VST Plugins- why no definitive install instructions

It seems that many of us have problems with plugins running on Cubase, I ve spent hours looking for specific instructions for VST installation. 40 different sites say to put them in 40 different locations. The Operations Manual does not address this adequately. I’d like to see an exhaustive VST plugin guide, that addresses the following:

  • How to determine whether the plugin is VST2 or VST3.
  • How to determine it is 64 bit or 32 bit.
  • How to determine the SDK version. ( I assume that the information in the plugin manager is correct, so that is what I’m using now. I’ve made a list all of my plugins, gotten rid of any that are prior to SDK 2.4.
    The biggest issue- where to put the different kinds of plugins. Again, I’ve seen no official word from Steinberg.
  • What is the path for Steinberg included VST3/64bit plugins with a .vst3 extension.
  • What is the path for Steinberg included VST2/32 bit plugins with .dll extensions.
  • What is the path for Steinberg VST instruments. Do I place them in the same location as the other VST plugins? Which instruments and where?
  • What is the path for third party plugins that are VST2 but 64 bit? Do they go with the VST3 plugins or VST2. All my Waves plugins are 64 bit but VST2. I have no idea where they should go.
  • What is the path for third party plugins that are simple VST2 32 bit .dll.

Nothing in the operation manual states what folders and path to put each of these. For programs like Celemony and Waves, do we just let them put them wherever and update the path in Path Manager?

Steinberg needs to provide a single document, that is updated, that lists preferred paths for Windows 7/8 32 and 64 bit and Mac OS X. Customers shouldn t have to guess.

Second issue: I’ve run Cubase since 4 and am now on 8 pro, and it’s crashing. There are no instructions on how to upgrade. Do I uninstall all previous versions before I install ( after I install ). I run Cubase and my OS on a limited SSD and don’t want duplicate files. Better instructions will reduce the number of problems your customers have and the support work you have to do. Any chance I can get the information above?

There is no default path for third party VST plugin installation. I can tell you what I do (and have done for several years), I create my own VST folders (for VST 2 plugins), for example “C:\VST 64” (a different drive is okay). I install all my third party 64 bit VSTs into that folder. Then in the Plugin Manager in Cubase you can set the path to this folder, so Cubase can see your VSTs. I no longer use any 32 bit plugins but you can create a folder for them also.

Cubase puts all VST 3 plugins in their own location, I wouldn’t mix VST 2 plugins with these.