Importing .fxp files with VST plugin settings

Hi all,

When using VST plugins in Audacity, you can save and reload their parameters in XML files. When using those same plugins in a hosting application like VSTHost, you can save the setting in a binary .fxp file. Is there a way to get the settings of such an fxp file into Audacity?

The reason I ask is that I use VSTHost to play around with Audacity output, using (chains of) VST plugins. I use Virtual Audio Cable to send Audacity’ s output to VSTHost and just keep turning knob and moving sliders while Audacity plays until I like the sound. You can’ t do that within Audacity (I think), but at the end I want to use those particular plugins with those particular settings to really transform the soundtracks, and for that I need the settings I figured out in VSTHost. Any idea how to do this?

Jan Hartmann

You’re correct, Audacity doesn’t support real time effects yet.

I don’t believe from a quick Google that there are any tools around that can convert .fxp into an .xml presets file. If it’s not too crude or obvious a suggestion you could take screen captures of the settings in VSTHost and then use those to set and save a preset in Audacity.


That’s about what I do: I toggle between the screens of Audacity and VSTHost, adapt manually the settings of the plugin in Audacity, and save them as XML. It’s workable, not even much slower than saving an fxb file in VSTHost and importing it in Audacity. It’s just that twiddling the knobs twice gets annoying after some time.

Real time effects in Audacity would be a real boon, though. I couldn’t do without my VSTHost setup to experiment with effect sounds and effect chaining. Another possibility would be to offer Audacity as a VST plugin, so it could get loaded and chained in hosts like VSTHost or other music software. Don’t know whether this would be possible within Audacity’s licence, or whether it would be even technically feasible, especially under MAC/Linux. It would offer quite a few new possibilities though …


You can already do that on Linux, but not using VST technology. For Linux there is a sound system that is specially made for media production. It’s called “Jack” (or “jackd”) and it’s like ASIO with Rewire combined and on steroids. It allows any “jack aware” application to be placed anywhere in the signal chain with any other jack aware applications. If used in conjunction with “PulseAudio” it can also be used with applications that do not directly support jack (this is a little but tricky for the initial set-up, but after the initial set up is working it works really well with every audio application that I’ve tried).

Yes, both very interesting links, although not quite easy to set up (always my difficulty with sound under Linux). I very much like the network possibilities of Jack and Pulseaudio, and see that they are both available under Windows. Do you think that it is possible to set up things under Windows (to prepare for a full Linux setup) so that I can

a) use real time plugins in Audacity
b) use existing Windows plugins in the audio path
c) distribute everything in a LAN with multiple systems

Perhaps a tall order , but sound is the only application I have never worked with under Linux. If it is doable under Linux but not under Windows I would very much like to have an idea how much effort would be required.


On Linux, can be a bit tricky but not too difficult in Ubuntu - requires a working jack audio system and preferably an RT kernel.

On Windows, hard - probably requires building Audacity with ASIO support, installing Virtual Audio Cable (or similar) and a VST Host program, then getting them all to play nicely together.

On Linux, using Windows plug-ins can be quite difficult because they are designed specifically for Windows. If you have a fast desktop machine (preferably with virtualization built into the processor), then probably the easiest way to use Windows plug-ins would be to set up Windows XP as a virtual machine, install the Windows plug-ins into a suitable host program running in the virtual machine, and connect the Linux sound system to the virtual machine using jack.

A much better and easier method on Linux would be to use LADSPA and LV2 plug-ins which run natively on Linux, then it is as for (a).

You may also be interested at looking at Ardour2 and LMMS. Both are available in most of the big Linux distributions.

On Windows - as for (a).
Otherwise, the easy alternative would be to use a program such as Reaper, Sonar or Cubase rather than Audacity.

Never tried that, but on Linux, if you have a working PulseAudio system and know a bit about networking then it should be fairly straightforward.

If you want to build a mega audio system with Linux, you could also look at building a Linux cluster or grid. This could get as complex as you like. May also be possible to do with Windows HPC server if you have an arm and a leg to spare.

That’s still true from my current researches, though I did find a tool called Preset to Excel at that extracts presets already pre-compiled into a plug-in DLL file to an XLS, CSV, RTF, HTML or TXT file.

If you then create a suitable template for conversion to XML (for example at Free Online CSV to XML Converter - ) you could probably create suitable XML files for each preset.

This doesn’t particularly help the use case here. It would help with a plug-in whose shipped presets did not work correctly in Audacity but accepted an imported XML preset - probably not a common occurrence.

If I find a tool that does the job, I’ll post again.