Live 4 - Live 8: AU preset handling

  • Live Versions: 4 - 8
  • Operating System: OSX


There are different ways of AU preset handling and storing which relate to different approaches regarding how to see and use them in Live.


1. The standard way is that every AU preset is represented by a unique *.aupreset file and stored under [Home]/Library/Audio/Presets/[manufacturer]/[plug-in]/.

  • The plug-in can be opened in Live's Plug-In Device Browser and will show a folder called System Presets, which contains the related presets.
  • Presets can directly be loaded into Live, similar to the behavior of presets of Live's own devices. Please see our manual for further information.

2. Additionally, most AU plug-ins contain a number of factory presets which are hard-coded in the plug-in itself.

  • As they don't exist as own preset files on the hard disk, they can't be displayed in Live's Browser initially.
  • Presets can be shown and selected in the Plug-In Device Browser by enabling Hot Swap on Live's native plug-in GUI.
  • It's also possible to access presets directly from the plug-in's own window.

3. A lot of plug-in manufacturers, especially those who provide both AU and VST versions of their products, use various proprietary formats to store their presets.

  • This allows both AU and VST versions of a plug-in to use the same preset files, so the presets don't have to be installed and stored twice.
  • Presets can neither be shown in Live's Plug-In Device Browser initially nor selected via Hot Swap.
  • Depending on where those proprietary preset files are actually stored, the following may be observed:
    • If stored in the AU preset standard folder ([Home]/Library/Audio/Presets/[manufacturer]/[plug-in]/), an empty System Preset folder will be shown if the plug-in is opened in the Browser.
    • If stored somewhere else (a common place would be /Library/Application Support/[manufacturer]/), opening a plug-in in the Browser won't have any effect.

4. If an AU plug-in is loaded for the first time, a folder /Users/[user]/Library/Audio/Presets/[manufacturer]/ is created. In this location, settings that have been saved via the Save Preset button on Live's native plug-in GUI are stored as user presets.