Upon installation, one of the folders that come with REAPER is the folder that REAPER scans for VST plugin files. If you download third-party plugins, you can either put them in this folder so that REAPER will check them, or you can set up a new file path.
Installing VST Plugins In REAPER
There is no denying the importance of a VST plugin or VST instrument in these days of modern music production.
If you cannot install a new plugin into REAPER, you will not be able to compete with other successful music producers.
Figuring out how to properly install a new plugin in REAPER was a total game-changer for me; it expanded my music producer toolkit a lot!
In this article, we’re going to look at the REAPER VST folder and how to install a new plugin in REAPER.
What You Will Need To Follow This Guide
- The REAPER DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
- A new plugin that you are trying to install
Where Is The REAPER VST Folder?
To access the VST folder, I follow the path of Library>Audio>Plug Ins. This section of your file finder will show you all of your different plugins.
If you just want to find your stock REAPER plugins, you can find these by right-clicking REAPER under your applications and selecting contents.
Adding A VST To REAPER
To add a VST plugin to REAPER, download the VST plugin to a folder that you have REAPER scan for plugins and then either re-scan for plugins or restart REAPER.
Either one will add the VST plugin to your REAPER plugin menu.
Keep in mind that if you can’t find your original plugins folder for REAPER, you can create a new folder and add it to REAPER’s plugin scan path.
Follow this step-by-step guide:
Step One – Download Your Plugin
The first step for getting a new plugin into REAPER is downloading the plugin to your system.
To do this, download the desired plugin and set the installation path of the plugin to a folder that you have REAPER set up to scan for plugins.
Pay attention to installing the plugin to the correct folder during this step. You will save yourself time and frustration later on.
Once you have downloaded your plugin, let’s move on.
Step Two – Auto-Detect
Next, you can always try the ‘Auto-detect‘ feature in REAPER.
The Auto-detect feature will automatically scan your entire computer for VST plugins.
To use this feature, simply click the button that says ‘Auto-detect‘ under Options>Preferences>VST.
Remember, this feature is only available for Windows and not MAC.
Step Three – Choose Your Installation Folder(s)
If you have gone through the first two steps and REAPER still hasn’t scanned your plugin, you should try creating a new VST plugin folder and adding it to REAPER’s scan path.
To do this, create a new folder in your chosen destination on your computer and then add it to REAPER’s scan path.
To add a file or folder to your scan path in REAPER, select Options>Preferences>VST.
This is the menu where you can add a file or folder to your VST plugin path.
With this method, you will never have trouble adding a VST plugin into REAPER, even if you lose your original plugin folder.
Step Four – Reboot REAPER
The final step for scanning a plugin into REAPER is restarting REAPER to give any changes a chance to take effect.
To do this, first, save your work, and then close REAPER.
Upon re-opening, REAPER will re-scan for plugins.
How Do I Create a VST Folder In REAPER?
One of my favorite things about REAPER is that you can scan for VST plugins in multiple locations.
To create a VST folder, simply make any type of folder to store VST plugins anywhere on your operating system.
Then, add this folder to your scan path in REAPER under Options>Preferences>VST.
You can add plugin folders from this menu, re-scan your plugin path for new plugins, or even take advantage of the ‘Auto-detect‘ feature.
What Plugin Format Does REAPER Use?
REAPER is compatible with all types of plugins aside from DAW-specific ones such as plugins made by Studio One, Pro Tools, FL Studio, etc.
In my five years of working in REAPER, I have never had an issue not being able to use a third-party plugin of any VST format in REAPER.
Does REAPER Support AU Plugins?
Yes, REAPER does support AU plugins. I use AU plugins in REAPER regularly.
AU (Audio Units) is a plugin designed specifically for Apple devices.
Does REAPER Support VST3?
Yes, REAPER supports all types of plugins, including VST3 plugins.
REAPER is a very adaptable DAW that supports all third-party plugins.
How Do I Use VST3 In REAPER?
Using a VST3 plugin is the same as using any other type of plugin in REAPER.
To use a VST3 plugin, click the ‘FX‘ button on the desired track, find the VST3 plugin you want to use, and double click it.
From here, you have loaded your VST3 plugin, and you can use it the same way you would any other plugin.
How To Move VST Plugin Folders?
One great thing about REAPER is how flexible it is with installing and scanning plugins.
You can move VST plugins anywhere on your computer as long as you add them to the scan path in REAPER’s preferences.
To do this, click Options>Preferences>VST to open the menu that you need.
You can add different scan locations from this menu so that REAPER scans multiple locations for VST plugins.
You can also use the ‘Auto-detect‘ feature to allow REAPER to scan your entire computer for potential plugins.
Does REAPER Support Third Party plugins or Only Stock Reaper Plugins?
Yes, REAPER does support third-party plugins.
REAPER is a very flexible DAW that supports all types of plugins, third-party, or stock.
Can You Get REAPER Plugins for Other DAWs?
Unfortunately, you can’t get the complete collection of REAPER plugins unless you are a REAPER issue.
However, the ReaPlugs Suite is available for those who want to use REAPER plugins in a DAW other than REAPER.
ReaPlugs offers some of the more popular REAPER plugins for any digital audio workstation user.
Is REAPER a Good DAW?
Yes, in my opinion, REAPER is an outstanding DAW.
REAPER is a highly functional, flexible, and customizable DAW that you can use to create any type of music.
Check out this article for our best plugins for REAPER.
about the author
I’m Jack Oberkirsch, a film and media composer residing in Denver, Colorado. I play in several local bands and have been touring the country for nearly a decade.
Since 2016 I’ve been focusing on studio work and production and have moved into the realm of film and media composition.
I like to combine and implement many different musical instruments and styles to convey the director’s vision on any given project.
I also enjoy writing material for music libraries and sync placements.