3.4 Sidebar

The sidebar is permanently attached to the left side of the window. It has 2 modes: retracted and extended. In retracted mode it looks like this:

Retracted mode

To extend the sidebar, click on any of its icons. To retract the sidebar again, click on the currently selected icon.

The sidebar has six sections that provide easy access to the various elements (instruments, sample files, and presets) that you will use in LMMS, as well as your project files and the folders directories on your computer. The six sections in the sidebar (listed from top to bottom) are:

  • Instrument Plugins

  • My Projects

  • My Samples

  • My Presets

  • My Home

  • My Computer

This chapter explains the basics of navigating individual sections in the sidebar, followed by explanations of each section in descending order as they appear in the sidebar.

3.5.1 Section Navigation

In all sections except for the Instrument Plugins section, the expanded sidebar displays a directory tree. These section tabs display the contents of file folders on your computer. The folders accessed by the My Projects, My Samples, and My Presets sections are determined by the folder you have selected as your Working Directory. For more information on setting your Working Directory, see the chapter "Settings" in "Getting Started".

Within each expanded section tab, sub-folders are marked with a folder icon. If you click on the gray arrow to the left of the folder icon, the contents of the sub-folder are displayed. To collapse the contents, click the arrow again.

My Samples

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.

Open folders can be smart-searched, so you can find any item easily. Only the currently open can be searched; sub-folders are not included in searches. To search, use the small input field in the bottom of the section tab. Just enter a few characters from the item's filename, and the smart-search will filter the names in the currently open folder.

To the right of the input-field is a grey button with a circular arrow. This is the Update button. If you can't find a newly added or created file, click this button. All the folders will be updated and the tree will collapse. This is also an easy way to close all open folders.

Use the Update button to refresh folders if a file appears to be missing. The Update button can also be used to conveniently collapse multiple folders at once.

3.5.2 Instrument Plugins

When you click on the Instrument Plugins button () the sidebar expands to show you the available instrument plugins:

Instrument Plugins

Instruments:

  • AudioFileProcessor - allows for editing of sample files

  • BitInvader - a simple wavetable synthesis instrument

  • Freeboy - an emulator of the sound chip of the Nintendo Game Boy

  • Kicker - a kick drum synthesizer

  • 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 the NES audio chip

  • Opulenz - an 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: allows use of instruments other than those included with LMMS

  • Vibed - a 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 the name of a plugin, a description of the plugin will display. You can then left-click and drag an instrument plugin to either the Song Editor or the Beat+Bassline Editor, or double-click an instrument plugin label to add it directly to the Beat+Bassline Editor.

3.4.3 My Projects

My Projects

When you click on the My Projects button the contents of the "Projects" folder in your LMMS installation directory will display. A browser tree will display; its contents will depend on your user-created sub-folders.

To display or hide the contents of a sub-folder, click on the gray arrow to the left of its name.

To load a project, double-click on the name of the project you want to load.

Wait for projects to load completely before using other features in LMMS.

3.4.4 My Samples

My Samples

The My Samples section gives you easy access to your sample file collection. Samples can be WAV, OGG, or FLAC audio files.

Sample files can be previewed. To preview a sample, left-click and hold on the filename. The sample will play until either the sound file reaches its end, or the left mouse button is released or scrolled away from the filename.

Sample files can be added to the song by either adding them directly in the Song-Editor, or within the Beat+Bassline Editor. Samples can be added to the editors in one of three ways:

  • To add a sample to a new track in either the Song-Editor or the Beat+Bassline Editor, left-click and hold on the filename in order to drag and drop.

  • You can also double click a filename in order to add that sample file to the Beat+Bassline Editor, but not to the Song-Editor.

  • You can also right-click on the sample name in the sidebar, which will open a context menu allowing you to send the sample to the desired editor.

When adding a sample into either editor, it will be added to the end of the track list in that editor as a new track. To reorder the tracks within an editor, left-click and hold on individual track bars to drag them around. When dragging, the cursor will display a four-directional arrow. More information on track bar controls can be found in section 3.6.3.

If you drag a file from the sidebar to an incompatible window, such as the Controller or FX rack, the cursor will display a "no" sign. If you drop a file while the "no" sign displays, nothing will happen.

3.4.5 My Presets

My Presets

The My Presets section gives you easy access to a collection of instrument presets. Presets are instrument plugins with pre-saved settings and tuned controls.

Instrument presets can be previewed by left-clicking and holding on the preset name. The preset audio will play until either it reaches its end, or the left mouse button is released.

Presets can be added to the song by either adding them directly in the Song-Editor, or within the Beat+Bassline Editor. Presets can be added to the editors in one of three ways:

  • To add a preset to a new track in either the Song-Editor or the Beat+Bassline Editor, left-click and hold on the filename in order to drag and drop.

  • You can also double click a filename in order to add that preset to the Beat+Bassline Editor, but not to the Song-Editor.

  • You can also right-click on the preset name in the sidebar, which will open a context menu allowing you to send the preset to the desired editor.

When adding a preset into either editor as a new track, it will be added to the end of the track list. To reorder the tracks within an editor, left-click and hold on individual track bars to drag them around. When dragging, the cursor will display a four-directional arrow. More information on track bar controls can be found in section 3.6.3.

If you drag a file from the sidebar to an incompatible window, such as the Controller or FX rack, the cursor will display a "no" sign. If you drop a file while the "no" sign displays, nothing will happen.

Unlike samples, presets can be dragged and dropped on top of other tracks to replace them.

3.4.6 My Home

My Home

The My Home section 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, Favorites, MyDocuments, etc.

3.5.7 My Computer

The last section tab on the sidebar is a shortcut to the root of your computer's file directory. You can use this section to add files located anywhere on your computer.