A key improvement for Pigments browser

Hi all

First sorry for this lengthy bla-bla, but I wanted to explain why what I ask for is important. Those interested only in my feature request description can go directly to the last paragraph of this post…

I am amazed at what Pigments can do. I am an ol’timer and have seen the synth revolution happening live since the 70’s (yeah… that old…). And I can still be impressed with what technology (and smart developers at Arturia) brought to us. But of course I (we) all want more.
In terms of features, there are some interesting requests, but I think what would really make a difference would be a way to find easily presets that match our style or a specific sound for a specific song.

It is not a Pigments-related problem, and Pigments actually does a pretty good job to help classify and select presets. But, like all synths, the only REAL way to find preset sounds that match what we are looking for is to test and listen to them.

And that not only takes an awfully long time to do (I have several thousands presets in my library) but sometimes we miss something just because we tried the preset with the wrong tessitura (e.g. sounds better with lower notes than with higher notes), the wrong settings (macros, etc.), the wrong velocities, etc. etc.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to find a PERFECT way to do this, and you have to use trade-offs. I remember a very experienced professional synth user saying that when he was experimenting with a new synth (or a new library of sounds), he browsed ONCE for each preset and in a few seconds decided whether to keep it or not. He knew that he probably missed some interesting sounds that he could have used in certain cases, but for him that was the price to pay. And that way he only kept a couple hundreds sounds from which he created the specific sounds he needed to use.

So here is what I suggest: let all sound designers add a midi demo of their sounds, with pre-defined specific controllers (MIDI CC’s) for specific modulations (macros, filters, …) so that we can listen to these short demos to know how to use these sounds at their best. Multiple demos for the same sounds (and different uses) should be possible as well. All of this accessible from the Pigments browser of course… It would make it so much easier (and faster!) to pick the right presets for the right purposes. And of course afterwards edit them if needed. Let us know what you think and please vote for this post if you think that is a good idea. If you need my help for any reason please contact me (specification ideas, or anything else on the subject). I used to develop software among other things so I think I understand technical matters.

And congrats again for making this wonderful synth. Let’s continue to make it the best (most efficient and most powerful) synth available for music creators…


Yeah, this concept is great!
If sound designers provide such previews, we can have an idea of the context behind them, and this is just one plus. Native Instruments tried with previews (and Pigments support this) however most of the time they’re just bound to one note. Though I have to mention that I listened to custom NKS libs with great previews, almost there to your feature request.

I like the idea - more so as a sound designer. I often create patches to be used in a certain way eg: long evolving soundscapes or wild sequencer. It’s difficult to convey this to people and I fear some may miss out. Also, I totally agree that a patch can have a “sweet spot” on the keyboard and it’s natural to want others to experience this.

I have no idea how or if this could be implemented but it will give the designers something to think about :slight_smile:

Personally I don’t think this is really necessary… first because “the best setting” is really subjective. Not only for the patch itself in isolation, but even more in context to the track its being used in.

A bass patch can be the perfect fit with 20%, 40% or 60% distortion, depending on where you use it. It can shine in the spotlight of the front with an open filter or accompany a melodic line more from the back, with a closed filter and a bit of resonance and other macros dialed in, so that it blends well with the frequencies of the melodic instrument.

Different combinations create different textures and colours in your music, which sound rather different than the patch alone in isolation.

This is true for other patch types as well, many of those come with 2-4 macros and can be transformed quite dramatically, and there’s more than just 2 or 3 viable combinations.

The second reason is, I generally put notes into the description if a patch has a specific behaviour or sweetspot that you should know about. But this still doesn’t mean it’s the right settings for your current track or intended use.

Many patches can even be used in creative ways they weren’t designed for originally.

I want people to explore the sound design capabilities that come with the macros and modwheel routings. Not exploring these realms is taking away half of the fun and potential that’s in the sounds. The best settings can look as different as the variety of projects.

Who would want to miss out on the joy of exploring a freshly purchases soundset along with a delicious drink on a cozy afternoon anyways? :stuck_out_tongue: Take your time! It’s quality over quantity.

However, the demo videos that I release along with any new soundset showcase musical ideas and possible ways to use the patches, I always get a lot of positive feedback that these are inspiring:


I agree that it might be nice for Pigment owners to be able to preview presets. I also agree with reasons for not including a midi player to demo each of the sounds in the program. Having a usb keyboard connected allows me to explore styles inspired by the presets themselves and not by preselected midi files.

Some DAWs have the ability to play material in a loop and switch presets on the fly.

For those Pigments owners who don’t use DAWs or File Players, perhaps Arturia could have a utility for all of its instruments that allows customers to choose the instruments, the presets, and both factory and user files to play. The utility program could access a bank of suggested demo files if sound pack and preset makers wish to provide them.

Perhaps the Store function could load demo files as needed, provided there is a setting to prevent the automatic loading of such files and the default setting is off. Perhaps there could be a non-default option to download and store the demo files provided the creators of those files are OK with that.

Hi all,

I personally see no reason to have previews for Arturias presets.
Previews can make sense, if the presets need to open a large sample library, so it take much time to load. This is not the case for Arturias applications.

Some sounddesigners out there do create midi files. But as i see it, then it can be a work that make the sounds more exspensive. Some allready think sounds are too exspensive.

EDIT: Previews take disk space. So it can be some kind of bloat. EDIT END
EDIT2: BTW: Designers can allready add Tooltips to presets in Pigments. EDIT2 END

@Voider please read the Code of Conduct: Code of Conduct

1 Like

I’m on the fence here. I can see previews making sense in part, but in other part previews can also limit your vision/ideas. I’ll explain…

Komplete Kontrol and Opus offers previews in the way of sampled recordings, this is helpful in part as it can take a while to load a patch only to find out its not for you so you load in the next patch which is also not for you… Preview samples make a difference here, but also aren’t foolproof.

It’s very easy to whizz past a preset because its preview didn’t resonate with you, but maybe that’s the fault of the preview and the register it was playing in.

Many times I’ve zoomed from one Analog Lab patch to another and not feel impressed, until I change what I was playing. All of a sudden an irrelevant sound can become very relevant and if I had of been relying on the previews I would have missed it.

So I sit on the fence here.

Though I’m thinking previews are of more benefit with sample libraries that take too long to load as opposed to algorithmic synth plugins that are almost instantaneous.

1 Like

Thanks for the comments. For those who do not totally agree, I understand your points, and agree with most of them. …except that the key here is the time it takes (and the workflow efficiency). As for the extra space needed, the midi files count for nothing compared with the zillions of bytes (or 64-bit words) taken by the apps and other data… :wink:
But anyway thanks again for sharing your views, positive or negative. Having read them, I still believe it would be a plus…

1 Like


I suggested a feature to solve part of this problem : by letting us sound designers limit the playable range on the keybord (like in Kontakt). Many presets I make sound good only on one octave for instance

I find if you make use of keyboard/pitch tracking you can refine your patches so they sound good over a bigger range. It essentially makes your sounds even more useful to you.