Solved…There is a way to reproduce the way Mutes used to work on Rack Instruments in versions of Cubase before the VST Instrument Track was introduced. It’s reasonably elegant . There’s a bit of a story as to why I’m backtracking on my original feature suggestion. A bit wordy, but stay with me if this is a subject of interest to you.
After going back and forth (offline) with Vic France discussing this idea, I finally understood what Vic was trying to explain to me in his post; in that VST Instrument audio was not being muted absolutely when a Mute button is pressed. He pointed out that this could easily be observed, using a VST Instrument that has built in effects, like reverb or echo.
Press Mute and the MIDI note stops at the point of Mute but, the effect(s) tail-outs continue on. I’ve never noticed that before. My mistake. My apologies.
In the course of our conversation, Vic identified the manner in which Cubase Mutes a VST Instrument:
When a Mute is sent to a VST Instrument or Rack Instrument, Cubase sends out a MIDI Reset command that immediately stops the MIDI note playing and any controller at that point (the Mute button might in fact be sending a CC#120 “All Sound Off” message, but there’s no way to actually monitor that). This means if you were using a synth with a lot of release and/or a sustain pedal, the mute will cut the sound of the VST Instrument short right at the point of mute, but any incorporated audio effects will continue to ring out. The Mute is stopping the MIDI input to the VST, not the audio output of the VST.
On the other hand, if you use the Mute Tool on a Part, the note(s) stop, but not until they finish out the length they were recorded at, coupled with the synths envelope settings and/or any underlying sustain pedal command. This “mute” behaves the way Cubase used to work long ago. The downside to this method is that using the Mute Tool is not automatable.
Vic figured out a solution that creates an alternate automatable mute function that (and this is the important part) doesn’t send a MIDI Reset command to the target VST Instrument. In other words, this works the same way as the Mute Tool does on a Part. This works on both a VST Instrument track or a Rack VST Instrument MIDI Track.
In the Inspector, open the MIDI Inserts menu and add a Transformer. Turn it on. Click its Editor button and set the Transformer like this, in the top pane:
• Filter Target = Type Is
• Condition = All Types
• Parameter = Note.
On the bottom of the Transformer, open the Function menu and select: Delete.
Save it as “Vics Mute” for future use. ClickMe
If you click on the MIDI Insert/Transformer’s Power button, it will now Mute the data on the track, but not send a Reset MIDI command….letting any recorded MIDI note length, release envelope and/or sustain controller to continue playing…and finally stop when they are finished.
Because the MIDI Insert is an active Track element, its Power button is automatable. This works a charm!
But there’s a bit more. As we were trying this out, we were kicking around ideas to make the process more elegant.
This brought me back to my original suggestion of an alternate Mute function. I’ve thought about this and have concluded that it would limit the prime functionality of the Mute button because it would force a “one or the other” situation.
We thought about adding a modifier key while clicking Mute. This could provide both types of functionality…but ultimately, it’d create a nightmare trying to identify what kind of mute was used and even worse: how to edit them.
Vic’s solution mimics the Mute Tool’s functionality and provides a way to automate and edit its behavior from the Track’s Inspector. And it isn’t hard to set up.
I’ve said it before: Vic France is a treasure to this forum.