.VST File Extension

VST Audio Plug-in

Developer Steinberg
3.7  |  25 Votes

What is a VST file?

A VST file is a plug-in used by Steinberg Cubase and other digital audio workstations (DAWs). It contains information about an instrument or effect that can be used to modify recorded audio. VST files are often accompanied by .FXP and .FXB files.

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Steinberg developed the Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plug-in interface to allow Cubase users to create and install custom audio effects. For example, users can install VST plug-ins that emulate various instruments or produce unique reverb effects. Many other DAWs, including Ableton Live, Image-Line FL Studio, and Audacity, also allow users to install effects saved in the VST format.

Many VST files are packaged with accompanying FXP and FXB files. FXP and FXB files contain effect presets, which can be loaded in their associated plug-in. These presets allow editors to quickly begin using a polished version of the effect a VST file contains.

NOTE: The VST format was replaced by the .VST3 format.

How to open a VST file

You can use VST files to add additional audio effects in many Digital Audio Workstations, including:

You can also open VST files with LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio) using VeSTige. However, you must change the file's extension to .dll before opening it.

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Programs that open or reference VST files

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Microsoft Visio Drawing Template (Legacy)

Developer Microsoft
3.0  |  5 Votes

A VST file may also be a template created by Microsoft Visio, a technical drawing application. It contains a default layout and settings for a drawing that Visio users utilize to create multiple Visio drawings (.VSD and .VSDX files) from the same starting point. Microsoft replaced VST files with .VSTX files when it released Visio 2013.

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Screenshot of a .vst file in The Omni Group OmniGraffle 7
VST file open in The Omni Group OmniGraffle 7

Microsoft Visio is a Windows application that allows you to visualize and communicate complex information through technical drawings. You will likely see the software used in business settings to create technical diagrams, such as flowcharts, organizational charts, system designs, and network diagrams.

The software comes with templates that allow you to start with a layout and content in place. You may also create custom templates for your specific needs. Microsoft introduced the VST format in the 1990s as the default format for saving templates. However, Microsoft replaced binary-based VST files with the Zip-based VSTX format when it released Visio 2013 (Visio 2013 and later versions still support VST files).

How to open a VST file

You can open a VST file with Microsoft Visio (Windows). Visio is the best option for opening VST files because it fully supports the templates' formatting, including images, charts, and text spacing and alignment.

You can also open VST files with third-party applications, such as Draw, which is available in the free LibreOffice suite (multiplatform), and The Omni Group OmniGraffle (macOS).

How to convert a VST file

Several applications, including Microsoft Visio, The Omni Group OmniGraffle, and LibreOffice Draw, can convert VST files to other formats.

For example, Microsoft Visio can convert VST files to one of the following formats:

  • .VSDX - Microsoft Visio Drawing
  • .VSD - Microsoft Visio Drawing (Legacy)
  • .VSTX - Microsoft Visio Drawing Template
  • .JPG - JPEG Image
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
  • .SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics File
  • .EMF - Enhanced Windows Metafile
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .XPS - XML Paper Specification

Programs that open VST files

Targa Bitmap Image

Developer N/A
1.5  |  4 Votes

Raster image based on the Targa Truevision format; can store data up to 32 bits per pixel, with 24 bits for the RGB information and 8 bits for the alpha channel; may also incorporate lossless RLE compression to reduce the file size.

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Targa image files most often use the .TGA file extension.

Programs that open VST files

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