by Lasse Eilers | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Steinberg discontinues VST2 support

Steinberg discontinues VST2 support  ·  Source: Steinberg, Gearnews

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Steinberg has announced that support for VST2 plug-ins will be phased out in its host applications within 24 months. This means that you’ll no longer be able to use VST2 plug-ins in upcoming versions of Cubase, Nuendo, Dorico and Wavelab. Furthermore, Steinberg’s own plug-ins will be available as VST3 versions only.

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Steinberg discontinues VST2 support

If you’re still using VST2 plug-ins in Cubase, Nuendo, Dorico or Wavelab, it’ll soon be time to switch to VST3 for good. Steinberg announced yesterday that it plans to phase out support for VST2 plug-ins over the next 24 months, marking the final step in the transition to VST3.

It’s long been known that Steinberg was moving towards supporting VST3 only. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as VST3 has been around since 2008 – an eternity in the world of software. But some developers have been slow to adopt the new platform, even though the VST2 SDK (software development kit) hasn’t been updated in a long time. To my knowledge, Steinberg hasn’t given out VST2 licenses to new developers since at least 2018.

Meanwhile, Cubase and the company’s other host applications continued to offer support for VST2 plug-ins, and Steinberg also continued to compile VST2 versions of some of its own plug-ins like HALion, for example. That is now coming to an end. Within 24 months, all of Steinberg’s hosts and plug-ins will support VST3 only.

What happens to your older projects?

So what does this mean if you rely on VST2 plug-ins for your workflow? I think that most popular plug-ins by major developers shouldn’t really present an issue. There’s hope that those that have yet to transition to VST3 will do so in light of Steinberg’s announcement. The problem is, if you’re like me, you probably have a couple of older plug-ins in your plug-in folder whose developers have discontinued support or – even worse – ceased to exist. As of now, it looks like those will become obsolete for good when they’re no longer supported in Steinberg’s host applications.

Users on the Steinberg forum were quick to compile a list of plug-ins that have yet to transition to VST3. You can find the thread here.

What do you think? I’m a bit torn – I’m not usually one to oppose change, and I think it’s understandable that Steinberg wants to move on and devote the resources needed for VST2 support to new developments, especially since VST3 has been around for so long. But backwards compatibility is always an issue, and everybody knows that trying to open older DAW projects can be a huge PITA. With support for VST2 now ending, that’s not going to get any better.

More information about Steinberg

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9 responses to “Steinberg discontinues support for VST2 plug-ins”

  1. iixorb says:

    Goes back to one of the root arguments of Hardware vs VSTs.

    Hardware can break down (but most can be repaired by someone, somewhere).

    VSTs are usually much cheaper, more convenient etc etc but with online copy protection & handshaking (or dwindling support for legacy products, like in this case) how many of today’s VSTs will still be functioning in 10, 20 or 30 years from now? My 34+ year old DX7, D-50, M1 etc etc all work fine!!

    I’m absolutely not anti VST at all and actually do far more work with VSTs than with any of my hardware…. but I do worry a bit about compatibility in the future. What if ‘Lennar’ isn’t around to keep Sylenth going, or Rob Papen hangs up his headphones permanently? Or Arturia folds? We’ll lose access to some great classic VST products (or will be forced to find cracked versions in the murky underworld of the pirates – a world I’d rather avoid to be honest).

    • Peter says:

      I agree, it’s a problem. The argument to keep your old computer and don’t upgrade is okay until there’s a hardware failure and you need to register the product again and the company is gone. Can people use Sylenth1 natively on the new Macs? Look what happened to Alchemy. I had all the addons for it but on an older mac. I have a handful of plugins that stopped being supported years ago.

      I think on the software side an open plugin format should be the standard and one reason I support the CLAP https://github.com/free-audio/clap and LV2 format.

      If software companies fold or cease to support a product I would encourage them to opensource the product so the community can maintain it, if possible.

  2. dbsm says:

    Someone will make a wrapper.

  3. Ben Blease says:

    I’m fine with it if they introduce folder sorting for the vst3 standard.
    The only reason I don’t use vste where possible is because I can’t organise them into directories of my choice, which as a professional work flow is paramount.

  4. J.P. Moolenaar says:

    I can’t understand how difficult it is to leave it in place. Sure, I have a wrapper for old unsupported 32bit plugs but I don’t need a wrapper for every standard phased out. I moved from Cubase to Stodio One ages ago. Easy transition, couldn’t be happier.

  5. Sam says:

    Wow what unkind for steinberg users, it’s Steinberg’s choice. Two years ago moved to reaper. What a relieve;0)

  6. Alistair Johnson says:

    VM’s are the way out of this, and for many, many other related issues – just take a snapshot of your entire system for future use on whatever system you – or your mates – have in the future.

    And regarding the physical audio interface (which is a problem) – use audio over internet (IP standard is very stable) to route the audio from th VM to whatever your current audio interface is.

    [and…I’m not an apple user…but apple fans would find running VM’s means they can upgrade their OS on the day the new OS is released. No more waiting…]

  7. Loko915 says:

    Yea Steinberg wants more control currently NI only supports native instruments vst3s not third party because Steinberg license issues.. I don’t like this move at all n Steinberg should be held accountable if shit stops working..

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