Old 02-04-2007, 01:51 PM   #1
Jake Johnson
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Default I found a way to change VSTI's with a CC command. Almost perfect.

I need to do something very basic: to be able to press a button on my USB midi keyboard and have a new vsti load into a track, replacing the current vsti. (I use mainly piano vsti's, and just want to be able to shift between them as if I were doing a patch change in one VSTI.)

I understand how to set a default instrument, create an FX chain, and assign commands to midi cc's, but I can't find a way to coordinate these things to let me change VSTI's from the midi keyboard.

Hopeless?

Last edited by Jake Johnson; 02-19-2007 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Found a solution
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:53 PM   #2
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do you expect this to be working while playback?
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:21 PM   #3
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No,no. That would cause all kinds of problems. I just want to be able to press stop while recording and then press another button to either change to the next vsti in my FX list or change to a specific vsti (in which case I would assign separate buttons to each vsti) Either way of doing things would be great. If possible at all.
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
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No,no. That would cause all kinds of problems.
that's why i asked
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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sounds like a unique feature fun to have
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Johnson View Post
No,no. That would cause all kinds of problems. I just want to be able to press stop while recording and then press another button to either change to the next vsti in my FX list or change to a specific vsti (in which case I would assign separate buttons to each vsti) Either way of doing things would be great. If possible at all.
having to load vsti's would really screw things up.

having the vsti's loaded in bypass and using a controller to switch between them would work better.

but that would require some sort of control to switch between fx slots, keeping the others bypassed...
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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In fact, i see two ways of doing this :


1- the layer method
As suggested above : If midi learn accepts "bypass" messages, just chain your 2 instruments, and assign the "on/off" switch to one note/fader/knob/button of your controller. And if you set the same command for both vsti, on should be turned off when the other should be turned on.


2- the radical crossfader method.
Make two similar tracks with midi in enabled.
In the first one, load your first vsti, in the other one, load your second vsti.
Then, load a crossfader plugin (i requested a native crossfader for Reaper some days ago and nobody seemed interested in it), assign your first track to the "A" side, and the second track to the "B" side, and just assign the crossfader to a fader of your controller.
Then, you play both vsti in the same time (which can be more cpu hungry), but one is routed to A and the other one is routed to B, so you can decide which one you want to hear, and even merge them smoothly !
This method can look quite weird at the first look (longer to set up and more cpu huigry, as 2 vsti play at the same time), but it makes you able to merge (if wished) both signal, or just switch from one to another, without having to deal with possible latency issues when setting on/off some vsti, adn allows you more creative stuff if you want

Cheers
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:27 PM   #8
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PS :

http://www.rozzer.net/wp/?cat=2 (end of page, the guy is now a Reaperist)

or

http://www.psychicmodulation.com/tools.html
(better GUI)
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:13 PM   #9
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I was just thinking about something like this over the last couple of days. It would be great to be able to also use Reaper as a instrument rack for live performance.

I was thinking more along the lines of requesting a way to "solo" the "record ready" status of a track (or group of tracks) in a new "live" mode.

In other words, the desired track(s) become "record ready" and all other tracks are deactivated. Maybe a MIDI program change could be assigned to solo this group of tracks.

EDIT: I just did a separate FR on this concept that goes into more detail:

http://www.cockos.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5452
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:48 PM   #10
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I was trying to avoid loading several vsti's and then switching between them. I'm still looking for other possible solutions.
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:21 AM   #11
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Excuse my ignorance but couldn't this be achieved with a plugin like Phrazor, EnergyXT or FLStudio with multiple VSTis loaded and then switching between them? Is this what Kore is all about?
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:22 AM   #12
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Excuse my ignorance but couldn't this be achieved with a plugin like Phrazor, EnergyXT or FLStudio with multiple VSTis loaded and then switching between them? Is this what Kore is all about?
Yes, you can use Phrazor, etc. but I consider that overkill since Reaper already covers most of the bases for VST/Patch management anyway. This would be a great next step to leverage management of virtual instruments in Reaper!
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:24 AM   #13
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Well, the problem isn't really with Reaper, of course. It's the problem with any VSTI in any sequencer\recording application. I don't think any of them have a way to switch cleanly between VSTI's unless you load them all up at once.

In any case, the ability to switch VSTI's in and out from the controller would help us in many ways beyond just letting me experiment with various instruments as I dink around. Consider how it would be to record a mix and then be able to try out how various drum or pianos fit in the mix with only one button push, instead of having to go through the usual procedure of closing and opening a VSTI. Much cleaner, yes? (One would also want to set up commands, already available, to choose which track to insert the new VSTI into, so the procedure from the midi controller would be to (1.) notice that the drums seemed off in track 3, (2) press a button to select the third track. (3) Press a button to unload the current drums and load VSTI number 8, or whichever it is.

And because we can already add a new track from the controller, we could combine commands to: Add a track and load a specific VSTI into it. Want to hear how a drum track will sound beneath the piano? Press 2 buttons on your midi contoller.

Seems as though it could be done. Just a matter of creating a keyboard shortcut for the sequence Remove, Add, Click on VSTI, cursor down. And then another shortcut, assignable to a CC, for ENTER. (One hang-up in Reaper, though, is that once you open the VSTI window, there is no keystroke that moves the cursor from the list of folders on the left to the list of VSTI's. Tab doesn't work. You have to click with the mouse.)

Better still would be a way to assign one's favorite VSTI's to a list, maybe with numbers, and then a command that first unloaded the current VSTI and then loaded a specified VSTI. You might be able to assign each item in the list to a CC command. Again, the goal, from the user's perspective, would be that the entire sequence would be as simple as a bank change. On the other hand, it would have to use separate commands, since many VSTI's already use bank changes internally to switch between patches.

(I imagine the problem arose because Steinberg never considered the possibility that people would have several VSTI's of the same instrument, so they never developed a "Change VSTI" command Everyone would load up a piano vsti for one track and a drum vsti on another. Who in their right mind would have 4-10 piano or drum vsti's and want to hear how each sounded while recording a piece, let alone have a midi controller that would have enough buttons or knobs to let them switch so many instruments in and out? Later developers have included the support for VSTI's but the limitations have only recently become clear as more and more VSTI's of similar instruments have been developed, as keyboard controllers have gained more assignable buttons and knobs, and people have wanted to get away from their computers.)


Still looking...

Last edited by Jake Johnson; 02-05-2007 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:33 AM   #14
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I haven't found a way to do what I need to do in Reaper, but after posting a question on KVR's Hosts forum about which hosts allow one to switch out VSTI's (as opposed to loading several on various tracks and switching tracks), I was pointed to the following programs that do have this ability:

AudioMulch
Usine
Ableton Live 6

I got it to work in the demos for AudioMulch and Usine. I don't have Ableton Live, but from what I can gather, the Racks feature in that program lets you set up instrument racks and then swap them out using CC's, just as though you were doing a bank change.

Feature request for Reaper, in other words. Would be very sweet to have.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:08 AM   #15
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Default Fixed . Found a way to do it

Fixed I found a way to do it (switch between VSTI's on a single track without overloading memory or cpu). This method may have seemed self-evident to more experienced people. But it took me some time because the solution involved not using the shortcut that I thought would be needed. (The Toggle FX shortcut.) Just use the Bypass command on each VSTI, which as it turns out is a toggle. In other words, all you have to do is assign a midi CC to that command, just as though assigning any other VSTI parameter to a CC using the Learn button. You can for the most part avoid using the list of FX\VSTIís in the Docker , except to set things up.

But if you want the step by step, including information you may already know:

1. Create a track.
2, On the Reaper Preferences\Plugins dialog box (CTL-P) be sure that Autodock new FX chain windows is selected. (This is only so you can see the list of VSTIís that you have loaded. If you donít dock them, one may hide the list of VSTIís along with the track.) Click on OK.
3. On the View menu, be sure that Show Docker is checked.
4. Create an effects chain of VSTI's. Drag them up and down until you have the ones youíre most likely to want near the top. (This is only to help you memorize the sequence of instruments and assign them to CCís in a logical order.)
5. Make sure that NONE of the VSTI's is active: none has a check mark beside it.
6. Click once on the topmost VSTI to select it without activating it. It should be highlighted but not checked.
7. Click once on the Learn button in the upper right corner of the VSTI window.
8. Scroll down to the Bypass command and click it. (On older VSTIís this Bypass command may be one of the few commands available or the only command available. On more recent VSTIís there may be a long list of parameters, and you may have to scroll for several seconds, since the Bypass command will be the last command in the list. Some VSTIís may not have a Bypass command at all. If not, this method of controlling VSTIís just wonít work.)
9. When the Midi Learn dialog box appears, move the knob, etc that you want to use to turn the VSTI off and on. (On my system, buttons did not work. Only knobs. Not sure why.)
10. Click on OK. The knob you moved will now toggle the VSTI on and off. Testing this, be aware that it make take a 3-5 seconds for the VSTI to fully load and you may have to move the knob all the way to one extreme or the other. But it should work.
11. Notice that Reaper does not register with the usual checkmark that the VSTI is active or inactive using this method. In other words, one problem with this method is that you must memorize which knobs turn each VSTI on and off. The display wonít tell you.
12. Use the knob to disable the VSTI you just configured. If your goal is to change instruments, instead of stack instruments, you must always remember to disable the current VSTI before loading the next.
13. Click on the next VSTI in the list and repeat steps 7-12 until you have assigned all of the VSTIís to CC controls.
14. Right-click under the list of VSTIís, click on Save FX chain, name the chain, and click on Save. I named mine PianosÖ. (Now you can call up this set of controlled effects in any new or old project.)
15. Click on File and click on Save Project.

Of course you can also set this arrangement up as a template and then load the same project each time you start Reaper.

There is one disadvantage to this way of controlling VSTIís from the keyboard:
Since you are not using the Toggle FX on key or manually checking a box, or for that matter clicking on a VSTI when you toggle the VSTIís Bypass command, Reaper does not show the interface for the VSTI. In fact, Reaper will show the interface of whatever VSTI you first chose. So you may be playing one VSTI while looking at the interface for another. Can be confusing. And when you make other parameter changes, you therefore donít see them, since you canít see the interface at all.

Anyone know of a way to make the interface visible\not when the VSTIís Bypass command is used?

Last edited by Jake Johnson; 02-19-2007 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:35 PM   #16
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Default That is a beauty

Good step by step and well written. Do you want this in the WIKI in the Tips and Tricks section?

I had thought about this as I read it but you have taken it through all the steps and given tips along the way.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:06 PM   #17
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It's fine to put it in the wiki. (Honored.)

(I do wish there was a way to see the interfaces for the vsti's though.)
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:25 AM   #18
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Yeah, for me it's ALL about bypassing VST's LIVE... ALSO: the way reaper reserves [or something?] CPU and that the tracks don't 'burp' the CPU when toggling record button and stuff is UNIQUE...
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:06 AM   #19
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Yeah mon. With these features and smooth transitions it is actually approaching my dream sequencer for doing really radical live computer stuff and triggering quite bizarre effects.

I am working on vocalists controlling their own effects by gestures and being able to play instruments and control vocal and other effects.

Next stop after that is triggering lighting, smoke, pyrotechnics and sub woofer on/offs along with venue surround effects. Using pedals and midi boxes for this sort of stuff. Imagine being able to play your guitar solo with each bar coming from a different part of the hall. Also calling and answering yourself with vocal phrases in different parts of the venue.

Reaper is getting very close to a functional way of doing this. Of course the implementation will also have utility in static mixing situations such as studios as well.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:46 AM   #20
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A sting in the tail. Towards the end there are a lot more grammer changes needed. Even changed 'synthesised' to 'synthesized' US spelling.

There is also a lot more stuff as you get to the end of the WIKI.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:35 PM   #21
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There is another way to do this which is useful across projects.

Say you have 8 CC buttons.

Make 8 tracks, each with a synth that you like. Have them all receive the midi you want to use. you can record arm each, or have another track that is armed and sends to all of them.

Go to the track grouping matrix. Put all 8 synth tracks in group one as master (M). then put the first synth ALSO in group 2, put the second synth ALSO in group 3, and so on. The end product of this grouping is that they are all in group 1 and then each synth is additionally in its own group.

go to custom actions creator. for each of your midi cc buttons, make an actions. the action should be as follows:
1. select all tracks in group 1
2. set fx to bypass for selected tracks
3. select all tracks in group X
4. unbypass fx for selected tracks

now you are good to go. pressing one of the buttons disables all the synths and then enables only the one you want. you can copy your new group of tracks from project to project and just change the FX in them. I notice no real delay when I press the buttons, though you do want to make sure all your notes are off first.
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