Plug-ins that operate in a DAW on behalf of Synfire

Synfire is able to synchronize with and remote-control a DAW using Drone plug-ins. The Drones are hosting guest plug-ins on behalf of Synfire to ensure 100% accurate timing during playback, when Synfire is feeding the Drones with MIDI data over the network slightly ahead of time. This synchronization allows for already recorded audio tracks (e.g. vocals, guitars, natural instruments) to run alongside the music you are composing while it is evolving.

Trouble: Drones must be fully loaded in a DAW to connect with Synfire. Some DAW suspend or delay loading plug-ins in order to speed up the loading process. This makes an associated arrangement come up broken when you open it. Check the project settings of your DAW and make sure all plug-ins are always loaded, whether or not the DAW thinks they are currently needed.

Be aware though that Synfire has only very limited control over a DAW besides setting the tempo and moving the transport. As much as we wished otherwise, there is little in the way of accessing track data of a DAW from inside a plug-in. DAWs are just not prepared for this and any plug-in loaded into a DAW is completely at the mercy of its host.

Note: Always save a Synfire arrangement before you save the associated project file in your DAW. This is because Synfire transmits all MIDI data and important meta data to the Drones to have them saved with the DAW file.
Tip: While it is possible to build a Global Rack based on Drones, we do not recommend it. The Audio Engine is better suited for that. It also offers a lower latency when playing live from your keyboard hardware.

MIDI Drones

The MIDI Drone is a light-weight version of the Drone that loads into your DAW as a MIDI effects plug-in to feed it with a stream of MIDI data that is rendered by Synfire. It cannot load a guest plug-in.

Be sure to route a MIDI Drone's output to the desired destination inside the DAW, e.g. an internal instrument. Depending on the capabilities of your DAW, it may be possible to chain multiple MIDI effects in a row.

Note: Not all DAW support MIDI effects plug-ins in the same way. There may be restrictions as to where such a plug-in can be loaded, if at all. Please consult the documentation of the DAW.