How to preserve rack states when updating/replacing a plugin? Can you just rename the dll?

I ran into a similar problem a while back but never found a good workaround, and I apologize in advance if I’m duplicating a previous post. But I’m stumped. My problem is that I have a couple of plugins that don’t keep the same name when updating to a new version. I’m getting a new PC with Win 11, don’t have it yet to test, but on those 2 plugins I know I’ll have to uninstall the old version and reinstall the new version. How do I avoid rebuilding everything?

My first thought was to just install Win 10 on the new machine, which would be my preference, but according to Intel the new PC is shipped with 11, but it isn’t compatible with 10. Which was surprising, and frankly I’m not sure why that is, or if it’s truly accurate. I’m trying to get confirmation on that but nothing yet.

I use Rack states primarily, but I also add “Entire Bank” saved in the parent song on some racks. I know if I use “Replace Plugin” I’ll preserve the routes but I’ll lose the rack states, not good.
So I’m wondering if I can somehow export all the rack states, update the plugin, then import them. If there was an “Alias” function for plugins that would solve everything… did I dream it or did I read somewhere that now C4 has that function?

Other ideas:
I read in one of the plugin’s website that simply renaming the new dll to the original version name works on many DAWs… anyone have experience doing that… will it work on Cantabile?

Or forego rack states altogether, and just have every rack save Entire Bank with the parent song, and go thru each song and save each song state to the parent song. But will that keep routes and all other settings for each plugin when I upgrade to a new version? I think not… it’s essentially like replacing the plugin, Cantabile would still show the original plugin as missing.

Of course I could go thru every song state and export each preset in each rack, but that’s almost as much work as just rebuilding from scratch.
There has to be a better way… this happened once before with a corrupted plugin I updated and I had to rebuild from scratch, not fun. Any ideas are appreciated - thanks!

Hi Tom,

I’d try the rename first, it shouldn’t cause any cataclysm and might just work. Cantabile is looking for a specific VST file name for sure to load things but I’m not sure how much more it needs to see from the plugin itself that it reveals from the VST part of it. I’m pretty sure the worst thing would be it didn’t work but I don’t think it would hurt any Cantabile files.


Thanks Dave, that makes sense to me too. I wish there was an alias function for plugins like there is for the interface ports. I think Brad mentioned that at one point a year or two ago and if I recall correctly it wasn’t possible, I think because of the range of different plugins and their underlying architecture. Thanks!

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FWIW I found the PC I wanted with Win 10 preinstalled, so I haven’t had to try the renaming method. I’d still love to see some kind of alias for this situation. Sooner or later I think we all face this issue.

Wouldn’t it have been easier just to create a new user with the same name as the one you had on the old PC? I mean a local user, not a Microsoft Account.

My 2 €cent