Steinberg says that “VST 2 is coming to an end”, but what does this mean for your DAW and plugins?

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Steinberg has announced that “VST 2 is coming to an end,” though it remains to be seen what this will mean for the wider plugin and DAW community.

A statement on the company’s website says: “Late 2013 we announced that the Software Development Kit (SDK) for VST 2 would no longer be maintained and would only be available as subset of the VST 3 SDK. Five years down the line and this transitional phase is now also coming to an end.

“From October 2018 onward we are closing down the second version of VST for good. While the VST 2 SDK has been unavailable, and so have maintenance and technical support, the subset within the VST 3 SDK will also be omitted.”

Steinberg says its hosts, including Cubase, will continue to be compatible with VST 2 plugins, but hopes that the move will encourage developers to leave the format behind and fully embrace VST 3. Not all hosts currently support this latest iteration of the plugin standard - Ableton Live doesn't for example - but it looks like Steinberg is trying to encourage them to do so.

“We appreciate that developers and users alike gravitate strongly toward the VST 3 interface that comes with many technological advancements,” says Yvan Grabit, technology lead at Steinberg. “By bidding farewell to VST 2, we hope to offer everyone a clear direction.”