VST brain meltdown folder chaos

Hey you brainy guys.
Every time I try to understand where my VST plug-ins are, or should be, my brain starts to hurt. :frowning: They just seem to be scattered all over the place. I find it difficult to keep track and troubleshoot. I remember reading about it ages ago but can’t find it now. There were different rules for VST2 and VST3 and for 32- and 64-bit.
Ideally I’d like to have them all in one or two adjacent folders on a drive other than C: (Windows 10 64-bit).
What do you do? Do you impose some order (and if so what) or just let the installer decide and deal with it?

Dear Daffy Duck :wink:

VST3 will always install to c:/…/common files/vst3/ … fire and forget there will be no issues.
VST2 on the other hand will install anywhere the developer has decided to put them usually. its generally better
to create c:/vst32-plugins and c:/vst64-plugins directories (or your choice of course) and force vst2 installations to those respectively.
Some developets however refuse to play nice in the sandbox and still put files all over the place at their whim despite what the user wants/specifies. (eg cakewalk z3ta is a prime example of terrible installation it installs itself to 3 different directories for no apparent reason.
in those cases or when a choice is not offered during installation there is not much you can do other than meticulous file/folder maintenance and/or move the dll files manually to your chosen directory. at the end of the day the best option is to use VST3 whenever possible as they always go to the same default directory (do not change this default)

cheers hope this is as clear as a muddy duck :wink:

ps by creating your own 32/64 bit seperate directories you can delete the 32bit versions after install manually as some developers also insist on installing both no matter what you choose.

I pick a specific folder each time I install a VST2 plugin. No brain meltdowns.

I have a D:\VSTPlugins where I install all VST2’s in folders named after vendor, and then organize using Plugin Manager.

Hey, many thanx pholx. All very useful. Sounded great till I went back to the pewter to check. :open_mouth:
Dear LDeary, re VST3 always being installed in c:/…/common files/vst3/ …
Not the case here unfortunately. Dunno if the dots before /common files/ are a wildcard but the only things in c:/program files/common files/vst3/ are Padshop and Retrologue.

Groove Agent SE and Halion Sound SE are in c:/program files/common files/Steinberg/shared components. I tried copying them to the above folder and reloading plugins and restarting Cubase but no dice. Had to put them back.

And the rest of the Steinberg plugins are in c:/program files/steinberg/cubase 9/vst3/ (not to mention other VST folders for previous cubase versions)

Also, some are .dll and some .vst3. Ugh. Is there a way to tell from the file if it’s 32-bit, 64-bit, VST2 or VST3? My NI plugins have x64 under file properties/Details/ Product version but I guess this is just a non-obligatory kindness from the developer.

I suppose I can live with the working plugins scattered to the four winds but there’s a whole junkyard of not working ones (and now blacklisted ones to boot) and this process might help me decide where to stick them. So to speak.

I just leave the VST3 plugins to install where they want. .vst files are VST3. The easiest way to differentiate 32 and 64 bit might be the Plugin Manager in Cubase, or looking at the filename that often includes 64 for 64-bit.

Thanks, yes, differentiating in Plug-in Manager works as long as they they are already working and visible in Plug-in manager. ;o)
I had this a while back in v8 where plug-ins in the wrong places were stopping Cubase from starting if I remember. I had to take a whole load out of operation and am just going back now to fix this. Guess I’m just going to have to put time aside, get methodical and work through one by one.

Do you use jBridge? (since this is Cubase9 I’ll assume you do.) I can offer a method that has worked very well for myself. It may not for others because it’s how you think about things.

This applies to everything but VST3. You can even move z3Ta.

Create the following folders if you need to:

C>program files>steinberg>VST Plugins. If you use multiple DAW’s then don’t even put it in Steinberg.

Inside the vst plug-ins I have 3 additional folders.
1 vst instruments
2. vst effects
3. jBridged

Inside the jBridged folder I have 2 additional folders

  1. vst instruments 32bit
  2. vst effects 32 bit

    In C>program files(x86)

Create a folder titled VST 32 bit.

Inside the VST 32 bit folder I have 2 folders

  1. Working
  2. Not working

WORKING (these use jBridge and are bridged to C>program files>steinberg>VST Plugins>jBridged then

  1. vst instruments 32 bit or
  2. vst effects 32 bit

NOT WORKING (these are 32 bit .dll’s that i don’t want to see but may use in the future including all current 32 bit plugs that have a 64bit equivalent.)

With exception of VST3, there are no other .dlls anywhere in my PC. With this set up, I find that I don’t need very many vst2 plug-in paths for the Cubase plug in manager to re-scan when needed.

You can make sure you don’t have duplicate .dlls and make sure they are where you want them with this program.

Ultimate Plug-in tool.

Um. Not at the moment. :blush: I’ve only been using Cubase for basic mostly demo level audio stuff for a while and rather let things slide. But thanks for reminding me and showing the kind of structure I might be able to get my head around.

I suggest just using 64-bit software in 2017. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, I was resigning myself to that until greggybud reminded me how not to. Might be hard to resist some of my oldies.