Steinberg closing down VST2 for good


Yes, AFAIK you have to send that rtf Licensing Agreement signed to the email listed at:


MIDI CCs are supported, but they are split from the MIDI stream and must be linked to parameters via the IMidiMapping interface. I wrote a bit about it here


Concerning Juce, We, at Steinberg, are in touch with Roli to provide a smooth transition.

Concerning the VST2 License, we will include it again for last time into the next update of the VST3 SDK coming very soon.
If you are not sure that you have signed or not the license, it will be the last change to do it. This concerns plugins or host developers/companies.
You have to fill it, sign it and send it back to Steinberg, we will send you it back again signed by us (for VST2 until October 1th 2018).

Concerning MIDI CC in VST3, already mentioned by Oli, there is a way to do it, but we will provide in a near future a better way to do it inside VST3.

Best Regard


Sounds good.
I, of course, know about the current way to do it, but let’s be honest, it sucks big time.

Merci Yvan !


Hello Yvan !

I saw a few topics about this in the beginning of 2016, and you told us again that you would do something at last ADC in November 2017. That’s quite important, so I think it would be great if you could tell us how long we have to wait to get this feature.



@ygrabit You now just need to go to Berlin and convince Ableton guys to move to VST3 because another reason we stay on VST2 is that we don’t want to support both flavor for the sake of simplicity.


Apologies if I’ve missed this somewhere above or misunderstood anything, but just for clarity. If a company has a VST2 licence, are they able to go on releasing new VST2 products after October 1st or only release updates of existing VST2 products? The licence is per company not product, right?



@ygrabit Any chance this might introduce support for the recently announced MIDI-CI spec ?
That would be awesome and would probably help VST3 adoption.


One thing I’m super confused about is why some very large companies seemingly don’t care about the VST license and that Steinberg doesn’t seem that bothered either. I’m definitely not a lawyer and find licensing confusing most of the time, but it seemed pretty obvious to me that the license stipulates putting a mention of VST technology in the “about” window of the plugin. Is this correct?
And am I also correct in thinking that without having a signed license from Steinberg I would not be legally able to distribute VST plugins? (talking closed source here, seems GPL VST3 are OK if I understood correctly)


Well, I suppose they heard you…
I put on github a year ago an archive from a deceased developer, and he was providing the code to his DAW for free. But he had the VST SDK in the archive and thus it was also on this repository.
I just got today a DMCA takedown notice and there was dozens of repos in the notice…


IANAL but this kind of thing is asking for a fight in the courts. There’s a 3 year statute of limitations on copyright claims in the US. If the source has been distributed for longer than that you might want to submit a counter notice.


Two words: Oracle Java. No, 3 years is not enough.


If I understand things correctly, Steinberg will disallow any person or company to develop vst2 plugins or vst2 capable DAWs after October this year, assuming they don’t have a valid permit to do so and that this won’t be possible to aquire after October?

As vst2 is a very popular plugin format, if not perhaps the most popular and these plugins will continue to exist and being used by many for many years from now, this will be a major drawback for any developer coming late to the party.

To me, this looks as a violation against the European competition law, more precisely, the policy against Market dominance or abuse of a companys dominant market position.


+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