VST Plugins? What are they?

I recently installed a Cakewalk product that I’m returning and noticed that Audacity is now suddenly loading VST plugins every single time it loads.

Is there a default location that audio apps look for these and what sort of things do they provide for?

How can I peruse them to see if they’re possibly worthwhile as that might get me to reconsider the return of the software. I realize, of course, that these are not Audacity-related (directly). Just never bothered with these before and assume they’re likely effects processing and such.

For the locations Audacity loads VST plug-ins from, see:

You can read about VST plug-ins here:

You can try the VST effects Audacity loaded to see what they do. If you want to know how to use them in the Cakewalk product, you will need to ask Cakewalk. Some of the VSTs in Cakewalk may be VST instruments that generate sound. Audacity only supports VST effects.

If you uninstall the VST plug-ins that you or Cakewalk added, they should disappear from the Audacity Effect menu.


Thanks Gail. I’m not sure of what effects are default in Audacity so under the Effects section I’m not immediately aware of what’s changed as I had no idea what was there to start with.

Obviously I wouldn’t bother you about specifics of each “effect” but I suspect you’re right that at least most of them are Cakewalk instruments and not really effects.

As shipped, Audacity has 24 effects above the divider in the Effect menu and 20 underneath (these latter are in the “Plug-Ins” folder in your Audacity installation folder, to which you can add). See:


Thanks. That means none of the VST add-ons are actually effects. Time to uninstall and return. You just saved me money!