Customizing VST automation

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
jlanpheer
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:34 am

Customizing VST automation

Post by jlanpheer » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:45 pm

Hi-

This is probably more directly an APC40 question, but i think that there's enough APC40 users here to get a quick answer to this.

I'm trying to customize the APC40 to control particular parameters within a given VST plugin.

I understand the Ableton "MIDI Learn" mode and i've successfully used that that in the past with assigning knobs to certain virtual Ableton effects control knobs. However, with VSTs (CamelPhat for example), when i go into MIDI learn mode and select a control (say "resonance on a filter" for example...) and try to assign it to Device Control knob #3 (for example), the VST doesn't respond and my assignment is unsuccessful.

Is there something else that i need to do in order to be able to define my own mappings? Is what i am trying to do not possible for certain (or all) VST plugins? I realize that its "MIDI Learn mode" and i'm technically sending USB machine control messages via the APC40 and i'm wondering if that's the issue or if i need to set up a template of some sort or not?

Any help or advice is GREATLY appreciated!
cheers,
Jim Lanpheer.

Tyko
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:20 am
Contact:

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by Tyko » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:04 pm

i have a similar problem getting massive to stay mapped when i record, it works if im not recording but once i begin to record it seems to forget my midi map :(

simmerdown
Posts: 3761
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Northwest Nowhere

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by simmerdown » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:06 pm

'Is what i am trying to do not possible for certain (or all) VST plugins?'

yep, not all...and sometimes only some controls on a given vst...

jlanpheer
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:34 am

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by jlanpheer » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:41 pm

simmerdown wrote: yep, not all...and sometimes only some controls on a given vst...
Well, that seems pretty bad to me. I'm wondering who i should contact for more information? Ableton? The VST maker? Akai? Seems like a pretty grey area.... Are there ways to do custom mapping via M4L possibly? Where would you recommend starting? I appreciate the help!
cheers,
jim.

rpc9943
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:33 am

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by rpc9943 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:54 pm

This might be not the correct answer, since it deals with other hardware.

I had issues with automap and my novation remote sl keyboard
I had mapped everything from a vsti synth (minimonsta)
Every time I pressed record, It didn't record my automation changes from the knobs.

I figured out that I had to click "configure" on the vsti in ableton live's interface and turn every knob that I had assigned. It's good to save this group so you will always be able to use it this way.

If you activate all of the parameters from your vsti within live, it will record your automation. If you DO NOT, and your vsti has in excess of i think 128 possible controls, it will NOT record your automation.

RonC
http://theconsolationproject.bandcamp.com
Influenced by The Cure, Smiths, early Verve, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Red House Painters, Cocteau Twins, The Church.

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by 3dot... » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:46 pm

in order to control vst..
you need to drag it in... open it up with the small arrow button
hit the configure button..
move the parameter(s) you want to control..
(they will show as sliders on the live-vst-container)
if you want the vst configuration saved..
then rack it and save the rack/channel..

from this point..for mapping you have 2 choices :
1. midi map manually (ctrl-m)
2. use Live control-surface scheme (blue hand) to automatically grab the configured params.
Image

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by 3dot... » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:48 pm

rpc9943 wrote:
and your vsti has in excess of i think 128 possible controls,
hehe..
128 was Live7..
in v8 we're at 256 parameters(I think)... yay..

though I'd like to see a set where all 256 parameters are utilized..
Image

jlanpheer
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:34 am

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by jlanpheer » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:37 pm

I see a couple of good suggestions here of things that i THOUGHT that i had tried, but maybe didn't complete all the "configure" steps. Let me try a couple of tests tonight, and i'll report back as to my results. I MUCH appreciate the responses so far, i figure there HAS to be a way!... :idea:
cheers,
jim.

simmerdown
Posts: 3761
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Northwest Nowhere

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by simmerdown » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:49 pm

still...some third party vst controls do not respond in configure mode...its rare, but ive run into it several times...admittedly, i use some obscure shit too

jlanpheer
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:34 am

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by jlanpheer » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:08 pm

simmerdown wrote:still...some third party vst controls do not respond in configure mode...its rare, but ive run into it several times...admittedly, i use some obscure shit too
I'll bet that's true. In this case, its something pretty mainstream.... CamelAudio CamelPhat. Last night, i was just learning what it does and i tried some quick automations and none of the things that i was trying to set up realtime modulation for seemed to be responding.

And, i was thinkin' to myself:
"Self? ( :oops: ) If you are going to need to have some sort of special template or something to be able to control the resonance on a filter in real-time, then MAYBE you bought yourself the wrong controller!". :x
cheers,
jim.

jlanpheer
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:34 am

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by jlanpheer » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:22 am

3dot... wrote:in order to control vst..
you need to drag it in... open it up with the small arrow button
hit the configure button..
move the parameter(s) you want to control..
(they will show as sliders on the live-vst-container)
I tried a few things here. First yes, i hit configure button and tried that on a few VSTs that i have. So, if i pick a CamelPhat preset and do that, a message appears saying: "To add plugin parameters to this panel, click the "Configure" button." At this point, nothing appears to be assigned to anything, so I do that. Then, a message appears "To add parameters to this panel, click on them in the plugin's window. So far, so good.....

So, let's say my goal is to assign "Flanger Amount" to Device Control button #3. I click the virtual "Flanger Amount" button and Device Control #1 lights up on the APC40. Apparently, Flanger Amount has just been assigned to DControl button #1 (probably since nothing was assigned to it as of yet), and it then moved sequentially (the next assignment automatically is assigned to knob #2), etc.... If this is how it works, and they are just sequentially assigned, without my having any exact control over it, i guess that i can deal with that and enter my parameters sequentially. My goal is to create a consistent scheme across my racks, so that if i go to knob #3 in performance, i KNOW that i'm going to the "evolving effect" for that rack. That's why i want to assign the flanger to knob #3 in this case. My desire is to not have to think during performance what each knob does, i want to be thinking about MUSIC..... :lol:

The assignment behavior that i would expect is that i would (a) click on a control (say "Flanger Amount" again), (b) move a Device Control knob that i choose (#3 if i wanted to assign it to that) and (c) voila, they'd be connected (kinda like 'MIDI Learn' works). Instead, they seem to be assigned sequentially. Further, once DC knob #1 is assigned to Flanger Control, i don't seem to be able to delete that connection without starting completely from scratch. Is there a way to delete an established connection between a VST control and a DC knob once you've set it up??

Deleting established connections from virtual VST buttons to Device Control knobs becomes a bigger issue if i grab another VST in my arsenal, say 2CAudio's Breeze plugin. When i load a preset and hit "Configure", everything is already mapped sequentially. The first control on the left of the VST display ("Mix") is mapped to DC knob #1, the second to #2, etc.... The problem is: there's only 8 knobs and 14 parameters that are available to control. So again, let's say that i want to assign parameter #9 (in this case, its called "Contour") to one of my 8 knobs... in order to do that, i need to break one of the existing assignments somehow (because there's not enough physical knobs). As i said above, i don't see how to delete an existing assignment, so right now this is impossible to achieve.

Sorry that its long-winded, but i'm trying to spell this out as clearly as i can. There's probably a really simple thing that i am missing, and i'd appreciate it if someone could tell me:
1. Can i assign the VST control that i desire directly to an APC40 Device Control knob in "Configure" mode, or am i stuck with assigning it to the first Device Control knob that is not assigned?
and....
2. If what i'm looking at is a VST configuration where knob #1 is assigned to 'X', can i DELETE that connection and assign knob #1 to 'Y'?


I HOPE the answer to both questions is "yes", but i don't see it yet. If someone could help me with an answer, i'd be quite grateful for the time that you spend teaching me!
cheers,
jim.

jlanpheer
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:34 am

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by jlanpheer » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:11 am

Hey there-

Thanx to everyone who helped me out. Via personal message, Warrior Bob patiently explained to me that "grouping" my efx into a rack gave me the control over assigning to parameters to particular controls that i was looking for. I did not know that you needed to "group" devices in order to achieve that level of control.

My personal public thanx and kudos to everyone who responded and especially to Warrior Bob. If i had read his msg before spending two hours trying things, i could have spent the two hours MAKING MUSIC!! 8O

cheers and thanx to all!
Jim Lanpheer.

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by 3dot... » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:14 am

rtfm next time... :wink:
Image

Warrior Bob
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:10 pm
Location: Central Coast, California
Contact:

Re: Customizing VST automation

Post by Warrior Bob » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:58 pm

I'll repost my PM here for the benefit of anyone who found the thread and wants to know what worked for him:
Warrior Bob wrote:The APC40 works as a USB MIDI interface, and it sends and receives MIDI notes and CCs to and from Live. My comment about it not being easily reprogrammed refers to the fact that there doesn't seem to be any way to customize what CCs and notes correspond to which buttons, faders, and knobs.

Reading your thread, it sounds like what you're trying to do is to use Ableton Live's MIDI mapping (cmd+M, or clicking "MIDI" in the upper right) to control a parameter in your VST. Now, those mappings are only for interface elements within Live itself, and Live doesn't get access to the innards of your VSTs. Instead, many VSTs expose their parameters to the hosting environment, and if your VST does this, then you can click the little "configure" box on the VST device in Live, move the corresponding parameter in the VST, and then you'll see a slider appear on the device that you can use for your MIDI mapping (or key mapping, or automation if you want).

This is different than the "MIDI learn" feature many VSTs have. It's the same basic idea though, which can lead to some confusion. MIDI Learn is a function of the VST, Live's quick mapping feature is a function of Live.

Personally, the way I'd solve your problem is to get the parameter to show up in the VST device, but instead of mapping to it directly, enclose the device in a rack (right click, "Group"). Then assign one of the macro knobs to the parameter in question. What's cool about this is that your eight knobs on the APC will correspond to these eight virtual knobs whenever the rack is selected.

I hope this cleared things up a bit! Best of luck.

Post Reply