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Convert between Ardour XML and binary FXP VST preset files.

Project description

Convert between Ardour XML and binary FXP VST preset files.

Latest version Status Status MIT License Python versions Distribution format


The Open Source DAW Ardour saves user presets for VST plugins as XML documents in the directory ~/.config/ardour5/presets, with file names like vst-1094861636, where 1094861636 is the VST plugin indentifier as an integer. Unfortunately, most proprietary DAWs expect presets for VST2 plugins as FXP files (extension .fxp) or banks of presets as FXB files (extension .fxb). This makes it very hard to share presets for VST2 plugins between users of Ardour and those propietary DAWs.

The ardour2fxp script converts Ardour VST preset XML files to FXP preset files, so the presets can be imported when using the plug-in in another DAW.

The fxp2ardour script converts FXP preset files to Ardour VST preset XML files. FXB preset bank files are currently not supported.

Getting Started


  • Python 3.6+


Install ardour2fxp with pip:

$ pip install ardour2fxp

or directly from the source code:

$ git clone
$ cd ardour2fxp
$ pip install .



The ardour2fxp script can be used like this:

$ ardour2fxp -o my-vst-presets ~/.config/ardour6/presets/vst-1094861636

This will create an FXP (extension .fxp) file for every preset in the Ardour preset file(s) given on the command line (vst-1094861636 in the example above). FXP files will be put into sub-directories of the output directory given with the -o command line option (my-vst-presets in the example). The FXP files will be named after the preset label (with spaces replaced with underscores) and the sub-directories will be named after the plug-in identifier (1094861636 -> "ABCD" in the example). Existing files will not be overwritten (unless the -f / --force command line option is given).


The fxp2ardour script can be used like this:

$ fxp2ardour -o ardour-presets my-vst-presets/*.fxp

This will create Ardour VST preset XML files for all presets in the FXP file(s) given on the command line. The Ardour preset files will be placed in the output directory given with the -o command line option (ardour-presets in the example above, defaults to the current directory). One Ardour preset file per plugin will be written. Each Ardour preset file is named with a "vst-" prefix plus the plugin identifier interpreted as a signed integer (e.g. when the plugin identifier is "ABCD", the file name will be vst-1094861636). Existing files will not be changed or overwritten, unless one of the -f / --force, -a / --append or -m / --merge command line options are used.

The output files can be copied to the user’s Ardour preset directory. The location of this preset directory differs depending on your operating system:









This assumes your Ardour major version is 6. Substitute 6 with 5 if you are still using Ardour 5.x Care must be taken not to overwrite existing user preset files.

To append the converted FXP presets to (an) existing Ardour preset file(s), use the command line option -a / --append and set the output directory to the one containing the ardour preset file(s). Existing presets in the Ardour preset file(s) will not be changed.

With the -m / --merge command line option you can merge the converted FXP presets into (an) existing Ardour preset file(s). This means that existing presets in the Ardour preset file(s) with the same label as a converted preset for the same plugin will be be replaced with the latter.

CAUTION: If you have several existing presets in an Ardour preset file with the same label or several converted FXP presets with the same name for the same plugin, it can be difficult to determine, which preset is overwriten by which.


Please submit an issue or pull request to the project on GitHub.



This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the file LICENSE.txt about copyright and usage terms.


The following resources were used to implement this script:

  • Ardour sources (

  • VST SDK headers (pluginterfaces/vst2.x/vstfxstore.h)

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