How to send high resolution MIDI CCs to softsynths?

...and how to do so...
User avatar
vegaron
KVRist
132 posts since 3 Aug, 2016 from Germany, Munich

Post Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:42 pm

Hi there,

most (without having it actually checked) softsynths allow for their parameters resolutions way above the standard 128 steps given by the MIDI protocol. The MIDI-learn function of these synths however give me the impression that you can only teach them standard 128-step-CCs. Is that the case? Has anyone here some deeper insight into this?

User avatar
RichieWitch
KVRian
609 posts since 15 Jun, 2015

Re: How to send high resolution MIDI CCs to softsynths?

Post Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:41 am

From what I can tell, the integration between a DAW and VSTs is not based solely on MIDI. Some of the more complex VSTs have far more parameters than could be covered by a standard MIDI implementation. You can set up your own macros and automation to control as many parameters as you wish with no real limits (beyond computing power).

This would also explain why if you want to record DAW-based automation on a hardware synth, you have to reference the synth's MIDI implementation chart and code the DAW channel with the specific CC code to read the automation from, whereas with a VST, you can just click on a virtual knob and the DAW knows exactly what you're trying to control.

As long as you're in the box, MIDI does not seem to be a limiting factor except for maybe things like velocity. Not sure which DAW you're using, but I haven't seen the same MIDI learn limitation you're talking about in Live.

User avatar
vegaron
KVRist
132 posts since 3 Aug, 2016 from Germany, Munich

Re: How to send high resolution MIDI CCs to softsynths?

Post Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:46 am

I'm using Cubase and as far as I know the MIDI learning is only possible in the VST I want to control.

But after starting this thread, I found out about PRNs and NRPNs.
These are four MIDI CCs that come pairwise and are therefore not limited to 7 Bit (128 values) but 14 Bit (16384 values). I want to see the VST, that has more parameters. :D

PRNs and NRPNs also allow the fine tuning of the parameters with 14 Bit (or 16 Bit?) resolution, as you send two Bytes defining the parameter and two more Bytes defining its value.

But I think you are right. I depend on the developers to implement this feature. Otherwise I can use automation, but not MIDI CCs.

User avatar
sin night
KVRian
1250 posts since 1 Aug, 2006 from Italy

Re: How to send high resolution MIDI CCs to softsynths?

Post Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:41 pm

If you need to control just a few parameters, since you use Cubase you could set up the Quick Controls to respond to 14 bit MIDI CCs or NRPN or whatever you like, then you can assign whatever thing you want to control on the focused track to a Quick Control, as long as it's exposed as a vst automation parameter, without the need for the plugin to support MIDI Learn and NRPN.
You can also use the VST Quick Controls, if your Cubase version has this feature (and if it suits your needs better).

You need a controller which can be programmed to send such messages, though.

User avatar
vegaron
KVRist
132 posts since 3 Aug, 2016 from Germany, Munich

Re: How to send high resolution MIDI CCs to softsynths?

Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:29 am

After some troubleshooting and experimenting a bit I think, Cubase's Quick Controls might actually work, but they are in fact too few. On the other hand I discovered a much bigger problem with NRPNs and I think, it's best to open a new thread for this.

Thank you so far!

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