Presets not showing in many vst's

Hi. I’ve read through the Preset Models documentation, but am still confused. I have a bunch of vst’s that don’t show the presets in the Cantabile UI (most of the NI plugins and Alchemy). I can open up the plugin and scroll through the presets, but that’s just another thing that takes up some time. I was hoping the Cantabile UI could make this easier. I’ve tried to mess with the new Preset Models, but maybe I’m not getting it. So does a user have to manually re-name all the presets to get them to show up in the Cantabile UI?

Is there a way to load the presets so that Cantabile recognized them? A bunch of mine seem to just state “Plugin Snapshot” or “Disabled”. Any guidance here would be appreciated.



I use the approach of assigning my favorite presets to a program numbers and then rename them to use within Cantabile. I would be curious if there is another way to manage.

The key issue that Cantabile can’t do a lot about is that not all plugins expose their preset to the VST host program. There are some that use the mechanisms provided by the VST standard to show their presets to Cantabile - for those, Cantabile will by default show their internal presets.

Still, some plugins (e.g. Korg M1) have an implementation of this that does more to confuse the user than to actually be useful, so I tend not to use their preset mechanism, but that’s another story.

Other plugins (NI plugins amongst them) choose not to expose their presets to the VST host, so Cantabile can’t know anything about its presets. For this kind of plugin, the “P” menu will show “disabled”. The only data Cantabile has available for these plugins are:

  • the internal state of the plugin - which is essentially a big blob of binary data that Cantabile can’t understand. Cantabile will save this internal state with the plugin, and the preset mechanism “plugin snapshot” will allow you to save and manage multiple such “binary blobs”. Still, Cantabile can’t understand what’s in this blob (that’s specific to the respective plugin), so it can’t know anything about a potential preset name.

  • the other option is to look only at the VST parameters the plugin is exposing to the host for automation - this is the “parameter sets” preset option. This is kind of a “light” preset - it leaves the “binary blob” state of the plugin untouched and only modifies exposed parameters. For some synths, this will mean pretty much everything, for other plugins (e.g. samplers), these parameters will be very limited.

The long and the short: if a plugin doesn’t expose its presets to Cantabile (“P” menu shows “disabled”), you’ll need to create (and name) your own presets for Cantabile via snapshots or parameter sets, if you want to use Cantabile’s mechanisms for changing plugin states.




Count me among the users that are both excited about Cantabile’s attempts to make preset management as easy and powerful as possible, but also confused about when it will work and when it won’t. (And I blame the various VST creators, certainly not Brad!)

Has anyone created a list of VSTs indicating which Preset Model works for each VST (along with caveats – for instance, if a given Model works for a VST most of the time)? The plugins I am most interested in are the ones from Spectrasonics, Arturia, u-he, NI, KORG, Waves, and the various B-3 sims. But I’m sure everyone has their own list of “plugins of interest”.

I have wanted such a list ever since Brad introduced this new feature in C3, but have been too busy (or lazy) to try to create one myself.

P.S. I don’t mean to hijack an existing thread with this. But if enough people feel the same, maybe a thread dedicated to this might be worth it.

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