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BigTick has announced Zen, a new free Universal VSTi Presets Browser/Manager.

Zen – Universal Presets Manager
Zen loads in any host as a VSTi, and acts as a loader for other VSTis, according to its creators. You can search for “Rhodes piano” and get a list of matching presets – regardless of the final VSTi (Rhino, Zebra, Absynth… whatever). When you select one of the presets in Zen, the corresponding VSTi is loaded to play the requested preset. The search and classification system is designed to be simple to use, and is not constricting – you can tag a preset both as a “lead” and a “bass”, if you like.

Most popular VSTis are supported and Big Tick can add new ones easily, the company says.

Zen is online
Zen synchronizes its own local database of presets with a master online database hosted at www.bigtickaudio.com – users can get new presets daily, delivered into their sequencer, already categorized.

Since many users don’t like to have their DAW online. Zen supports several modes, allowing to:
  • Work completely offline (in this case, only the presets that have been loaded so far are available).
  • Work offline with the database on a shared drive. The database can be updated by a daemon process running on another computer.

Limitations
At the moment Zen can only support presets that don’t require additional external files. This rules out synths with external samples (including some of Rhino’s third-party presets).

Big Tick has plans to support these presets too, but it is going to require cooperation between the plug-in and Zen – basically the plug-in needs to tell which external “assets” are linked to a preset. So BigTick plans to define a set of “Zen extensions” to the VST standard, and publish these so that plug-in developers can support them.

The release date has not yet been announced.
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