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Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

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KVRer
 
6 posts since 30 Nov, 2013

Postby zaqzaq; Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:52 pm Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

Hi, I've read in many other threads people saying that it's fine to drop all your plugins in, eg., C:\VST\64bit (or 32 bit) . But I was wondering if there is any advantage in putting your plugins in the folders C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86)\ , since these are windows system folders. Does anyone know if there's a difference? To my knowledge (as a hobbyist), it's actually worse to use these folders since the plugin might not have permission to write/modify files in them, which might lead to malfunctioning.
Thanks!
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Beware the Quoth
 
21098 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:53 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

As you suspect, its actually better to put them outside the two Program Files directories, because of permissions. There's no specific advantage except possibly 'tidyness'

(If you were determined to put them inside Program Files, I'd suggest creating subdirectories eg "Program Files/VST" directory with everything inside that, and modifying the permissions for the subdirectory folder to add read/write access for Everyone.)
To laymen, software development is something akin to wizardry. Neither time, nor effort are involved. If software is missing features they want, or has bugs, it is solely because someone has been too lazy to wave their magic wand.
KVRAF
 
1930 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:02 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

I have found it best, for my work, to put them where I need/want them. For example, I have a folder for each DAW I use with the .dll for each VST inside.

This is due to Live's nasty limitation of scanning just one folder location and the necessity, sometimes, of having to look at multiple folders (like Cakewalk for example - theirs is the worst installer I have encountered, placing their vst's into several different folders so you have to gather them into one (for use in another DAW, like Live). What a mess.)

Basically I let the installer do its thing and then copy/paste the .dll where I need it to reside. Off the C drive is where I like things best.

As whyterabbyt points out, if you use a protected location be sure to give everything you need to permission to read/write to it. Other than that it really doesn't matter where you put the vst, as long it knows where to find its library.

Happy Musiking!
dsan
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KVRAF
 
2685 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:24 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

IMO, the best location for the modern OS (Windows 7 or Windows 8 ) is inside Users/Public or Users/...(YourName) - the first will always allow access to ALL users, but if you are the only user, it's pointless.

For a matter of organization, you should open a directory called VstPlugIns or VstPlugIns (x86) for the 32-bit plug-ins, and another called VstPlugIns (x64) for the 64-bit plug-ins.

Bear in mind that, in spite of some installers look for a default VstPlugIns directory (when defined in the registry) others point to a fixed location, sometimes Program Files/Steinberg/VstPlugIns. Also, Sonar seems to create a registry entry to make the Program Files/Cakewalk/VstPlugIns the default directly. So, you may have to manually change this when installing plug-ins.
Fernando (FMR)
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KVRAF
 
20347 posts since 26 Jul, 2005, from Inside Schroedinger's Cat...or am I...

Postby robojam; Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:37 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

whyterabbyt wrote:As you suspect, its actually better to put them outside the two Program Files directories, because of permissions. There's no specific advantage except possibly 'tidyness'

(If you were determined to put them inside Program Files, I'd suggest creating subdirectories eg "Program Files/VST" directory with everything inside that, and modifying the permissions for the subdirectory folder to add read/write access for Everyone.)

^^ This - I ran into exactly that problem a couple of times and used exactly this solution.
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Beware the Quoth
 
21098 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:46 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

BTW, if you have plugin installers (or a host) which uses the registry to determine a 'default' plugin path, the following tool is useful for changing that without delving into registry gubbinage.

http://www.asseca.org/setVSTpath/index.html
To laymen, software development is something akin to wizardry. Neither time, nor effort are involved. If software is missing features they want, or has bugs, it is solely because someone has been too lazy to wave their magic wand.
KVRer
 
6 posts since 30 Nov, 2013

Postby zaqzaq; Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:23 pm Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

Excellent replies, thanks to all involved! I also ran a test: I put a 64 bit plugin in C:\Program Files (x86)\... (I'm on a Win 7 64bit) and it made no difference, Reaper 64 bit recognized the plugin as 64 bit all the same. I was unsure about putting my plugins outside of Program Files because maybe a plugin might need to run like a program, but I can see this is definitely false. Thank you for the help!

PS: awesome program whyterabbyt! Lean and mean
mn
KVRAF
 
1620 posts since 27 Dec, 2003

Postby mn; Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:14 pm Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

dsan@mail.com wrote:This is due to Live's nasty limitation of scanning just one folder location and the necessity, sometimes, of having to look at multiple folders (like Cakewalk for example - theirs is the worst installer I have encountered, placing their vst's into several different folders so you have to gather them into one (for use in another DAW, like Live). What a mess.)

Basically I let the installer do its thing and then copy/paste the .dll where I need it to reside. Off the C drive is where I like things best.


You can (and I do) use Windows symlinks and junctions to accomplish much the same thing without duplicating dll files. Here is a tool:

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshel ... llext.html

Now in the case of Live (going from memory, not at home now) you don't even have to do that. I'm pretty sure Live honors straight old Windows shortcuts. I use (for some hosts) a directory called C:\vst4host. So you could create as an example C:\vst4host\Live and simply create Windows shortcuts to selected other folders like C:\vstplugins\Fabfilter and C:\vstplugins\u-he and so on. Set Live to scan C:\vst4host\Live and you're good. That should work.

For other hosts that may have a single path limitation, or an inability to scan all plugs without crashing, or that you have reasons to only want certain vst plugs (such as for a video editor) you can use symlinks or junctions. Basically the same concept as above but there are differences between symlinks and junctions.

For example Wavelab has always been a bit iffy to make it through vst scans so I have a directory C:\vst4host\Wavelab with a handful of symlinks to certain folders within my master C:\vstplugins structure. Set Wavelab to scan C:\vst4host\Wavelab.
Regards, Mike
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Beware the Quoth
 
21098 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:58 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files fol

mn wrote:You can (and I do) use Windows symlinks and junctions to accomplish much the same thing without duplicating dll files. [/quote

I'll second the use of junction points etc for tidying things up. Especially handy for installers with hardwired paths to, eg. data folders. LinkShellExtension is the best way to go, too, IMO; makes using them even easier than regular windows Shortcuts.
One thing I'd mention though is that some updates (NI seem to be a culprit) can sometimes stomp on junction points, deleting them and replacing them with regular folders again.

Now in the case of Live (going from memory, not at home now) you don't even have to do that. I'm pretty sure Live honors straight old Windows shortcuts.


Yup, it does indeed.
To laymen, software development is something akin to wizardry. Neither time, nor effort are involved. If software is missing features they want, or has bugs, it is solely because someone has been too lazy to wave their magic wand.
KVRer
 
13 posts since 6 Mar, 2014

Postby seedy; Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:27 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

i'm a noob struggling with this right now

all said my 32 and 64 bit plugins are totally mixed together in x64 and x86 folders.
stuff was just loaded there at a time i was pretty confused and at this point i feel like i'm stuck with the mess i've made.

i tried installing proteus VX last week and it asked me where i wanted my "program data" and i had no idea. after that it asked where my vst plugins are stored.
to BOTH questions i said "program files>cakewalk>vstplugins

i surely know where to put the .dll file that sonar looks for.....but where should all of the "rest" of the stuff typically reside?

is it bad that i put the "program data" into my vstplugin folder?
it's also not neatly kept in there in one "proteus VX" folder.....a bunch of "loose" files currently sitting in my vst plugin folder related to this synth



any advice concerning the mess i've made and how i should go about installing future plugins? right now im in "know wtf you are doing before you install another" mode :?


thx for reading :)
KVRist
 
163 posts since 7 Sep, 2011, from cali
 

Postby MadAnthony81; Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:48 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

personally ive heard from Bill, the programs folders run programs better. allocate certain programs to certain folders. it used to be in the 80s that if your folder was named music, it would be better for music. Now it is mostly programs in the programs, and it takes care of most of that.
Ableton Live 8 Suite 64 Bit, Sylenth1 64 Bit,Rapture, Synthmaster, Korg ES-1 Mkii, Mo' Phatt. and Waves plugs.
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Beware the Quoth
 
21098 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:02 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

seedy wrote:i'm a noob struggling with this right now

all said my 32 and 64 bit plugins are totally mixed together in x64 and x86 folders.
stuff was just loaded there at a time i was pretty confused and at this point i feel like i'm stuck with the mess i've made.

i tried installing proteus VX last week and it asked me where i wanted my "program data" and i had no idea. after that it asked where my vst plugins are stored.
to BOTH questions i said "program files>cakewalk>vstplugins

i surely know where to put the .dll file that sonar looks for.....but where should all of the "rest" of the stuff typically reside?

is it bad that i put the "program data" into my vstplugin folder?
it's also not neatly kept in there in one "proteus VX" folder.....a bunch of "loose" files currently sitting in my vst plugin folder related to this synth



any advice concerning the mess i've made and how i should go about installing future plugins? right now im in "know wtf you are doing before you install another" mode :?


thx for reading :)


ive only just noticed this, are you still having a problem?

it should be possible to do quite a lot of tidying manually, but you'll have to do a little bit of work to do so.
easiest thing to do is set up a new, clean folder for your dll files (one each for 64-bit and 32-bit) and start moving the files in small groups, testing them in your host as you go to make sure.

you'll find the followiing:

many plugins can be easily manually moved, because the only 'part' to it is the .dll file.

some others can be manually moved because they expect their 'support' files to be in some other directory elsewhere, and there's a registry entry or possibly a hardcoded location which defines that, so that isnt affected by you moving the .dll

some others can be manually moved but because they expect their 'support' files to be in the same directory as the .dll, you need to identify that stuff and move it all too.

some look like they can be manually moved, but even though they have their 'support' files in the same directory as the .dll, there are registry entries or other things which point at them. You'd have to find out what that stuff is, and change it, ie edit registry entries. It may be easier to do an uninstall, and reinstall the plugin.

some stuff is just a bastard. these are the ones where youve only got the choice of doing an uninstall, and reinstall the plugin.

addendum : if you want to tidy up the 'support' files (everything from documentation, to skins, to presets, to wavetables, depending on the plugin) into a convenient location, you may need to edit registry entries, use junction points and generally do some power-user type stuff. it may be easier not to, or to let stuff install into their default locations, although the default locations can vary considerably.
places to look for stuff include

/program files/developer/plugin
/program files/common files/developer/plugin
/programdata/developer/plugin
%appdata%/roaming/developer/plugin
%appdata%/local/developer/plugin
%userprofile%/my documents
my documents/eveloper/plugin
To laymen, software development is something akin to wizardry. Neither time, nor effort are involved. If software is missing features they want, or has bugs, it is solely because someone has been too lazy to wave their magic wand.
KVRian
 
1380 posts since 24 Apr, 2010, from Nottingham

Postby bob bobwood; Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:48 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

Obviously the alternative is to leave as it is and my preference has been to install where I decide - if it lets me -[even if it means having 10 different folders all over the shop] and then I use the free PluginManager; http://www.familiekraft.de/PluginManager/

This can be configured in about 5 minutes and can be configured to show all or hide 32bit or 64bit plugins.
A-Z of Plugins, etc updated August 16th 2014
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KVRAF
 
7724 posts since 20 Jan, 2008, from Down on the farm

Postby Numanoid; Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:57 am Re: Do plugins (VST or VSTi) need to be in Program files folder?

I put my main VST folder on root C, and then a sub folder for 64 bit plugs inside that.

I once had it inside the programme folder, but in the end I found it became a hassle having to navigate into sub-folders, and always getting "you need permission" whenever I wanted to move or delete something.

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