VCV 2.0.3/4 VST crashes in both Ableton Live and Bitwig Studio

Anybody experiencing the same? Starting from VCV 2.0.3, the VST seems not to be working in both Ableton Live and Bitwig Studio

Using VCV 2.0.4, Bitwig Studio 4.1.2 on macOS silicon shows this error message for both VCV VSTs:

com.bitwig.flt.library.metadata.reader.exception.CouldNotReadMetadataException: could not read metadata: Communications error with plugin host process
exit code:139
PluginHost: Reading VST 2.4 plugin metadata for /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/VCV Rack 2.vst

VCV Rack: Instantiating RackEffect
VCV Rack: hostVendor: Bitwig
VCV Rack: hostProduct: Bitwig Studio
VCV Rack: Initializing Rack
VCV Rack: Checking systemDir: /Applications/VCV Rack 2
VCV Rack: systemDir: /Applications/VCV Rack 2
VCV Rack: Loading library: /Applications/VCV Rack 2
VCV Rack: Initializing library
VCV Rack: Initialized library
VCV Rack: Creating context
VCV Rack: Loading default patch
VCV Rack: open()
VCV Rack: close()
VCV Rack: Destroying context
VCV Rack: Destroying library

… while Live shows this:

Re-installing 2.0.2 solves the issue. 2.0.3 causes the same problem.


One thing that you might try is to launch Live, turn off the audio engine, and then quite Live. Now restart Live. It should restart with the audio engine still disabled. Let the plugin scanning complete before you start the engine. My Live was not crashing but hanging. I’ll be curious to see what happens when you try this.

Thanks @Jens.Peter.Nielsen I wrote to support already. I’ve posted on the forum, too, because the experience of others could have contributed to understanding the root cause. Besides, I hoped I could find a solution during the holidays, I am not sure there’s anybody there working these days.

@Yeager’s hypothesis feels very credible.

I would really want to know that at least someone else can reproduce the issue, so to be sure that the problem is not my specific Mac configuration and there is some hope for 2.0.5.

Rack VST 2.0.4 is working fine here in both Live and Bitwig 4.1.2. I’m on Mac Catalina 10.15.7

It sounds to me like the problem could be related to either Audio or old modules

Do you have an Audio Interface? if so which one?

You can get the Rack VST plugins to be enabled again in Live by just moving them so they have a different path - easiest way is just to create another folder within your VST folder and put them in there. You can then keep renaming this folder as necessary to get the plugins to scan again.

First Open Rack standalone and update all modules. Make sure you are working with only the latest.

Then try launching Live again. If the Rack VST still won’t scan, then try removing all plugins from your Rack2 plugins folder (create another folder in your Rack2 user folder called “plugins-disabled” and put them in there.

Then try again

Make sure you haven’t renamed the Rack application itself - as the VST plugin searches for that and will crash on Scan if it can’t find it. Also make sure it is in the standard place (your Applications directory)

Also make sure you are opening a default Live/Bitwig template - not one that already has the Rack VST in it.

@Yeager do you confirm that you can actually use VCV Rack Pro 2.0.4 as a VST in Bitwig 4.1.2 in macOS, that is also my preferred DAW? If so, the main differences between us are the macOS version (you Catalina, I Monterey) and CPU (you Intel, I M1).

If we go back to the text of the error messages, they seem very trivial, simply an error of the library Bitwig uses to read the VST’s metadata. I’ve found similar issues described in the past in association to a corrupted VST cache (in /Users/giacecco/Library/Caches/Bitwig on Mac) but deleting that does not solve it for me.

@steve, I have done the test you suggested of deleting and re-downloading all VCV plugins. The, restarted Bitwig, re-scanned the VCV VSTs and… VCV 2.0.4 is back working in Bitwig 4.1.2! However, it still feels like a bit of magic. Why would bad VCV plugins make the VST fail loading?


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I think it probably has something to do with the way plugins load fonts. It needs to be done differently in the VST version otherwise crashes can occur, even on scan. It took some developers a while to get this figured out and so an earlier version of a plugin might have caused your crash which has now been fixed in a later version.

I’m all of a sudden getting crashes in bitwig as well. It’s odd because it seemed like one day it was working fine and now it doesn’t. I can see and load the vst but opening the UI crashes the plugin most of the time. I’ve tried deleting and re-downloading all plugins.

Mmmh ok, however I am quite sure that all plugin were already up to date, by using VCV stand-alone. I believe that the mystery is still unsolved :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Were you using the Rack 2 beta at any stage? or perhaps had some beta plugin that you deleted?

If you used any version of the pre-release beta then VCV said it was important to delete your entire Rack2 user folder before installing the release version.

No, did not use the beta at all :-/