Blue Cat Audio AcouFiend not scanning in Reaper

Is Reaper complaining that your newly installed plugin is not responding on startup? Then read on.

I bought Blue Cat Audio’s AcouFiend in a sale awhile back. I’ve used Softube’s Acoustic Feedback quite happily for many years, but when I updated it recently I had to load a bunch of Virtual iLok stuff to make it work which pissed me off (when I bought it, it didn’t require iLok). So when AcouFiend came up on sale, I checked out the reviews and grabbed it.

Jump forward a few months and I finally decided to try it out on a new track I was working on. I dug out the email I got when I purchased it, downloaded and installed it, then started up Reaper expecting it to scan and I’d be away.

Unfortunately not.

When Reaper tried to scan the VST, it stalled. This happened for the VST3, so after a couple of goes, I tried the VST and the same thing happened (I only grabbed the screenshot for the VST)

I was starting to think that maybe that iLok stuff wasn’t so bad after all.

Anyway, I dashed off an email to Blue Cat Audio’s support address, and they responded really quickly. After a bit of back and forth trying to narrow it down, they asked me to try loading it in another VST host. Their suspicion was that on first load the plugin was prompting for the serial number details, and that Reaper was not showing me this prompt but was still fruitlessly waiting for the plugin to finish loading.

I have to admit I was pretty skeptical at this point. My precious Reaper wouldn’t be the issue! I’ve had all sorts of issues with plugins in other DAWs previously, but for me Reaper has been far and away the most tolerant of plugins.

Still, I thought I’d entertain their suggestion just to prove them wrong. To rule out any other vendors, I followed their advice and used the demo version of their PatchWork product. It was a quick download and install, and very straightforward to load a VST. I felt all my smugness drain away when it indeed prompted me for the username and serial of the plugin, then proceeded to load no issue after I’d supplied them.

Jumping to Reaper, a re-scan of AcouFiend worked no problem and loaded fine on my track, and has been working fine ever since.

So, the moral of this story? First, if Reaper tells you the plugin is not responding on first load, try loading it in something else first. Then once that works, try it again in Reaper.

Second, Blue Cat Audio support are really awesome. Friendly, quick to respond, helpful and totally didn’t mention my smugness. Highly recommended.

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