For VST effects, I don’t think it’s as big of a problem. I won’t miss VST2 much in that respect.
For VSTi INSTRUMENTS, this could be a big deal. I’ll have to seriously consider opting out of future updates that cannot host a VST2 INSTRUMENT plugin!
Also, for what it’s worth…I invested in Cubase BEACUSE it has the best LEGACY SUPPORT in the industry! It’s the only DAW on the market that can handle damn near anything I care to plug into it! The VST2 era is HUGE. People have HUGE project libraries that are going to be calling for plugins that may well only exist in VST2, have a different id for the VST3 version, or can’t use the FXB/FXP settings stored with the project.
What makes it even stranger, is that the ‘change’ straddles a move from USB dongle-ware, to a different system. So newer customers in the future might never have a way to ‘roll back’ to a solid VST2 version of Cubase. Those of us who have dongles and keys, well, if the dongle ever breaks or gets lost…we’ll be toasted?!?
I’ve inquired about VST3 variants of some of my most used plugins that to date either don’t have a VST3 version, or the VST3 version is either buggy, or dumbed way down (far fewer features).
Those developers didn’t seem very happy about my message (their annoyance at my inquiry directed towards Steinberg, not at me of course). They didn’t promise to support VST3, nor did they say they wouldn’t. I did gather that it will be a LOT of work for them, and with such complexities that it could be a couple of years before a clean, full featured VST3 does come to light.
I.E. They might have to strip out a bunch of features in the short term, and gradually add them back (reworked). There will be bugs to fix, etc…
So, it’s like taking a very mature and uber stable plugin with years of refinement and extra features added back to version 0.3a overnight! That’s NOT PROGRESS!
And here’s my problem as an end user.
I truly RELY on those 2 plugins. Every project I’ve done since I got into PC based sequencing with Cubase 7 uses them (had used stuff like Atar ST synced with HD Workstations and dedicated sequencers and racked-up hardware before)!
These aren’t just plugins for an audio effect that is easy to replace. These are ENTIRE INSTRUMENT LIBRARIES! They sound a certain way, and they behave to specific events on controller lanes in very specific ways! We have years worth of ‘expression maps’ and ‘templates’ to go with them! Quite literally, THOUSANDS of hours of ‘reusable’ stuff that’d suddenly become ‘totally useless’. I.E. The way an accent mark on a score is ‘interpreted’ by an expression map, so we don’t have to keep drawing the crap in over and over on controller lanes by hand every time we need it! YEARS of research and refinement…might be OUT THE WINDOW for Steinberg world.
There is nothing technically wrong with the way they function or sound for my needs, and the few things I’m not happy with about the libraries I’ve supplemented from other sources (some of the supplements don’t have a solid VST3 yet either).
It’d be like telling a violinist that she can’t use her Lady Blunt Stradivarius!
Another of these plugins is something of a unity host. It allows me to aggregate multiple plugins into one, and manipulate it all together is if it were ‘one giant instrument’. It melds things, allows me to fix flaws, process stuff that couldn’t be processed before, and a whole lot more!
80% of my projects use at least one instance of ‘both’ of these plugins.
Currently, it’s no problem to export setups for the plugins and bring them into ALL of my DAWs and Scoring suites. It has worked very well for over a decade!
Hopefully we’ll get a VST3 for the two plugins I’m on about here, but if they have to strip out 30% of the power and capabilities of the stuff in the short term, and we’re back to essentially ‘beta testing as paid users’ the stuff for another 3 years until it’s ever working as well as the existing VST2, well, it’s going to be a big fat MESS.
I think Steinberg needs to include the tools that make it easy to compile a working VST3 from the old VST2 code without totally redesigning the plugin form the ground up, or wait for VST4 to get all ‘pushy’ about it, and make sure VST4 protocol INCLUDES all of the tools and information for devs to easily port VST2 and VST3 stuff into VST4.
Meanwhile, if they want to sandbox VST2 and have some kind of ‘bridge’. Fine…but the DAW still needs a way to function with VST2 plugins as if it’s being natively hosted (don’t force the user to have to make special VST wrappers for the bridge and mess. It should just WORK). There is simply way too much content out there that relies on VST2.
And don’t say ‘just roll back’. That’ll be IMPOSSIBLE too as the USB dongles gradually disappear (for future users that never had one, and old users who wear out/break/lose theirs).
So really, native VST2 support needs to stay in at least 2 releases under the new dongle-free licensing system!
Mac users need a native M1 release or two before VST2 is ditched as well! Who knows when Apple will pull their usual BS and pull Rossetta out of the OS. (I’ve never owned another Mac after the stunt they pulled with PPC > Intel…and don’t get me started on how they yanked multi-platform support for Quick Time! I’ll never touch an Apple PC again unless ‘someone else buys it and hands it to me’)