Organize Your VST Plug-Ins on Windows

 

folders_iconsAs shown some time ago for the Mac, today’s tip shows you how to organize your plug-ins on windows, in order to find and load them quickly into Blue Cat’s PatchWork or MB-7 Mixer.

As you will see, It’s no rocket science, and this will greatly improve your experience and reduce the time to load your plug-ins.

Spending Too Much Time Looking For Plug-Ins?

Some people have been asking for the capability to load the plug-ins directly from the menu instead of having to open an Explorer Window. While this may be added in the future to our software, be aware that it may never beat what you can already do today with the Windows Explorer or Finder, as you will see below…

How To

On Windows, whatever you do, your VST plug-ins folder will probably quickly look like a huge mess, unfortunately…

There is however a very simple way to overcome this issue and organize your plug-ins properly: it will just take you a few minutes!

To quickly access your plug-ins, without modifying the original install locations (for optimal compatibility), just do the following:
1. Create a new folder somewhere convenient on your system. For example in the ” My Documents” directory.
2. Label the new folder as “Plug-ins”.
3. Drag it into your Sidebar Favorites section to make it available as a shortcut there.
4. Go to your VST plug-ins folder.
5. Right click on each plugin you want and choose “Create shortcut” (multi-selection works too).
6. Move these shortcuts to your new folder, and create sub-folders to organize them.

Here you go! You can now access plug-ins quickly using the shortcuts, inside the appropriate folders:

Plug-Ins organized into folders

VST Plug-Ins organized into subfolders, directly accessible from the Favorites Sidebar

Some VST Plug-Ins Shortcuts in the Analysis Group

Some VST Plug-Ins Shortcuts in the Analysis Group

Additional Tip: You can also choose to add several folders to the favorite bar instead of a single one, to access directly the mostly used plug-ins that you use most of the time.

One More Tip: It is possible to add a shortcut to the same plug-in in different folders, as it may be valid for several categories.

Not Fancy Enough? Add Some Icons!

Once you have properly organized the plug-ins thanks to shortcuts and linked to them from the favorites bar, you may want to add some colors to it and change the icons. You can set a different icon for each folder, and even for each plug-in:

Plug-Ins Folders with Custom Icons

Plug-Ins Folders with Custom Icons

With custom icons, it is even easier to find the plug-ins: a glance will suffice to pickup the right one!

VST Plug-Ins with Custom Icons

VST Plug-Ins with Custom Icons

Free Search Included! 

And one more thing… Did you know that you can then use the standard windows search feature to find the plug-ins? Just type in a name and you’ll get it instantly!

VST Plug-In Search Included !

VST Plug-In Search Included !

Conclusion

Simply using the Windows Explorer properly and taking the time to organize things will greatly improve the plug-in loading experience. There are even features that are not available in most host applications (how many do provide custom icons and search?).

Do you still need an included plug-in menu? Please discuss below!

One thought on “Organize Your VST Plug-Ins on Windows

  1. Pingback: Your Own (Free) Plug-Ins Browser with Icons on Mac | The Dark Side of The Cat

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