Generate .dll file for my new VST plugin

Please bear with me, as i’m still a novice to C++ and the JUCE framework.
I’ve made my first .vst3 plugin, but i need to compile my project into a .dll file somehow in order to open the plugin up in a host (at least my FL Studio only searches for .dll and .vst and not .vst3 since i’m on Windows).
My stabdalone project is running fine (at least the GUI is responding the way it should). Now i want to test it inside a DAW, but i need a .dll file which i cannot find anywhere in the project folder file explorer (here’s the .vst3 file but not any .dll files)

So my question is, how do i generate this .dll file?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Framework: JUCE v. 5.4.7
IDE: Visual Studio Community 2019 v. 16.6.2
DAW/host: FL Studio v20.6.2 (build 1549)

VST3 files in Windows are dlls. I think it’s conventional that VST2 plugins use the dll extension and VST3 uses vst3. You could just rename the file, but it’d be very weird if FL Studio needed that. Check this post just in case.

FL Studio only allows the default windows path for VST3 files. Make sure you’re copying your .vst3 to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST3


That doesn’t seem right, unless it’s a 32-bit plug-in (and host). 64-bit VST3 plugins go in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3, not Program Files (x86).

Thanks, both of you.

I did not have any folder called “C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST3”, so i created it manually, and now my DAW finds the plugin. Perfect so far.

But when i load the plugins (i have followed 2 individual tutorials on how to create your first plugin), it says that an error occured and that i should check that the plugin was installed correctly.

Now i have to ask you guys again: I write my code on one PC, and then move the plugin “example.vst3” file onto a usb stick, to move it to another PC on which i have FL studio installed.
Both run windows 10.
I only move the .vst3 file, none of the other files generated by the build of the project.
Am i doing this the right way? Or will my “example.vst3” file need the entire VST3 folder containing .exp, .ilk, .lib, .pdb files etc…?

Just the vst3. If you’re linking the C++ runtime dynamically (this is an exporter configuration option in the Projucer), you should also install the runtime, if it’s not installed already. It’s a download from Microsoft’s site -search Visual C++ redistributable. If you’re linking the runtime statically you don’t need to install it (it would be embedded in the vst3), but this imposes other limitations.

Thanks for the advice. it wasn’t the runtime though either. I made sure that the latest Visual C++ redistributable was installed on the host PC, but it did not change anything. FL studio still says that there was a problem during installation od the VST, and it will still not run.

Other than checking if your plugin’s arch (32/64 bits) matches the DAW, I’m out of ideas.

Hey did you ever figure out the solution to this? Im having the exact same problem

First of all, did you also check your runtime linkage settings as proposed above?

If all is fine with that, to me, this sounds like a programing error that is crashing the plugin when the host tries to load it, so there are nearly endless possibilities on what exactly goes wrong.

The usual way to get some insight here is to run FL Studio on your development machine with the Visual Studio debugger attached. The plugin should be build in a debug configuration and then the debugger will automatically stop at the line of code where a crash happens