Program to convert .vstpreset-Files from VST2 to VST3

I’ve written a little tool that can convert vstpreset-Files that were created with VST2-plugins to a vstpreset for the respective VST3 plugin, but only if the VST2 and VST3 versions of the plugin have different plugin IDs (i.e. the VST3 won’t replace the VST2 plugin automatically, and both are visible in Cubase’s plugin selector dropdown)

It is a command line tool, so it is not for the faint of heart. If you are not familiar with Windows PowerShell or CMD, do not use it!

Download the binary from my github and put it someplace on your computer. I just put it directly in to the “VST3 Presets”- Folder in my Documents folder for ease of use, and I’ll use that for the example.

Open a Windows PowerShell.
Type the following, using as an examples u-he’s Zebra2 plugin.

cd '.\Documents\VST3 Presets\'
.\vst2tovst3.exe -d '.\u-he\Zebra2(x64)' --vst3name Zebra2

The “–vst3name” Parameter requires the exact name of the VST3 plugin version. If you do not know that, check in Cubase’s Plugin Manager.

The result should be that all .vstpreset-Files in the ‘.\u-he\Zebra2(x64)’ Folder are now in the ‘.\u-he\Zebra3’-Folder, but with a “v2”-Prefix, as not to overwrite any existing presets.

There is no guarantee that this will work with any plugin. Worst case could be that Cubase crashes (although I haven’t encountered that in my testing). It is not entirely impossible that my code contains bugs or does not work for every input.

The program tries to detect the needed vst3plugins.xml automatically, but if it doesn’t work, you need to specify the complete path to that file with the option “–vst3cache”.
A little help for all the options is available with “–help”

Here is the repo with the source code. If anyone wants to contribute (e.g. adapt for MacOS), go ahead.


Checked your code, nothing suspicious :slight_smile:
Though I always use the vst3 versions, your utility may be of great help to many users!

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The fact that this is still an issue is disappointing and makes the .vstpreset drop down menu/preset management in cubase kinda poop.

I dont even understand why we are sitting here, years after the fact that this problem has been raised with no response from steinberg.

To implement a preset management system that fundamentally does not work correctly/is unreliable.
And the kicker is that steinberg is forcing the move to the VST3 platform, so when we move all our synths and effects over to VST3 versions (and more of them are pushing forward with this thanks to vst2 being abandoned), we are now left without our presets in the preset management of cubase.

its almost a bit of a joke to be honest, what an oversight.

Sometimes i think the engineers don’t actually produce music or use the program in a real life scenario.
There are uncountable bugs and issues that prolong for MANY years, it’s crazy.

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In this one case I have to say, in all fairness, it is not a problem of the Cubase preset management system but of third party developers who for whatever reason chose to no implement the VST2/VST3 conversion functions (which have been existing for years). There are several examples of FX and instrument plugins where that worked quite flawlessly.

You can scream and shout all you want, end of the day, the function in cubase doesn’t work properly for the same plugins, it’s an easy fix for them that has been overlooked.
and as a result, the preset management in cubase is bogus because of it.
you don’t need to point fingers elsewhere.

Other DAW’s run their plugin system differently which allows for different plugins ID’s with the same plugin name to function as the same thing, in cubase we dont have this as we are locked into plugin ID’s which so many companies seem to change from version to version because it doesnt really affect other DAW’s the same way that it affects cubase, so in the end, this is a cubase problem.

You want to have a strict plugin ID system for your users, but thats not how the rest of the industry works, then at least make your preset management system work by fixing the issue that you overlooked.

The product is the product at the end of it all, we purchase it hoping that it functions and functions well. Not having to run around in hoops and loose previous time & presets because we updated to a new version of a plugin that by the way steinberg is enforcing more or less.

There needs to be some accountability for the issue of a flawed implementation of your product.

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What are you talking about??? It is not my product… I am a normal Cubase user, I just created this tool for fun and to learn something, and maybe it could be useful for other, that’s why I shared it.
If you are angry, that is not my problem, so please try to behave a bit more civilized and respectfully.

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XD lol I know that, its a general addressing of the problem from Steinberg…

There shouldn’t be a need for you to create such tools, it is a joke and you shouldn’t defend a broken product from a company that charges good money every year for updates.

Great, I look forward to using this! Too bad Steinberg has their head in a hole about this type of issue. Cubase 13 will be a flood of users looking for this.
The irony is most users won’t realize the problem until it is already on them.

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