Kontakt VST3 location

Hi, I’ve been looking at several posts relating to Kontakt failing to appear. I have Kontakt 6 – Komplete 12, in fact – and it is installed to a subfolder in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 called <VSTPlugins 64 bit>. Dorico is not picking it up.

I saw mention here https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=825469#p825469

Ulf » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:04 am

Hi TomekK,
with VST3 we were more strict, so those plug-ins must get installed at certain predefined places.

but Ulf did not specify where that should be. Dorico has picked up Z3TA+ 2, which is in a subfolder, but not Omnisphere, which is in the root VST3 folder (not that I’m looking for either of these at present). It has picked up VSL Ensemble Pro, which is also in root.

Any guidance?

Hi Marcabru, yes, C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 is the correct place. And everything, including all subfolders in there will get scanned.
If Kontakt is somewhere in there and is still not picked up, then it could be that it got blacklisted for some reason.
In Dorico, please choose from the main menu Help > Create Diagnostic Report. That creates a zip file on your desktop, please attach it here.

Kontakt isn’t a VST3 plugin, it’s still VST2. So I would recommend installing it to C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2

Note that if you have a VST3 plugin then it should get installed automatically to the correct place. As far as I’m aware, none of the NI plugins are VST3 yet.

Right, I always forget about what plugs are VST2 or VST3. But true, Kontakt, as all Native Instrument plugs, are only VST2. Therefore they don’t belong into that VST3 folder but instead better into C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2.

That appears to be the answer: pretty annoying of NI to put things in the VST3 folder when they are not VST3.

OK. On the whitelist thing, then. I added the subfolder path to the scanning list, and populated the whitelist.txt document opened by the prompt. Still nothing. Here is the diagnostic zip.

I notice that the path to the prompted whitelist is this:

while the default list (which already includes Kontakt) is
C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Dorico3\VSTAudioEngine\Components
Dorico Diagnostics.zip (1.56 MB)

First, that’s right, there are two whitelists that get consolidated to one at runtime. The whitelist to be edited by the users is under AppData/Roaming, the other one users shall not touch.

Second, where is Kontakt currently located with you? The vst2 paths currently don’t point to the VST3 folder where it was located before, so Kontakt is not seen at the moment.

For your current vst2searchpaths please have a look at the file C:\Users<name>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine3_64\Vst2xPlugin SearchPaths VSTAudioEngine3.xml
You can open it in a normal text editor. Please check if of the specified paths at least one matches the actual location of Kontakt.

When I installed Kontakt 6, it installed its .dll in C:\Program Files\Native Instruments\VSTPlugins 64 bit, and I had to copy it manually into the Common\VST2 folder. At least on my Windows machine, using the standard Kontakt installer, it did not attempt to place the files in either Common VST folder.

The VST2 specification did not say anything about install locations, so manufacturers are free to install it anywhere they want. The downside is that the plug-in hosting apps (DAWs, audio engines, etc) then need to provide a means of specifying the search paths.

With the VST3 specification Steinberg learnt the lesson and specified certain installation locations where VST3 plug-ins need to reside. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it is only 2 different folders (on Mac and Win) where they shall get installed. That makes the scanning for plug-ins much more convenient for the plug-ins hosting apps.

Ulf wrote: where is Kontakt currently located with you?

It is in the VST3 folder, in a subfile dedicated to NI products. I added that location to the scan destinations list.

According to the last diagnostic report you’ve sent, the VST3 folder is not in the list of VST2 search paths.

Also, please take it out there because a VST2 plug-in does not belong into the VST3 folder.
Move the NI folder over to C:\Program Files\Common Files\ VST2
That path is also definitely in the list of VST2-search paths.

lightbulb I’ve copied the offending files to a folder within the NI directory, added that folder to the scan destinations, and have enjoyed success! Now working. Thanks.

Well, Kontakt just became a VST3 plugin with the latest update. :purple_heart:


It’s late. The 2 years later made me laugh :slight_smile:

1 Like

By the way, if Dorico is compatible with Kontakt and other workstations, is it compatible with UVI or with Engine 2 too?
In my case they aren’t currently in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 folder, but I don’t really want to copy them there, everything is already organized elsewhere for Cubase…

I suspect that UVI and Engine 2 are VST 2 plug-ins, rather than VST 3 plug-ins. To use them with Dorico you will need to add them to the “allow list” on the VST Plug-ins page of Preferences. For more information, please see here.

1 Like

VST3 plugins always install to the same place; it is part of the standard and one of its virtues. VST2s, by contrast, install in many and various places. Wherever Cubase is looking for the ones mentioned, that’s the place to direct Dorico to.

1 Like

Thank you for your response dspreadbury! I thought that everything I had was VST 3 since it was my belief that Cubase 11 doesn’t allow VST 2 technology.
(ah I must have mistaken the VST 2 with the 32-bit plug-ins! my bad)

Thanks for the insight Marcabru! I didn’t know that :slight_smile: