VST3 plugins not recognized if not in "Common Files\VST3"


Renoise 3.3 does not find VST3 plugins if they are in another folder than C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3
I am manually placing my VST3 plugins into another folder (which is specified in Renoise and also contains my VST2 plugins). Reaper has no problem with that and finds all the VST3 plugins in there just fine. But Renoise does not find them at all, only if they are in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3. I think that should be changed, so that Renoise recognizes VST3 plugins (*.vst3 files) in any VST directory path that is specified within the settings.

Cheers :wink:

This has nothing to do with Renoise, this is normal for all DAWs. You can’t change the default VST3 folder. It MUST be placed there. This was set by Steinberg, the licensor of the VST format. This has to do with Steinberg’s own DAWs like Nuendo/Cubase and their internal plugin manager, which uses this system folder for installed VST3 plugins. This also has to do with the VST3 preset standard, which is able to save presets with different categories. All DAWs on the marked which support VST3 are forced to search new VST3 plugins in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3.

haven’t tried it myself, but what about symlinking from “Common Files\VST3” to your folder with mklink /J or /D?

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@Mastrcode Even though this is indeed the official standard, you can simply move the .vst3 files to somewhere else, thats all fine for example with Reaper, it just finds and uses them from any directory where you place them. I have been using VST3 plugins from my custom directories for a while without problems in Reaper. The same goes for example with DDMF MetaPlugin, this can also read the .vst3 files from anywhere you want. They do NOT need to be in the Common Files directory at all. Maybe that´s needed if you are using Cubase, which I don´t. I am sure that taktik can do a similar behavior like Reaper and DDMF Metaplugin and let Renoise scan and use VST3 files anywhere. He could indeed keep the standard location and just make it optional to also use .VST3 files from somewhere else. As I said, that´s working with Reaper, DDMF MetaPlugin and many other VST3 supporting hosts.

Here you can see how for example Reaper can use VST3 plugins from any directory, not just the “Common Files” directory:


In Ableton you can drop all vst2 and vst3 in one custom folder and it reads them all. If it finds a vst2 and a vst3 verison of the same plugin in the custom folder, it displays the vst3 in the libary by default.

Not that I care, just sayin’.

Right, Ableton can also do that indeed. I am sure taktik can allow custom folders for VST3 plugins too, beside the standard folder. Thanks in advance.

P.S.: @shorty Your idea was great, I´ve now simply linked my custom VST plugin folder (which holds a mix of VST2 and VST3 plugins) into the C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 folder by using “mklink /D” and Renoise now finds all my VST3 plugins in my custom folder just fine. Which also shows that taktik could easily address this by simply scanning all custom specified VST directories in the Renoise settings for .vst3 plugins. For now, this is good hack. Thank you.

No, it’s not normal. Both Live & Bitwig will recognise VST3s in any folder you’ll point them to. Only old school DAWs - which you can argue Renoise is, LOL! - stick to only looking into c: / program files / common files / vst3 :slight_smile: :smiley:

Exactly :wink: Have yet to see another DAW except Cubase (is someone still using this?) that only looks in Common Files for VST3.

Well, Studio One does unfortunatelly.

The VST3 specs encourage to use the specified default paths only. If everyone would do so, this would simplify installation for plugins and the default setup for hosts. So we definitely should use those paths by default.

I agree though that it wouldn’t hurt to allow specifying an additional custom folder, like Ableton does.

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i was so excited but…tbh, if not…this sucks. i can´t even believe that this is not the case in renoise.

anyways, as shorty kindly mentioned above you can have a solution with the mklink trick. as for us coding idiots, theres even a simple shellextension available, which does the trick in two steps:

the link to the shellextension is in the text.
i have just tested this myself and it worked so far.

so to have no misunderstandings:

  1. isntall the extension
  2. open right click menue on your custom vst3-folder and choose “pick link source”
  3. go to the “Common Files\VST3” fodler and right click on it and choose “drop as…junction” from the menue (you will find then an appropriate link inside that folder!).

thats it
rescan your folders in renoise

i am now able to use odin2 in renoise :smiley:

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Having a single VST3 install location would be a great idea if (and only if) Windows had a sane and reasonably strict installation structure. I know “put everything in a pile and just use search” is a popular way of “sorting”, but it’s not good practice and it becomes madness when you have a lot of files and don’t necessarily remember exactly what you’re looking for.

Thanks heavens for symlinking!

I´ve just checked the latest Renoise version 3.4.2 and see that the “issue” still exists and we have to use the workaround of a symlink / directory junction. Is it planned to add a custom VST3 path into Renoise without having to use this hack 1.5 years later? Thanks a lot.

Just to clarify this…to make a symbolic link for the vst3 folder does not work with all plugins. :wink:

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While I agree that this finally should be selectable in Renoise directly, I didn´t have a single issue with the symbol link yet. Which plugins didn´t work for you? I have a lot, and none gave issues.

Arturia Stuff for Example.

So vst3 have a" guideline" and Arturia doesn’t follow :dizzy_face:‍

Maybe a hardlink of “dlll”…not sure

Arturia FX Collection works fine this way here.

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Ah, OK - thanks for the info! I had assumed VST3s just weren’t supported in renoise. I’ll try to make a symbolic link to see if it fixes the issue - which is the default VST3 folder that renoise would recognise?


C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3