VST2 Vs VST3 synthesizers

I was reading in Tone2 forum and found this statement from Markus Krause about vst3 format synthesizers .


Steinberg advertises that their VST3 format has ‘many essential new features’ and ‘advantages’ compared to competing plugin-formats. In practice, we do not think that this is true for synthesizers, since VST3 does not offer proper MIDI support. That’s why we recommend to use the VST2 version if your DAW supports both formats.

What do you think guys?


That guy is very outspoken on various forums about how bad VST3 is, while other plugin makers just pump out VST3 with no problems.

He should get a clue from the guys at UVI, who also said in a public forum:

do not worry, you guys will have a VST3 version of all our product. We know how to make those :slight_smile:

My guess is that Tone2 are (still) unprepared for the VST3 transition for some reason. I’ll avoid their stuff.


He actually did VST3 versions of the half of his synths by now.

But, yeah, clearly a case of someone having reservations against the format. Other developers just release VST3 versions of their plugins, without moaning.

I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fun supporting yet another format, with that alternative CLAP stuff, haha. Don’t expect it in the next ten years though. If ever.

Thanks guys for commenting . I hope developers don’t wait too long to catch up. They are fast when it comes to AU plugins for Apple.

I’ll be honest: I’m glad Cubase isn’t my main DAW, when the next, or after next version has no VST2 support anymore. Some of my plugins ARE VST2 only. I understand why Steinberg does it. I think the last version of the VST2 SDK is from 2006, and, things develop in the usual snail speed in audio software. But, it’s a hard decision to make a cut. It was obvious to see, but, now that it has been announced, and is close to completion, I can well understand that some people have to be shivering, and might even stick to their Cubase version.

I’m just a hobbyist, but, with all those professionals out there, on their studio computers, with a whole lot of plugins they depend on to do their job, oof…

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Provide a solid version under the new licensing system that can do VST2 (without Rossetta, which Apple probably won’t keep forever), then it’s fine to ditch it moving forward. All users can ‘roll back’ to a version that has it for getting into ‘archived projects’ with minimal fuss.

If they have NO version that can host VST2, and don’t do at least one ‘solid’ fully ‘backwards compatible VST2’ release of ALL their best plugins under the new licensing system, then it can be a BIG PROBLEM for accessing archived projects on down the road (everyone that invests in Cubendo/Dorico needs a way to roll back to some point that’ll happily host VST2 once the dongles are gone).

I think that’s the real ‘fear’ some of us have.

If we have a way to open those archives well into the future…we’ll all be content.

If they leave us with a big brick wall between the dongleware and the dongle-free stuff to hurdle, it could potentially be a big mess for people with a lot of archives that will need to be revisited months and years ahead.

Aside from ‘archives’…no one wants to lose 8 years of templates and reusable material, and lots of us have that going on! Perhaps a decent bridge will come about that covers the few plugins that don’t ever jump the gap to VST3 and beyond, but if not, and there’s no bridge, or a way to roll back easily, it’ll really hurt some people.

I’m optimistic that Steinberg will keep all that in mind and have a back door of some sort for people with loads of archives to worry about (dongles don’t last forever, and at some point they’ll probably pull the plug on the servers that manage that stuff). Trying to stay cheerful and not worry about it. Hopefully they won’t act like Apple and HOSE half their users on the move.

Thankfully, with a Cubase license, you get all the previous versions’ licenses as well. So, I guess you can always fall back to a former version, for your old projects (I think they cann all be installed side by side).

Good to see you here, by the way. :+1:

Rosetta 2 is likely to go away within the next year or so. Apple said 2 years when the M1 devices were initially released. It’s been over a year, at this point… so, Rosetta 2 is likely to go away in the next macOS upgrade. If not, it’s almost certainly going to be on the chopping block in the upgrade following that one.

Making plans based on Rosetta made sense when M1 was initially released. It makes far less sense now, since Rosetta 2 is [most likely] past the half way point in its life cycle.

Apple is not going to just keep Rosetta around to give developers a reason to not port over, and get used too used to that handicap.

Steinberg probably should have been more aggressive in the move to VST3 sooner. I actually think “doing the right thing” hurt them when it came time to drop it.

And there are all sorts of “conspiracy theories” flying around on other forums, Lol.

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I am not sure this is true of Cubase Pro 12, because it uses a difference licensing system and Steinberg is not backporting this to Cubase Pro 11 or any previous versions.

Previous versions look for their license on the eLicenser, so unless you have a Cubase Pro 11 license on there (or whatever SKU you use), good luck running an earlier version.

The people upgrading are going to be fine - including those who bought CP11 during the grace period (provided they register it to a an eLicenser dongle and don’t wait to go straight to CP12). They will still have their non-upgradeable Cubase Pro 11 License on their eLicenser dongle. The people who buy CP12 after it releases are not going to have this avenue, I suspect.

I still think it’s beyond rude to not backport the new licensing system to the current released versions of the software. It does make the entire transition feel like a massive cash grab, and anyone who owns multiple Steinberg products will have to spend hundreds to drop the dongle - unless they decide to just drop Steinberg and use something else.

Personally, I’m likely to stay on Cubase Pro 11 for a year and see what the competition brings, especially if Steinberg doesn’t specifically address areas of the DAW that have direct impact on my workflow/production. I over funding other people’s wish lists, these days :stuck_out_tongue:

There will need to be a way to get the latest version running (without a dongle) that can import the old ALL format songs (or have a stand alone converter program, or make a newer version that can open them).

There will need to be a way for people without a ‘dongle’ to get a version running that fully/natively supports VST2.

The plugins and sound libraries they sell that can run in any 3rd party host…
There should be ‘at least one’ release of those in VST2 that can work under the new ‘no-dongle’ licensing system.

If all that’s covered ‘then’ they can move on ‘responsibly’. Users that don’t have a dongle (lost, broken, or never got one in the first place) will have some means to get old projects up and running again as they left off, and possibly set them up (thoughtful replacements for the old VST2 stuff) to also work in the newer versions.

Archivists…don’t want to have to ‘replace’ anything. The point is having the project be ‘exactly like it was when they put it away for storage’. Some even keep the full system drives with it for that very reason. It’s easy with the dongle. But what happens when their dongle no longer works, and they can’t get it serviced or replaced?

Cuabse 12 might not lack VST2 support. They said they’ll phase it out in the next 2 years, not with Cubase 12. Wait and see.

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Let’s wait guys and see what Cubase 12 is bringing exactly. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

There’s a simple trick. Print stems. And make a decision when a song is ready or not.
Vendors have to be more flexible for all the little traps in the software world. The VST2 cut is only one, more deep holes are waiting outside the corner of music production. Actual the Intel-Silicon switch is one of them.
There’re a lot of plugins running out of support within the last 10-15 years. Not any old plugin can be replaced by a new one, I’m sure. But life is going on and on and on and on. I assure you.

It’s interesting I thought the same a few days ago, but, whenever Apple decides to deprecate stuff, peeps shout “YAAAY!!” while, when companies like Steinberg do it, there’s only rants. Would be interesting to know the kind of psychology behind that. For me, deprecating/switching to another CPU architecture is an even much more severe cut, because it affects any software on your computer.

Last Mac I spent my own personal money on was a Power Mac. Never again! It was a really good architecture, but no one ever really did software to take advantage of it, and Apple didn’t back it up worth a darn. Just when it was finally starting to work as advertised (compilers and stuff were better, and devs were starting to do releases that could really use the hardware), they PULLED SUPPORT FOR IT and started all over with stuff that sent every Apple Developer on the planet ‘back to square one’. Apps for Apple were ‘crappy half functioning ports’ for another long period of time. Here we go again…it won’t be quite as bad as the PPC > Intel move, but it has the same stench to it for a lot of us. Rolling back becomes impossible, and things are very ‘machine or in the least OS/generation bound’ in the long run.

Last Apple product I ‘invested heavily’ in was Quick Time. Never again! They sold it to us, then stabbed us in the back with it.

Both Apple experiences were truly a nightmare, and very expensive ones at that!

Maybe people that mostly run cool low end ‘client software’ to ‘consume’ media dig having a two year old system, and up to 40% of the code for it intentionally made inaccessible, but content creators and people trying to serve that content cannot really afford it.

It’s simple. If you spend decades and thousands of hours building massive templates, and a change comes along that breaks a huge portion of it in a way that renders it all USELESS, you won’t be happy.

The irony is that the bottle neck for audio software like this isn’t at the CPU level anyway. If ‘performance’ is really the point…they’d be working on designing new types of audio interfaces and beefing up the ASIO backend instead of stripping features that are HEAVILY RELIED UPON by a significant portion of the user base.

Again, I’d like to think Steinberg is aware of all this. They’ve been pretty good in the past at making sure Pros always have some avenue to ‘get their old projects open’ and get them working with minimal fuss.

The thing about this case that makes it a little different enough to have people a bit nervous, is that there is ALSO a transition away from the dongle. If Cubase 12 is as far back as you can go with no dongle…and there is no way to get VST2 plugins into it (natively, without stuff like Rossetta) it can be a big problem for pros with a lot of achieves and templates to contend with.

Then there’s stuff like HALion 6/Sonic, Groove Agent 5, and keyed libraries for them, etc.
I’ve been using those in Sibelius and Finale for many years (Starting shortly after H5 and GA4 were released). I use them OFTEN in those hosts (and both hosts struggle and lag pretty far behind when it comes to advancements in the play-back engines…if they have to spend most of their time and budget moving to VST3, that’s another few years of paying big bucks for ‘buggy alpha releases’ on basic functionality, and little to no progress in engraving music. They’re already down to skeleten crews that spend most of their time simply trying to keep the software working on stupid Apple products, because every other dang Apple release, Apple BREAKS SOMETHING ON PURPOSE).

If the next HALion/Sonic release is for the new dongle free licensing system but doesn’t include a VST2 wrapper…and I take the upgrade, then can’t use HALion in those hosts anymore, and I’ve lost years of templates and soundsets in my Sibelius and Finale work-flows! Anyone that does not have a dongle with old HALion keys on it will be locked out using HALion in those two apps. Those of us who do have a dongle might be ‘frozen’ at H6/Sonic 3 forever if we want to keep using it in those Scoring hosts! See, it’s not trivial (or at least it hasn’t been in the past) to keep multiple versions of HALion on the same system.

Up through the present, HALion and GA have always been ‘backwards compatible’ with themselves (H6 retains the same plugin ID as H5, and simply works with the older content). If VST2 editions go away, that won’t quite be true anymore!