How to Install VSTs Into Cubase

by Zach DexterUpdated September 22, 2017
Micro de studio image by Noël Magis from

Items you will need

  • VST plugin (usually downloaded in .zip, .rar, or .exe format)

  • File compression program

  • Cubase

VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology, and it usually refers to downloadable plugins that emulate sounds or sound effects. A plugin is basically a small program that runs inside a larger program, and in this case the larger program that needs to access a VST plugin is Steinberg's Cubase. Whether you are installing a compressor, EQ, distortion effect or any of the numerous other types of VST plugins out there, the process is incredibly simple.

Download the VST plugin you wish to use and save it to a location on your computer that you can easily remember.

Double-click “Computer” and navigate to the folder where the compressed VST plugin was downloaded. Doulble-click it to open it with your system’s default file compression program.

Click “Extract To” in the file compression program. In the resulting dialog, navigate to the folder on your computer where Cubase stores VST plugins. By default, this will be C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Vstplugins.

Click “OK” or “Extract” to extract the plugin to the “Vstplugins” folder.

Double-click the desktop icon for Cubase to launch it. Alternatively, click “Start,” then “Programs,” then select Cubase from the programs list.

Click “Devices,” then “VST Instruments.”

Click an empty slot, and select your VST plugin from the drop-down menu.

Photo Credits

  • Micro de studio image by Noël Magis from

About the Author

Since 2010 Zach Dexter has been writing professionally on a number of topics for various websites, with emphasis on audio production and computers. He also blogs at Zaccus. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College Chicago, where he studied music and audio production.

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