Audio Engine vs. DAW

Although Synfire offers great flexibility through the use of Drones and the synchronization with your DAW, we strongly recommend you begin your first projects based on the Audio Engine alone. Your arrangements will be wholly self-contained and restore all audio setup automatically when opened. This is especially convenient when you open multiple arrangements at the same time in order to exchange phrases, sounds and other data with drag & drop.

  1. Synfire is in control and behaves much like its own DAW.

  2. No back and forth between two programs. Plug-ins can be opened and edited in Synfire.

  3. No conflicts accessing shared MIDI ports or audio drivers (Windows).

  4. No keeping of separate files for DAW and Synfire. No need to take care of when to open and save which files.

  5. Multiple arrangements can be open at the same time.

Once your composition or song reaches a certain maturity, you can relocate it to a DAW for production. Drones then host all plug-ins on behalf of (and controlled by) Synfire. You can still replace sounds and edit your entire composition, while the audio processing is already done by the DAW.

Only after you exported all rendered MIDI physically to DAW tracks and unloaded the Drones, your project will become final and all further editing constrained by the capabilities of the DAW.

Latency Playing Drones Live

The synchronization with a DAW for regular playback is almost perfect (sample precision). Latencies may occur when playing a Drone live through an external MIDI keyboard, though.

It takes some time for the MIDI messages sent by Synfire to arrive at the Drone and an additional time elapses until the DAW is processing them. The latency compensation built into most DAW unfortunately does not go into effect when playing a Drone this way. This is especially an issue with recording.

Tip: In order to minimize the latency, you can connect your external keyboard to the DAW directly and arm the track with the Drone for monitoring. Please make sure you disable input for MIDI keyboard at the Synfire end or you will receive all input twice.