VST2 vs VST3. What are the differences? Which one is better?

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Heater
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Post 21 Nov 2022

Now that we are going to get the option. Which should I choose and why?

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MrFigg
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Post 21 Nov 2022

Heater wrote:
21 Nov 2022
Now that we are going to get the option. Which should I chose and why?
VST3. Just because you can. Well, not yet maybe, but soon.
丰2ॐ

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QVprod
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Post 21 Nov 2022

It’s not a matter of which is better. At some point you wont have an option. All plugins will eventually be VST3 only.


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miscend
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Post 21 Nov 2022

VST2 is usually better. Only because the plugins tend to be less buggy as developers are much more familiar with the format. Developers also seem to dislike VST3 in general. Urs from U-he has a few comments on the KVR link below. It seems VST3 has event timing issues and lacks robust midi support.

https://www.tone2.com/plugin-formats.html

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=589560

To be honest the lack of VST3 support in Reason never bothered me as I was using Polac's VST3 to VST2 converter.

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joeyluck
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Post 21 Nov 2022

This says "It is a summary of facts, not opinions." Hmmm :-? Facts from where?

I am not sure about much of that. I have seem some devs speak out about wanting to continue with just VST2 and not developer for VST3, but nothing like that. That seems very opinionated. And AU not being reliable? Never encountered that. And AU not developer friendly? Never heard that...

Sounds like someone just making excuses for their own products and trying to curb expectations of their customers.

Heater
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Post 21 Nov 2022

I'm reading various articles that state that VST3 is more efficient because it auto shuts down when there is no audio going through it. Surely a big advantage.

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QVprod
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Post 21 Nov 2022

miscend wrote:
21 Nov 2022
VST2 is usually better. Only because the plugins tend to be less buggy as developers are much more familiar with the format. Developers also seem to dislike VST3 in general. Urs from U-he has a few comments on the KVR link below. It seems VST3 has event timing issues and lacks robust midi support.

https://www.tone2.com/plugin-formats.html

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=589560

To be honest the lack of VST3 support in Reason never bothered me as I was using Polac's VST3 to VST2 converter.
Been using VST3 in S1 for over a year if not more. Haven’t noticed a difference. All comes to what the developer does with it. It’s been enough years that developers have been using it.

Keep in mind Urs also had issues with the RE format that others were able to get around. Also has his own plug-in format now. I think he just has a particular way he likes working.

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miscend
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Post 21 Nov 2022

With a well designed VST3 plugin the end users won't notice a difference. The issues with the format are on the development side. Developers have to use hacks to get features like midi learn to work for example. And from what I've seen alot of the impetus for CLAP comes from the dissatisfaction with VST3. I've yet to hear a single developer say anything negative about CLAP yet - although it is still early days and some features are not implemented yet.

Martinic (another reputable developer) for example say VST3 is more difficult to develop for new developers than VST2.

https://www.martinic.com/en/blog/clap-a ... gin-format

Developers know more about the issues with plugin formats because they deal with daily support requests, from a broad range of users, for the different DAWs and plugin formats. AU plugin validation issues are a thing on Mac, sometimes restarting the computer works, other times Logic still won't see a new plugin.

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QVprod
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Post 22 Nov 2022

miscend wrote:
21 Nov 2022

Developers know more about the issues with plugin formats because they deal with daily support requests, from a broad range of users, for the different DAWs and plugin formats. AU plugin validation issues are a thing on Mac, sometimes restarting the computer works, other times Logic still won't see a new plugin.
I believe it’s a given that developers will know more about the format than the user. But we can’t ignore that some of those arguments are preference related. That’s not to say that the issues they face aren’t real, but it’s not like those same exact issues/bugs are happing across all companies across the board. It’s gonna vary by developer. There are many larger companies that started to shift to VST 3 only, including for synthesizer plugins which they are claiming to have the most issue with.

None of the DAWs I use support or seem to show any interest in CLAP currently, so it’s off my radar but this Sweetwater article Joey posted earlier I think still sums things up pretty well for the VST 2 vs VST 3 question.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/vst-2 ... es-you-do/

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joeyluck
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Post 22 Nov 2022

QVprod wrote:
22 Nov 2022
There are many larger companies that started to shift to VST 3 only, including for synthesizer plugins which they are claiming to have the most issue with.
That's a good point. There are devs who shifted years ago to VST3 only, like Roland and Antares, both of which have had access to VST2.

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DaveyG
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Post 22 Nov 2022

Let's face it, if you are a dev company and you've made a whole load of VST2s that are working fine you are bound to be a bit reluctant to rework them all for VST3. But it will happen.

Not sure about CLAP yet. It may be the next best thing or it may never reach critical mass, not because there is anything wrong with it but just because companies will want to support as few formats as possible.

As for the original question, I always install and use only the VST3 version of something if I have a choice.

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avasopht
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Post 22 Nov 2022

Seems like the Korg Triton VST3 window opens much faster than the VST2
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BlueEddie
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Post 25 Nov 2022

Ok - I'm going to ask the question: what are the main benefits of VST3 being available in Reason? I understand it's the latest iteration, less CPU consumption, certain plugins are VST3 only (like UAD Spark) but the sort of demand it seems to have (and emotion it's caused) seem to go beyond that?

Here is an example of what I've been reading: https://www.musicianwave.com/vst2-vst3-differences/

Heater
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Post 25 Nov 2022

If you're forced to use a different DAW because your favourite plugin doesn't run in Reason then I can understand why folks get a bit hacked off.

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avasopht
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Post 25 Nov 2022

BlueEddie wrote:
25 Nov 2022
Ok - I'm going to ask the question: what are the main benefits of VST3 being available in Reason? I understand it's the latest iteration, less CPU consumption, certain plugins are VST3 only (like UAD Spark) but the sort of demand it seems to have (and emotion it's caused) seem to go beyond that?

Here is an example of what I've been reading: https://www.musicianwave.com/vst2-vst3-differences/
It just makes the experience a little incomplete and tedious.

If I want to use Roland Zenology, I have to use it via another VST, which is a little clunky when you want to open the edit window.
---

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Pepin
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Post 25 Nov 2022

Hosts are going to start dropping VST2 support at some point. Cubase has already done so for M1 native and will totally drop it next year. As other hosts do the same, plugin developers will inevitably follow suit.

So I'd recommend VST3 if you want to be able to load your projects in a few years without jumping through hoops.

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joeyluck
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Post 25 Nov 2022

Pepin wrote:
25 Nov 2022
Hosts are going to start dropping VST2 support at some point. Cubase has already done so for M1 native and will totally drop it next year. As other hosts do the same, plugin developers will inevitably follow suit.

So I'd recommend VST3 if you want to be able to load your projects in a few years without jumping through hoops.
Cubase dropped it because they are Steinberg. I don't think other DAWs will do the same?

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Pepin
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Post 25 Nov 2022

joeyluck wrote:
25 Nov 2022
Pepin wrote:
25 Nov 2022
Hosts are going to start dropping VST2 support at some point. Cubase has already done so for M1 native and will totally drop it next year. As other hosts do the same, plugin developers will inevitably follow suit.

So I'd recommend VST3 if you want to be able to load your projects in a few years without jumping through hoops.
Cubase dropped it because they are Steinberg. I don't think other DAWs will do the same?
I'm not saying they'll drop it as quickly as Steinberg, but I would be surprised if most hosts and plugin developers don't eventually drop it. I'm talking years out from now. At some point, users will have moved on, and continuing to support it will have little upside. I may be wrong of course, but I'd be surprised if anyone still supports VST2 by the time VST4 rolls around ;)

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Jagwah
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Post 29 Nov 2022

I use a few VSTs and they are great but I don't know much about the new VST3 support coming our way soon.

What can VST3 do that VST2 can not, and what kind of instruments / effects will we be able to use that we can't now, and how are they better? Is there anything else we can expect?

Just wanting to know a bit about this as it's not something I have looked in to at all.

Cheers!

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deigm
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Post 29 Nov 2022

I think it's more about future proofing. Since new VST developers can no longer get VST2 licenses, more and more plugins moving forward will be VST3 only. There are already lots and this list will only grow.

I read there were functionality/CPU benefits too but I dont know much about that side of it.

Personally, the only VST3 plugin I look forward to gaining access to in reason is Vocalign, but I'm sure more will come.
Last edited by deigm on 29 Nov 2022, edited 1 time in total.

Popey
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Post 29 Nov 2022

Jagwah wrote:
29 Nov 2022
I use a few VSTs and they are great but I don't know much about the new VST3 support coming our way soon.

What can VST3 do that VST2 can not, and what kind of instruments / effects will we be able to use that we can't now, and how are they better? Is there anything else we can expect?

Just wanting to know a bit about this as it's not something I have looked in to at all.

Cheers!
Personally I have found no difference between vst2 & 3 apart from a couple of plugin alliance vst not showing presets in Vst3 version.

I think it's more that new developers had to use vst3 which makes vst3 in reason important. Implementing vst 3 just means more new vst are available as options for Reason users which currently would not work.

If anything I recall reading a lot of devs on kvr preferring vst2 but it's no longer an option for new creators.

Mataya
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Post 29 Nov 2022

No CPU wastes

Perhaps, the biggest improvement of the VST3 plug-in is that it doesn’t waste CPU resources and only works when it detects the presence of an audio signal, unlike VST2, which remains active at all times. For users, this means an opportunity to use a bigger number of plug-ins without overloading the system.
Increased flexibility

The second big improvement is that the VST3 plug-in format is designed to be adaptive, meaning it can be used with multiple inputs/outputs. Whereas with VST2, you’d have to install at least a few separate versions of plug-ins to maintain both surround and sound processing, VST3 can be automatically adapted to channel routing, thus minimizing the wastage of resources.
Wide Variety of Control

A dedicated event handler bus is another highlight of the VST3 plugins. Not only does it give users control over the traditional MIDI messages, but it also allows for the use of modulation messages and future-proves the plug-in by making it adaptable to new control methods that may soon be introduced to the industry. In addition to that, users can take advantage of an advanced control at a note level and apply a specific effect not to the entire chord but to a specific note through associating it with a unique identifier.
Multiple inputs and outputs support

Those who use VST2 know that it’s only possible to assign a particular plugin to a single MIDI input/output. With VST3, though, this limitation has been removed, giving users the possibility to use several MIDI ports, making it ideal for live music performances.
User-friendly search

While in most cases users don’t pay much attention to the search option, it’s the feature that can make using the plug-in a lot more convenient. In the battle between VST2 vs VST3, VST3 wins again. Unlike the VST2 plugin throwing at users hundreds of automation parameters to scroll through, it comes with a user-friendly search filter that allows you to categorize all parameters by categories and helps keep the whole process streamlined and organized.
Sidechaining

The ability to take both MIDI input and MIDI data is another standout feature of the VST3 plug-ins that expands the possibilities for music creators.

M

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DaveyG
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Post 29 Nov 2022

It's 1 better. :thumbup:

Popey
Posts: 1498
Joined: 04 Jul 2018

Post 29 Nov 2022

Mataya wrote:
29 Nov 2022
No CPU wastes

Perhaps, the biggest improvement of the VST3 plug-in is that it doesn’t waste CPU resources and only works when it detects the presence of an audio signal, unlike VST2, which remains active at all times. For users, this means an opportunity to use a bigger number of plug-ins without overloading the system.
Increased flexibility

The second big improvement is that the VST3 plug-in format is designed to be adaptive, meaning it can be used with multiple inputs/outputs. Whereas with VST2, you’d have to install at least a few separate versions of plug-ins to maintain both surround and sound processing, VST3 can be automatically adapted to channel routing, thus minimizing the wastage of resources.
Wide Variety of Control

A dedicated event handler bus is another highlight of the VST3 plugins. Not only does it give users control over the traditional MIDI messages, but it also allows for the use of modulation messages and future-proves the plug-in by making it adaptable to new control methods that may soon be introduced to the industry. In addition to that, users can take advantage of an advanced control at a note level and apply a specific effect not to the entire chord but to a specific note through associating it with a unique identifier.
Multiple inputs and outputs support

Those who use VST2 know that it’s only possible to assign a particular plugin to a single MIDI input/output. With VST3, though, this limitation has been removed, giving users the possibility to use several MIDI ports, making it ideal for live music performances.
User-friendly search

While in most cases users don’t pay much attention to the search option, it’s the feature that can make using the plug-in a lot more convenient. In the battle between VST2 vs VST3, VST3 wins again. Unlike the VST2 plugin throwing at users hundreds of automation parameters to scroll through, it comes with a user-friendly search filter that allows you to categorize all parameters by categories and helps keep the whole process streamlined and organized.
Sidechaining

The ability to take both MIDI input and MIDI data is another standout feature of the VST3 plug-ins that expands the possibilities for music creators.

M
Good write up, I learnt a lot there thank you.

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