Version 1.1 FAQ

WARNING: SynthEdit 1.1 upgrades your projects.

Please back up your projects first before installing SynthEdit V1.1. Loading a project into SE 1.1 upgrades it (irreversibly) it will no longer load in previous versions.
Please report any bugs and suggestions for improvements to the users Group.
Thanks, Jeff.

On this page:

What's new in SynthEdit 1.1

Note For Vista and Windows 7 users

SE Launcher


Voice Stealing Improved

GUI connections into Containers

MIDI Learn

What's new in SynthEdit 1.1
  • Improved multi-core stability.
  • Right click menus-- your controls can now have their own customised right click menu.
  • Midi learn-- controls now have learn, unlearn, and manual set Midi controllers.
  • New MIDI Controllers supported for automation like pitch-bend and note-on.
  • Tool tips.
  • improved voice stealing -- with configurable voice overlap or voice hold back, or soft steal modes.
  • New attractive resizable keyboard module.
  • Full set of conversion modules.
  • New polyphonic scope module.
  • New sample playback modules with choice of interpolation method.
  • Midi SYSEX support. Controls can send arbitrary SYSEX messages (but can't receive yet).
  • Smoother animation due to faster screen update rate.
  • Many bug fixes including support for multiprocessor hosts.
  • And for module developers a new version of the SDK with more power to tweak SynthEdit than ever before.
 Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 users

By default Windows Vista (and later) does not allow saving to your VST Plugins folder. This prevents SynthEdit VSTs from extracting embedded SEMs to disk. You can fix this by changing the folder's Permissions:
- Use Windows Explorer to browse to your VST Plugins folder.
- Right-click the folder - 'Properties'
- Choose 'Security' tab.
- Click 'EDIT' (You may need to click a UAC prompt).
- Select username "Users".
- Tick options Allow 'Write' and 'Modify'.
- To finish Select 'OK' to close the two dialog boxes.

Likewise some modules (e.g. DH_TextArray) write data to the SynthEdit program folder. Apply the same procedure to "C:\Program Files (x86)\SynthEdit" (64-bit Systems) or "C:\Program Files\SynthEdit" (32-bit Systems).

 SE Launcher

Written by Andreas, the SE_Launcher is a small helper application that can be used to keep to different SynthEdit Installations apart that run on the the same computer. This utility aims to make testing of SynthEdit 1.1 a bit easier by removing or at least reducing problems that can occur when SynthEdit 1.0 is used on the same computer.
Download SE Launcher.

SE 1.1 FAQ


If you are having difficulty installing the latest version:

loading your older project files.

When a module isn't found, I get the following error message: "Sorry, can't upgrade this project without the following SEM modules. They may be available from the internet: (list of modules)"

I understand that's a hassle. This message is one-time thing when first opening an older project. SynthEdit 1.1 stores much more information about each module inside the project file, so that (in future) when you open a project without having a required module - SE can show the missing module correctly (with all the right plug names etc). i.e. the intention of this feature is to make it easier to open a project without some modules.
For this to work, the project needs to be upgraded (opened and saved) on a PC with all the required modules. After that the project will open on any PC (modules available or not).

Can I exchange projects with someone using SynthEdit version 1?

No, SynthEdit 1.1 projects use a newer file format. Work done in SynthEdit 1.1 cannot be loaded into older versions.

Why change the directions of pins of sub-controls?
SynthEdit 1.1 draws GUI pins on the opposite side to SE 1.0

Just to clarify: the pins still behave the same. They are only drawn 'flipped' left-to-right. This affects only new projects, your older projects will display the same as in SynthEdit version 1.0.
You can switch back from the File-Properties screen.

The reason for this is to make GUI pins more intuitive. For example GUI DR_IN pins (previously drawn on the left) are actually "masters":
- They can have multiple connections.
- They have higher precedence over DR_OUT, i.e. at load time it's these pins that are set first, thereby overriding any connected pins.
This behaviour is more intuitively an 'Output' pin. It's makes sense to draw these pins on the right.

Likewise, GUI DR_OUT pins are 'slaves' (previously drawn on the right) and can have only one connection, behavior more like an input pin.

SynthEdit's GUI pins have caused a lot of confusion and frustration, partly because of that unintuitive, inconsistent behavior. The fix is that Modules now draw with the GUI pins swapped.
I was much divided in my mind as to whether to change the appearance. In the end, I decided that the long-term usability improvement outweighed the short-term pain, and also the backward-compatible option will help ease the transition.

See menu... File->Properties->Reverse GUI pins. - draws GUI pins and wires the same as SE 1.0

see also Container's controls-on-parent section.

 Multiple Instances / Multicore bugs fixed

SynthEdit 1.1 fixes the multi-core bug.
Version 1.1 is still being tested however, Some problems may remain in some hosts. If you do encounter any, let Jeff know about them so they can be fixed quickly.

Voice Stealing Improved

Voice-stealing is much improved in SE 1.1. Stolen voices are faded-out smoothly( SE holds some extra voices in reserve to provide overlap). There are no clicks any more.
When debugging your modules you will see extra 'boxes' (voice activity indicators) in the CPU window, these are the reserve voices. You set the number of reserve voices in the MIDI-CV properties screen. To disable reserve voices, set the number to zero.

New Voice Allocation choices.

SynthEdit 1.1 introduces new 'Hard Steal', 'Soft Steal', and 'Overlap' modes.
'Hard Poly' is useful in samplers (each note uses a new voice cleanly separating it from the previous note).
'Soft Poly' provides a nice analog feel for synthesizers. Playing the same key twice re-uses the same voice, blending the notes smoothly together.

Trigger pin added

The Keyboard2 and ADSR2 have a new 'Trigger' pin. At the start of each note, Trigger provides a short pulse which quickly returns to zero. Gate stays high until you release the key. The reason is - in mono mode when you play legato (hit a new note while still holding the previous) SynthEdit needs to retrigger the Envelope. Under the old 'gate-only' system, there was some latency because the gate needed to cycle to zero to restart the envelope. With the 'trigger-gate' system, the envelope can re-start instantly.
With older envelope modules you don't need to use the trigger pin, but for best results see the notes above about Voice Allocation.


Keyboard2 has no MIDI?

Yes and no. SE 1.1 has enhanced automation. As well as MIDI Continuous Controllers (MIDI CC), you can now automate with MIDI Note-On commands.
The keyboard2 is now like other controls. Just as the Slider sends and receives MIDI via the Patch-Automator, so does the Keyboard2. This simplifies and 'tidies' synth construction.
Insert a Patch-Automator in the same container. MIDI sent to the Patch-Automator will operate the Keyboard2. Also, playing the Keyboard2 will send MIDI out from the Patch-Automator.
For SEM developers there are additional advantages because 3rd party modules can now 'play' the Keyboard, or respond to it. For example an arpegiator module could make the keyboard keys move.

CPU Window moved

Modules have a new 'Debug' screen. The CPU window has been moved there. In future the Debug screen will provide extra diagnostic information.

Sub Control 'Style' pin

SynthEdit's updated Sub Controls don't use 'List' type pins. Instead of a 'Style' pin to selection font styles, there is now a text-based Style pin. To use this pin enter the style name directly. e.g. 'Heading 1'. the list of available styles is in the /skins/default/global.txt file.

Container 'Skin' property

This item has been moved. To select skins, right click the Panel View and Select "Skin...".

Container module's 'Controls on Parent'

In previous SynthEdit versions, 'Controls on Parent' was on the left side. This was a mistake because it wasn't possible to connect a standard patch-memory module directly to the pin.

SE 1.1 fixes this by providing 'Controls on Parent' on the right...

To allow old projects to function, the old pin is also still available. if you load a project that uses the old left-side pin, SynthEdit provides two pins, one on each side...

Note: The above screenshots taken with 'Reverse GUI pins' ON (like SE 1.0).

New Patch Automator

This new module replaces both the MIDI Automator and Patch-Select modules. It is a combination of the two. You can safely delete any old MIDI-Automator modules.

Feedback path to Patch Automator

The Patch Automator is a special module. It supervises all the other control modules (sliders etc). Because of this, you can't place any control 'upstream' of it. SynthEdit 1.0 made an exception where you could have a List-Entry connected to it's 'Channel' pin. This is no longer allowed...

Use instead the new 'Channel' sub-control pin...

The MIDI Automator module is no longer needed, it's been incorporated into the Patch Automator. You can delete it.

Use caution with GUI connections into Containers

SynthEdit Version 1.1 uses a new sub-control system. The new Sub Controls are only active when the control panel window is open. When you close the control panel,the sub-controls become inactive.
Also: GUI pins communicate only with modules visible in the same window.

This behaviour is to support the new VST3 standard.

Example - Knob image is inside a Container, connected to Patch Mem (outside the container). The knob does not respond to mouse movements and appears 'frozen'.

It's usually only the structure view that experiences the issue, if the knob's container has 'Controls on Parent' set it will work fine on the Panel view.
The reason is - With 'Control on Parent' set, the knob is displayed on it's parent container's window, the same container the PatchMem is in.

This can be confusing - So if possible, confine your GUI connections within the same container.

If you do need GUI connections into a container, you can often get the structure view working too...
Here the container's 'Show on Module' is set. This makes the knob to visible in the same window as the Patch Mem so the connection works OK.

NOTE: The right-hand window's knob still won't work properly. It's a sub-container. There's no way to get the Patch Mem module visible in that window.

Summary: Sub controls in a container will work fine on the Panel view provided the container has 'Show on Parent' set.
They may not always respond on the structure view but you can often fix the problem with 'Show on Module'.

Ignore Program Change now works

Before SE 1.1, Container module's 'Ignore PC' property worked only on Sub-Controls (not Sliders, List Entry, or Text Entry modules). In SynthEdit 1.1 'Ignore PC' work on all controls (as it should). When you load a project into SE 1.1 for the first time, check that your controls are responding to Program changes correctly, if not, correct their container's 'Ignore PC' property. You must do this the first time you import an older project as these patches are only retained until the next save.

Text Parameter Improved

Previously SynthEdit did not support text strings containing more than about 1000 characters. Text parameters (Patch mem - Text etc) now support text containing millions of characters.

Slider's Min/Max moved

These settings have moved to the Slider's Automation screen.

MIDI Learn

MIDI Learn has been added to the Controls. Knobs created in an older version won't have MIDI Learn, they need some new connections. Insert a new Knob prefab and open it's structure to see how it works.
You need new connections from the Patch Mem 'menu items' and 'menu selection' to each visible sub-control. This activates the control's right-click menu.

The old DH MIDI Control Meister modules do not work in SE 1.1 because they cause a feedback loop. They can be replaced by the built-in MIDI learn.

MIDI Learn does not yet work with SYSEX.

Known Problems

Cubase 64 bit edition crashes when closing a SynthEdit Plugin Editor Window. Steinberg have logged this bug for future correction.

SynthEdit is not compatible with Receptor Version 1. Version 2 is OK.

Image2 'Filename' pin is now on other side of module. Any connections to this pin will need deleting.

Future Features

SynthEdit does not currently support VST Version 3, and does not support 64-bit operating systems. I am planning on supporting both in future once VST Version 3 is more widely supported by other developers.