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Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin Guide
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Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin Guide

For version 1.11.0b2

Host Support Status

Full ARA Mode

ARA Bridge Mode

Studio One 5+
(Artist/Professional)

Cubase 12+
(Artist/Pro)

REAPER 6+

Cakewalk

ABILITY5 Pro

Logic Pro*

Other DAWs with ARA2 support

✔ (Not tested)

* Logic Pro only supports ARA on x86 macOS or Rosetta.

* ARA Bridge feature is also accessible in all DAWs that support full ARA mode: simply insert an instrument plugin while keeping the ARA plugin active on any track/audio clip.


How to set up the ARA Plugin

Studio One

Import an audio file/create an empty audio clip, add Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin (VST3) as an Event FX.

Note: Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin (AU) only works on Logic Pro. Please use Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin (VST3) for other DAWs including Studio One.

Repeat this for each new audio clip.

Cubase

Import an audio file, select “Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin” extension on the track.

Other audio clips added to the same track will be automatically synced to the ARA plugin.


REAPER

Click “FX” on the track header. In the “Add FX to Track” dialog, select “VST3: Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin” and click “Add”.

Audio clips added to the same track will be automatically synced to the ARA plugin.


ARA Plugin Features

Besides being able to control the host’s playback and match the tempo with the host, the full ARA plugin offers the following extra features.

Project Structure Synchronization

Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin mirrors the host’s project structure by linking note groups with the audio clips in the host. A note group will be created in Synthesizer V Studio for each audio clip in the host with the ARA plugin attached.

Importantly, audio clips in the host sharing the same source will appear in Synthesizer V Studio as note groups pointing to the same item in the library, which means modifying the notes inside any of them results in the same modification being applied on other instances of the note group.

It is also possible to “unlink” the note groups pointing to the same item in the library, similar to the “Dissociate Group” command in Synthesizer V Studio (except that the command is not applicable to note groups linked under ARA mode).

Synced Tracks and Local Tracks

The synchronization of note groups makes project management easier when working with new projects in ARA mode, but special care needs to be taken for the transition from a non-ARA workflow to the ARA-enhanced workflow: when trying to import an existing Synthesizer V Studio project into an ARA plugin, a mechanism is required to resolve the mismatch between the note groups in the imported project and the audio clips shared with the ARA plugin.

We present a solution by introducing Local Tracks which (as opposed to Synced Tracks) are not linked to any audio clip in the host. Local Tracks are meant to be used as a scratchpad when importing existing projects or from other formats such as MIDI files. During playback audio from all Local Tracks are mixed and routed to the currently selected track in the host, and during bouncing the Local Tracks will be muted.

Voice-to-MIDI Integration

The full ARA plugin also integrates the new Voice-to-MIDI feature, allowing reading audio directly from the host.

On some DAWs it is also possible to export the extracted MIDI back to the host, although the lyrics data cannot be transferred.

In Studio One, this can be done by dragging the clip onto an instrument track:

In REAPER, click the + button above the plugin interface, select “ARA: import into project > Notes”. The MIDI data will appear on a new track.


How to set up the ARA Bridge

Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin (AU) functions under the ARA Bridge mode on Logic Pro. ARA Bridge offers essential features extensions over the standard AudioUnit plugin: the ability to control the host’s playback from within the plugin and to synchronize all tempo events at once.

To set up the ARA Bridge in Logic Pro, create an audio track and load “Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin” as an Audio FX. Next, create a software instrument track and load “Synthesizer V Studio Plugin” as an Instrument. Finally, start the playback inside Logic Pro for once and you should be able to see an active “ARA Bridge Link” indicator in the top right corner of Synthesizer V Studio Plugin.

Once an instance of ARA Bridge is loaded, any number of Synthesizer V Studio Plugin can connect to the ARA Bridge and synchronize playback and tempo information with the host.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to save my project under full ARA mode?

A: The project inside Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin is saved together with the DAW’s project and will be automatically loaded the next time when the saved project is opened in the DAW. To save additional copies outside of the DAW, use “Files” → “Save As …”

Q: Why can’t I enter notes into synced tracks?

A: Under full ARA mode, notes can only exist inside note groups that are linked with the DAW. To create a note, first create an audio clip in the DAW and link it to the ARA plugin, then enter the linked note group.

Q: What happens to note groups inside synced tracks when I change the tempo on the DAW side?

A: You may notice that some note groups get clipped at the end and notes outside of the range will not play. This is because under ARA the length of a note group is determined by the duration of the audio clip.

Q: Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin does not load/fails to load in Studio One.

A: Please make sure to attach the ARA plugin on the audio clips as an Event FX, as opposed to attaching it on a channel. On macOS, please also make sure to use the VST3 version of the ARA plugin, as opposed to the AU version which is for Logic Pro only.

Q: Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin does not load/fails to load in Cubase.

A: Please make sure to attach the ARA plugin on the audio clips/tracks as an Extension,  as opposed to inserting it into the FX chain.

Q: I cannot find Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin in Logic Pro.

A: If your system is based on Apple Silicon, make sure to run Logic Pro under Rosetta. As of the time of our ARA plugin release, Logic Pro does not yet support ARA natively on Apple Silicon.

Q: The plugin loads but it does not seem to synchronize with the DAW.

A: Please make sure you are on “Synthesizer V Studio ARA Plugin” instead of “Synthesizer V Studio Plugin”.

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