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As you might expect, there are acres of dramatic deep-space explorations and inspiring fantasies on offer, but is also capable of beautiful, evolving, analogue-like pads, as well as incredibly complex yet subtle animations that remind me of the classic Korg Wavestation.

Yet, like all the best synths, it has a unique character of its own. Where plug-ins provide their own preset management, or even their own load/save functions, the VST3 Mediabay makes rather less sense, but if you like its approach and tagging possibilities you'll need to convert your existing presets to the VST3 format.

It's also very wise to create separate Factory and Custom folders, so your own creations can be more easily backed up, instead of being lost among the factory offerings.

Moreover, you may find with some products that no option appears for converting all preset banks to individual VST3 preset files (in my collection this applies, amongst others, to AAS' ), and then all you can do is load their presets one by one into each synth and then save them individually in the VST3 format, which is extremely tedious.

Steinberg provide a dedicated 'Convert Program List To VST Presets' option that will create a bank of VST3 presets from the contents of the currently loaded bank of sounds, but where there are lots of factory banks sorted into different categories this bank-by-bank conversion process can become tedious (Korg's , for instance, provides 18 banks).

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Jan Lanter of Lanter Audio took up the challenge of converting as many factory banks for different products as he could, and was subsequently helped by various other contributors.

Finally, before you attempt to convert all your preset collections, the new VST3 Mediabay may not be compatible with some multitimbral soft synths, such as Korg's , where each synth you load may contain dozens, or even hundreds, of its own presets.

Choosing your sounds using Mediabay may be the future, but it remains a hugely frustrating one to many musicians at the moment! I've used this on a daily basis ever since, on my general-purpose Windows XP partition, and have been well pleased with its performance under fire.

After all, third-party developers are far more interested in you specifically launching their instrument or plug-in for its unique sounds, rather than because one of its presets happens to pop up as part of a list when you search for a 'dark string' sound!

However, there's another limitation that many users are only discovering the hard way: while FXP/FXB preset files could also be saved anywhere you chose, but on the PC the new vstpreset files are always saved in one dedicated VST3 presets folder ('C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\VST3 Presets').

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