I seem to run across this problem a lot. Most of my plugins are backward compatible (Absynth 5 can load Absynth 3,4 patchs, etc). But unless I have the older versions of those plugins installed, I can’t load an old project that uses them. Is there a way to tell cubase to load the instrument using the newer version of the plugin, preserving the patch I was using? Even a trick to just have it tell me what patch the missing plugin was using would be helpful.
Yes, this indeed is a big problem with NI plugins. Every two years, when they release a new Komplete, one has to manually exchance each and every old plugin instance with the new one.
For example, open a Kontakt 4 instance, save the patch, exchance it with a Kontakt 5 instance and reload the patch. One or two dozen times per project, dozens and dozens of projects. And then the same with Absynth and all the others. And so on.
This IS necessary, because some day in the future old plugin versions won’t run with - let’s say - Cubase 8 on a Windows 10 system. And I bet, I know it, some day Steinberg ditches VST2 support (as they did with DirectX).
So it’s about time, that developers consider an easy solution, how to load current patches into new plugin versions. If there are enough users demanding this, something will happen …