How to Use Kontakt VST2 and VST3 in Cubase at the Same Time?

I got ISW’s Ventus Winds instruments over Black Friday and they sound wonderful, except (according to the developer) there’s a known bug that causes the Duduk to crash when using the VST3 version of Kontakt.

The problem: I can’t seem to get both the VST2 and VST3 versions of Kontakt to open at the same time. Cubase prioritizes the VST3 versions, so the only way to make the VST2 version show up is to hide the VST3 file in another folder, but this means I can’t use the VST3 versions of instruments on existing project files, they just open up blank.

Is there a way to force Cubase to let me access both versions at the same time? It allows me to do that for the demo of “Aperture: The Stack,” so I can’t imagine why Kontakt is any different. I’m using the current version of Cubase on a Mac (Catalina). I found a thread on this a while back (VST3 and VST2 present same time. What happens?), but it did not address Kontakt specifically.

Hi and welcome to the forum,

As far as I know, all VST2 plug-ins are blockliksted, if there is the same VST3 plug-in. But you can enable it manually from the blocklist. Then you should see both plug-in versions in the list of plug-ins/instruments and you should be able to decide, which one do you want to load for the given track.

The problem is, the VST2 version of Kontakt doesn’t appear in my blacklist. I definitely have the vst2 file on my computer, if I hide my VST3 version in another folder then it comes up, but like I said, then I lose my ability to open the VST3 version. Is this specifically a Kontakt problem, and is there a workaround?


Sorry, I was wrong. If the VST2 and VST3 version of the lug-in shares the same ID, Cubase shows the VST3 version only. There is no way around. Sorry.

You could hack it by renaming the following file:
“C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\Kontakt.vst3”


Really? I was thinking, Cubase is working with the plug-in ID, not the name… Have you really tried this?

Yes, but note that you must change the file extension, i.e. rename it something like:
Of course this is on Windows, I don’t know how it works on Mac.
Also Cubase must not be running when you do this.


This would lead, the plug-in will not be visible for Cubase, or am I wrong?

I’d say it would be more logical that the developer itself fixes the problem with the instrument. Any other solution involving Cubase would be a dirty hack that could lead to future compatibility issues. As a workaround, as you have projects that already use the VST3 version of Kontakt, I’d save the Kontakt Multi configurations to files, uninstall the VST3, and load those Multis again with the Kontakt VST2. And then wait for ISW or Native Instruments to offer a solution.

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The NI installer does not give a choice of which generation of VST to install, so both VST2 and VST3 get installed by default. Renaming the file extension hides the version you don’t want. No, it’s not ideal, just a workaround, but at least we finally now have a VST3 version of Kontakt.


The original request was to use both VST2 for the faulty library and VST3 for other libraries. If I’m not mistaken…

True, this is not possible with Kontakt 6, but the hack I described would temporarily disable the VST3 version of Kontakt 6 until such time as the bug in Ventus Winds is fixed (which is the real source of the issue).


As Kontakt 6 VST2 and Kontakt 6 VST3 have the same plug-in ID, it can find the other one easily. What I mean, if you use VST2 version in your project and then you switch over to the VST3, the plug-in will be in the project and its existing tracks available. Am I right?

Yes, in my case even when I upgraded from Kontakt 5 VST2 (only) to Kontakt 6 (VST2 and VST3 installed by default) my projects ran fine with Kontakt 6 VST3.

So the OP could, as a temporary workaround, disable the VST3 and the VST2 will load instead, then, when the faulty library gets fixed, re-enable the VST3 again.


Good to know, thank you.

After knowing this, to me it looks like NI does it by purpose. So the Kontakt users can always get the latest Kontakt version and no worries about the forward/backwards compatibility. Nice. :slight_smile:

Agreed, but this is an improvement, because before Kontakt 6, it was a nightmare to have to update projects one by one as the actual DLLs (on Windows) had different names. I’ve still seen a few quirks with projects that have complex routing (multiple outputs from Kontakt may have to be reactivated etc.) but I’m very happy that NI have embraced VST3.

I hae same “issue” here as well.
I’m using VST2 version of Kontakt. I removed VST3 version from plugins folder because when opening older Cubase projects that have Kontakt vst2 in them, Cubase automatically loads Kontakt vst3 version instead of vst2, and all instances can’t find the patches for those tracks.

this is very strange because all other plugins both vst2 and vst3 version show up in Cubase and I can chose which one to use. But not Kontakt, if I put Kontakt vst3 in vst3 plugins folder then Cubase will only show Kontakt vst3 version and won’t be able to let me use Kontakt vst2.


This is by design. If Cubase detects VST2 & VST3 version of the very same plug-in, VST2 version becomes hidden to provide better VST3 version.

Workaround of dinner companies is, they use 2 different plug-in IDs, so Cubase doesn’t know it’s the very same plug-in. The disadvantage is, you cannot switch smoothly from VST2 to VST3 and back. Because these are 2 totally different plug-ins from Cubadr one of view then.

all other plugins show both VST2 and VST3 version, except Kontakt, I dont think is by design

I think it’s the opposite: there aren’t that many plugins that can be used in Cubase as VST2 and 3 in parallel. Most only show VST3 in Cubase, even if both versions are installed. As @Martin.Jirsak explained, this is related to the plugin ID. And that’s what the plugin developers are responsible for