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Bluecat Pathwork VST synth inside VEPro?
Last post Mon, May 10 2021 by rwbmuse, 22 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 05:05
by Duggle
Joined on Tue, Jul 02 2019, Posts 14

I want to use midi processing plugins before the instrument in VEPro 7.

I'm trying to use Bluecat Patchwork as I have done in other hosts for this reason: very flexible routing of midi and audio paths within an instance.

Patchwork has been mentioned in other threads here, but I'm finding it crashes the VEPro server. The test case is Ableton 10, 64bit Vepro on local host, Patchwork loaded into an instance, and any 64bit VSTi I've tried. I've had identical results with 32bit Vepro, and 32bit plugins.

The midi light on the instance channel flashes with the first few notes that are played but then goes dead. The instrument does not make a sound. Things become unresponsive and I have to kill the server. 

How do I use Patchwork with VEPro 7?

Thanks for any help.

Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 07:37
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12877

Hi Duggle, 

I'm afraid VE Pro is not ready for MIDI processing plug-ins. There has been very litlle interest for it so far, so it is unfortunately not high on our wishlist. 

Sorry to have no better news. 

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 10:32
by Duggle
Joined on Tue, Jul 02 2019, Posts 14

I understand the limitation of VEPro to host only one input (instrument) plugin hence cannot host a midi VST ahead of main instrument of the instance.

This is why I want to use BlueCatAudio Patchwork which, as a single VSTi can itself host multiple instruments in series and/or parallel. This is a viable solution that I use in other contexts.

The problem I'm having is that Patchwork is crashing the VEPro server. I cannot be sure but I feel that this may be a current limitation/bug in VEPro 7.  Threads like this seem to indicate that people have used Patchwork within VEPro. 

Could the developers of VEPro please try the demo of Patchwork to verify?

https://www.bluecataudio.com/Download/Products/

Many thanks.

Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 17:08
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809
You can also try plogue bidule which I have gotten to work and imagine-Line modular (free). I seem to recall that the AU version worked while the VST crashed, for some reason. I can’t remember what happened with bluecat I did try it too I will try again soon. There can also sometimes be some gui update issues with some of these inside vep.

I also wish vep had a midifx slot which could be very useful for articulation management in the future but as of now a good articulation management midi plugin doesn’t really exist so it’s a chicken or the egg problem. Some other midi plugins could be useful for other reasons though. You can always put the midi plugin in the daw but from Logic Pro that can be problematic with multi timbral use into vep and that’s where a midi plugin slot would be useful.
Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 18:08
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

Yea never mind.  Spent a few minutes this morning.  PlogueBidule....crash.  BlueCat...screwed up GUI (probably related to HiDPI) it might have crashed eventually.  Image-line Modular...crash.  I'm out of options.  I did get PlogueBidule to work for a little while, the midi plugin was doing its thing and it worked...but crashed VEP7 within 5 minutes.

Posted on Fri, Aug 09 2019 23:52
by Duggle
Joined on Tue, Jul 02 2019, Posts 14

Thanks for testing all those.

Yes, there are scenarios where puting the midi plugin in the DAW host side does not do it for you. Ableton's lame midi implementation (no polypressure, midi channels (!), or sysex) mean that such messages are not transferred plugin to plugin. So support for a chainer of some sort fixes this. I digress.

I would like to be able to design potentially complex instrument setups and save as instances (VEPRo project files) that could be used with different DAW hosts.

BlueCat products seem to be high quality software, so I think it would be a positive move if VSL engineers tried Patchwork to see what is going on with that. The results could improve VEPro's compatability with other plugins as well.  

Posted on Sat, Aug 10 2019 03:40
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

DDMF MetaPlugin seems to be working inside VEP7 without crashing (so far)....

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Posted on Sat, Aug 10 2019 13:54
by Duggle
Joined on Tue, Jul 02 2019, Posts 14

Indeed , it does seem stable. I'm trying the demo.

BTW; Protoplug looks interesting. Seems to have very little GUI widgets for use in scripts, though.

Posted on Sat, Aug 10 2019 14:15
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

Bluecat’s scripter has more gui stuff if you want that.  Protoplug does actually have some GUI stuff though I just don't use it.  Not as much as Bluecat, but its there for simple GUI stuff.  Better then LogicPro's Scripter plugin, not as good as BlueCat's.

Posted on Thu, Aug 15 2019 11:54
by Duggle
Joined on Tue, Jul 02 2019, Posts 14

Oh no! MetaPlugin also crashes VEPro7.

Unfortunately I had to pay for MetaPlugin to see this. The demo does not allow saving so I did not see that the crash happens on loading :-(

Posted on Thu, Aug 15 2019 13:48
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

Originally Posted by: Duggle Go to Quoted Post

Oh no! MetaPlugin also crashes VEPro7.

Unfortunately I had to pay for MetaPlugin to see this. The demo does not allow saving so I did not see that the crash happens on loading :-(

sorry to hear that news.  The fact that all 4 of the subhosters I have can easily cause VEP7 to crash, is I think something that hsould be investigated by VSL.  They don't crash my DAW's.

Posted on Mon, Jun 29 2020 05:00
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

Just wanna update this a year later..

As of today, the major plugin sub-hosters I have tried do not function inside VePro7.  That includes

  1. Plogue Bidule
  2. DDMF MetaPlugin
  3. BlueCatAudio PatchWorks

Main reason many of us need this is in order to do articulation management with midi VST2 and AUmfx plugins before hitting the instrument.

I have found a new free sub-hoster which appears to work and so far hasn't crashed VePro7 yet!

https://kushview.net

Seems to work!  Its based on JUCE, so pretty standard compatibility and somehow it has not crashed VePro7 yet (knock on wood)

Note to VSL, PLEASE consider putting a midi fx plugin slot above the instrument.  This would not be that difficult to do and it would enable us to to articulation management that is sometimes needed.  That would be preferable to using a sub-hoster for various reasons, including that when I put ViPro or Synchron inside a sub-hoster, then VePro doesn't automatically detect it and handle it smoothly in MirPro, etc..  So one plugin slot in front of the instrument slot in order for articulation management would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted on Mon, Jun 29 2020 05:14
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

Now if I could only figure out how to make attached images be displayed in my post....

Posted on Wed, Jul 01 2020 02:33
by Duggle
Joined on Tue, Jul 02 2019, Posts 14

I like Element, thanks for the tip!

It does work for, me though I'll have to do a lot more testing for stability. It seems very good example of a hosting plugin so far.

It would be much better if VEP developers could simply place additional FX slot(s) before the instrument! 

Posted on Fri, Jul 10 2020 16:14
by richhickey
Joined on Wed, Nov 01 2017, Posts 52

Originally Posted by: Paul Go to Quoted Post

Hi Duggle, 

I'm afraid VE Pro is not ready for MIDI processing plug-ins. There has been very litlle interest for it so far, so it is unfortunately not high on our wishlist. 

Sorry to have no better news. 

Best, 
Paul

How do you measure such interest? Is there a place for making feature requests and voting on them? It seems like most feature requests here just get ignored and we get whatever is already on the roadmap VSL defines.

There were several people interested in this, many interested in more precise CC control in Synchron player, many interested in being able to play trills in Synchron player as we can in VI Pro etc.

Posted on Fri, Jul 10 2020 20:46
by bbelius
Joined on Sat, Mar 14 2015, Posts 883

Hi,

We evaluate each request internally and put them on our wish-list.
This list is quite long with many interesting suggestions, submitted by our team and/or by our community.
So we have to prioritize on which feature we can work next.

Thanks for your patience.

Best, Ben

Ben
Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Fri, Jul 10 2020 21:10
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

If we can be philosophical and hypothetical for a moment about what would make a nice addition in this particular area....  i also wish we had this capability, but mainly its only due to articulation management challenges while working with different sample libraries, including VSL, together with DAW's that simply have not enough articulation management features built in, or in some cases none.

Another route VSL could go would be to identify the specific reasons people are asking for a midi plugin slot and instead just build that functionality into VePro somehow, especially as pertains to articulation management. 

Some DAW's barely provide enough capability and even Cubase and LogicPro are deficient in this way.  Maybe VePro could just close the gap on articulation management itself, without introducing an open ended midi plugin slot?  So what are the issues?

  1. Being able to map a single keyswitch of any type(CC, Note, etc)  into multiple keyswitches of different types.

  2. Channelize notes based on an incoming keyswitch.  While channelizing notes, make sure to channelize all automation along with it.  In VePro this might mean directing channelized events to a different instrument channel also.

  3. Latency correction, some instruments have different amounts of sample attack latency per-articulation, which makes it challenging to quantize performances on the grid.  Need a way to specify on a per-articulation basis how much negative track delay to use.  This can be accomplished by using a CC value to specify which articulation is active and then applying a certain amount of negative track delay.  You have to add more latency in order to have lookahead and be able to add negative track delay, but it's possible.

  4. Using named automation to drive which keyswitches should be applied, and/or channelizing the note events based on the current "articulation" as specified by automation.

  5. Able to listen to a separate midi channel for the articulation definitions to come, compared to the channel with the notes, so that in some cases, DAW's without any articulation management can use a separate track to hold articulation-definition events such as keyswitches that they want to keep out of the score and pianoroll of the source trac.

  6. etc.  

Really, there are half a dozen or so key issues that many people are facing and really VSL could create an extremely large and effective reason/justification for using VePro at all if they filled in the cracks of articulation management and did so in a way that even DAW's without any articulation management capabilities whatsoever would be greatly enhanced in this area by using VePro.

I do think adding a midi plugin slot would be at least a hundred times easier then everything I mentioned above, then just let someone else develop a midi plugin to do everything I mentioned above.  Or users can use script plugins, etc...and get it done.  But really, this is an area where VSL has an opportunity to deliver a solution for a problem that nobody has really addressed adequately in my view:  articulation management.

Just my two cents...

Posted on Sat, Jul 11 2020 19:28
by richhickey
Joined on Wed, Nov 01 2017, Posts 52

Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post

Another route VSL could go would be to identify the specific reasons people are asking for a midi plugin slot and instead just build that functionality into VePro somehow, especially as pertains to articulation management.

That's a fine idea. We don't need our answer, we need the problem solved.

Here's the problem - and I'm limiting it to just being a consumer of ($14,000+ worth of) VSL sample library products:

Whether it's VI Pro or Synchron player, VSL requires more keyswitches/commands to be sent per articulation/patch change than any other product. In VI Pro it was matrix/X/Y, and sometimes A/B switch (4). With Synchron player, the sky's the limit.

VSL has a reputation for being hard to use and this is exactly why. Solving this problem in a DAW or notation program is a lot of work, and every articulation system is different. So not many people do it, and not nearly as many people use VSL as could.

What do I want instead of 4-6 commands per articulation? I want to send a single PC/CC. There are rarely more than 128 patches in an instance, and I'd be happy to live with that limit. Within the instance I want to be able to say PC/CC 42 = this patch, PC/CC 27 = that patch. That's it. I'm not playing this live, I don't want my hands on 5 controllers, I don't want extra keyswitch notes on my tracks, I don't want to have to record keyswitch/CC dumps or anything else. Nothing about solving this need get in the way of also supporting multidimensional live control.

This is what I use MIDI scripting for - turning a single PC/CC into the pile of commands that VSL requires. Obviously this could be solved in the VI/Synchron players, or VEP.

The other thing I always use MIDI scripting for with VSL is making it so CC2 can be interpreted as velocity when VelXF is OFF. That is, I want to use the CC2 value for the dynamic without the crossfading. This also could be supported as a mode right in the players.

In any case, the biggest point is that this desire/need is driven by VSL's sample products themselves. It's not an abstract "wouldn't it be cool" thing. I really don't want to have to use BlueCat Plug'nScript or Logic's Scripter etc. But VSL sampling products are just too cumbersome to use without, IMO.

Posted on Sat, Jul 11 2020 20:33
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 809

I don't particularly think VSL instruments are any more cumbersome then others, in fact quite the opposite, they are quite flexible.  There is nothing stopping you, for example, from putting all of your articulations in Synchron Player under one super tall column (dimension), and only need a single keyswitch for each articulation.  You can reassign keyswitches and CC's to various aspects of sample playback better then just about any other sample player I can think of.  

Yes, the factory defaults happen to be setup in a way with 4-5 dimensions, which means you need to send perhaps 4-5 keyswitches using those arrangements, but you can rearrange your own presets however you want and can avoid multiple keyswitches..  ViPro also you can arrange presets using only a single row of X-based keyswitches if you want.

Yes, I would also prefer to not have to recreate entirely new dimension trees, in Synchron player, I'd rather be able to use the existing factory presets as is.

But the bigger problem has to do with DAW's themselves.  Many DAW's have nothing at all provided to facilitate articulation switching on the fly.  Lots of sample libraries handle things slightly differently, so any kind of articulation management system needs to be flexible.  Only 3 DAW's really provide any kind of solution, none perfect.  LogicPro has Articulation Sets, cubase has expression maps, and StudioOne5 now has a very rudimentary keyswitch lane which can send only a single keyswitch at a time.

There is also a third party extension for Reaper which can add some capability.

In the case of LogicPro and Cubase, they are still deficient, I have listed above in my earlier post some of the specific things that they did not address and still cause composers to jump through way too many hoops and challenges, usually kind of complicated also.  On top of that many are trying to incorporate Lemur and other touch pad interfaces into their workflow, which further complicates the matter of how to choose articulations on the fly as they are playing in parts, etc.

I personally see a huge opportunity here for VSL to provide a generic solution that will expand the articulation management of ANY daw when used in conjunction with VePro.  Presently, VePro usually adds an additional level of complexity that usually makes articulation management even MORE difficult then without it.

Posted on Sun, Jul 12 2020 12:36
by richhickey
Joined on Wed, Nov 01 2017, Posts 52

Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post

I don't particularly think VSL instruments are any more cumbersome then others, in fact quite the opposite, they are quite flexible.  There is nothing stopping you, for example, from putting all of your articulations in Synchron Player under one super tall column (dimension), and only need a single keyswitch for each articulation.  You can reassign keyswitches and CC's to various aspects of sample playback better then just about any other sample player I can think of.  

Yes, the factory defaults happen to be setup in a way with 4-5 dimensions, which means you need to send perhaps 4-5 keyswitches using those arrangements, but you can rearrange your own presets however you want and can avoid multiple keyswitches..  ViPro also you can arrange presets using only a single row of X-based keyswitches if you want.

You are making a theoretical argument but have you actually tried these things? Synchron player does not offer scrollbars on dimensions and shrinks everything down to an unreadable and unusable size as a single dimension grows.

And VI Pro only offers 12 slots per X/Y dimension, even if the controller is a CC. Sure you could make dozens of single-cell matrices and drive VI Pro via program change but that is clearly antithetical to the design. VSL's intended design takes more control messages than any other. A single-dimensional control method can be offered orthogonally - e.g. Spitfire's UACC system (although the universality of that was an overreach). XSamples libs have a 2-D keyswitch system but also offer access to all 88 patches via a single CC, right out of the box. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate VSL's flexibility otherwise and I think a lot of the challenges come from their increased depth of sampling, which I also value.

As far as the initial ask (MIDI scripting in VEP). Sure, we can talk about the shortcomings of DAWs etc and make arguments for this (we agree) but there is already an example of this feature on the market and it is available with the vast majority of VSL's competitors - the Kontakt ecosystem.

Kontakt player, like VEP, can host multiple VI instances, albeit only Kontakt ones. And right at the top of every multi there are slots for KSP scripts. People value this capability and it gets used. If you have a lib that only uses keyswitches and you want to use CCs, you can fix it. If you want to route across multiple instances you can do it, channelize, conditionally filter etc. Thus every Kontakt instrument supports MIDI input scripting but no VSL instrument does and no VSL product can add it.

So I'll change the argument - Kontakt multis offer both MIDI script slots and a built-in scripting language for them, why doesn't VEP?

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