

Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

Note: I had the same issue on Dorico 3.5. This is not a new issue on 4.0, but it persists.

Please do ‘Help > Create Diagnostics Report’ and post the corresponding zip file her. From the logs I can maybe find out, where Dorico is finding those deactivated plug-ins.

Thank you. Here is the Zip file.
Dorico (309.6 KB)

According to the log files there are or were some SSL plug-ins installed under


So please have a look at that location if there are still some SSL plug-ins around. Also note, that Library folder is in the root of your harddrive and not the one in your home directory.

That was it! My other apps used the AU versions, which I had deleted. Deleting the VST’s seems to have solved it. Thanks!

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Hi! I’m having the same issue. (I’m attaching the diagnostics.) Each time I launch Dorico 4, I’m prompted to authorize plugins that no longer reside on my system, (I’ve checked ALL the plugin folders, including VST and VST3. These are on the root directory, and there are no plugins whatsoever User/Audio/Plugins. Restarting doesn’t help.) The problematic plugins are Eventide SplitEQ and TVerb and LiquidSonics’s SeventhHeaven. This makes for a very slow startup every time. Can you help? Thanks!
Dorico (590.1 KB)

Hi @Joe_Gore , welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the data but it is still not clear to me. Do for the 3 mentioned plug-ins pop up some alert boxes during start-up or how come that you know it’s those 3. Because you really have hundreds of plug-ins installed on you system, and among those also a lot of Eventide plugs. However, among the data I can’t find any trace of TVerb, SplitEQ or SeventhHeaven, so I really wonder.
The VST2 search paths are set to following 3 locations:
/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/VST
So in those folders nothing is to be found from the mentioned “troublemakers”.

Or is the problem rather that startup takes a long time in general? Because you have so many plug-ins I expect start-up to be quite slow with you anyway.
Since you have not whitelisted any VST2 plug-ins, you could clear the VST2 search paths completely and then Dorico would ignore the VST2s right away and not even scan them.

Hi Ulf! Thanks for the speedy reply. I’m sorry that my first Dorico communication concerns a problem. I’m brand-new to the platform — I finally lost my patience with Big S. I’m enjoying Dorico a great deal, and it’s generally meeting or exceeding my expectations. :slight_smile:

The slowness seems to be specifically about Dorico seeking authorizations for absent plugins. I get the standard “authorization needed” popups even though the plugins are no longer on my system, as you have confirmed. (Screenshots attached.) I’d probably attribute it to the plugin developer, except the error occurs with plugins from two different vendors. My current startup time is approximately two minutes on a recent-model iMac.

I’m also attaching a screenshot of the plugin directory in my root library. As you can see, there is no VST2 folder. I’m not a VST expert — as a Mac/Logic user, and I usually deal only with Audio Units. So I’m not sure what you mean by clearing the VST2 search paths. (I have tried Dorico’s “clear audio engine cache” function, but this has not solved the problem.) Can you explain a bit further?

This is very weird!

Another weird detail: Yesterday I was encountering the problem with three plugins (the ones mentioned, plus Eventide’s TVerb). Today the TVerb error no longer appears — just the other two.

P.S.: As a new user, I’m told I can only upload a single media file, so I had to combine the three images in Photoshop. Would you be so kind as to remove this limitation from my account while we resolve this issue? Thanks! :slight_smile:

As helpful as Ulf is, altering the web forum is not within his purview. Take a look at this to understand how you can gain additional capabilities on the forum.

Hi @Joe_Gore , there is no VST2 folder because VST2 plug-ins are located in the VST folder(s).
So please have a look again in following folders on your harddrive and see if you can find anything related to the troublemaking plug-ins:
/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/VST

I think they must be somewhere in there.
Those 3 paths are also registered in the Dorico preferences as search paths for VST2 plug-ins. If you choose from the Dorico menu Edit > Preferences the Preferences dialog opens. Choose the VST Plug-ins tab and there you see the mentioned search paths. Via the trash can icon you can also delete the search paths and thus hiding away VST2 plug-ins from Dorico. That should also speed up your start up time.
If you need further assistance, please let me know.

Regarding the attachments. Indeed, I can’t change that, but you could simply take several items, zip them up and attach as a single item.

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Hi, Ulf! I attempted to respond to your direct message (thanks very much for that) but the Steinberg site won’t accept my email. (Perhaps because of site’s exceedingly rigorous posting restrictions for new members?)

In the meantime, here are a few details I can share publicly.

As an experiment, I temporarily renamed my VST3 plugin folder so Dorico doesn’t “see" it. (I left the VST folder untouched.) Dorico opened in several seconds. So the slow startup definitely seems related to the plugin search and the VST3 folder.

I have verified that none of the problem plugin reside in ANY of my plugin folders (VST, VST3, and AU — I have no MAS or AAX folders.) This is true for both the home and user directories.

Regarding your other comments: I’m sorry to be so slow to understand this. But I can’t find the search path and trash can options you mention in the expected place. (I’m sure I’m making a stupid mistake.) Here’s a screenshot of my Preferences/VST Plugins page. I see the plugin white-listing tool … the various reset options … but nothing about specific search paths and no trash can icon. What am I getting wrong?

Again, thanks for the assistance! :slight_smile:

Hi Joe, first regarding the preferences: There should be more there; are you on Dorico Elements? But this function is so essential, it should be in every Dorico version, I think.

And when you rename the VST3 folder, still you are asked for the license of those plug-ins that are supposedly not there anymore, do I get that right?

Hi Ulf, In Preferences under the VST Plugins tab in Dorico 4 Pro I have exactly the same options in Dorico 4.0 as Joe_Gore shows. Maybe there is a confusion as in Cubase you do see the VST paths in the Plugin Manager and can delete and add paths but I have not found such an option in Dorico.

I was searching for the VST3 path Dorico 4 uses as I have an issue that a VST3 plugin works in Dorico 4.0 (Native) but not in Cubase 12 (Native) which seems weird as I assumed that both use the same plugin in the folder Macintosh>Library>Audio>Plug-Ins>VST3 (you have to unhide this last folder on a Mac)

Hi @mavros , I’m mainly a Windows user and easily tend to forget that things are sometimes different on Mac. Also in this case, and to be honest, I don’t know why we don’t have the VST2 path option in Dorico on Mac. Maybe it’s because 99.99% of all VST2 plug-ins get installed into the default location anyway, so that there is no need to specify anything different.
VST3 plug-ins on the other hand have to be in MacintoshHD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3, that’s the spec, so in this case the search path option is definitely not needed.
Which plug-in does not work in Cubase 12. Is it shown as blocked plug-in in Cubase?

Thanks Ulf. That confirms that Dorico and Cubase use the same path and VST3 plugins . The fact that this whole folder is hidden is also a typical Apple thing. Visible is an empty VST folder but you do not see the VST2 (Mac has one), the MAS and the VST3 folders if you do not unhide them with CMD+Shift+. (period).

The plugin with the problem is a VST3, Abbey Road One and the related sections. I am sorting it out with the library supplier. It works in Dorico 4.0 but not in Cubase that is the weird thing. If Spitfire cannot find a solution, I might post an issue in the Cubase forum. For the time being I use BBCSO with a few extra instrument tracks instead that works in both Intel and Native versions of Cubase and Dorico.

@mavros , but how does it behave in Cubase? Is it in the list of available plug-ins but does not load? Is it listed at all? It loads and opens the GUI but utters no sound?

I’m not sure that’s normal. As far as I know, /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3 and /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/MAS are not hidden on MacOS. I certainly don’t remember “unhiding” those folders on my new MBP, and they are visible.

There is no “VST2” folder on my Macs.

Forgive me, I know little or nothing about Macs - that ‘VST’ folder above your highlighted VST3 folder… Is it just (historically) a short-hand place/label for any VST2 items.? i.e. what usually gets installed there…?

Yes, VST is where the VST2 plug-ins get installed.

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Right… I see; thanks. We live. We learn.