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Daniel García

Newly added VST plug-ins won't work

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Hi guys!

Cakewalk was working fine since I installed it in my computer a few weeks ago, but suddenly any new VST plug-in that I insert now into my projects won't make any sound.

I've been recently installing several (mostly sampler) plug-ins, and through this process apparently something got broken in my Cakewalk at some point because now any VST instrument (including built-in Cakewalk's SIs) that I try to insert won't work. Oddly enough, those VSTi that were already inserted in my projects still work, so it seems the problem occurs exclusively with those I try to add now.

After some basic troubleshooting , I've performed a full VST reset and rescan (as per this help page), to no avail. I've even _reinstalled_ Cakewalk, didn't work either. Do I need to buy a new computer??

Hope you guys can help me. Thanks!

PS: I've found that if I insert the VST plug-in when creating an instrument track, it works. Or, after I've set the inserted instrument at the output field a midi channel, if I then create an audio track and set that instrument at the input field of that track, it will work. So, is this the way you're supposed to do it? Create an audio track for every VST instrument you want to use in your midi tracks?


Not sure about that, I haven't ever needed to do this previously in Cakewalk. I just needed to create a midi track and set the VSTi to it.

PS2: Ok, I'm starting to figure out all that's going on in here. I think this modern version of Cakewalk (I just installed it a couple of weeks ago) requires to create audio tracks (or instrument tracks, which are midi+audio) in order to let any soft synth work. This is different from old Cakewalk DAWs I was used to. When I started using this current Cakewalk, every time I inserted an instrument it was automatically creating (by default) an instrument track at the end of my track playlist, even though I didn't really use that track nor pay attention to it , because I was inserting the instrument to use it in an existing midi track. At some point, I unchecked the option of creating that new instrument track every time I inserted a new instrument in the project (as I wasn't really using that track). From then on, any newly inserted instruments didn't work anymore, although I wasn't smart enough to make the connection between those two facts until now  😛

So it seems it's all sorted out now. I hope that at least this message here helps some other newcomer in the future who may trip over the same stone.


Edited by Daniel García

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The track icons tell the story. There are two ways to add soft synths to a project with an instrument track or with at least one audio and MIDI track. Either way is OK. The image above shows a MIDI track then an audio track.

It is possible to convert the pair of track shown in the image above into an instrument track by right-clicking in the track header and selecting "Make Instrument Track." Conversely, instrument tracks may be broken out into audio and MIDI tracks by right-clicking and selecting "Split Instrument Track."

By default the Add Track menu creates instrument tracks. Every other method uses the Insert Soft Synth options dialog. Here are the instructions for using this dialog to create an instrument track.

To add synths using audio+MIDI tracks using the Add Track menu, click H then J. To put the audio and MIDI tracks in a folder, click I too.


To add synths using audio+MIDI tracks using the Insert Soft Synth Options dialog select MIDI Source and one  of the three audio options below the Synth Track Folder option.



If you have messed up the defaults and unticked the "Ask This Every Time" at the bottom of the Insert Soft Synth Options dialog, click icon E in this image of the synth rack to bring up the dialog




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Every few weeks you must sacrifice a chicken to your Cakewalk MIDI chain in order for it to begin making sound again.

That's how it seems to work for me at least.

I will start to think I have it all figured out, which of the approximately 5,000 outputs from the MIDI track I need to be concerned with and the rest of which seem to have no function I can determine, all this, then I will....do something or other that kills the whole deal to the point where I'll be loading up other programs just to make sure it's not hardware, and then I end up starting with a new project and batting it around until it works again, much as you did.

I refer to this process as "sacrificing a chicken."

Baron Samedi demands it in exchange for returning your MIDI tracks to the world of the living.

  • Haha 1

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