Help with Dorico VST Whitelist/Blacklist

Hey folks! Support directed me back to the forum.

As per the title, I’m looking for some assistance in utilizing the Whitelist feature to only let certain plugins be loaded on startup. Currently, Dorico searches for all VSTs which slows down startup significantly, and also requires me to click a bunch of “cancel” / “Skip” dialog boxes because I very rarely keep all my dongles connected to my home computer. My home computer is primarily use for composing, while my office/work computer is primarily for sound design. Very occassionally, I’ll need to take work home and so I have all my plugins installed for sound design at home, but the bulk at home is writing…

I only recently bought an edition of Dorico (Elements, by the way) to test the waters before making the Pro purchase eventually. I’m liking it a lot but this startup issue is REALLY a drag. I read in the manual (I think?) that Dorico has an internal whitelist for VST2 instruments, but I was wondering if there was a way to just simply Blacklist everything except for the built-in Steinberg instruments and perhaps maybe Kontakt 6.

Anyone know what to do here to speed up my initialization time? Is there some sort of VST management window I’ve missed or something? Ideally, I want to keep Kontakt at the ready but I guess losing it and only having access to the HSSE (I think is the correct abbreviation?) playback engine is acceptable-ish.


  • Dorico Elements 3 (Latest version)
  • PC, Windows 10

First of all, Dorico loads everything VST3 and by default nothing VST2, except for that what is on the VST2-whitelist.
There are actually 2 whitelists, one “factory” list and one “user” list.
The factory whitelist contains just Kontakt5/6 and NotePerformer and is not supposed to be edited by the user.
The user whitelist is empty by default and users may fill it up to their liking. In order to do so go to the Preferences dialog, choose the Play tab and scroll down. Somewhere there is a button to edit the user whitelist.
In theory you can also edit the factory list, but it will get overwritten again on each version update of Dorico.

Is that enough info? Maybe you could explain in more detail what you are after.

Ulf, I think what SoundGuyChris is trying to do is explicitly blacklist all plug-ins apart from Kontakt. I’m not sure how that might be done. It might be possible, perhaps, by editing the file Vst2xPlugin Blacklist VSTAudioEngine3.xml, which you’ll find in %APPDATA%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine3_64, but I don’t know what syntax you would need to employ.

Thank you both for the clarification on the VST3/VST2 stuff! That’s an important thing to know.

What Daniel is saying is correct: I’m trying to blacklist ALL plugins except for Kontakt. I can easily export a list of all installed plugins from my DAW and fill in as necessary for said blacklist. In the meantime, I’ll hope someone can chime in for what syntax I could use.

Thank you!

I attached a VST2 blacklist from a different user. Though it is from a Dorico version 2, the syntax is the same for version 3.

Do you just want to blacklist VST2 plug-ins or also VST3? There is a blacklist for VST3 plugs in this location:
%APPDATA%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine3_64\VSTAudioEngine3 VST3 Cache\vst3blacklist.xml
Vst2xPlugin Blacklist VSTAudioEngine2.zip (706 Bytes)

Thank you very much, Ulf! This is very helpful for filling out what I’m trying to do! I am indeed looking to blacklist both VST2 and VST3 - the reason is less about compatibility and more about not having to click through a bunch of “skip” / “quit” dialogues, it’s not like I ever use the compressors or waves plugins or reverbs and etc. that pop up in Dorico. This is very helpful, especially that there’s also a VST3 blacklist. The ideal situation is to simply blacklist everything, and whitelist the one or two instruments I’ll ever use in Dorico, but this is hopefully workable method in the meantime. After work tonight or tomorrow I’ll attempt to integrate my own blacklist and I’ll return here if I need any help with the syntax (the Filetype member is basically the only part that seems like it may get finicky without any reference material to work from, but otherwise looks okay).