Old 12-21-2019, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default New system time! 64/32? VST2/VST3?

Moving from my trusty 10yr old Win7 32bit laptop to a sparkly new 64bit Win10, which is great, but how it will affect my plugins? I have a few questions:
  • If I install the 64bit version of a plugin, will my old projects recognise that as being the same as the 32bit version and use it automatically?
  • Is it worth using VST3? If I install the VST3 of a plugin, will a project that used the VST2 load the VST3 instead?
  • Am I better off installing 32bit REAPER for backwards compatibility or should I dive bravely into the future with 64bit?
Though I am the very definition of a computer nerd, this is new territory for me so any help much appreciated!
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Old 12-21-2019, 12:28 PM   #2
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The answers for your questions certainly depend on the plugin maker.
But you can expect the following:

- Old projects that have used 32-bit plugins will recognize many or even all 64-bit plugins automatically

- Old projects will *not* use VST3 plugins instead of VST2 automatically. You must load the VST3 version and copy all settings from the VST2 version, then remove the VST2 version. This is a lot of work and quite error prone -- not recommended.

32-bit vs 64-bit:
I recommend switching to 64-bit plugins. In the future, 32-bit software is going to disappear. Look at Steinberg (Cubase & Wavelab are 64-bit only) or at the latest macOS: "Catalina" is exclusively 64-bit and does no longer run any 32-bit application.
The decision is also easy because old projects may not notice any difference when 64-bit plugins are used instead of 32-bit plugins.

VST2 vs VST3:
In this case I recommend that you stick with VST2 for your old projects.
Manually replacing each plugin of each project is simply too much work.
In addition, although VST3 offers many benefits when used in other DAWs (e.g. sidechaining in Cubase), there are hardly any advantages when used in REAPER. On the contrary -- some VST3 plugins still don't work properly in REAPER (e.g. Softube), whereas the VST2 counterparts run fine.

If you purchase new plugins, you may of course use VST3 right away provided that the VST3 version runs properly.

Last edited by Heart Doctor; 12-21-2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 12-21-2019, 12:43 PM   #3
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Great, thanks! That's very helpful.
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:41 AM   #4
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Heart Doctor doesn't post that often, but when he does, his posts are usually right on the money. Helped me & countless others get their head round the weirdness that is Waves plugins, for one.

Gratitude to Heart Doctor! er - viel dank?
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:03 AM   #5
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Definitely go 64-bit.

Thankfully Reaper doesn't, and likely won't deprecate 32-bit "just because" like other DAW makers, but there's no reason for 32-bit if a plugin has a 64-bit version.

I just finished a full install of everything on a new system and stuck with VST2 since there's usually not too much advantage to VST3.

If a plugin is using VST3 specific features, or if using another DAW that handles them different VST3 makes sense.
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