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Installing VSTs Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 14th January 2009
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skiroy's Avatar

Thread Starter
Installing VSTs

With Protools it doesn;t matter cause it has its own directory for plugins but I was tols to put plugins in general in a different drive.
For example I have say Sonar installed on C drive and I have all data,projects,sounds,Vst.dll files on my D drive.

My confusion is when you install the VST in installs it one place and put the VST.dll file in another place.I have always been confused wether to install the Vst and put the VST.dll file on my D drive or should I install the plugin on my C drive where the DAW is installed and just have the VST.dll on the seperate drive for performance.

Or does it even matter?What do you guys do?
Old 14th January 2009
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shanabit's Avatar

This is a VERY good question by the way and one I have never really given any thought to

There is a a dedicated VST plugin folder on the C: Drive when you install the DAW.
Subsequent installations of VST plugins are installed which should put your VST.dll into that folder.

1. Look at it this way, if its a regular VST plugin such as Reverb/Compression/Delay/Chorus, etc. It will load it into the VST Plugins folder.

2. Now, if you install a VST plugin instrument such as BFD 2.0, Superior 2.0 etc where the plugin has tons of samples and library content, youll want to put the content on a diff drive so it can stream more quickly. The .dll file is STILL being installed to the VST plugins folder but the CONTENT files are going on another drive.

Ive never done it the way your describing but Im SURE some do. I always install it to the default VST plugin folder on the main drive and IF its an instrument the VST plugin goes into the folder and the samples for that instrument go onto another drive.

Sonar will look for the VST plugins folder on boot and install those .dll's that are there.

For example, I have BFD on my main drive and the SAMPLES for BFD are on another drive. All thats on the C: drive is the VST plugin .dll in the VST plugins folder.
This is a VST INSTRUMENT here though and NOT just a regular VST plugin.
if it were Ivory or something huge like that I would do it the same way.

Protools does it the same way BTW, they just call the plugin folder by a diff name and its location is different. I do it the same with Protools. If its a plugin it goes on the C:, if its an INSTRUMENT, the plugin goes on the C and the CONTENT goes on another drive.

Your probably seeing it in two diff places because your loading the VST . dll file on the secondary drive and it in turn is looking back to the VST plugins folder on the main drive where its scanning from. I may be wrong and hopefully someone will shed some light on this even more.
Old 14th January 2009
Gear Head

Honestly, it doesn't matter. You can select your plugins folder in any major DAW (Pro Tools excluded), so you can set any folder to be your default VST plugin directory. I actually use different directories for different apps, and just copy-n-paste the .dll file from one to another. For example, my Samplitude directory has everything, and then the separate one for Sibelius just has the .dll files for the instruments I use with it.

Just make sure you a) set/know/remember the directory your DAW is going to use, and b) install or copy the .dll file to that directory.
Old 15th January 2009
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Eloheim's Avatar

Hey tech, i've thought of doing this but dont you ever get into messes with upgraded versions and compatibility. Basically, it'd be great if you could somehow 'sync' all the copies of the dll's together.
Old 15th January 2009
Gear Head

Some installers do give the option of installing to multiple directories. For the ones that don't, I make the primary install to the same place every time, and then just copy-n-paste the ones I need to go elsewhere.
Old 15th January 2009
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Eloheim's Avatar

I using a lot of ableton live right now, so this may not help others, but someone on the ableton forum just informed me that you can just create SHORTCUTS to you dll files!! So what I plan on doing is:

Search my vst folder for all dll files. Create shortcuts to all of em. Put em in a new folder. Then create new folders within the vst shortcuts folder with stuff like "reverbs," into which i can but the appropriate plugs! And of course you can have as multiple shortcuts to one vst, so its not a problem if one is a reverb and a stereo enhancer, or whatever...

Putting all vst's into groups (folders) you like would be pretty time consuming, but once you did it, you'd never have to again. Or more likely, just put your favorites together, etc. You could sort into: "for tracking," "for mixing vocals," "for drum buss," or "hip hop," "electronic," etc....lots of possibilities.
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