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Automation in VE Pro (feature request?)
Last post Wed, Jun 22 2011 by BenjaminCS, 21 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Apr 08 2011 01:39
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19
As far as I can tell, it's not possible to automate from the DAW a parameter of a VST hosted inside VE Pro.

It was requested last year and Paul Steinbauer mentioned it was on the wishlist: here is another vote for it! Seems very important to me.

Or am I mistaken?

Benjamin
Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Sat, Apr 09 2011 01:47
by ecolvin
Joined on Tue, Jan 12 2010, Los Angeles, Posts 115
Yes please.
Regards-
Eric

[Mac 1] 3.46 GHz “Westmere” 12 core • 128 GB RAM • 10.14.5
[Mac 2] 2.93 GHz “Nehalem” 8 core • 64 GB RAM • 10.13.6
[Mac 3] 2.8 GHz “Nehalem” Quad core • 16 GB RAM • 10.13.6
[Mac 4] 2.6 GHz i7 MacBook Pro • 16 GB RAM • 10.14.5

DP (latest version) / Cubase Pro (latest version) / Logic Pro (latest version)
Posted on Sat, Apr 09 2011 19:04
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19

I am glad I am not the only one, and I am surprised this doesn't get asked more often.

VE Pro could display, for each plugin hosted inside VE Pro, the parameters that the plugin exports. You select the one you want to automate from the DAW, then you click on a "Export that parameter" command: this would create a VE Pro parameter which moves with the parameter you selected.

So now you can just automate that VE Pro parameter from the DAW.

Vienna team, what do you think?

Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Sun, Apr 10 2011 12:16
by Karel
Joined on Mon, Jan 19 2009, Belgium, Posts 2172

Full plugin automation is already planned for the next major VE Pro update.

Karel Bassez
Software Engineer
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Apr 10 2011 15:23
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19

Great, thanks.

Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Sun, Apr 10 2011 22:33
by Arceo
Joined on Tue, Sep 28 2010, Posts 61
Karel wrote:

Full plugin automation is already planned for the next major VE Pro update.



Very much welcome sir!!! ;-)
Posted on Mon, Apr 11 2011 22:04
by Ege
Joined on Sat, Jan 22 2005, Washington, DC, Posts 104

Using Logic 9.1.3 and VE PRO I have been able to automate VI Pro instances within VE Pro.  VE Pro is set up as a multi-timbral instance and the tracks below the original instance of VE Pro (there are 15 additional ones if you specify 16 instrument in the multii-timbral setup) represent the various instruments.  From here, you can specify Control Changes (CC#s) just as though the instrument were directly loaded as a VI Pro instance.  One can use the track automation features of Logic by click-holding the "Volume" drop down button when in Automation mode for a track, and then selecting Vienna Ensemble, and a very long list of parameters for each channel within VE Pro is presented.  I haven't tried automating Kontakt within VE Pro yet, but plan to do so.  The long list is a little awkward to set up, but once you have done so, it is just as though the VE Pro channel (containing VI Pro) were directly loaded into Logic.

I assume the original poster is referring to aspects of plug-ins within VE Pro that cannot be controlled by Control Changes.  Steve

IMac, 2.9 GHz Intel 4 Core i5, 32 GB, OSX 10.10.1
Posted on Mon, Apr 11 2011 22:52
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19

Even if you can assign CCs to parameters inside plugins (which is often not the case: none of the plugins in Vienna Suite can do it), assigning CCs only to automate is far from the best way to do it, because:

1) doing even a quick you automation at one point in some track forces you to assign a CC, so the CC is unusable for anything else. Just a small thing like changing some pan/reverb/volume/delay parameter inside some VST instrument for some punctual effect uses a global CC forever for the whole project, you have to keep track of the used CCs, and there is a limited number of CCs (some of them already used by VSTis), that you also have to share with the sliders on your keyboard/control surface: you have to keep track of all of them to make sure there are no conflicts. Part of the point of parameter automation is to avoid these problems.

2) very often, groups of sliders on keyboards/control surfaces have the same CCs with different midi channels to save CC numbers. So if the slider you want to assign is CC#105 Channel#7 and you have assigned VST instruments to different midi channels in VE Pro (the usual way to separate instruments in VE Pro) then your slider won't get through to your VSTi unless it's on channel 7. This creates completely unnecessary headaches for no good reason, because channels have to be used in 2 unrelated ways only to have enough CCs available.

Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Tue, Apr 12 2011 13:46
by Ege
Joined on Sat, Jan 22 2005, Washington, DC, Posts 104

I thought I would get hammered by my comment, and sure enough . . .

This is often an excellent way to learn, since there are many experts on this forum and in-depth users.

I use the technique I mentioned, assigning the same CCs to the same controls in each instance of VI Pro.  For example, the horizontal component (usually a keyswitch) of instrument articulations in a VI Pro instance I always assign to CC#3.  This makes it easy to make a change when I want to alter an articulation in a track.

Now, I have NOT examined (or noticed) that if I change a CC#3 value for one VI Pro instrument, it changes that same CC#3 value for all the rest of the VI Pro instances.  I DO assign separate channels within VE Pro to each of the VI Pro instances (as well as separate VE Pro ports at the top of each instrument channel), and I also do the same channel assignment for the track in which that instrument "resides" within Logic.  I say "resides", because the track is created when I set up VE Pro as a multi-timbral software instrument, and my "Bb Clarinet" for example on the track, is actually a reference to the Bb Clarinet within VE Pro. I follow the VSL suggested technique of making the FIRST Logic Track instance of VE Pro (channel 1), blank, so that it mirrors the Master channel in the VE Pro instances, with my first instrument starting at channel 2.  This saves me the trouble of renumbering the channel assignments within VE Pro.

I will check out whether  a change to a CC# value in one channel changes a CC# value in another, even where VI Pro instances within VE Pro are assigned specific channels and ports.  I suspect it does, something I have not as yet noticed, or you would not have written the post as you did.  If true, then this is, indeed, a serious shortcoming. 

I am not a big fan of Track Automation within Logic, because it is not so easy to see instrument settings travel about in Regions as you move or copy them in the composition process.  By comparison with CC# values, it provides a rather loose and sloppy control of instruments.  Technically, you can move or copy Track Automation, but you cannot easily see (or even place) PRECISELY where in the time stream of a composition they affect a parameter, and it is cumbersome to confirm that a copy or move has occurred.  One must open up Automation Mode to see the Automation nodes within a given Track.  Using CC# values, one can precisely place a change in value using the List editor within Logic, an editor that lists each step within the MIDI file in order.  I find this much easier than using a keyswitch in the Piano editor.  I wouldn't rely on my experience here, because I am not that great an expert or experienced a user.  Still, this is what I have noticed at this point.

Off we go!!

Steve

IMac, 2.9 GHz Intel 4 Core i5, 32 GB, OSX 10.10.1
Posted on Wed, Apr 13 2011 19:52
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19

CCs will work well with VI because they have no automation whatsoever, no parameters at all, they are designed to work only with CCs.

VI will always respond to eg a CC7 for volume, regardless of its channel. But obviously if you assign a VI to a specific channel within VE Pro, a CC or any message with another channel never even gets through to it, so VI can't react to a message it doesn't receive.

Example: you assign VSL reverb to a VI instance (or any VSTi) on channel 3 inside VE Pro, for some local effect at some point in a track you want to quickly automate the Wet slider or any slider/button of the reverb. You can't. Even if you could assign a CC to that particular slider (which is not the case), regardless of channel, you would need to keep track of this and if on the VSTi on channel 4 you have a VSL equalizer and you want to automate a frequency or gain for some other local effect at some point in the track, you would again need to assign another CC and keep track of it too. If you want to do many small punctual effects like this at many times to make the whole performance feel expressive, you would need to assign CCs all over the place and keep track of the conflicts etc, hell, and there are not even enough CCs for that.

Assigning CCs is the older, clumsier method for automating, which is why VE Pro will have parameter automation in the next update.

Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Fri, Apr 22 2011 17:20
by patlagoon
Joined on Fri, Feb 05 2010, Posts 13
Automation would be great addition to VE Pro indeed.


Does it mean that I will be able to automate from the host plugins used as inserts in VE Pro's mixer ?


For example will I be able to automate parameters of an EQ inserted in a VE Pro's channel using Write automation from Cubase ?
Posted on Fri, Apr 22 2011 18:37
by Ege
Joined on Sat, Jan 22 2005, Washington, DC, Posts 104

I DID blunder upon a way to do precise editing of track automation in Logic 9.1.3.  Select a track and then press CMD-Cntrl-E and a window will pop up similar to the event editor for midi notes and CCs.  Just as with CCs you can pinpoint where you want an automation value to change.  In this way you can precisely automate faders in VE Pro (specifying measure, beat, and so on, just as you do with notes and CCs).  Before using this technique, I first do a rough assignment using click-drag in the drop down window in the track header (the window that initially says "Volume" on the left hand side of the Arrange window that lists the tracks).  In the drop down window, you will then find a reference to Vienna Ensemb, continue to hold-click and a LONG list of items that can be controlled in VE Pro will appear to the right.  Once you have done this you will have a reference to the particular automation control that is listed in the Cmd-Cntrl-E window, then use the Cmd-Cntrl-E technique described above.

You will find this discussed in Logic Help-Logic Pro 9 User Manual-Editing Track Automation Data in the Event List.  That Cmd-Cntrl sequence brings up this special type of Event list.

This technique worked for me for VI Pro instances within
VE Pro.  Each VI Pro instance within VE Pro was assigned a separate channel and separate port (e.g., VE Pro Plug in Midi 1 In, Channel 2 at the top of faders in the Mixer) I did not try automation of Kontakt 2.2 (which I have also instanced in VE Pro).

So I am no longer am of the view that track automation is sloppy; it is just as time consuming as are CCs when you want to do a precision edit.

Steve

IMac, 2.9 GHz Intel 4 Core i5, 32 GB, OSX 10.10.1
Posted on Sat, Apr 23 2011 06:04
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19
Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Sat, Apr 23 2011 15:08
by Ege
Joined on Sat, Jan 22 2005, Washington, DC, Posts 104

BenjaminCS --

Just so we share a common understanding on this point (since I am now using Region-based CCs to control VI Pro instances within VE Pro) --

At present, with Logic 9.1.3, one CAN Track automate the various CC based settings within a VI Pro instance, if one sets up the VE Pro template where VE Pro becomes a multi-timbral External Midi instrument.  This process is described in detail in a tutorial referenced in the thread "NEW Orchestral Templates:  Ve PRO and Logic Pro 9"; http://community.vsl.co....rums/t/27828.aspx.  The PROBLEM I have with that external Midi set up is that in order to use the Midi Event List editor for precise edits (on the right of the Arrange window), is that you must call up a special Midi Event List with the key command Cmd-Cntrl-E.  Here are the problems with that window:  (1) it is not reliable, you must close and re-open that window to see the changes made, and it does not always reliably show the correct track.  There is some kind of bug present.  (2) that special Midi Event List window showing Fader commands, does NOT place them within the other Midi events, such as Notes -- you see only Fader events.  By contrast, if you are using CCs to control VI Pro instances (as I now do), and you have the regular Midi Event List window open, the CC change is IMMEDIATELY reflected (without the necessity of reopening the window), and the new event is placed within OTHER events in the Region, such as Notes and other CC changes.  You can still enter CCs graphically within Logic by opening the Piano Roll window and opening a so-called Hyper-Draw window within it.  Once there, you can select channel and CC number you wish to control.  I frankly do not find this drawing window as easy to use as the Track Automation windows the open up in Logic -- where you see all tracks with selected automation at once.

I know you mentioned you are a Cubase user, but I am putting all this Logic stuff down to show other Logic users my experience -- and maybe get some suggestions about how to work with Logic!  :)  I am going to test out the alternative External Midi approach I referenced to see how easy (or difficult) it is to enter CC information using Automation Tracks instead of Region-based Midi editors like Piano Roll and Midi Event List.

Steve

IMac, 2.9 GHz Intel 4 Core i5, 32 GB, OSX 10.10.1
Posted on Sat, Apr 23 2011 19:28
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1520
BenjaminCS wrote:

Even if you can assign CCs to parameters inside plugins (which is often not the case: none of the plugins in Vienna Suite can do it), assigning CCs only to automate is far from the best way to do it, because:

1) doing even a quick you automation at one point in some track forces you to assign a CC, so the CC is unusable for anything else. Just a small thing like changing some pan/reverb/volume/delay parameter inside some VST instrument for some punctual effect uses a global CC forever for the whole project, you have to keep track of the used CCs, and there is a limited number of CCs (some of them already used by VSTis), that you also have to share with the sliders on your keyboard/control surface: you have to keep track of all of them to make sure there are no conflicts. .

The CCs communicate instructions per midi channel. You can have any CC control one thing in one channel and another thing in another channel.

BenjaminCS wrote:

2) very often, groups of sliders on keyboards/control surfaces have the same CCs with different midi channels to save CC numbers. So if the slider you want to assign is CC#105 Channel#7 and you have assigned VST instruments to different midi channels in VE Pro (the usual way to separate instruments in VE Pro) then your slider won't get through to your VSTi unless it's on channel 7. This creates completely unnecessary headaches for no good reason, because channels have to be used in 2 unrelated ways only to have enough CCs available.

Working with one part at at time, all you need to do is have a single channel per instrument. There are 127 controller codes in all. I can't imagine running out of them. As per the control surfaces/controller devices, what I have is assignable, but for the mod wheel is probably hard wired as CC1 and the pitch wheel is probably hard wired to pitch bend, and the expression pedal defaults to CC11. The sliders are assignable; if you have one of them say to CC21, sure it's CC21 every time, but CC21 might be controlling slot crossfade in one instrument and expression or what-have-you in another instrument. CC1 might be vibrato here and vertical dimensions there.

The issue of automation not available in VE Pro at this time is another matter, ie., there is no write button for plugins populating VE Pro.

MacBook Pro 2.6GHz 6-core i9
32GB 2400MHz DDR4
OSX 10.14.5
Posted on Sat, Apr 23 2011 20:42
by patlagoon
Joined on Fri, Feb 05 2010, Posts 13
BenjaminCS wrote:
patlagoon wrote:
For example will I be able to automate parameters of an EQ inserted in a VE Pro's channel using Write automation from Cubase ?

I certainly hope so, it's part the point of the update, that any parameter will be able to be exported to be visible from the host, whether it's a parameter of a VST instrument or a parameter of an insert effect in the VE Pro mixer.



Nice ! I hope you're right and, if so, I'm looking forward to trying this feature out. I've been missing full automation of VE Pro's instruments and inserts from Cubase.




BTW, any idea of the release date of this update ?
Posted on Sun, Jun 05 2011 21:23
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1520

I hope this is the case. Anyway, bump as this is an important consideration to me, it will dramatically simplify my workflow.

MacBook Pro 2.6GHz 6-core i9
32GB 2400MHz DDR4
OSX 10.14.5
Posted on Sun, Jun 05 2011 21:34
by BenjaminCS
Joined on Wed, Dec 16 2009, Posts 19
patlagoon wrote:
BTW, any idea of the release date of this update ?

Members of the VSL team mentioned that the "big update" which should contain automation, among other things, is scheduled for "this summer", so pretty soon hopefully.

Cubase 6, Win 7 x64
Posted on Wed, Jun 22 2011 02:24
by igor
Joined on Mon, Jul 31 2006, California, Posts 25

Being able to add cc automation to VE Pro volume sliders would be extremely useful.  Right now, if you load up a multi through Kontakt and set it as a single channel in VE Pro, there's really no way to automate the volume of that full multi within Logic using midi CC's.  Yes, you can assign a midi CC to each track within the multi, but in some cases you may want varying volume levels for each component of the multi, in which case assigning a midi CC to each one wouldn't be a good idea.

Posted on Wed, Jun 22 2011 11:58
by Ege
Joined on Sat, Jan 22 2005, Washington, DC, Posts 104

I almost DREAD this coming update to VE Pro.  First, we will have new commands and techniques to learn; I am sure they will ease the workflow and provide new techniques WITHIN VE Pro.  But then there is the effect these VE Pro changes have on Logic 9.1.4 (the latest version at this writing), and Kontakt 4.2.3.4914 (Ibid).  And the changes are exponential in effect:  2 changes for VE Pro (say) affect 3 settings in Logic Pro (say) = 6 new settings to learn, etc.

One almost wishes for an Apple solution:  vertical integration of the entire process where one company makes all the constituent parts.  Right now we are using the Windows model, where each manufacturer must confirm compatibility with a host of hosts, as it were.

BTW, I no longer use CC#3 for the vertical component of VI Pro matrices.  Instead, I use CC#4, because that CC# appears on the pop-up window in the Hyperdraw subwindow of the Piano Roll (small square at the bottom left of Piano Roll), saving me an extra pop-up trip to the "Other" selection where I finally reach CC#3.

IMac, 2.9 GHz Intel 4 Core i5, 32 GB, OSX 10.10.1
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