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What's your scheme for storing VST plugins?

lahatte

Member
Most always plugins install to the system drive. That seems like a bad idea because it isn't portable, or so easy to backup.

And some plugin installers create additional files in another folder that the plugin will reference.

How are you handling storing plugins on your system?
 
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lahatte

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Yes, but that isn't what I asked about. Putting stuff on the system drive isn't portable.
 

d.healey

Senior Member
Putting stuff on the system drive isn't portable.
Sure, but that's where DAWs will look by default so moving them to another location may cause issues if the host doesn't let you point to another location (although I think most hosts do).

I don't really have a need for portability of plugins, I have individual copies on each machine, however it's useful to me to have portable samples but that's a separate issue.

For backup I just backup my home folder which contains my plugins folder so no issues there (I'm not on a Mac).
 
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lahatte

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I am in the situation of setting up a new system. I 'could' install the old system drive (or better a clone to a new drive) in the new machine, which I will likely do to simplify things regarding plugin installs. But having all the plugins and relevant data on a separate drive would make system updates much easier. I really do not want to try and install 3 years of collecting plugins onto a new system.
 
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pranic

Andrew
Without going into too many details, I use a Mac and leverage symbolic links between the locations the *want* to install on my system drive, but point them to "/Volumes/MUSIC/Spitfire Audio" or "/Volumes/MUSIC2/Native Instruments". I have additional folders for KONTAKT instruments like Pianobook (though it's hard to organize them in any sensible way)

Disclaimer: I'm a UNIX administrator by trade, so symlinks are a way of life (and Macs are very much UNIX systems). What is a symlink?

I'm at the point where I need to start thinking about a larger 4TB portable drive, though (because too many sample libraries are on sale these days!)

EDIT: As other people have suggested, I don't install the VSTs elsewhere, but mostly the samples and content for the VSTs. If I were going to use an external hard drive, I'd use the Samsung T5 or newer drives (they're quite solid performers). I rely on backups for ensuring my VST directories are backed up (the plugins are rather small in most cases)
 
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lahatte

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Thanks pranic. I hadn't thought about the links, though I doubt I could set up a link to the Program Files folder and have the system work properly.

On your portable drive, I assume you want SSD? I did some research and found that the cheaper QVO series from Samsung should work fine for mostly reading. It's the writing, which the EVO series is supposed to be more robust with over time, that eats up lifetime on SSD's. Newegg has sales on them on occasion.
 

Nico5

Member
I leave all my plugins (vst2 and vst3) on the system disk since the plugins themselves don’t take all that much space, but have moved most large sample library content (where it’s easily facilitated like Spectrasonics, Kontakt, Spitfire, etc) to a separate SSD.

Side note: symlinks also exist on Windows - but important to note, that they are something very different than shortcuts.
 

Rudianos

Active Member
My VST files are on system drive - and I back them up monthly on storage. Its very easy to tell any program where to look for them in settings - and I have created my own folder organized as pleases me. My libraries themselves are both on NVME and all they do are hold library files - should hold for a long time with endurance.
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
I clone my system drive weekly and let that handle the little things like obscure plugin specific files. The only two manual backups I make are my user presets, and installers.

The presets? Ironically this is way way out of sync. I probably have hundreds, if not thousands of presets not manually backed up. I don't sweat it... I'm on a mac and AU plugins make preset management painless as they all wind up in the same place... They're on my clone if not manually backed up to an external... Given that I don't use Cubase I don't need to sweat manual backups as they'll always be in the same folder on my clone... (Ironically Cubase refusing to support AU on mac is one of several reasons why I never got on with Cubase... AU is supported by the OS and every other DAW developer supports it...)

The thing I'm adamant about maintaining manual backups of however are the installers. Should I need to do a clean install I'm way more anxious thinking about having to manually re-download many hundreds of plugin installers - (not always available many months later depending on the developer and/or checkout system used) - vs copying a single preset (or settings) folder. Even if a developer's moved to a product manager this still can be a headache. A manual installer backup so far has served me well in the scenarios where I've needed to or preferred to do a manual reinstallation from scratch...
 
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lahatte

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The thing I'm adamant about maintaining manual backups of however are the installers.
I do that as well. I try to keep all the installation stuff. However, to install hundreds or thousands of plugins would be an impossible task, I think.

I am not concerned about the vst files that only make use of the dll - those can easily be copied to another location. I am thinking mostly of those plugins that need access to additional files, and the fact that those files get scattered all over the system drive, depending on where the plugin vendor thinks they should be.
 
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