VST questions

Am I right in the assumption that

a) VST3 plugins will wrap to VST2 and work in VST2 only hosts given I don’t use any VST3 features?

b) there’s currently no way to build VSTs with JUCE for linux (VST3 isn’t supported and VST2 violates some Steinberg stuff)?

VTS2 does not necessarily violate Steinberg rules. You can build VST2 in Linux. 2 points to take into account:

  • You need the VST2 headers. Those are no longer included with Juce. Steinberg does not offer the VTS2 libraries any more. But you can still find them.
  • If you want to distribute a VST2 binary, you need a license from Steinberg. You can no longer get these. If if you had the license (i.e. you got a license prior to Steinberg cancelling the licensing option) you are still free to build and distribute VST2 libraries.

No, a VST3 plugin built with Juce is a VST3-only plugin and won’t be usable in a VST2 host.

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Hmmm that’s a bummer… Which makes the other point even worse. I find the whole VST2/3 situation rather spicy as a developer. I don’t see why Steinberg would end support and even prohibit distribution already.

I am now left with the decision to either ship plugins which won’t work in half the DAWs or violate Steinbergs agreement, while providing everything as freeware myself :frowning:


I am now left with the decision to either ship plugins which won’t work in half the DAWs or violate Steinbergs agreement, while providing everything as freeware myself :frowning:

What DAWs do you want to target that don’t support VST3?

Reason and Ableton live come to mind (I know the latter will support it soon but still)

Are the other ones all compatible? Is there an up to date list of VST3 compatible DAWs?
Also the linux support is kinda big thing for me (not many options for native plugins, and I’d very much like to contribute to the community)

VST3 Linux support is in the works, but I can’t give you a decent estimate for when it’ll be released.

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Reason didn’t support VST until 2017 and is not really a significant share of the market (at least for plugins). Live 10.1 will introduce VST3 sometime later this year so it’s not that big of a deal. Besides Logic and Pro Tools virtually every DAW these days supports VST3. Whether or not they’re compliant with the VST3 spec (insofar as one can be, the thing is dense) is another issue.

@t0m is LV2 support in the works as well?

Except for who knows how many users on Live 9 or less that have no intention to upgrade.


I don’t make decisions regarding future products based on users remaining on deprecated platforms. Sometimes you have to buy new shiny things to play with other new shiny things.

It is annoying to get between the business politics of the business leaders. And it is not about what new shiny new tools the developer buys, but that their target audience is divided into the ones using Live pre 10.1 (so far everybody on Ableton) and the ones, that have already VST3.

Having said that, it is a moot point, since nobody can do anything about it, time will sort it out.


Exactly. Studios want everything to work and carry on working, so they can be glacial in their upgrade paths.

annoying […] business politics

Quite! Obviously there is some business case for not wanting to continue “supporting” VST2 on Steinberg’s part, but I also think it was somewhat of an “eff you” to their competitors at the same time.

More tea vicar?

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I mean in all fairness to Steinberg, they did give a heads up five years ago.

And I do think it’s a good thing that there’s no longer incentive to write new VST2 plugins. It’s an outdated model of how audio processing can/should work in modern workflows. From Steinberg’s standpoint, I’d be incredibly frustrated if I gave people a framework to create plugins with sample accurate automation, NoteExpression, dynamic channel configurations, complex multi in/out plugins, etc, only for people to keep writing VST2 plugins 10 years later.

At a certain point, VST exists primarily to extend the functionality of Steinberg’s platforms, and if they want to take it in an orthogonal direction from what VST2 can support they need to do something to get people to stop writing VST2 and start writing VST3.

Now I’d argue for a VST4 that is easier to use than VST3, has a low surface area C ABI, is better documented, a commitment to API stability on minor version releases, and a liberal license. But that’s just me.

I don’t blame them, in fact I wrote posts here defending this move.

But to say, VST doesn’t matter any more over night is just bollocks. And by splitting the hosts in multiple factions, they annoy everybody. And the last straw, the JUCE abstraction layer, they killed by legal threads to anyone using the old SDK.

Yes there was a transition policy, but the plugin developers had no choice, they have to support, what the market wants, and the market is still a fair amount of running VST hosts.

If I had the developers behind me, I would be all up for a community owned API, so no single party can make that move again.

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