By Craig Anderton
IK Multimedia's virtual instruments based on the SampleTank engine (SampleTank 2.5, Miroslav Philharmonik, Sonik Synth 2, SampleMoog, etc.) include so many presets that you may want to organize them differently than the default organization. For example, you can create "favorites" folders for sounds you use a lot, or just to weed out the really useful presets from the ones you'll probably never use. Or, you can make folders for presets used in particular projects, or for specific styles of music. It's also possible to rename presets as you organize them - you might prefer something descriptive, like "Chorused ambient guitar" instead of what the programmed called "Cosmic swirl."
The first thing you need to do is located the Instruments folder associated with the particular IK instrument (the default location is \Program Files\IK Multimedia\\Instruments) and create a Favorites folder. Of course, this could be named anything you want. Note that if you want it to jump to the top of the list of folders in the instrument's browser, add a punctuation symbol like "!" at the beginning of the name, as this "sorts" before the alphabet letters.
Fig. 1: A Favorites folder has been added in the SampleMoog instruments folder.
Next, create any sub-folders you want within the Favorites folder. Try to strike a balance between having enough to accommodate your needs, but not so many that you have to go through piles of folders to get where you want.
Fig. 2: Five different sub-folders have been created within the Favorites folder.
With IK Multimedia programs, each preset is made up of three file types, each with its own extension (.sth, .sti. and .stw). If you want to copy a preset over to the Favorites folder or a sub-folder, make sure you drag over all three files or the instrument won't be able to "find" the preset. Also, if you rename the preset, you'll need to use the identical name for all three file types (except of course for the extensions, which should remain .sth, .sti, and .stw).
Fig. 3: In this example, the 4-Osc Stereo Sweep patch is being copied from the Instruments folder to the Bass sub-folder located in the Favorites folder.
Now you have to make sure that the instrument recognizes the changes you've made - this is like the "refresh" function in Windows. Open the instrument program (either as a plug-in within a host, or as a standalone program), and click on Prefs. When the Preferences window appears, set Relist on Startup to "On." This will cause the virtual instrument to scan its Instruments folder on startup, and recognize the new folder(s) you've added. As this does slow down the instrument loading time a bit, once the new folders are recognized, you can go back to Prefs and set Relist on Startup to "Off." Then, if you make any more changes, you can always turn this back on again.
Fig. 4: You'll find the Relist option in the Preferences dialog box.
You're almost done - close the program, or if you're using it as a plug-in, close the host program. Now re-open the program (or instantiate it as a plug-in), and after the re-listing process is complete, your new folder(s) and presets will show up in the browser.
Fig. 5: Success! The Favorites folder not only shows up, but is at the top of the preset listing.
I think you'll find that organizing presets can really help with workflow. In fact, whenever you find a patch you like or have used in a project, pop it into the Favorites folder and it will be much easier to find again if you need it in the future.
Craig Anderton is Editor Emeritus of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.