How can I use and maintain my 32-bit VST plug-ins with the 64-bit version of Live using jBridgeM on a Mac?
- Live Versions: 8.4 - 9
- Operating System: OSX
In the 64-bit version of Live, you can use 64-bit plug-ins natively. 32-bit plug-ins cannot be used directly in the 64-bit version, but third-party tools such as jBridgeM allow them to be used within the 64-bit version.
An overview of using Live with plug-ins
Most likely, you'll have VST plug-ins installed that either support 32-bit only, 64-bit only or both. These plug-ins are usually installed into one of the following folders:
If you have "Use VST Plug-In System Folders" enabled in your 64-bit version of Live (Preferences > File/Folder tab), Live will keep track of any VST plug-ins that have been installed into the two folders listed above, and will already show all 64-bit VST plug-ins in the Plug-Ins Category in the Browser (Live 9) or in the Plug-In Device Browser (Live 8.4).
Download and install jBridgeM.
Please note that jBridgeM is not freeware. You will have to pay a small fee once the demo has expired.
Performing plug-in bridging
Bridging needs to be done as a specific task before the plug-ins can be used. The process is also walked through in the detailed jBridgeM setup description.
- Run the jBridgerM tool.
- In the window that is shown, the default setting "Bridge 32bit plugins" works well in most situations. If you only have a few VSTs and already know which of them are 32-bit and need to be bridged, you can select the option to choose some plug-ins only manually.
- In the same window, now choose that you'll be using a 64-bit VST host.
- After you've done this, the jBridgerM will start analyzing all VST plug-ins in your two system folders.
- When this is finished, the jBridgerM tool will create a folder that contains all bridged plug-ins, as shown at the bottom of the window: /Users/[your_user_name]/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/PluginsBridgedFor64BitVSTHosts
- Remember this path and quit jBridgerM.
If you have manually chosen specific plug-ins only to be bridged, as mentioned above, you can skip this and proceed with making Live aware of the bridged plug-ins.
Otherwise, as the bridging process has scanned all available 32-bit plug-ins, you'll most likely see bridged versions of VST plug-ins that are also available as native 64-bit plug-ins. Since the bridged versions are unnecessary here, follow these steps to remove them:
- Navigate to the folder /Users/[your_user_name]/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/PluginsBridgedFor64BitVSTHosts
- Manually delete all .vst files from this folder that you know are installed as native 64-bit plug-ins.
Making Live aware of the bridged plug-ins
Finally, to make the bridged plug-ins appear in Live's Plug-In-Device browser:
- Start Live, open the Preferences and show the File/Folder tab.
- Enable "Use VST Plug-In Custom Folder" and select /Users/[your_user_name]/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/PluginsBridgedFor64BitVSTHosts as the Custom Folder.
- Live will now scan this folder and show all bridged VST plug-ins in a dedicated subfolder in the Plug-Ins Category in the Browser (Live 9) or in the Plug-In Device Browser (Live 8.4).
Updates to Live will not affect this functionality, so your jBridgeM settings and bridged plug-ins will still work after updating.
Updates to jBridgeM should be installed over the older version. Nothing else needs to be done.