So very, very lost!

Hi everyone,

I come seeking advice. My players recently gifted me a Syrinscape subscription, and I was so excited. We’d used a pre-packaged set for one of our pf2e adventure paths, and the quality was absolutely superb. I was really looking forward to building some soundscapes for unsupported and homebrew content. I spent a few hours watching tutorials and exploring the online player today, and I’m left feeling like I must be approaching this all wrong.

I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the interface, but with some time I feel like I’ll figure out the quirks. Where I’m stuck is finding content. I love good ambient background music, and there seems to be an absolute abundance of that here. I don’t know how to go about finding any of it though. There’s a “search”, but it lists 3561 music elements. Many of them have titles like “Music”, or they have the names of locations in adventure modules that I don’t know.

How do people sift through this all? It’s extremely great material, but I don’t know how to even start looking for something that matches the mood I’m looking for. Is there something I’m missing? Help!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Welcome to Syrinscape!

We have lots of guides both here on the forum and on our YouTube channel that will help you get the most out of Syrinscape and should have you up and running in no time!

Definitely check out the first three videos on this page. There’s lots of good info there to help you get the best possible start with everything Syrinscape!

And if you are using the Fantasy Player rather than the Web Player then you may find this Playlist to be really helpful

And of course feel free to reach out to us at support if you have any specific questions! :grin:

I kind of thought I was reaching out to ask a specific question :grimacing:

Thanks for your reply, but I’m getting the sense that this just isn’t the software for me. There’s so much great content, but I can’t even begin imagining how to find it.

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The videos I linked show you how to use the search function and filter through the content to find what you are looking for. So I had hoped that my answer helped point you in the right direction to find the content that you were looking for?

Syrinscape is a powerful app with lots of great features, so when you first start using it, it can be quite easy to get lost. Those videos are designed to help people get started and learn many of the key terms that Syrinscape uses, like Elements, Moods, Oneshots etc

Sounds are grouped into SoundSets rather than individually, so rather than there being a big long list of music, the music is instead part of those SoundSets. So you could set the search filter to Pathfinder, Music, with the keyword Battle and the search would then bring up a list of music that we have used in Pathfinder battle SoundSets

Likewise searching for general fantasy, music, and keyword temple would bring up all of the music we have used in Temple Soundsets. Playing around with the filters and search words can help you to further narrow down the search.

You can also use the “library” tab and search for elements or samples containing the words you are looking for. So going to Libary, Samples and typing temple music will bring up a list of all of the samples that contain those words. Or searching for the element scary music would bring up any elements using that name. From the element, you can then see exactly what music is in the element and search for those exact samples

I’ve watched all the tutorial videos I could find, including all of the ones you’ve linked. I understand how to use the search pane, but as far as I can see the search only applies to the music elements’ (often very random) file names? Is there any kind of classification system or thicker description that can be searched?

Try this one yet?


All the videos and tutorials mentioned here are good. If you have missed any of them definitely give them another shot. Since I also was lost for quite some time even after following the tutorials. I’m going to give you my text answer, with no screen shots. So… be warned. This may not be useful but as a person who was also lost in the UI/UX for a long time after tutorials I feel you.

TL;DR - Syrinscape’s User Interface and User Experience are pretty effing bad when you are new and don’t understand what you are doing yet. It is WELL WORTH the PAIN of learning how to do it. (Syrinscape staff, no disrespect, it is ok once you have learned it but the nooblets have some serious hurdles in the beginning)

I would recommend first starting here:

Get logged in to the main page so that you can see in the upper right hand side where it says, “Play Now, Username” and image icon with the little v drop down.

Select the Drop Down
Select “Campaigns”

Now you likely have no campaigns listed. Click on the Tab on the left side of your screen that says “Fantasy” It should be next to “All, Fantasy, Sci-fi, boardgame” You MUST click on of the options other than “All” Which is not very intuitive but it gets better.

Now type in a campaign name, then click “add a new campaign” Hooray you started a campaign. Now let’s put some sounds in it. (You haven’t heard any of these yet most likely but I found this to be the easiest way to get started and start understanding the UI/UX. On the right hand side is a list of soundsets with a little search bar above them. Click in the search bar and as you start typing you will see “tags” and it will sort of autofill for you. Start typing “Pathfinder” and choose the pathfinder tag. For the sake of learning. Drag and Drop of couple of items that show up from the search over to the left hand side (below your new campaign) where it says, “drag soundsets here”

Now stop. Breathe. You can do it!

Scroll up to the top of your screen so you can see the “Play Now” button.

Click “Play Now”
In this new screen in the top right, ensure you have the search open. You should see 4 text words. These work more like tabs than just text. Properties, Library, Sample, Search. Then look to the far left and notice the “Soundsets” and again below it “Soundsets +” it’s a bit redundant but will make sense much much later. Below those it should say, “Select a Campaign” and select your campaign from the list!

It will take a moment to load and then you should see on the left, it now says the name of the soundset you dragged and dropped over to your campaign earlier below the text “Moods” Below the text for the soundset you chose it will say “All Elements” below that “Moods”

Click on the play icon next to any of the moods you now see on this left hand side. It’s a universal triangle play symbol with circle. You know. You should hear some sample sounds now.

To the right of this a soundboard type of thing has opened up. You might have music playing, or other effects depending on the “Soundset” and “Mood” you have selected. This soundboard differentiates different sounds with the appropriate icon. Music is a music note, Sound effects are SFX, and one shots have an image that often represents the sound. If you scroll down(if you need to) you will also see, “Global One shots” These can be used as well. One shots are not (to my knowledge) part of the moods but you can manually select them to create an effect. I LOVE doing this to my players.

OK you are hearing sounds and making one shot sounds happen! How do you search out more and play a bit to see what Soundsets you want to add to your campaign??? (feel free to click the stop button on the top of your screen to stop the current mood.

Remember the four words on the upper right hand area? “Properties, Library, Sample, Search” If your search bar isn’t already open. Click “Search”

When the search bar is open it will include “Genre, Status, Type, Library” The icons listed allow mouse over and are how you can filter down the results. My recommendation to start, is to just click the D&D and Pathfinder items under Genre. Then, under type, select “Soundsets” This is just for you to get the feel of things. Don’t click on anything else yet. You can filter results, but if you click “Adventures” it’s going to jumble things up. Just click “Soundsets” for now.

A large list of pre-made soundsets should open up now. If it has a Blue Square with a Blue arrow pointing NE then this means you can click on this soundset and it will open up on the far left side. You will again see the “moods” and can sample some of these to see if you like this “Soundset” If you like it and want it in your campaign. Write it down so you can find it in back in the first steps(at the top of this message) and drag and drop it into your campaign.

This is a good way to get started and get a feel for things. I highly recommend doing this for a while until you get comfortable. Then… re-watching some of the tutorials and you should then start learning about the other tabs and how to make your own Soundsets that you can add.

I mean NO DISRESPECT to the Syrinscape staff but the UI/UX is brutal. It feels as if it was designed by a musician and/or a programmer and not someone with UI/UX experience. It is worth the mental gymnastics to figure out as the the sounds are pretty incredible, the flexibility is pretty great. What it can add to your campaign is pretty stellar especially if you are using licensed campaigns that they have created entire soundsets for each scenario.

I also almost gave up. Then I was billed again, and thought… well sh!t I guess I better figure this out. I’m so glad I did. I hope some of this was useful and you actually made it to the end.


Thank you so much to everyone, especially @djashdj, for the thoughtful replies. There’s tons of really useful information here, and I am understanding the UX better. It’s clear that this is a passionate community, and the quality of the content justifies that.

It’s true that the UX has been a bit of a headwind for me, but I think where I’m struggling is rooted in a different problem: discoverability.

A concrete example: I’ve spent a couple of hours just stumbling through soundsets, and I’ve found so, so much excellent content. Right now, I’m listening to “Zybilna comes alive” from the The Wild Beyond Witchlight Chapter 5: Lower Palace Locations soundset. It’s great. It’s optimistic and revelatory, perfect for a slowly unfolding climax of some sort with epic/classical tones and a dash of 80s synth magic. Next time I need that in a campaign, it would be perfect.

The problem is when I come from the other side. If I were looking for that, I have no idea how I would ever find it. I don’t know who Zybilna is, and I don’t know what the Wild Beyond Witchlight is. None of the search terms I can think to use point me to this particular sound.

I get that some amount of browsing is always going necessary, due to fundamental incompatibilities between music and language. But, right now, I don’t know how to even begin narrowing the field. I’ve had a bit more luck searching for things like “Swamp”, but the search seems to offer very little for more abstract tonal categories like “sinister” or “upbeat”.

That’s where I’m stuck: I’m just staring at literally thousands of music elements, many of which have titles like “Music”, clicking through them at total random. It doesn’t help that there’s no track scrubber to allow jumping into the middle of a file. If I wanted to build a robust set of moods for a full campaign, I feel like it would take me weeks or months of utterly blind wandering.

The prefab adventure content is absolutely great, and my experiences with that are how I got here in the first place. I just have absolutely no idea how I would ever build something like that myself!

Thanks again for all the replies. It is extremely kind of everyone to invest that time in a stranger. I really want this to work, due to how great the content is, but I’m struggling tremendously.

If you need help finding specific sounds, start a post in the Soundset Suggestions forum here.
Every time I had trouble finding something here I posted there and HECook has always helped me. (She seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire database.) She’s helped me set the mood for a few of my campaigns.