The Preset System
MSDP modules come with a preset system that makes it easy to save and recall snapshots of module parameters. Each module comes with one or more system-wide preset, and presets can also be saved by users with projects, imported into new projects, and custom system presets can also be made. Beyond using presets to quickly toggle between different snapshots, some modules include a ‘glide time’ parameter, making it possible to transition between preset states over time. This transforms presets into performative events on available modules.
Presets are accessed at the top of each module, from the dropdown menu labeled “Choose Preset”. The menu is split into two main sections - the Choose section, and the Save/Load section.
The ‘Choose’ section is divided into System Presets and Project Presets.
- System Presets come included with MSDP, and are great ways of learning how to use the modules. These presets work as good introductions to the module, and may include setups that provide unexpected results.
- Project Presets are user-saved presets that are unique to the current project. The Project Preset section is empty until a preset is saved. Once a preset is saved, it can be recalled in any instance of that module at any future point in the project.
The ‘Save/Load’ section is for managing Project Presets.
- Save Preset allows you to save the current parameter settings as a new preset file, which can be recalled at any future point in the project.
- Open Preset allows you to load a preset file from another project.
- Open and Import Preset allows you to load a preset file from another project and immediately saves a copy of the preset in the current project.
To recall a preset, simply click on the name of the preset file in the preset menu. The parameter values from that preset will be immediately loaded. There is no difference in recalling system presets vs project presets. In this example above, the ‘High Pass’ preset has been selected from the System Presets menu.
Any number of presets can be saved in a project, allowing them to be recalled in any instance of that module in the future. Project presets can only be recalled in that project, although it is possible to open presets from other projects, and it is possible to add your own presets to the system collection. Both will be discussed below.
Saving a module’s state is simple. Once you have the parameters set to the position you’d like to save, open the preset menu and navigate to the ‘Save/Load’ section. Click on ‘Save Preset’.
You will be prompted to enter a name for the preset. Any combination of letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces may be used, except for forward slash and back slash.
Once saved, the preset will appear in the ‘Project Presets’ section of the preset menu. Saved presets will appear in any instance of that module across your project. For example, this new preset ‘LowBoostHighPass’, will now appear in every Studio EQ module that is generated in this project.
Preset files get saved in the project folder. To find your preset file, navigate to the project folder, and look in ‘Project Name / Saved Presets / Module Name’. In the image above, this project is named ‘RTest’, and the presets are found in the ‘RTest / Saved Presets /Studio EQ’ folder.
Opening and Importing Preset Files
Preset files can be shared between projects by using the ‘Open Preset’ and ‘Open and Import Preset’ options. Both allow you to open preset files from other projects, but ‘Open and Import’ immediately saves a copy in your current project.
To make this work, simply select either ‘Open’ or ‘Open and Import’ to bring up the ‘Open’ dialogue window. Point to the saved preset file on your computer, and the file’s parameters will be opened in the current module.
Adding Presets to the System Presets collection
If you find yourself using the same preset in a variety of projects, it might be helpful to add that preset to the System Presets collection, which makes it accessible in all projects by default.
Adding presets to the system collection requires you to manually move preset files, so make sure you are familiar with the location of project preset files on your computer’s hard drive. As mentioned above, presets are saved in the project folder, in the ‘Saved Presets’ subfolder, and in the subfolder with the module name. See the explanation in the ‘Saving Presets’ section above, and the example file location below.
Once you know where your project preset file is, follow these steps:
- Copy or cut the preset file
- Navigate to your Documents folder and find the MSDP folder
- Locate and open the ‘3rd Pary Presets’ folder, then find the folder for the module in question.
- Paste the preset file into this folder.
Observe the example above. The previously saved ‘LowBoostHighPass’ file has been copied into the ‘Studio EQ’ folder in the ‘3rd Party Presets’ folder in the ‘MSDP’ folder in the ‘Documents’ tree.
From now on, the ‘LowBoostHighPass’ preset will be available in every Studio EQ module in every project on this computer.
Some modules include an additional option next to the preset menu: a glide time. This time, as a value in seconds, determines how long it will take for the values of one preset to glide to the values of another preset. This is typically available in modules with a lot of dials and number boxes, and will apply to any values that can change over time.
In the example above, a value of 1 second has been entered as the parameter glide time. When the ‘Subtle Chorus’ preset is selected, the ‘Rate’, ‘Left Feedback’, ‘Left Delay’, ‘Right Feedback’, ‘Right Delay’ dials all glide to their values over one second of time. When the ‘Insane Ripples’ preset is selected, the dials glide back to their current settings, again taking one second to move to their new positions.
This is an effective and unique form of automation, and works wonderfully for crafting exciting performances without having to write out messages in the Score Automation or Automator modules.