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Robert Bone

Cakewalk VstScan seems to have improperly scanned Steven Slate Drums 5 Free version 2 different uses

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Howdy - I was looking at posts in a FB group for Cakewalk by Bandlab, and I saw a user who had reported not being able to find the plugin for Steven Slate Drums 5, the Free version.

Since I had recently worked with both the free version, and umtimately, the paid full version, about a month ago, I thought it interesting, so I decided to download the free version, to see what Cakewalk thought of it currently.

Sure enough, I too had no such luck, after installation of it, properly placed into a sub-folder included in the search paths for VstScan.exe.  The plugin, VST2 version - named SSDSampler5.dll, was indeed in place, however it failed to show up as available for use in Cakewalk, in any category.

I verified its proper location, in the sub-folder I intended for it to be installed to, and found it IN the Registry entries for Cakewalk VST x64, but when I examined its Registry entry further, I found a Value Name and Value Data pair, that looked a bit suspicious.  The Value Name is "isVst", and the Value Data for it was '0' (zero).  SOOOO, it looked like the scan found SSDSampler5.dll, but determined it wasn't a synth.

It is possible that SSDSampler5.dll could have been determined to be an audio effect plugin, but I had not looked in those categories, in Cakewalk's Browser Pane, and SSDSampler5.dll was a synth plugin a month ago, when I spent 2 weeks working with it, and its full version.  Clearly, VstScan.exe had improperly evaluated and classified this plugin.

SOOOOO - I compared the "isVst" Value Name and Value Data of another synth in the Registry, and confirmed my suspicion that to be seen as a synth plugin, I needed to change that Registry Value Data, for SSDSampler5/dll, from '0' to '1', so I did.

I then launched Cakewalk, and lo and behold, it showed 1 newly found plugin in the VstScan, and sure enough, I could now see and insert SSDSampler5.dll into a new project, and it gloriously opened up its UI just fine, and all was well.

Since at least 2 users have had this issue (me, and the person I was trying to help in the first place), it would seem there is something abnormal happening with VstScan, at least with regard to proper processing of Steven Slate Drums 5 Free version, a 64-bit VST2 synth plugin.

Cakewalk support - I hope this is some small issue, not affecting scans of VST2 synth plugins in general.

If anybody else experiences this sort of issue, the steps I took, described above, MAY (hopefully) help get scanned synth plugins working for use in Cakewalk.

Here is a screenshot I took, of the Registry Value Name and Value Data pair, so you know you are in the right place, should you have to try doing such a Registry edit - PLEASE NOTE that you MUST be careful when editing things in the Registry, as unintended edits could cause other things to fail. (just be careful).

Screenshot:

image.png.bbeec5c65829f9a1d924ca9bdf1421ce.png

Bob Bone

 

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Hum, strange, I just looked at my installation of the free SSD5 VSTi and it shows up correctly in Cakewalk and I took a minute to check the registry and isVst is set to 1. your problem must not be happening to everyone, but I sure wonder why it happens to some and not to others. I don't know what to make of it.

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2 hours ago, Jacques Boileau said:

Hum, strange, I just looked at my installation of the free SSD5 VSTi and it shows up correctly in Cakewalk and I took a minute to check the registry and isVst is set to 1. your problem must not be happening to everyone, but I sure wonder why it happens to some and not to others. I don't know what to make of it.

Yup quite weird - I used it a month ago, checking it out for a friend who I was recommending it to, and everything was fine.  I deleted the free version after that, but quite odd to have it be improperly scanned like that, for me, and for at least the one other other, who I was trying to help in the FB forums.

Bob Bone

 

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I've had to do this with one (old) 32 bit VSTi (in the days of 32 bit SONAR too) - that's excluding the case where BitBridge refuses to recognise one 32 bit VST as a valid VST, despite everything else under the sun detecting it as such...

Note that you'll lose this if you do a reset/rescan, so you may need to re-apply (my fix is to export the relevant registry (sub-)key and zap that in when necessary).

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15 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

Yup quite weird - I used it a month ago, checking it out for a friend who I was recommending it to, and everything was fine.  I deleted the free version after that, but quite odd to have it be improperly scanned like that, for me, and for at least the one other other, who I was trying to help in the FB forums.

Bob Bone

 

so you got the issue after installing, uninstalling, reinstalling? installer could be using the registry wrong, if the key already existed (from in/un/re-installing)

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When Cakewalk scans DLLs to see if they are plugins if the plugin fails to load it will mark it as not a VST.  This happens because some plugin developers mix non-plugin DLL's into the directories that are being scanned.  Plugins that do load then have to respond like a VST/work like a VST as well.

Sometimes when scanning plugins one plugin will do things that cause later plugins to fail to load.  When this happens the later plugins can be marked as not plugins, even though they certainly are.  I actually wrote a Powershell script that would clear out all bad plugins so that they would get re-scanned.  Otherwise the only way to get that to happen is to use the Cakewalk option to re-scan everything which takes a long time.

I suspect the problem with the Slate Drums might be related to iLok libraries.  Loading an iLoc plugin can sometimes have issues (not just with Cakewalk).  I've seen many a iLoc plugin fail during a scan (multiples of them) but then when reset and re-scanned they work fine.

Rather than edit the entry, I'd just delete it and let Cakewalk re-scan it.

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I cannot recall if the 1st install was on my PC, or if I had done it remotely on my friend's, using Team Viewer.

The issue would appear, to me, to be something in Cakewalk's VstScan.exe processing, as other VST hosts I launched, found the plugin and loaded it just fine.  In addition, even if I had installed it on my PC, the 1st install, when it was uninstalled, CbB's VstScan would have removed it from its inventory, or at least, should have removed it from the inventory entries in the Registry.

Bob Bone

 

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2 minutes ago, Matthew Sorrels said:

When Cakewalk scans DLLs to see if they are plugins if the plugin fails to load it will mark it as not a VST.  This happens because some plugin developers mix non-plugin DLL's into the directories that are being scanned.  Plugins that do load then have to respond like a VST/work like a VST as well.

Sometimes when scanning plugins one plugin will do things that cause later plugins to fail to load.  When this happens the later plugins can be marked as not plugins, even though they certainly are.  I actually wrote a Powershell script that would clear out all bad plugins so that they would get re-scanned.  Otherwise the only way to get that to happen is to use the Cakewalk option to re-scan everything which takes a long time.

I suspect the problem with the Slate Drums might be related to iLok libraries.  Loading an iLoc plugin can sometimes have issues (not just with Cakewalk).  I've seen many a iLoc plugin fail during a scan (multiples of them) but then when reset and re-scanned they work fine.

Rather than edit the entry, I'd just delete it and let Cakewalk re-scan it.

Likely a good idea to rescan it, in any case, just to see what happens.

Please note, that in the case of the folder contains the Steven Slate Drums 5 Free Edition module, SSDSampler5.dll, that is the only thing in that folder, so it is not possible that some other component/module in that folder could have caused any issues - nothing else there to do so.

Also, this product, SSD5, is not controlled by iLOK authorization.

Bob Bone

 

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59 minutes ago, Robert Bone said:

Please note, that in the case of the folder contains the Steven Slate Drums 5 Free Edition module, SSDSampler5.dll, that is the only thing in that folder, so it is not possible that some other component/module in that folder could have caused any issues - nothing else there to do so.

 

It's not about in the same directory.  It's about how Cakewalk does the scanning.  Cakewalk loads plugin #1, checks it, unloads it, then loads Plugin #2.  That first plugin doesn't clean up things correctly it can cause Plugin #2 to fail to load right.  Cakewalk's scan in a sandbox option is supposed to help fix this.  But it only sandboxes the Cakewalk process.  It can't protect system services (like iLok/eLicenser/etc) that not only use loaded DLLs but also actively running services.

SSD5free claims to use iLok:

https://stevenslatedrums.com/ssd5/#SSD5FREE

Quote

LICENSING
Machine ID or iLok dongle.

 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Sorrels said:

It's not about in the same directory.  It's about how Cakewalk does the scanning.  Cakewalk loads plugin #1, checks it, unloads it, then loads Plugin #2.  That first plugin doesn't clean up things correctly it can cause Plugin #2 to fail to load right.  Cakewalk's scan in a sandbox option is supposed to help fix this.  But it only sandboxes the Cakewalk process.  It can't protect system services (like iLok/eLicenser/etc) that not only use loaded DLLs but also actively running services.

SSD5free claims to use iLok:

https://stevenslatedrums.com/ssd5/#SSD5FREE

 

Understood, on the scanning.

I have no iLOK authorization for SSD5, I checked, yet it loads and works fine, so not sure why there is any mention of it on their site.

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I suspect while it needs no authorization, the software was built on it/with it (because it's based on the full software).  And it may be what is protecting them from the user's playing non-free drum kits in the free VST? Usually protection schemes never go away, even in demo versions, they are always there at least a little.

I've always had a lot of scanning problems with Slate's plugins and iLok which is why I mentioned it.  It is possible your SSD5 Free scanning problem isn't related, but I've seen the iLok plugin gets scanned and marked as not a plugin thing a bunch of times over the years with many versions of SONAR/Cakewalk.   The fix has always been to force Cakewalk to rescan it (ideally without rescanning other plugins), which can be done a number of ways.  Once Cakewalk gets a valid entry for a plugin, usually it will be fine.  I have some theories about why this happens more with iLok plugins than others, but iLok doesn't exactly talk about their copy protection system much publicly.

Deleting the registry entry will force the rescan.  You can also edit the registry entry (as you did with the isVst change)  You can move the DLL out of the scan paths, start Cakewalk, let it scan, then exit and move it back.  Rename it in place to not end in .DLL and do the same thing.  Or use the rescan all plugins option.  I think even changing the time stamp on the DLL may work (there are utility apps that can do that).  Normally if Cakewalk thinks something isn't a plugin it won't try it again unless you give it a reason.

I should also point out the all iLok plugins fail to load after some point in a scan thing has happened on Cubase to me as well, so it's not just Cakewalk.  But Cakewalk seems slightly more sensitive to it.  The scan in a sandbox option has seemed to help that a bit though.

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Yeah whatever this is, it happened to me. VST is installed, its directory is being scanned by Cakewalk, and the license is on my iLok. 

The plugin does not show up anywhere on the soft synth menu.

Seems to me that it ought to work with Cakewalk upon normal installation. It's regrettable because I was excited to use the product.

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On 8/25/2020 at 5:48 PM, Tay Zonday said:

Yeah whatever this is, it happened to me. VST is installed, its directory is being scanned by Cakewalk, and the license is on my iLok. 

The plugin does not show up anywhere on the soft synth menu.

Seems to me that it ought to work with Cakewalk upon normal installation. It's regrettable because I was excited to use the product.

Did you try that workaround I posted?  

Bob Bone

 

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Posted (edited)

I have this problem also. Its the first and only time I installed Cakewalk (installed maybe a month ago). Its's also the first and only time I installed any Slates plugins (installed tonight). It was the free drum one. It isn't showing up.

It's installed in a folder CW is set to scan. As Matthew suggested I tried moving it out of the folder and rescanning and then back in and rescanning and even moving to a different folder that CW is set to scan. No luck.

I tried rescanning in the plugin manager with both options checked (rescan Failed/existing) and I had it crash on me. It would usually take a while and then crash. I removed the check from Rescan existing and was able to get it to crash right away. Figured out a plugin called Simple Concept.vst3 (installed a day or two ago) was causing it to crash. I moved that out of the folder. The rescan with both options checked goes though without crashing now but it still does not find SSDrums. I tried reinstalling the vst via the SS installer but again it still doesn't show up.

Looking in the registry to try Robert's fix I was not able to find "SSDSampler5" which is what the dll in my plugin folder is named. I started the search from the root of Computer so it would scan all the trees. I did find other plugin references when I searched for those just to be sure I was able to find something from cakewalk.

I have several other free/not free but bundled plugins installed with no problems.

So this leave me with a few questions. 

1) How can I get SSDrums free working? I was hoping to use it as I wanted to work on rock/metal type stuff but don't know any drummers who can record what they do without going to a real studio.

2) Simple Concept.vst3 was free in a bundle (maybe from my scarlet interface, not sure). It is usually a paid app and does use the ILok mentioned in the above conversation. It was actually working as far as I could use it in CW, just that it was crashing the rescan in PI Manager. How can I get that plugin to work as well (I still have it moved to a nonscanned folder)? Or wont I be able to? I was leery of doing ILok since in the past DRM has gotten in the way (video games/ebooks/etc) but I decided to give it a shot and looks like I shot myself in the foot instead by doing so. 

3) Since I work in tech and am use to using logs to find issues, is there any place the plugin manager might be saving a log to that I could look at in the future for any problems? I had to use my iPad to record a video to see what was crashing the app. Wasn't the best way of doing things. I guess I could install an app that records the screen but seems like a log would be much easer. I read in the FAQ "How to capture a crash dump" that there are some mini dumps taken during crashes but there is no minidump folder where the post linked (%AppData%\Cakewalk\Cakewalk Core\Minidumps).

Ideally I would like to have both working but the drums would be the one if I had to choose just one.

I am going to try fully uninstalling SSDrums and reinstalling to see if maybe that helps. 

Thanks!

Edited by JimK

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5 hours ago, Nigel Mackay said:

Just checking, you did look in C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\Cakewalk\Cakewalk Core\Minidumps

%appdata% will expand to C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming

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7 hours ago, JimK said:

1) How can I get SSDrums free working? I was hoping to use it as I wanted to work on rock/metal type stuff but don't know any drummers who can record what they do without going to a real studio.

I think you'll find the SSDrums free is kind of lacking.  I almost never uninstall free working things, but I made an exception for this and uninstalled it.  It's that bad.

That said my advice would be first to download and install the latest iLok license Manager

https://www.ilok.com/

Then I'd reboot and see where things stand.  The next step would be to install/update every Microsoft Visual C++ runtime.  For this I recommend you use one of these bundled versions where they have packaged all the installers up for, rather than try and download and install every one by hand.

I've used these two before:

https://www.techpowerup.com/download/visual-c-redistributable-runtime-package-all-in-one/

https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/visual_c_runtime_installer.html

The one in this review might be decent (but I haven't tried it):
https://www.ghacks.net/2018/01/02/visual-c-installer-uninstaller-review/

Or you can do it the hard way using direct downloads:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2977003/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads

As for logs Cakewalk does have a Generate Scan Log option, but the results rarely will tell you what you really need to know (sadly).  But you might get some clues.  You might also try running SysInternals procmonitor while doing the scan and see if that can help you figure out what's failing.

You might not want to use the Cakewalk Plugin Manager to do the scanning.  Use the dialog in Cakewalk under Edit->Preferences->File->VST Settings.  It seems to work better (for me)

d1g0Ml.jpg

I didn't have any problems with Simple Concept (got it from the Focusrite/Novation Collective) but I also don't think it uses any iLok licensing, their installer sure doesn't install any (which means installing it above might be a good idea).

 

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On 10/2/2020 at 8:06 AM, Matthew Sorrels said:

I think you'll find the SSDrums free is kind of lacking.  I almost never uninstall free working things, but I made an exception for this and uninstalled it.  It's that bad.

You might not want to use the Cakewalk Plugin Manager to do the scanning.  Use the dialog in Cakewalk under Edit->Preferences->File->VST Settings.  It seems to work better (for me)

I didn't have any problems with Simple Concept (got it from the Focusrite/Novation Collective) but I also don't think it uses any iLok licensing, their installer sure doesn't install any (which means installing it above might be a good idea).

 

You are correct the Simple Concept isn't an iLoc, I confused it with UVI Digital Synsations. Since I'm new to this I was excited to get started and began installing all bundle stuff from a few pieces of equipment focusrite scarlet, korg nanokey/pad/faders so I probably just got mixed up.

As for SSDrums lacking, I'm not that great at music anyway so really anything over blips and beeps is ok for me. I'm just looking to flesh out old rock metal songs I came up with when I still practiced guitar. Maybe try my hand at some medieval and survival horror game music.

And finally Thanks Matthew! That way that you scan the plugins Edit->Preferences->File->VST Settings fixed me up completely. I moved Simple Concept back to the vst folder, rescanned your way and it found that and the SSDrums. When I go back to the old way I was scanning just to check it no longer errors out at all.

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