VST/AU plug-ins reset to default preset

If a VST or AU plug-in preset fails to be recalled in Ableton Live, or resets to a default preset when a Live Set is re-opened, there are two possible causes:

1. The plug-in is out of date

This may occur after an operating system update, where the version of the plug-in is not fully compatible with the new OS. 

The state of a plug-in is stored in a reserved binary data block in a Live Set. This binary data block can only be read or written to by the plug-in itself. 

Usually re-installing the plug-in will resolve the issue. To troubleshoot:

  1. Download the most recent version from the device manufacturer's website. Previously downloaded installer files or copies installed from DVD or USB may be out of date.
  2. We recommend installing plug-ins to their default system locations, according to our guidelines on Windows and Mac.

2. AU plug-in cache is deleted by a cleanup utility (macOS only)

Cleanup utilities on macOS may be set to remove important User and System Cache files, which are essential for the operation of your plug-ins in Live and store AU plug-in states. If a cleanup utility has been run which removed these cache files, and they were not backed up, it's possible that you will not be able to recover lost plug-in settings.

If using CleanMyMac, we recommend de-selecting User Cache Files and System Cache Files in Preferences > Smart Cleanup:

Note: The cache does not store AU settings on the project level, but the initial states of AU plug-ins, which are scanned to Live's AU plug-in directory. 

When the cache is deleted or removed, plug-ins need to be re-loaded to re-create the initial plug-in states in the cache. To restore the initial states of affected plug-ins, load a project, close the project, and re-open it again. Or, to restore the initial states of all AU plug-ins in the cache, create a new, blank Live Set and insert all your AU plug-ins. Then, configure CleanMyMac settings as described above.

To avoid losing data, do not save, make changes in, or overwrite projects that contain missing plug-in settings. 


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