Should I keep installed unused versions of my VST's?

VST, AU, AAX, CLAP, etc. Plugin Virtual Instruments Discussion


Last edited by swilow11 on Mon Apr 22, 2024 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.


I’ve always been very deliberate in my purchases. Almost everything I’ve bought is a physical model of some specific piece of historical gear—either a rack unit, pedal, acoustic instrument, or synth. So unless I have a better model of the same kit, I’m going to keep it installed, and I’m going to have some situation where I will want to use it.


I keep most plugins installed, even those I use very rarely. Having options is nice, sometimes I'll pull out a crappy old synth or effect VST I haven't used in years just for some inspiration. Some get more inspired from limitations and minimalism, but for me it's the opposite. Having a reverb effect is great, having 15 is even better...

However I have started getting rid of stuff that hasn't been updated to VST3, since VST2 support is going away completely at some point. When installing new plugins, I also only install the VST3 version where possible (some need you to install the VST2 version for VST3 to function).


I do some triage once in a while:

- Installed, and listed in one of my categories in Bitwig's browser
- Installed but not listed (I can just type the name if I want to use it)
- Not installed, but I keep the installer on my hard drive just in case
- Never going to use it again, delete the installer

I don't have a tendency to open old projects, in fact I delete them. I'd rather make something new than revisit something old.

Also I try to keep just one version (CLAP, VST3 or VST2) of each plugin, but I don't worry about that too much.


Guitar Binge wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 4:46 pm I'm still new, so I'll research if there's a preference between VST2 &. VST3. If one is better than the other, and if there are both installed, which I should remove/uninstall
FWIW VST3 is newer and in theory has advantages over VST2. I would always use VST3

The main reason why is that officially VST2 is dead and is no longer supported and eventually you may have a hard time getting them to work at some point in the future

Having said that I usually install both VST2 and VST3 versions of everything. AAX I never install as it's specific to the Avid/Protocols system which I don't use and never will

The reason I install VST2 is because for a very long time it was as close to a universal standard as we could get and you may run into old software that only uses it

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