PluginInspector for Cubase and Nuendo projects, an xlsx report generator of used plugins

PluginInspector is a free Windows console application that scans a specified folder (provided as an argument) and its subfolders recursively to find Steinberg Cubase or Nuendo project files. It collects all used VST plugins from these project files and checks whether they are installed on the system. The results are saved in an XLSX file that contains two worksheets. The first worksheet, named “Projects,” contains project/plugin relations, while the second worksheet, named “Plugins,” contains plugin/project relations.

How does it work?
The application automatically detects your DAW by checking the Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\ folder and its subfolders in the following order: Cubase 12_64, Nuendo 12_64, Cubase 11_64, Nuendo 11_64, Cubase 10.5_64, Nuendo 10.5_64, and so on. The first hit will be used. If you’re using more than one DAW version, you can specify a DAW config path as a second command-line argument. The first command-line argument is your projects folder.

Example command line usage:
PluginInspector.exe “E:\my Cubase projects” “c:\Users\myUserName\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 11_64”

The plugin information is read from the following DAW config files:

Installed VST3 plugin details:
Cubase Pro VST3 Cache/vst3plugins.xml or Nuendo VST3 Cache/vst3plugins.xml

Installed VST2 plugin details:
Vst2xPlugin Infos Cubase.xml or Vst2xPlugin Infos Nuendo.xml

Installed shell or wrapper VST plugins without details (like Waves plugins):

For best results, first rename the VstPlugInfoV4.xml or VstPlugInfoV3.xml files to something like VstPlugInfoV4.bak or VstPlugInfoV3.bak, because Cubase/Nuendo never maintain these files, so they could still hold data for plugins that have been deleted. An up-to-date XML file will be created when the DAW is next started.

Secondly, rescan your plugins from Cubase or Nuendo’s “Studio\VST Plug-in Manager” to refresh the VST3 and VST2 plugin info files.

After that, you can launch the command-line application.
For easier visibility, Steinberg plugins filtered out from the report.

There are four color codes in the XLSX:

Blue: installed VST3 plugin
Green: installed VST2 plugin
Yellow: installed VST plugin (only the plugin name can be extracted from the Cubase/Nuendo project file)
Red: missing VST plugin

Requirements: MS Visual C++ x64 Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022.

Donations are welcome on paypal:
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Although I am not sure I really need this, it seems like a great idea. Nice job!
One question: how do you detect which plugins are used in the project file? Afaik the cubase project file is (sadly) not really documented, at least I have found nothing.
I once had a similar idea, not only collecting the plugin names, but if possible saving the plugin session state as vstpreset file. I don’t know how feasible that is and I never found out how to find that in the project file, so I quickly abandoned the idea.

This sounds great! I’m excited to try this out.
What versions of Cubase does this application support? You mention down to 10.5, but I’m guessing there is a minimum version number supported.

There is no publicly available documentation for the CPR and NPR files. However, it’s possible to perform simple pattern hunting in the project files. This allows you to find the plugin GUIDs and names. However, the names are less useful because they can easily be overwritten by the DAW. To obtain related data such as the real plugin name and vendor, you can mine the Cubase XML configuration files using the collected plugin GUIDs.

Cubase and Nuendo versions 8 to 12 should work.
I added support for Cubase LE AI Elements (8-12) in the code also, but I have not tested it.

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