VST3 presets: unable to select destination folder

Hello there. We’re on 10.0.30 on both macOS and Windows here.

With VST2 plugins, there are the familiar menu items for “Load Bank”, “Save Bank”, etc. You can freely select a Location in those dialogs.

With VST3 plugins, the “Save Preset As…” dialog only allows one to save VST presets to a system folder. I’m unable to select another folder, such as one within my current WaveLab project.

(Normally I would just use the plugin’s native Save function, but one plugin I use daily does not have that option.)

Is this a limitation of VST3? Or is it possible for WaveLab to allow us to select a location for VST3 presets?

Thank you!

This is a design choice. By having a standard folder, one can find the presets when using other audio applications.

Thank you for the quick reply!

For our workflow here (where projects can, and do, move between several different computers, and are later archived to offline storage), it’s vitally important that all session files (.mon, source audio, exported masters, plugin settings, etc…) all reside in the main project folder.

Storing VST3 presets in a global folder – which necessitates copying those files back to the project folder manually in order to have a full, consolidated archive – then adds extra steps that can lead to errors, and potentially a useless restore of a project backup.

Considering VST2 plugins allow one to select a destination folder, I suppose I’ll make a formal feature request: I’d just like the same option for VST3 plugins.

Thank you again!

The plugins settings used in the montage, are stored inside the montage.
The presets are meant to be shared among projects/montages.

One thing you can do, in a montage, is to load/save plugin chains. And these can be stored wherever you like.

Yes, I understand, but for example: in our 13+ years as a studio, we’ve used 4 different DAWs. Because we’ve stored our plugin settings as either VST presets or in the plugin’s native format, we’ve been able to recreate projects in different DAWs, or rebuilt project files in case of corrupted project files.

The plugin chains and montage are great features, but they don’t help future-proof our sessions. And again, as we move WaveLab projects between computers, not having the option of storing VST3 presets wherever we want (an option that does exist with VST2 plugins) is no small pain.

All I would like is the same options (and internal consistency) with VST3 as I have with VST2.

Thanks again for your great communication. It’s such a relief to have such a responsive developer!

What other DAW allows you do to this with VST3?

For VST3: of the DAWs we use regularly, REAPER and Sequoia. For other formats (VST2, AU, AAX): WaveLab, REAPER, Sequoia, Pro Tools, Logic Pro X… literally all of them.

I understand why defaulting to a global folder for presets is a fine practice. However, I don’t understand how it benefits the user to not have the option (one they already have with VST2, no less!) to save presets where they choose.

A few more data points to illustrate why this is important to us:

Between the three engineers at our studio:

  • Projects can move between as many as 10 different computers. They are at some point archived to offline backups, and not-infrequently restored for further work. In order to maintain session integrity, all preset files need to reside in their project folder, not a global preset folder.
  • We work on upwards of 300+ projects per year. At this rate, a global preset folder will become an absolutely unusable mess within… two weeks?

Use cases from yesterday, in particular:

  • I traveled to our studio to make revisions on a mastering project in WaveLab. Saved the VST3 preset changes to the global folder. Uploaded references to the client. Left the studio. Halfway home, I realized I forgot to copy over the .vstpreset files to the project folder. Had to turn around, go back to the studio, and copy the files over.
  • A client emailed to revive an older project I had started months ago at home, on REAPER on my Mac. I was able to take the raw WAV files and VST3 preset files and quickly recreate the session in WaveLab on Windows at our studio, and continue further work on the project.

In summation: yes, I realize settings are stored in the Montage and can be stored as .plugs files, but in an environment with multiple engineers, multiple computers, and a variety of DAWs, we need our sessions to be replicable, consolidated, and as platform-agnostic as possible.

Ideally, plugin manufacturers (coughSoftubecough) would make their native preset dialogs usable and I wouldn’t be bothering you with this. But until that happens, we simply need WaveLab’s VST3 preset dialog to give us the same options we have with VST2 presets.

Thank you again for your time! I’m sorry to harp on about this, but in a past life I was a UNIX system administrator and a C/Perl/Python developer, so some things are just ingrained :slight_smile:

For DAW agnosticism, would it not be good to save a preset to an external place using the internal save/load inside the plugin? I never do this but it seems that most plugins if not all have their own internal settings/preset options that can be used, instead of the VST menu of WaveLab. But maybe I’m misunderstanding something.

On that topic, when Bob was here last month he pointed out an issue with trying to do that with Waves plugins.

Yes, that place is the specific project folder (alongside the source files, exported masters, etc). Which for VST3 presets in WaveLab, is a nuisance.

I never do this but it seems that most plugins if not all have their own internal settings/preset options that can be used, instead of the VST menu of WaveLab. But maybe I’m misunderstanding something.

Yes, the issue is: one plugin manufacturer (Softube) has an unusable native preset system, hence the need to save as VST3 presets. (And the VST2 version of the plugin doesn’t work in WaveLab 10.0.30 currently.)

I’ve tried to replace this particular plugin in my workflow because of this, but nothing else does what it does so well. First World Problems, I know.

Only Philippe can say how easy or hard it is to grant your request to have a free location choice for VST3 presets, I have no idea. But otherwise (and maybe in any case) it would be Softube to improve their preset system. What did they say?

I’ve submitted a few requests to them over the past year. No response as of yet.

Unfortunately (for me, anyway) they don’t seem to let their developers on the front lines like PG :slight_smile:

Hello PG! As there is a new beta in the works I just wanted to bump this usability request. I was just recently bitten by this workflow problem when attempting to restore a project from backup. It would mean a great deal to me – as of now, I specifically avoid using Steinberg plugins as to avoid the VST3 preset saving hassles.

Otherwise I am so very satisfied with WaveLab and couldn’t be happier that I made the switch from Sequoia!

This request is well noted and will happen, but it is not part of the next update. Sorry.

I appreciate the update!

Maybe it’s late to be suggesting this, but a Symbolic Link in the plugin presets folder on each of the computers, win and mac, seems to work fine here as a possible workaround, until this is changed.

If you link to the top level of a drive, or a top level folder, you can easily create folders or access folders anywhere, using the Organize Presets button. And read and write the plugin presets directly from and to the intended project folders.