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Build your own AU3 custom templates in LPX 10.4.5
Last post Fri, Aug 09 2019 by Dewdman42, 12 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 16:49
by Macker
Joined on Tue, Aug 21 2018, London, Posts 49

Right up front I'd better let you know you'll have to open the Environment to do this. Techie awkwardness ahoy! Apple haven't yet fully integrated AU3 functionality into Logic 10.4.5 but what's there now is very useful if you don't mind doing a tiny bit of tech admin in the Environment. Still want to boldly go? Really, it's not that bad so let's go.

First thing to know: in LPX 10.4.5 we can now use Software Instrument tracks to provide access to more than one port in each instance of VEP7, with the added performance advantage of highly robust AU3 end-to-end communications integrity, rather than the older port-addressing technique used in VSL's pre-AU3 multiport workaround. (Note that VSL used the word "workaround" with good reason; it wasn't offered as a full production-standard solution. It was a good workaround while waiting for AU3 but it's open to certain highly technical questions which simply don't arise for AU3. So please don't go bashing VSL).

AU3 port assignment is not currently available in Logic's MIDI instrument tracks but it does appear possible to construct multi-port operation using MIDI Standard Instruments and Multi-Instruments, each connected in the Environment directly to a Software Instrument object that is assigned to a VEP7-AU3 Port; I'll cover that in another post, after some more experiments and testing.

We use only one Logic Software Instrument per VEP7/AU3 instance. This acts as the VEP client software instrument device in Logic for all ports and channels in an entire VEP server instance. All the additional tracks created after the first one (up to 768 tracks in total, but currently only 127 MIDI channels max) that are to connect to one VEP instance are merely hidden copies of the client software instrument track strip device in which you have a VEP/AU3 plugin inserted, except that each copy has its own port and channel assignments. Currently, any MIDI FX or MIDI scripts you plug in to the VEP client software instrument will affect outgoing MIDI streams on all ports identically. You won't see any of these instrument copies in the mixer pane of Logic's Main window, but they'll all be there in the Environment's Mixer Layer. More on that in a moment.

The Procedure

1. Launch the VEP7 server. Starting with a completely empty Logic project, create the first software instrument and insert a VEP7/AU3 plugin. You should now be able to see MIDI channel (default "All") and Port (default "1") assignments in the Track Inspector of Logic's Main window. Connect the plugin to an instance of the server.

2. Let's set up 16 single-channel tracks for Port 1. Set MIDI Channel to 1 in the Track Inspector. With Instr 1 track in the track list selected, hit [Ctrl]+[Return] or top-bar menu item Track/Other/New Track With Next Channel, 15 times. Stack these tracks in a folder if you wish. Now you have 16 tracks on one port, each on its own channel.

No need to agonise over the choice between omni (MIDI Channel: All) or single channel tracks at this stage - the steps below will enable you to manage your options later. You can at any future time add more tracks to a port without necessarily having to delete or change anything already done. This ability to layer many tracks in a single port is useful for assigning several omni tracks to one multitimbral Kontakt player in VEP, thereby allowing you to choose an instrument in Kontakt simply by assigning note channel numbers in the score. It's especially handy for changing between tutti and two divisi parts in one staff.

3. Next comes the tricky part: how to create more tracks and assign them to other VEP ports. Having tried lots of other ways, I've settled on this one cuz it works cleanly and predictably.

Create an empty new software instrument (i.e. with no VEP or any other plugin). Now open an Environment window and select the Mixer Layer. You'll see 16 track strip objects representing the 16 tracks you created in step 2, along with the new Instr 2 you've just created, plus some default strips belonging to the mixer. Might be a good idea to tidy it up a bit before you go further - it can get messy.

Select Software Instrument 2 that you've just created and look in the Object Inspector panel. It won't show any Port assignment yet. In the "Channel" assignment field (second one down in the Inspector list) open the popup menu and select "Inst 1". You now have another track connected to the VEP plugin in the first software instrument you created at the top of step 1. Software Instrument 2 has gone. Next down in the Object Inspector list, set "MIDI Channel" to 1 (or leave it at "All" for an omni track) and "Port" to 2. 

Hop back to Logic's Main window and satisfy yourself that this new track in the track list is now assigned to Instrument 1, Channel 1, Port 2. You can now use the process in step 2 above to add more channels to this port.

If you created an omni track you'll then need to repeat step 3 if you want to layer more tracks (single channel or omni) into the same port. Also, if during step 2 you happen to try and add another track when all 16 channels are already assigned to the port (by an omni track, for example), then Logic will automatically create a new software instrument which is separate from the VEP client instrument; in this case you can easily re-assign the new track back to the VEP client instrument and a port that you want, as described above in this step.

4. And that's it, basically. For each new port you want to assign new tracks to, or in order to layer more tracks into a port that already has 16 channels assigned, create another new empty Software Instrument then hop into the Environment and re-assign this new instrument to the software instrument that already has the targeted VEP instance plugged in.

Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 18:49
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 351

You can also just copy and paste the first 16 mixer channel objects in the environment, then you'll have 32, 48, etc.  You can do it 7 times to have a total of 127  mixer channel objects...and each one will be using the same underlying Inst object, probably Inst1, but have its own channel and port assignment.

However it will not work properly beyond 8 ports.  And channel 16 of port 8 will not work either.  So up to port8, channel15 is the max you can go before you have to use a new VEP instance, as of now, due to limitations in LogicPro.

The templates provided by VSL basically already have all of these created for you, so there is not much point in not using them. 

Except for some reason, none of hte above is working for me in LPX 10.4.5, on neither of my macs.  its a complete mystery to me why it doesn't work for me and does work for you.  Until that is resolved, I'm on 10.4.4 where it works fine.

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.46ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 20:23
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 443

This worked for me.  Thanks for the insight.

Dewdman, you need to increase your audio outputs per instance preference in VE Pro Server to 50 for the multi output version of the plugin to work.

Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 20:33
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 351

Originally Posted by: dbudde Go to Quoted Post

This worked for me.  Thanks for the insight.

Dewdman, you need to increase your audio outputs per instance preference in VE Pro Server to 50 for the multi output version of the plugin to work.

No I don't.  What I am mentioning above has nothing at all to do with with audio.  its the midi ports.  Martin and Paul have informed us already that LPX is currently limited to 127 midi channels per VEP instance.

LPX 10.4.4 is limited to 16 stereo outs and LPX 10.4.5 is limited to 25 stereo outs, but I am not using 10.4.5 due to bugs, including the AU3 plugin doesn't work for me on either of my macs.

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.46ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 20:46
by dbudde
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2003, Seattle,WA USA, Posts 443

I was referring to getting it to work at all.  The plugin doesn't load unless you have allocated enough audio outputs in your server preferences.

I agree about the midi channel limitation of 127.

Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 20:51
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 351

Originally Posted by: dbudde Go to Quoted Post

I was referring to getting it to work at all.  The plugin doesn't load unless you have allocated enough audio outputs in your server preferences.

I agree about the midi channel limitation of 127.

Thanks!  Trying now....

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.46ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Sat, Jun 15 2019 20:59
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 351

Thanks dbudde, that indeed seems to have fixed VEPAU3 on LPX 10.4.5.  Not only that, but some other seemingly unrelated bugs are now not happening.  Bizzare!  But makes me happy to have 10.4.5 closer to "not buggy" status.  ;-)

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.46ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Mon, Jun 17 2019 10:32
by Macker
Joined on Tue, Aug 21 2018, London, Posts 49

Edited my post at the top of this thread, hopefully adding a bit of clarification here and there.

Posted on Thu, Aug 08 2019 18:07
by Peter Project
Joined on Thu, Mar 04 2010, TORONTO ON, Posts 7

Hey.

So... this is weird. 

I'm not getting any "Port" field in my inspector. 

Am I nuts? 

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Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 00:39
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 351

Are you sure that track is assigned to a channel with the VEP AU3 plugin?

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.46ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 14:37
by Peter Project
Joined on Thu, Mar 04 2010, TORONTO ON, Posts 7

yea! Positive!

Even when using the Au3 Template, with an instance of VEP AU3, I can't see the port. This is weirding me out. 

Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 17:10
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 351
Dunno. Let’s see the whole project
5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.46ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
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