Using VST plugins with Cakewalk Sonar

How to use VST plugins with Cakewalk Sonar

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 
By Stephane Brault

Note : If you are not familiar with VST plugins, I suggest your read An Introduction to VST first.

While VST is a technology developped by Steinberg for use with their softwares, such as Cubase, it is still possible to use those plugins in most other DAW (Digital Audio Workstations) applications like Sonar or any VST host. Cakewalk has it's own plugin format called DXi which makes use of Windows' Direct X but it isn't as popular as Steinberg's plugins.

This tutorial will show you how to make use of VST plugins through Cakewalk Sonar.

Locating Sonar Folders

We're going to start off by finding where Sonar's folders are located so we can add some new VST plugins. From the top menu, click on Options => Global and then select VST Plugins tab.

Sonar - Locating VST plugins directory

From there you can either add a new directory for Sonar to scan for VST plugins or you can just note down the default folder, which is usually c:\program files\cakewalk\vstplugins. I also suggestion that you check all three option checkboxes so that available VST plugins are always updated. Click OK when done.

Now that you know where to put the plugins, let's download one to see how it works. We'll try out PSP's free VintageMeter plugin. This is an effect plugin (read An Introduction to VST if you're not sure what is an effect plugin). Simply unzip the file and run the setup. You will now be asked where to copy the plugin. Usually the VST folder should be detected automatically but if not, click on Select Vstplugins folder manually and specify where you want the files to be copied to. Go through the setup and complete the installation.

Sonar - Installing a VST plugin

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