Ability to change Vital presets folder location

If you switch between multiple music production computers, as I do, the fact that Vital uses a Fixed Documents/Vital/User (on Win) folder location causes difficulties. It would be great if we could change the default location so that we could then merely point it at a folder in a portable drive, and never have to worry about manually synching presets between machines. Use of multiple machines may be a “first wolrd” problem, but it’s definitely a problem for those of us who work in that environment.

Does this work for you ?

Well, it certainly would solve my problem - but alas, that’s not the behavior I just observed. I tried moving the Vital folder - it then very cleverly downloaded all of the factory content and reestablished the main Vital folder. I tried moving User out of the folder and I could never get it to ask me for where it was. I also tried moving Presets and that didn’t work for me either.

I’m probably doing something stupid, but currently Vital seems to be oblivious to my attempts at getting it to ask for a location…

I don’t think you can separate the User presets from the other presets. They all must be in the Vital data directory.

In the Linux 1.5.5 version, I found two ways to set the Vital data directory. Note that in case that matters, I have tried this using the standalone executable, not the plugin. I think these two methods should also work in Windows, and once the directory is set-up, should also be used by the plugin.

Method #1

If the directory currently does not exist, Vital automatically downloads the factory content and shows me this screen:

Clicking on the line with the folder name pops up a file selector dialog. On Linux I need to control-click on the folder I want to use so that its name is shown at the bottom of the dialog box. I have also noticed that if the name is not “Vital”, then a Vital folder will be created in the selected folder.

When clicking on “Open” in that dialog box (“Ouvrir” in my screenshot), Vital shows the same dialog box as above, with the updated folder name.

After that, Vital uses that folder just fine.

Method 2

There is a Vital.config file which contains a data_directory setting. By default, it is set to .local/share/vital under the user’s home directory (as it should).

Since the file is in JSON format, I edited it with my favorite text editor, and changed the value to another folder. If the folder does not exist when Vital starts, then Vital resets the setting to .local/share/vital. However if the folder does exist, then Vital uses it, whatever the name, even if it does not end with “Vital”.

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Merci pour le petit guide efficace Adrien :slight_smile:

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I tried Method #1 that Adrien suggested, and it does seem to work. Thanks Adrien - my problem is mostly solved! I would mention that the path to user presets is now: drive:/Vital/User/Vital/User/Presets/ That’s silly, but at least it’s usable.

Method #2 is apparently Linux specific and doesn’t work on Windows. At least on Windows, there’s no Vital.config file. There are several .json files, but none of those have any reference to data_directory in them. I poked about in the Windows registry and while there seem to be quite a few Vital related keys, the overwhelming majority are to do with installation/uninstallation as well as to file extension assignments - I couldn’t evidently see any variable that controlled where Vital thinks its data directory is.

I will add that I’ve been thinking about my original feature request and I still think it’s valid. Many folks who use laptops will have relatively small onboard SSDs and therefore will wish to keep all of their sample files etc., on an offboard drive (as I do). And, almost all softsynths have at least a basic UI to allow you to control which drives/directories things go in. Vital is more or less unique in this lack.

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It is in :

C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\vital

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Thanks! So there is…

I think if you manage to select drive:/ in the file selector, you will end up with a drive:/Vital/User/Presets directory.

If this is specifically about samples or wavetables, you can use the Add Folder feature at the bottom of the folder list in the samples or wavetables browsers, though I don’t know how this behaves with removable drives that are not connected when Vital is running.

As long as you make sure the drive is always connected when you start Vital (and using the same drive letter), I think you can put your full Vital data directory on the external drive.

Theoretically you could also use NTFS reparse points (directory junctions or symbolic links) so that only your User directory is stored on the removable drive, but that’s quite an advanced command-line Windows feature, that I have actually never used.

Thanks again Adrien!

As I am now able to find the Vital.config file, I can confirm that it did indeed have the data_directory specified as drive_letter\Vital\User\Vital. Now I can edit it, it’s not really an issue at all.

Your point about having the external drive online when you start Vital is a good one (and is yet-another argument for why this whole area needs beefing up in Vital). You’re right, although it’s probably possible to use different drive letters on different machines, I suspect it would add unnecessary cognitive load, so personally I always keep the drive letter the same. In practice none of this is a concern.

Your point about NTFS reparse points is an interesting one. Because NTFS has a full blown access control model built into it, and it’s not easily configurable to share NTFS drives across two or more machines, I actually don’t bother with NTFS on my external drive. Rather, I always use exFAT. I’m sure I’m taking the lazy way out with this, but NTFS just doesn’t seem like it plays well in a drive swapping model like this, and having been burnt with these sorts of issues a few times, I simply don’t go there…

The reparse point would be created on your system drive (presumably NTFS, and yes, it needs to be NTFS). It would point to the directory on your external drive, which I believe can be any filesystem.

good to hear :+1: