How To Use Vst In Cakewalk: 4 Important Questions Answered


The virtual synthesizer (VST) format was developed by Steinberg and has become the standard plugin format for most digital audio workstations (DAW) today.

Here I break down the steps to adding your installed Vst plugins to Cakewalk by bandlab.

Installing Vst plugins in Cakewalk

Cakewalk by bandlab installs Vsts to a default “Vst Plugins” folder. The path is Program files/Cakewalk/Vstplugins. You can, however, set a custom folder location for your vst installation.

Vsts are installed as “dll” files within the Vst folder. This folder is then added to the Vst scanner folder list. See the steps below.

  1. Launch Cakewalk by bandlab (if not already open).
  2. Go to “Edit” on the toolbar and click on “Preferences” from the dropdown; alternatively, press “P” on your keyboard. It opens the preferences menu list.
  3. Under the file section, click on “Vst settings.” It reveals the Vst menu options to the right side of the preferences window.
  4. Click on “Add” close to the top of the menu. It opens a browser window.
  5. Navigate to the location of your Vst installation folder and click ok. You can also make a new folder if needed.
  6. Run the Vst scanner by clicking on the “scan” under “scan options.”

Your installed Vst plugins should now appear available in Cakewalk by bandlab.

1. How do I add a dll to Cakewalk?

The “dll” file extension belongs to Vst files. Cakewalk by bandlab identifies these files and adds them to the plugin list.

You can manually add a vst file to Cakewalk. All you need is to copy the installed files or folder to the Cakewalk “Vst Plugins” folder directory. Then re-run the Vst scanner. Your Vst should now be available.

Note: This is not the best way to add Vst files to Cakewalk. It’s much better to Add the installed folder location to the Vst folders list described in the previous section. Some plugins may become broken when you manually delete, move or copy them from one location to the other.

2. Can you move dll files?

Yes, You can. However, this is not the best practice as the plugin may no more function properly afterward.

3. Why are my plugins not showing up in Cakewalk?

If you can’t find your installed plugins even after following the steps above, then 

  1. Open the plugin manager dialogue by right-right-clicking in the fx bin and choosing plugin manager.
  2. Go to “Manage exclusion list category” and choose “show excluded.”
  3. Search for the missing plugin and click on “Enable Plugin.”

4. Does Cakewalk have free plugins?

Yes, it does. Cakewalk by bandlab is Free for all, including stock plugins and instruments.

Wrapping up

Now you can enjoy working with all your favorite plugins in Cakewalk by bandlab.

To know more about how to use your Cakewalk by bandlab software, do check out the article Cakewalk by bandlab


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