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Old 03-20-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
ironfistx
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Default How do I change the volume of part of a MIDI track without channing velocity?

In some of my VSTis, changing the velocity with which you hit the key actually changes the sound produced rather than just changing the volume of it.

In these cases, I cannot get a quieter sound simply by hitting the key more softly like you could with a piano.

Is there a way to modify the master volume of part of a MIDI track? If I wanted to change the volume of the whole thing I could just use the fader, but I want parts of the track to be quieter while still producing the sound that comes from a hard keystroke, if that makes sense.

Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #2
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gonna depend a lot on what the vsti offers, but basically you should be able to add an automation lane that controls the volume knob on the vsti itself. This not a midi thing, it's controlling the settings of the vsti
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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gonna depend a lot on what the vsti offers, but basically you should be able to add an automation lane that controls the volume knob on the vsti itself. This not a midi thing, it's controlling the settings of the vsti
Ok, cool.

I tried using the "07 Volume MSB" in the menu on the bottom left of the piano roll screen thinking I could adjust the volume that way but adding data to the bottom part of the piano roll with that option selected (the way one would add mod wheel or pitch bend data) did not change the volume on playback.

Can you explain why that didn't work? In the meantime I will look into automation.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #4
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volume in midi is not a reliable way to work with a vsti... it might work with a general midi player module somewhat...

just do the automation envelope and pick the volume or output knob for the vsti to automate... much better way to go.

btw... what is the vsti in this case?
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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volume in midi is not a reliable way to work with a vsti... it might work with a general midi player module somewhat...

just do the automation envelope and pick the volume or output knob for the vsti to automate... much better way to go.

btw... what is the vsti in this case?
The VSTi in this case is Oatmeal. One of the soundbanks I have for it has a really cool "lead" synth sound that sounds like the ones used in metal. I need to make it quieter than usual for a dual solo with the lead guitar, but I can't do it by hitting the keys softer because that changes the amount of harmonics on the note.

The Oatmeal GUI has like 50 knobs. I believe volume is called "output gain." Can I use track volume and adjust the fader with an automation lane?
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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There are two Control Codes that an potentially do this.
CC7 that you already tried and CC11. CC11 in theory should allow you to adjust the volume of playback on the fly or by drawing in an envelope.
Give it a go.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ironfistx View Post
The VSTi in this case is Oatmeal. One of the soundbanks I have for it has a really cool "lead" synth sound that sounds like the ones used in metal. I need to make it quieter than usual for a dual solo with the lead guitar, but I can't do it by hitting the keys softer because that changes the amount of harmonics on the note.

The Oatmeal GUI has like 50 knobs. I believe volume is called "output gain." Can I use track volume and adjust the fader with an automation lane?
Don't have Oatmeal installed but the concept is the same for any vsti.

Yes, it can be confusing to see the zillion controls in a vsti in the automation lanes, but there is a kewl way to get to the one you want:

in the automation window where you turn on or off various lanes, you'll see a check box for :
"Show last touched FX parameters only"


check that box and close that window and then go wiggle the Main Output or whatever it's called in Oatmeal.

open the automation [trim] window again and you should see the correct lane active for Oatmeal.
Set your automation for the vsti's master output vol. in that lane.

In the midi editor there is also a cc lane possible volume MSB but that will not give you nearly as controllable and as smooth transitions as what the automation lane method can produce.
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Last edited by hopi; 03-21-2013 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
There are two Control Codes that an potentially do this.
CC7 that you already tried and CC11. CC11 in theory should allow you to adjust the volume of playback on the fly or by drawing in an envelope.
Give it a go.
I tried CC11 but it did not lower the volume, either. Oh well.

It would be 10x easier to lower the volume this way, if it worked. Just make a small little bar when I want it to be quiet and a tall bar when I want it to be loud.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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Don't have Oatmeal installed but the concept is the same for any vsti.

Yes, it can be confusing to see the zillion controls in a vsti in the automation lanes, but there is a kewl way to get to the one you want:

in the automation window where you turn on or off various lanes, you'll see a check box for :
"Show last touched FX parameters only"


check that box and close that window and then go wiggle the Main Output or whatever it's called in Oatmeal.

open the automation [trim] window again and you should see the correct lane active for Oatmeal.
Set your automation for the vsti's master output vol. in that lane.

In the midi editor there is also a cc lane possible volume MSB but that will not give you nearly as controllable and as smooth transitions as what the automation lane method can produce.
I did "set automation mode: write."

Then I clicked on the track fader and a new area appeared below the track called "volume."

That sounds completely different from what you're talking about using the VSTi's settings. I didn't even access the VSTI GUI at all.

Am I doing it wrong? It seems to be adjusting the volume if I move that green line and then set automation mode back to "read" before I play it again.

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Old 03-21-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironfistx View Post
I did "set automation mode: write."

Then I clicked on the track fader and a new area appeared below the track called "volume."

That sounds completely different from what you're talking about using the VSTi's settings. I didn't even access the VSTI GUI at all.

Am I doing it wrong? It seems to be adjusting the volume if I move that green line and then set automation mode back to "read" before I play it again.

If the only thing you want to change is the loudness of the final sound, you are doing it the right way. A quicker way to get the volume automation lane would have been to select the track and press "V" ("P" for pan, "M" for mute, btw.)

Now draw points on that little green line if you want to manually edit, or change the track automation mode to "write", "latch", or "touch" and ride the volume fader as the song plays. Automation points will then be written and you can edit them afterwards. (Be careful with "Write" or "Latch" if you already have automation written on the track - it will get overwritten).

The automation will be followed if you put the track back into "Read" mode, in which case you won't be able to adjust the fader at all, or "Trim/Read", which will follow the automation but still allow you to use the fader to affect the level of the entire track.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ironfistx View Post
I tried CC11 but it did not lower the volume, either. Oh well.

It would be 10x easier to lower the volume this way, if it worked. Just make a small little bar when I want it to be quiet and a tall bar when I want it to be loud.
To quote my neighbor in Tennessee, "yer holdin yer mouth wrong, bwah"

If you look at the example setup I did for Ksore recently, you'll see how the two CC's - 7 and 11- work in tandem.
One controls velocity and the other overall level, so if you leave the velocities unchanged and either increase or reduce the level, you will achieve the result you are looking for.

Say your velocities are all in a range that you are comfortable with, insert a CC11 where you want the level to change and then map in a series of CCs with either increasing or decreasing values.
So if for example your CC7 (velocity) is varying between 100 and 120 and you want to drop the level, insert CC11 127 for maximum loudness and you can either pencil in a series of CC11 with different values or you can map a control in Reaper to adjust CC11.
It really is that simple, unless I am mis-interpreting what it is you want to do.

Mind you, I am used to having a separate software MIDI mixer with various functions assignable to whatever CC you want, which would be the ideal here.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #12
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To quote my neighbor in Tennessee, "yer holdin yer mouth wrong, bwah"

If you look at the example setup I did for Ksore recently, you'll see how the two CC's - 7 and 11- work in tandem.
One controls velocity and the other overall level, so if you leave the velocities unchanged and either increase or reduce the level, you will achieve the result you are looking for.

Say your velocities are all in a range that you are comfortable with, insert a CC11 where you want the level to change and then map in a series of CCs with either increasing or decreasing values.
So if for example your CC7 (velocity) is varying between 100 and 120 and you want to drop the level, insert CC11 127 for maximum loudness and you can either pencil in a series of CC11 with different values or you can map a control in Reaper to adjust CC11.
It really is that simple, unless I am mis-interpreting what it is you want to do.

Mind you, I am used to having a separate software MIDI mixer with various functions assignable to whatever CC you want, which would be the ideal here.
Different strokes, I guess. I always associate volume with audio, so it's much simpler for me to automate the volume using the track fader/envelope, rather than CC's. It also seems better from a mixing standpoint, since I can see the volume envelopes from multiple tracks much more easily than I can see the cc lanes from multiple tracks. Again, different methods of achieving the end goal, so I guess people just pick what's comfortable for them.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
ironfistx
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Say your velocities are all in a range that you are comfortable with, insert a CC11 where you want the level to change and then map in a series of CCs with either increasing or decreasing values.
So if for example your CC7 (velocity) is varying between 100 and 120 and you want to drop the level, insert CC11 127 for maximum loudness and you can either pencil in a series of CC11 with different values or you can map a control in Reaper to adjust CC11.
It really is that simple, unless I am mis-interpreting what it is you want to do.
I think I tried that but it didn't work.

When I adjust the velocity, either by hitting the key harder or softer or by changing whichever CC value corresponds to velocity, it works just fine. But the volume ones don't work.

I couldn't figure out how to change volume through the VSTi volume knob with automation lanes, but the way I ended up doing it seems to work OK (changing the fader volume with automation lanes). Is there ever a reason why I wouldn't want to do it that way?

Actually, that seems like it might not be the best way to do it. I'd like the volume to adjust relative to whatever the fader is. So if I have the fader at -12db and then I need a part to get quiet, it should get quiet relative to the initial -12db level. If I later need to raise the volume to -10db, it should then get quiet relative to the -10db part.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironfistx View Post
...changing the fader volume with automation lanes). Is there ever a reason why I wouldn't want to do it that way?

Actually, that seems like it might not be the best way to do it. I'd like the volume to adjust relative to whatever the fader is. So if I have the fader at -12db and then I need a part to get quiet, it should get quiet relative to the initial -12db level. If I later need to raise the volume to -10db, it should then get quiet relative to the -10db part.
If you set the automation mode to "Trim/Read", then your last statement is exactly how it will work.

If you set the automation mode to "Read", then the automation becomes more absolute.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:14 AM   #15
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hey iron... yes and ...

the way you did it certainly works to get a lane to show...

If you set the trim mode to 'latch', then you will get a lane for anything you wiggle on the vsti as well...

Now IF this gives you enough control to get the points for automation as you want them, fine... these methods tend to write in a lot of points... and the precision of the points will depend on how well you can move the controls on the vsti...

There are actions to 'reduce number of points' that can be run on the points later, and\or you can manually tweak the points later.

I do often use those methods just to get a lane showing and then switch back to trim mode to manually set the points.

Now one more thought to add to the fray:

I think you have seen there is vol or main output automation which is affecting the actual knob on the vsti... which is what I thought you wanted.

There also is volume that is for the track itself...
There is no reason you can't use them both if desired.
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