Copying plugin presets from PC to Zynthian (and vice versa?)

Hi there,

I suspect I’m gonna be disappointed here, from what I seem to understant from other posts, but just in case…

So, here’s my workflow: I got some audio tracks I was supposed to write keyboard parts for. So, I imported the audio tracks in my DAW (Reaper), programmed some sounds using VST plugins also available on Zynthian (essentially NoizeMaker, plus a bit of Surge), then composed and recorded my keyboard parts.

Now I’m about to go to a rehearsal with my Zynthian to play my keyboard parts live… and I’m afraid I can’t transfer the NoizeMaker and Surge presets I made from my PC to Zynthian.

I opened my reaper projects, exported NoizeMaker configurations in .noisemakerpreset format, but I can’t figure out a way to load them with NoizeMaker inside zynthian. Preset manager won’t accept them and they aren’t recognized either when copying them to zynthian-my-data using SSH.

It seems LV2 plugins in Zynthian can’t open presets in their own format?

Something I liked a lot about Zynthian was the PC-in-a-box thing: being able to carry around plugins that you normally use in your DAW in the studio… But being able to carry your plugins without your sounds is a bit of a pity (I’m not som much of a factory-preset kind of guy, I like to craft the sound I have in mind), and we all know the Zynthian GUI is not as user friendly as the native plugin GUIs for programming sounds from scratch.

The only hint I saw in a thread to program sounds with native GUI was to use zynthian + VNC (and still, doesn’t seem obvious for LV2 plugins, is it?), but this isn’t such a convenient way (no DAW integration, need to hook up midi/audio to PC…) … and not a solution for the presets I have already done.

Did I miss anything?

Hi @pat

This is possible.

  • Put the presets onto USB flash and insert in Zynthian
  • webconf INTERFACE->UI Options: Enable VNC Server (wait until Zynthian restarts)
  • Start an instance of TAL NOIzE M4K3R
  • webconf INTERFACE->VNC-Engines
  • Press the “LOAD PRESETS” button on the TAL NOIzE M4K3R GUI (near bottom)
  • Navigate file browser to /media/usb0 which is your USB flash
  • Select the native preset
  • Select the top menu “Presets->Save Preset”
  • Name preset, e.g. “My Preset 1” (do not change folder from /home/pi/zynthian-my-data/presets/lv2)
  • Click “Save”
  • Repeat for each preset
  • webconf SOFTWARE->LV2-Plugins: Click “Search for new Plugins & Presets”
  • Wait for process to complete (should take a couple of minutes - there is an issue with this process which tends to timeout webconf) Zynthian may restart.
  • The new presets should appear in the list (which is sorted alphabetically so you may want to prefix your presets with a character that pushes them to the top of the list)

This is a bit laborious but it should work. I did this and it worked for me but maybe I wrote a step down wrong… Let us know if you hit problems.

[Edit] The reverse is also possible, i.e. create a sound in Zynthian then use the GUI to save as a native preset file.


LV2 plugins use LV2 presets :wink:
Some plugins allow to load presets in other formats from its native GUI. You can access these GUIs enabling VNC server from webconf. After enabling VNC, reload the dashboard and you will have the VNC viewer links in the UI menu.


I’m using another method, it’s been a long time since I did this but it should still work.

I use Ableton Live, but maybe, it can work with reaper.

When I start VNC-UI I can see the zynthian UI, but when I start VNC engine all I get is a Xterm window. Even if I later create a new layer nothing happens on the screen.

This one looked much easier so I tried right away… I could save my presets as fxp within reaper then go to presets&fonts in webconf, select noizemaker and try to upload either the bunch of fxp as is or compressed in a zip file but nothing happens when I hit the upload button…

Ok, I’m away from my zynthian tonight, I’ll try tomorrow, and I’ll let you know

fxp & fxb formats are only supported in some engines, not all!


Thanks @jofemodo !

So FXB to OBXD or SYSEX to Dexed LV2 conversion works, but not for NoizeMaker, @pat you have to follow @riban instructions !

I tried again with @riban instructions, but still no luck : NoizeMaker GUI doesn’t show up.

I eventually tried with bunch of other synth : zynaddsubfx, LinuxSampler, setbfree, aeolus, pianoteq, helm and surge… zynaddsubfx and pianoteq GUI show up when I instantiate them on Zynthian, the others don’t.


Anyone already encountered this? It seems I follows @riban procedure right, as the plugin GUI indeed shows up with certain plugins, but only a few ones. Nothing happens on the GUI side when I instantiate most of the other plugins…

Hi @pat,
I can confirm that zynthian behaves similarly for me. The main window of NoiseMaker is not displayed, see the picture.

Thanks @ToFF, interesting… Not exactly the same, though, as I can see Surge GUI at the bottom left of your screenshot, while it didn’t show up on my machine.

Today I tried only one channel with NoiseMaker. In this case I have NoiseMaker GUI in VNC-Engines.

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Maybe the GUI window is outside the view of your VNC window. The VNC desktop is a (too) high resolution so VNC is likely to only see part of the desktop. I want to change this but haven’t had time.

If using the noVNV viewer in a web browser the options allow scaling, e.g. Local Scaling showed the full desktop (although that stopped working after I selected Remote Resize so avoid that!)

Nice try, but still no Noisemaker GUI even with the full desktop visible… Really don’t know what’s going on…