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Using 32-bit plug-ins on 64-bit systems

Although 64-bit Operating Systems and Hosts are currently the norm, you might need to use older plug-ins for backward compatibility or a particular VSTi which has been discontinued.

Cubase comes with a VST Bridge meant to make the transition to 64-bit systems easier, but the internal bridge cannot cope with some 3rd party 32-bit plug-ins and although Steinberg plug-ins are mostly bridged correctly, the outcome of bridging is pretty much system-dependent.

As of now, you have various options to choose from to deal with this situation:

  • Ditch old 32-bit plug-ins and find native 64-bit replacements. This is indeed the easiest solution to manage (system-wise), but replacing several plug-ins in existing projects might be cumbersome.
  • Use the internal VST Bridge if applicable with reliable results. Usually, it will work fine with most older Steinberg plug-ins, but as stated above the outcome might vary, especially with 3rd party plug-ins.
  • Use jBridge. jBridge is an inexpensive third-party solution for bridging. It has several user-selectable options which allow for very good results with some experimentation and tweaking. jBridge website...
  • Use the 32-bit version of Cubase along the current 64-bit installation.
    This option is only recommended, when you don't use sample libraries, orchestral templates or memory intensive VST Instruments. A quick reminder: a 32-bit application can only address 4 GB of RAM on a 64-bit OS.

    Still, it is a viable (and possibly the best) option to open older projects that were completed with a 32-bit version of Cubase.

    On Windows, both versions of Cubase can be installed and used separately.

    On Mac OS X, any installation since Cubase 6 can be used as 32- or 64-bit application. Instructions on how to switch the bit mode of an application under Mac OS X can be found here.

In all cases mentioned above, a logic and clean folder organization will allow you to reliably bridge where needed and get rid of the additional software when the need for a bridge no longer exists. Read more...


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