Steinberg closing down VST2 for good


+1 on LV2 support from me as well. The only way for a new plugin format to gain traction is through adoption, and Steinberg just happened to have the right technology at the right place at the right time when VST became a thing. JUCE adopting LV2 support for plugins and hosts would be a great service to the industry.

Allowing a single company to gain vast control of the market is backfiring in a big way through corporate legal strong arming of the little guys, namely small plugin developers trying to gain a user base with little sway in which technologies are being made available to them vs. what customers actually want/care about.

That said, I totally understand Steinberg’s viewpoint. It must be frustrating to spend a bunch of time and money on a cool new iteration of a big technology then have everyone stay on the old version long past its expiration date. It’s just unfortunate they’ve gone the lawyer route instead of letting it die off on its own or working with big players to remove host support to facilitate the small developers before going to the lawyers.


Oracle sued Google within the statute of limitations. But there’s a related thread here, looks like an Ardour and LMMS dependency needs the VST2 headers to build and is going to fight the takedown.


…stay on the old version long past its expiration date.

This sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. Apparently the number of developers or users interested in the new cool features of VST3 seems to be rather few…


By “expiration date” I’m referring to Steinberg’s notion that VST2 must be dropped by October 2018 in favor of VST3. Steinberg’s efforts by working with major host providers and suddenly handing out DMCAs like candy are trying to forcibly hurry that process along rather than allowing it to occur naturally (which would probably never happen at all).


suddenly handing out DMCAs like candy

To be fair to Steinberg here, they’re handing out DMCAs for people sharing the VST2 files which have this license:

// (c) 2017, Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, All Rights Reserved
// This Software Development Kit may not be distributed in parts or its entirety  
// without prior written agreement by Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH. 
// This SDK must not be used to re-engineer or manipulate any technology used  
// in any Steinberg or Third-party application or software module, 
// unless permitted by law.


For what it’s worth we looked at dropping VST2 support and only supporting VST3 some time ago. The one thing that could have clinched the deal for us would be if VST3 on Windows followed the convention of putting the dll inside a folder to match the structure on the bundles on Mac. Digidesign/AVID done this for AAX, as did Waves for the WPAPI format. In my personal opinion I think Steinberg missed a trick there. Keeping everything organised in this way for all formats would have been nice for us as our installers would have become easier with no need to install other resources elsewhere on the system. As we had to do this for VST3 anyway, we didn’t see much advantage in dropping VST2 support.


@Anthony_Nicholls That’s actually what they did in the latest VST 3.6.10 version, plus they added plug-in images for the host to display


@lorcan thanks that’s great news I have to say I wasn’t aware of that! I suspect it will be a while before we could actually move over as we’ll want to wait until at least most DAWs support this. Otherwise in my experience selecting the plugin form the DAW is rather odd as you have to click the plugin then Contents then Win32/x64 then actually select the plugin, all from within the host urgh! Not a pleasant experience for users.


@Anthony_Nicholls Yvan said they tested will all hosts they could and found no problems.
The Contents/Win32 annoyance is VST2 specific I think, VST3 uses unique id’s to distinguish between plug-ins.
I’ll report my findings here when I’ve upgraded my builds.


That’s even better news! That wasn’t my experience at the time, I could be mistaken but if memory serves me right I think I recall seeing the issue in both Cubase and Studio One, but it may depend on settings for how you are displaying your plugin list in the DAW. I will take a look at this again!


The download link on the dev page is still 3.6.9



@Anthony_Nicholls I’m talking about VST3 not VST2. Never seen the behavior you mention with VST3.
@Rail_Jon_Rogut or grabit from github


I’m also referring to VST3. It was probably about 12-18 months ago (maybe longer) that I looked, but essentially you would have to browse through all the sub folders to get to the actual plugin. Again this was only the case if the user had configured to display the VST3 plugins in a particular way (by manufacturer maybe? i can’t remember to be honest). I’ll take another look when I’m back in work as I don’t have a Windows installation in front of me right this second.


Hi ygrabit,
is the VST2 License contract to be signed, the one in the VST 3.6.10 SDK?



I’m just catching up on this. I do not have a license agreement with Steinberg, but from what I gather I can download the SDK, complete the license form, email it to Steinberg, and then I can keep releasing VST2 plugins after October?


That’s where it gets tricky. You can’t download the VST2 agreement from Steinberg any more, and Steinberg has just been cleaning up as much as they can find of its existence online recently with DMCA take downs.
(notice the link above to the VST2 License is a 404)


it’s in the VST3.6.10 sdk zip


This is where I get confused.

From there :

The object of this agreement consists of the Steinberg VST PlugIn Software Development Kit version 3.6.10

So does it cover VST2? If you get that one signed before October are you clear to distribute VST2 and VST3? @ygrabit can you chime in?


Yes, I’m wondering this as well. I have a signed copy of the VST3 agreement but it has a very specific version number in there and no mention of VST2.x

This would imply that unless you signed an agreement from years ago relating specifically to VST2 that you’re not covered by the current VST3 agreement?


The current VST3 license agreement is saying explicitely :

This agreement neither applies to the development nor the hosting of VST 2 Plug-Ins.

That means that we need another license agreement file related with VST2. It would be great if @ygrabit can provide one for us as soon as possible.