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The Side Bar can be found on left-hand side of the window. It has 2 modes: retracted and extended. In retracted mode it looks like this:
It has 6 sections that provide easy access to the various elements (instruments, samples, files, and presets) that you will use in LMMS. When you click on any one section label, the side bar will extend and show you the contents of that section. Click the section label again to retract the bar.
- AudioFileProcessor - playing audio files.
- BitInvader - 'simple and dirty' wavetable synthesis.
- FreeBoy - an emulator of the sound chip of the Nintendo Game Boy.
- GIG-Player - A stub for loading of special sound-files known as GIGA-samples
- Kicker - drum synthesis.
- LB302 - a monophonic implementation of the TB303 sound.
- Mallets - a struck-instrument synthesizer
- Monstro - a 3-oscillator synth with pulse sync and a modulation matrix
- Nescaline - a synth emulation of NES audio chip
- Opulenz - a FM synth emulation of Yamaha YM3812, a.k.a OPL2
- Organic - an additive organ synthesizer.
- PatMan - a GUS-compatible patch instrument.
- SF2 Player - the official SoundFont2 player.
- SFXR - A simple sound generator
- SID - an emulator of the sound chips used by the C64.
- TripleOscillator - the 'standard' subtractive synthesis module.
- VeSTige - VSTi-hosting plugin.
- Vibed - vibrating-string synthesis module.
- Watsyn - a 4-oscillator wavetable synth
- ZynAddSubFX - a powerful hybrid synthesizer
By default, no instrument plugin is selected. When you hover the mouse over one, its box will expand to include a description of the plugin: You can then drag an instrument plugin to either the Song Editor or the Beat+Bassline Editor.
In all sections, except for the Instrument Plugins section, the listing you get is like a directory tree. Folders are marked with a folder icon. If you click in the check-box to the left of the folder-icon, the folder opens and displays its contents, indented to the right of the folder name. To close it, click the check-box again.
These folders are the same as on your computer, allowing you a convenient way to open sounds and presets on your hard disk from within LMMS.
Folders can be smart-searched, so you can find an item with a token-search! Use the small input-field in the bottom. You only have to enter a few characters of a token-criteria, and the smart-search in LMMS will filter the names in all folders.
If an item that fits your criteria is found, LMMS will open the folders, and display the files.
To the right of the input-field there is an Update button. If you can't find a newly created file, or one that you just added to any folder, click the Update button: all the folders are updated and the tree will collapse (this is also an easy way to close all open folders).
To only refresh the search, and remove any token, press the small icon with an 'x'
Lets take a closer look at the Side-bar tabs.
The second option in the sidebar is a shortcut to your project folder, default in LMMS-working-directory. Depending on your user-created subfolders, there will be a browser-tree. Double-click on the name of the project you want to load. Wait for the project to load completely, before using other features in LMMS!
The next 2 tabs on the side-bar contain your instruments. They are My Samples and My Presets. Both have similar behaviour.
Samples or My Samples as the tab is named, gives you easy access to LMMS samples collection. Samples can be WAV, OGG, DS and flac sound-files. You have smart-search and can update the display. To preview the sample, left-click and hold on its name. Drag the sample to the Song-Editor or the Beat+Bassline-Editor to add it as a new track. When you drag-and-drop a sample into either editor, the new track will be added at the bottom of the Song-editor track list. You can drag the grip dots on the left end of the track to move the track to where you want it in the track list. Double-click the sample to add it to the Beat+Bassline-Editor as a new track. The mouse cursor symbol will show a reject-sign as you drag if the sample can't be dropped into that window.
An other way to get a sample loaded, is to right-click it, and use any of the context-menu-options, that you have on all Samples and Presets
You can even use the Send-to-active option, and that will replace current open and focused instrument, with the one you have selected in the sidebar.
Presets or My Presets as the tab is named, gives you easy access both to a collection of predefined factory-instruments, and to any presets, that you add to the folder in your working-directory. Presets are instrument plugins with pre-saved settings for controls, and added FX-effects, with their settings. Presets are complete musical instruments!
Also on this tab, You have your search field at the bottom, and you can update the display by clicking the refresh button. All presets tha are build on LMMS-native instruments, has a feature we call 'pre-hear'! Rest your mouse over the preset and press left-mouse. That will play one note as from this preset. -But, You should make it a habit to save your project before you pre-hear a preset (i.e. before you left-click and hold on a preset). Previewing can crash LMMS, if the preset link to a flawed plugin!. VeSTige presets can not be preview for the same reason!
Drag the preset to the Song-Editor or the Beat+Bassline-Editor to add it as a new track. If you drag a preset into (i.e. on top of) an existing preset in either of the editors, it will replace the previous preset. Otherwise, when you drag-and-drop a preset into either editor, the new track will be added at the bottom of the track list. You can drag the grip dots on the left end of the track to move the track to where you want it in the track list. Double-click the preset to add it to the Beat+Bassline-Editor as a new track. The mouse cursor symbol will show a null sign as you drag if the preset can't be dropped into that window. You can also right-click any preset, and use the context-menu, to add it to the editors. This way of adding presets, gives you very good control, and you should always use this method, when you handle VSTs.
The 5th tab in the sidebar, My Home is a shortcut to a specific folder on your system. On Windows systems this corresponds to the %HOMEPATH% folder (i.e. the current user's profile) containing folders such as Desktop, Favourites, Documents, etc.
The last tab on the side-bar is a shortcut to the root of your computer's folder tree. You can browse the tree and even use token-search. Quite handy for general purposes.
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Attribution. In addition to the history page this article is based on the previous article for the 0.4 series