That "disappearing" plugin thing; still in C9?

I’m afraid there is no fast and easy resolution.

I guess it is a very complicated matter at Microsoft. Limits do exist for a reason (this has been around since XP, IIRC) and architectural changes are not trivial. This is definitely not my field and I actually don’t know what MS can or will do. What would help the most, and in the short term* as well, is plug-in developers to use runtime libs dynamically.

Not only it affects other DAWs (, but it potentially affects every process that can reach the limit.

  • For developers having tens or hundreds of plug-ins is nothing easy either, of course.

It’s hard to ignore that FL Studio doesn’t have the limit - to my knowledge. It may be a good idea to spy in their direction to see how they got around it.

In general, there’s a lot to learn from FL. Moreso than Studio One, which is mostly derivative in itself.

Again, I’m not familiar with FL, or know how it’s implemented. But host applications use up their own slots, it’s reasonable to guess that a host that needs less can load more plug-ins.

Cheers for the update Fabio.

One of your previous suggestions was to remove some of the additional slots used by Cubase. Can you provide a list of the non-essential dlls that we can remove from the folder to maximise the number of slots available?


euconadapter (support for Euphonix / AVID controllers)
hubservice (Steinberg Hub, without this, you will only see the Project Assistant, the Hub on the left will be missing)
omffilter (you will be unable to import OMF files)
video (all files, of course all video features will be missing)

Of course, if you need one or more of these features, the corresponding files can’t be moved.

This won’t be a huge help though :-/

Thanks Fabio.

One thing I’ve noticed is that on Cubase 9 it appears as though less plugins are able to load. When I load the same project on Cubase 8, I don’t seem to find issues but on the latest version it seems like numerous plugins are missing.

Is there a reason for this, or a way I can at least get Cubase 9 to work like Cubase 8?

I know it isn’t your fault - and there’s not much you can do to help - but this bug is honestly so, so frustrating. :frowning: It’s cost me many tens of hours (without exaggeration). I just wish there was some fix already.

Bump :slight_smile:

Would love to get a response on this. As it stands, I basically have to use Cubase 8 instead of 9 because I have an even less number of plugins I can load with Cubase 9…


sorry, missed this one. There shouldn’t be much difference between the two versions of Cubase, but some new features (e.g. the Sampler Track) might have increased slightly the amount of dll used up by Cubase.
Let me confirm with development if this is the case.

Any news on the matter Fabio?
Thanks btw for your tip on moving those dlls.
Now I’m able to work with my project. Still limiting but using plugins already used in the project may help me finish.
First time happened was with C9.0.1.
Is 9.0.2 better/different?

I’ve all but given up hope of this issue being rectified. I’m resorting to using Cubase 8 because 9 seems to use up more dlls, and therefore I’m stuck with even smaller projects!!

I understand that it isn’t solely Steinberg’s responsibility here, and that Microsoft are involved in a fix. But this is a serious issue that has been ongoing for over 2 years now. (This post here dates back to March 2015:

That seems quite absurd.

Thing is that you don’t know exactly when it will happen. And worst of all, you might have the problem without realizing it until you finally notice something odd.

Another strange behavior, the only 2 sampler tracks I had in that busy project where oddly disabled. In other words I’ve never disabled them, they became disabled, just like that. Trying to enable them or adding another sampler track gave errors and crashes, so I had to dump using sampler tracks in that project and work alternatively.

That “disappearing” plugin thing dictates the way you mix, the way you think and how you process your channels etc. Another restriction besides system resources.

I feel Microsoft will not fix the problem any time soon. I believe it’s not on top of their priorities, maybe they’ll never fix something like that.
So it’s up to Steinberg and other DAW/plugin developers to at least improve the situation…

This sentence sums it up: “And worst of all, you might have the problem without realizing it until you finally notice something odd.”

The number of times I’ve had this occur is beyond recollection. I’ve only noticed that there’s something audibly wrong with the mix…only to discover that actually a ton of the work I had done had just been deleted.

I don’t know how else to raise my concerns about this to DAW manufacturers, but this is a bug that simply must be a priority fix. 2 years without a resolution, and the bug is an absolute game-changer.

Hello - I see this info is spread over at least three threads in the forum, with somewhat inconsistent information spread among them.

Would someone be kind enough to please re-state the problem for me (or any other folks who come later) as it stands now?

Much appreciated -

Hi alexis -

Absolutely. The issue is that on large projects, which use a large number of different plugins, Cubase eventually hits a ‘cap’ and no other new plugins can be added. This has 2 effects -

1 - No additional new plugins can be added to a project
2 - Project recall may delete / remove plugins over the ‘cap’, meaning that accurate session recall is compromised. I have had projects load that sound dramatically different than how I had saved them because a number of plugins are now missing, and cannot be re-added.

To clarify, #1 generally only applies to plugins that have not been used in the session previously (for example, if I had used FabFilter Pro-C elsewhere in the project, I will be able to use another instance of it - but not a new plugin I haven’t used elsewhere).

According to fabio, this is due to the number of seperate dll’s being used by Cubase. One way to ‘increase’ the number of plugins you’re able to use is by moving some of the non-essential dll’s out of the Cubase folder. I’ve done so - but it appears Cubase 9 is actually even worse than 8 because it has additional features (such as the Sampler Track). As a result, I’m still stuck using Cubase 8.

This only seems to affect users on Windows - but is a very serious issue. It has lost me literally upwards of tens of hours. I have had entire projects load sounding dramatically different than how I had left them. We’ve waited over 2 years for some movement on a fix but still nothing has been resolved.

I’m trying my best to be understanding. I know that it appears Steinberg cannot resolve this problem on their own and that they have to work with Microsoft on a fix. But how long must we wait? I can’t even use the latest version of Cubase - which I have paid for!! - because of this bug.

Hope that clarifies.

Perfect description by skanafchian.

Adding to that, plugins disappear randomly, unpredictably and without any notice. As stated before, you don’t really know unless you hear something odd.

Still no update guys?

I have to say I’m very disappointed. And we’ve been incredibly patient, having waited over 2 years for a fix.

I cannot financially support Steinberg when a bug of this magnitude still exists and appears to not be a priority. I stupidly purchased Cubase 9 thinking that maybe - just maybe - it would fix the problem. Ironically, it makes things worse and I can’t even use Cubase 9 at all because it destroys even more projects than Cubase 8.

I won’t be spending another penny until this issue has been 100% resolved. Perhaps my business is more welcome elsewhere.

The latest update is here:

Reading this thread, not experiencing this issue myself, I see 2 solutions:

  1. Make a blacklist of lazy plugin manufacturs, contact them and explain that their plugins are not programmed up to the latest standards.
  2. Only use plugins that don’t have this problem, or rationalise usage (I.e. don’t build humongous mixer templates with 6 plugs per channel for 32 channels, but Deploy as you go, use send returns where applicable etc.

It’s annoying for some for sure, but the above suggestions are a lot more productive than barking against the wrong tree here.
As Fabio has explained many times, it’s an MS framework/developer guidance issue, not a Steinberg issue, it’s outside their control.

How can we know which plugins have the issue?

Multiple of the same plugins won’t take up more slots, afaik.

When I Google, I just can’t find the same complaint for other DAWs. That might be because their userbases uses it differently however.

By just removing the plugin and see what happens? You need to reverse engineer the behaviour and deduct from there.