Sidebar: Phrase Library

Your repository for parameters, phrases and ideas

This part on the left sidebar lists all Phrase Pools in the currently selected Library. You can select the arrangement's own Embedded Library, or any external library file from the drop-down menu or the main Library menu.

Open the browser with the book icon on the window toolbar.

Browse and search for Phrase Pools, Phrases and Parameters that you can drop on a Track, Parameter View, a Parameter Outlet or anywhere a phrase or parameter can be used.


Library Selection
In addition to the embedded library, you can select library files from this menu to open and browse. Files not listed here can be opened with Library > Open ... from the main menu.
The three most recently used library files are kept open in the background, so you can quickly switch between them without the need to reload them from disk. You will be asked whether to save pending changes when the least recently used library needs to be closed or when the Arrange window is closed.
Opens a menu with options for the selected phrase pool or folder.


Contents of a Library are organized in a hierarchy of folders. You can arrange folders freely with the mouse. Pools can be moved or copied between folders. Phrases can be moved or copied between pools.

Pools And Phrases

  • Double-click on a pool or phrase to jump to the Library page where you can edit it.

  • Drag a pool or phrase to an Instrument Name on the Structure page to replace the entire phrase as a whole.

  • Drag a pool or phrase to another Folder or Library to copy or move it.

  • Drag a pool or phrase to a Parameter View on the Structure page, or to the Phrase Editor in order to append, replace, insert or merge the phrase.

    Drag a phrase or parameter to a Parameter View to replace the span being highlighted under the mouse.

    • Hold down Control to insert dropped data at the target position.

    • Hold down Shift to merge dropped data with existing data.

  • Drag a phrase to a Snippet to use it for live playback.

  • Drag a pool to a Snippet Group to use all its favorite phrases for live playback.

  • Use keyboard shortcuts Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete or Duplicate on a phrase pool.


  • Drop a track or instrument name into a folder to add its phrase to the library.

  • Drop phrases or folders from other libraries to copy them.

  • Drop a Container to add all its phrases.

  • Drop a Parameter Outlet to add the current parameter data to the library.

  • Move folders to reorganize the library.

Adding New Phrases

Apart from dropping phrases, parameters, tracks and containers, you can add new parameters and phrases to the current library with Control- E or Library > New Phrase From Selection anywhere in the arrangement where you have selected a Figure or other parameter with the Span tool.

  • If you selected a span on the Figure parameter, the new phrase will also include all other parameters that typically belong to a phrase.
  • If you selected a Take, only Take and Harmony will be collected.
  • Any other selected parameter will be collected only as a single parameter.
  • If needed, you can also drag any parameter to the library with the mouse.

This is very convenient when you harvest an imported file, or encounter a parameter that you find useful for other purposes. It basically works with any parameter. When you grab a Figure this way, Synfire also copies the currently associated Harmony, Tempo, Interpretation and other parameters in order to get you a complete reusable phrase.

Note: The phrase library sidebar must be visible for the command to be enabled.


Open this tab for information on the selected Phrase Pool.

Show individual phrases in the selected Phrase Pool, so you can drag them to the arrangement.

Drag a phrase or parameter to a Parameter View to replace the span being highlighted under the mouse.

  • Hold down Control to insert dropped data at the target position.

  • Hold down Shift to merge dropped data with existing data.

Shows an Outlet for every available parameter in the selected Phrase that you can drag to your arrangement.

Link the preview of phrases to the currently selected Instrument, Tempo and Harmony. This way you can assess how a phrase will actually sound in the arrangement.

Transpose the Harmony of the currently selected phrase to the key that dominates the current container in the arrangement (or a major/minor parallel). This transposition is also performed when you drag the phrase somewhere.
Phrase pools can be locked against unwanted modification. Phrases can still be viewed and KIM Factories can be run to generate more variations based on the last used settings. These new phrases are added to a separate pool.
Assign a Sound to the phrase pool. Using the Sound Wizard that pops up, you can add sounds to the library's own Rack. The background color of the button indicates the current status of the sound.
  1. Transparent: A sound on the Global Rack is used, or a sound is not currently needed.

  2. Blue: A sound on the library's rack or the arrangement's rack is used.

  3. Orange: The sound remembered by the pool is not currently available and a replacement is used.

  4. Red: Neither the original sound, nor a replacement could be found.

CAUTION: Be careful not to copy too many unrelated phrases from other libraries into the Embedded Library. This would bloat your arrangement file and slow down save and load times.
CAUTION: You should be careful not to add too many Rack Modules to a Library, or risk it taking more time to load.