Automating multiple synths with Midi CC control/automation

As seen in this video, I want to use my Keylab 88 midi controller to control the cut-offs of the VSTs and record automation, but I cant get this right. No previous setup wat done, earlier in the original video…

PLEASE can someone help me! I’ve tried Quick Controls but they only work on each channel, but NOT from the MIDI SEND channel that controls the other synths. I CAN on the other hand play all the synths together with the MIDI SEND channel, but the knobs and sliders don’t have an effect. Their Midi light DO go on when turning the knobs on the controller, though.

Generic Remote

That puppy lets you remote control almost everything in the DAW. This includes, but is not limited to all registered VST parameters from all your loaded plugins!

With all of the plugins and instruments you want to remote control loaded…

Create a Generic Remote map and use that to bind your incoming MIDI CC to the DAW Parameters/commands you wish to adjust.

If you need the same CC to work multiple controls at once…stack maps (have more than one map). If you have a duplicate event in the same map, only the first one gets triggered. In contrast, if you have multiple maps listening they will all trigger.

Remember to export a copy of your generic remote maps to a backup file somewhere. Not sure why, but sometimes Cubase forgets it if you close the app right after building it, or it doesn’t work if you don’t export a copy.

These settings are NOT saved with individual projects, but rather, are global DAW settings. So, it’s a good idea to export a copy into your Project folder, and include notes about it in a README, or in the notes section of the Cubase project should you revisit the project again in the distant future.

To record this stuff, you’ll find the related automation lanes in your project and use the R(ead) W(write) buttons as normal.

Note, these will be ‘static bindings’, and will always be active (active by plugin or DAW control order) or unless you disconnect the map. With that in mind, use alternate ports, presets (in your keyboard, or in the Generic Remote map), and such to keep this stuff isolated from other things you want to do in the DAW if possible.

I.E. In my case I have MKP261 here that is generous with pots, faders, transport controls, MPC pads, and more. Stuff I want to run Generic Remote maps, I always send out Port 2. Stuff I want to control a VSTi directly via MIDI I’ll send over port 1. Things I want to run Quick Controls, well, sometimes I use both ports…just depends really. I can quickly dial up different presets on my MPK. One if I want to run the MIXING console, another if I want to run the control room, another if I want to do some step input stuff in the score editor (MPC pads to move the cursor around and swap grid/note values), etc.

Be aware that changing the order of stuff in your project can effect this stuff sometimes. I.E. If you have 4 instances of the same plugin loaded, then unload the first, add it back later…the binding might shift to an unexpected instance of the plugin…so double check these things from project to project, or if you make major changes in the ORDER that things live in your daw. Including simple things like ‘track order’. If your keyboard doesn’t have presets, or you’re just fresh out of room to make more, you can also build presets in the Generic Maps themselves…either use your mouse to swap them out, or assign keys, MIDI events, whatever to swap among them.

Anytime they are in your way, you can simply set the Generic Remote’s input to NONE, and it’ll just sit there harmlessly.

Note, you can also get more creative if you install a virtual MIDI port and route your controller through MIDI tracks first. Typically these will be ‘empty’ tracks that you’re just using to reroute things, but you CAN record to them too! Or use your Key/List editors to draw in relevant controller stuff, process with logic editors, etc.

I.E. MIDI Keyboard > Cubase MIDI Track > Virtual Port > Generic Map

In that case, you could simply arm/disarm monitor/record on different MIDI tracks to activate/deactivate the controls, record them in MIDI format, run transformers and stuff, and more.

Thanks for this information. I’ll get to it as soon as I’m fully awake. It’s 0530 here now :slight_smile:
This seems very complex. I’m a noob when it comes to cubase. I literally changed from Ableton this weekend

SO I’ve created a Generic Remote map of my 10 Pots and 9 sliders. How do I setup Pot 1 to always trigger Filter Cut-off on my synths? Will it be possible to set it up so just the active synth gets triggered and multiple synth triggered when using a midi send like in the video?
I’ve just figured out how to use VST Quick Control and setup each parameter of each type of synth to each of the 8 controls. Now when I select that instrument, the Pot works. But I still cant get the pot to have an effect when I select the MIDI SEND channel that plays BOTH synths.
PS: What is that small controller used in the video?
UPDATE : I’m unable to even record midi pot and slider data into the MIDI track(only notes), which is suppose to send midi data to the instrument tracks! Can someone please help

I’m seriously fed up with Cubase!

  1. The only way i can get my midi knobs to record in the midi channel is if I disable quick controls
  2. The cc data gets recorded into clips and not on the automation lane
  3. The data in the midi lane has NO affect on the instrument channels it sends to.

PLEASE HELP. I’m losing my mind here

OK, Quick controls just work one track or plugin at a time.

Forget routing through a MIDI channel I mentioned at one point for now. That’s a more advanced bonus that requires a virtual port and stuff. Eventually you might take advantage of it, even if only to ‘reroute’ things to different Generic Remotes.

Start with one generic remote map, assign your MIDI controller to its ‘input’. Bind a fader or something to a control you want to control.

Example: Say you bound it to the wet/dry control pot of a reverb plugin.

You should be able to open that plugin instance and see the control working when you move the fader/pot/whatever.

Next, you’d find the automation lane in your project for that reverb. There will be Green and Red buttons R/W, or read write.

To record fader movements, you’ll need the W button toggled on.

For the DAW to play the automation, you need the R button toggled on.

If you need/want to have a single control do TWO THINGS at the same time (I.E. work the wet/dry pot of your reverb, while ALSO doing the same thing to a Chorus plugin), then you’ll need stack another map.

Otherwise, you can have one map with many bindings to whatever you want.

Generic Remotes are ‘static’ in nature, and instance/track order can matter. They’re also global settings, not part of the project.

I.E. Say you have fader 1 set to control the volume fader for the first track on your mixer, and it’s a Drum Kit. Fader 2 is set to do track 2 on the mixer, and it has a bass guitar.

If you changed the order of these, now the Bass volume is on fader 1, and the Drum Kit is on Fader 1.

Same with plugins. Say you had 8 instances of a compressor…same plugin across 8 tracks. It might happen that if you took out the 4th instance, controls for all the subsequent instances would drop one place.

That can be confusing at first…with a little practice you’ll figure it out though. It won’t be uncommon to keep opening that Remote Map and making little changes to it as needs arise.

PS, What I do to avoid conflicts between the Generic Remote stuff, and the Quick Controls is:

If I want a fader to do Quick Controls, I’ll send it over port one on my MPK2. If I want it to do Generic Remote stuff, I’ll send it over port 2.

If your controller doesn’t have multiple MIDI ports, you can isolate by MIDI channels. I.E. Use Channel 1 for QC, and Channel 2 for GR.

I have different arrangements of controls programmed into my MPK for different purposes…I change the presets on the unit itself.

I.E. Cubase1 preset when I want to drive my mixing console with a General Remote map. Cubase2 preset when I want to use Quick Controls. Cubase3 when I want to step-input with a MIDI editor.


So what I got right before your response was this :
Because each VSTs buttons are mapped to different CCs, I’ve set up Spire’s Remote Control Map (pull-down menu on right of synth) and Sylenth1’s remote control map so that Quick Control 1 affects each VST’s cutoff.
I then created a Generic map so that Knob one on my Control affects Quick Control 1,no matter which VST or instance of it, I select.

My bigger issue now is that when I have a MIDI track that sends data to both these instruments, only the notes I play or record in the midi track gets sent to them. Any knob or fader changes I make while in the midi track, does not go through the two set up sends to the two instruments. Automation data is recorded in a clip in the midi track and not in an automation lane…

I’m so close, yet so far off still

Light Blub…maybe.

Check these settings:
Main Menu: MIDI/CC Automation Setup

Maybe that will help?
You can divert them to lanes, or MIDI parts from there.

This looks promising, thanks…

So your last post worked to fix the recording of MIDI CC data into the automation lane. Whichever track I select, I can record MIDI CC data now.

If I record midi CC in the midi send channel that sends to the two instrument channels, I can see that both synths’ LED lights register the incoming midi CC. But how do I connect THAT incoming cc data to the synth parameters? I’m almost there it seems :slight_smile:

Can vary according to the plugin/synth.

I.E. For something in HALion/Sonic, right click a control in the plugin, click learn, move the control. Done.

Some Synths already have a CC assigned. Set the MIDI controller to use it.

Some might not use the same ‘right click’ method to learn a control as HALion, but may still have some way. If you can’t find it, and the synth does have ‘VST’ parameters, you can try the generic display of the VST and see if you can bind a CC to something there.

My VSTs don’t have right click functionality. The only way I can link CCs to VST knobs are with the remote control Editor on the synth pull-down menu on the right

My one VST has a learn function but that binds that one instance to the CC. I can’t setup each synth I load. Surely there has to be a way like in the video? I have exactly the same VST as used there.

UPDATE : So it seems that I have to use a synth’s midi learn to achieve what I want. Unfortunately not all synths have a midi learn :frowning:

Correct…if the thing you want to remote control is based on a VST parameter, there are ways (top right corner of a VSTi plugin interface…look for a drop down menu that has the option (switch to generic editor).

If it’s listed somewhere in the generic view, you can usually right click it, assign to a QC.

If you’d like to bind directly instead of to a QC, in that same little menu…check out the “Remote Control” editor. Again, if it’s a VST parameter, you can sometimes bind there. (There is a learn mode button)

Some instruments don’t register a VST parameter with the host for things that can be automated, so look deeper into the synth to see if there is a way to assign a specific CC, or if one is already assigned.

Example: ARIA Player (Garritan) doesn’t register the controls of a SFZ instrument as VST. It does usually say near the control what CC can control it. These controls are defined in the instrument’s SFZ opcodes.

Many instruments might not be able to ‘learn’ through the VSTi interface, and might not have listed controllers, but will use a MIDI Matrix of some sort deep in a specific sound’s settings to bind continuous controller to synth parameters. Many use default standards, or even stick to General MIDI conventions.

Quick question: The first table in the Generic Remote Device, should those flags be Receive or Transmit?

If you are directly automating a synth like this, you shouldn’t need the Generic Remote Map. The track just needs to be armed, and the toggle the R/W buttons for respective lanes accordingly.

The Generic Remote is things you want to bind statically as ALWAYS AVAILABLE to remote control…doesn’t matter if things are armed or not. It remote controls the DAW itself, and anything in it.

The reason I brought it up, was somewhat out of confusion. I thought you were looking for a way temporarily control several things at once, with a single control, up in the Mixer Inserts (VST Effects).

Yes, when you start using those, you’ll have them ‘receive’. It’s unlikely you’ll use the ‘transmit’ stuff unless you have motorized faders, or lights and stuff to bounce back events for (Transmits/Echos to whatever is set for Out Port).

To begin with, keep it simple on the Generic Remotes. Maybe set some things to run the transport (If your controller has transport buttons), run the main mixing console or control room, etc.

Once you get the hang of that, you can do a good bit more with it, but you WILL want to keep stuff you do in here somewhat isolated from things you want to do to VSTi instruments directly on tracks. I.E. Make a bank/preset on your MIDI Controller that uses a second port to run the mixing desk in track-order. Perhaps assigns pots to control some of your primary FX inserts on the Mains that you tend to keep loaded in a template in the same place, for most every project you do, etc.

I’ve tried 3 different synth now and the ONLY one that I can control 3 at the same time is the one with the Midi Learn function. I had to “learn” each one’s cutoff filter and could then operate all 3 with a midi send channel. The rest are dead in the water. I’ve tried Quick controls and Generic Controls. The best I can get with that is using the Remote Control Edit pull down menu and set each of the 8 slots to what they need to do and then use the generic Remote to assign Pot1 to Quick Control 1 and then every synth I’ve set up, pot 01 with operate QC 01. But only one at a time. They CANNOT be operated more than one at a time.

I can thus only operate “Midi Learn” Synths, in chorus.

I cannot produce if I can’t layer synths and play them together as I’m layering them!

OK, I’m confused at what you want to do.

Are you trying to move more than one thing in the same synth and track with a single fader/pot?

Are you trying to move stuff in more than one instrument/track at the same time?

Are the things you want to control in multiple plugins, or just one?

BTW, here’s a copy of my personal MPK2 maps if you’d like to load them and have a look.

First map listens on port one only for transport controls that my MPK2 sends (stop, play, rewind, etc.).

Second map can also do transport if it hears those, and can run the Cubase Mixing Console.