Automation of VST parameters via MIDI Controller

Hi all, possibly a basic question re: automation.

I can map (using MIDI learn) my VST controls to my keyboard knobs/faders (Arturia KeyLab Mk2) so that they affect the sound, however this doesn’t register when recording automation - to do this I need to move the controls with my mouse.

The exception is with Arturia’s Analog Lab - the knobs faders record automation. The keyboard is pre-mapped to work with Analog Lab, but I’m not sure what’s different about it such that Cubase recognises the controls.

I’m assuming it’s got something to do with Quick Controls, but I don’t really understand the concept - the manual doesn’t really help!

What’s the difference between MIDI learn & Quick Controls?


Yes, indeed: Quick Controls map incoming midi controller messages to VST automation parameter names.

There are quite a few YouTube videos on the topic - for example this one:

Thanks (again!) Nico 5! I had actually seen that video (& a few others). It did help, though not in the obvious way - the issue was that in DAW & Analog Lab modes of my KeyLab, QC assign doesn’t work & there was more confusion over the MIDI ports to use. I had to use a User Preset, & use the ‘KeyLab Mk2’ port & not the ‘MIDIIN (KeyLab Mk2)’ port.

So all sorted now, however I’m struggling to see the difference between VST & Track QC. I have 8 knobs & 8 faders & after QC setup (knobs to Track QC, faders to VST QC) they both achieve the same thing, i.e. both affect VST parameters & write automation.

It seems that I only need Track QC… :thinking:

The difference between Track and VST Quick Controls confused me for a while as well, but I think I got it straight now.

VST Quick Controls:

  • only talk to VST instruments in the VSTi rack
  • can have multiple pages - selectable in the VSTi rack
  • each of those pages can be connected to different sets of 8 VST automation parameters
  • which VSTi automation parameters are mapped into which page and slot of the VST Quick Controls can be customized by using the “Remote Control Editor”

Track Quick Controls

  • can inherit the settings of the VST Quick Controls for that track (that’s where the confusion comes in)
  • can also be mapped to other automation parameters available in the selected track - including the channel strip audio inserts, sends)
  • mappings can be saved as presets (independently of track presets)

p.s. You can connect a single hardware controller to both VST and Track QCs - just map each to different midi CCs

Great explanation! I think I’ve also got it now - as you point out the fact that VST QCs can be ‘copied’ to the Track QCs muddies the waters a bit.

Thanks again, I think I’m done with MIDI mapping & automation now… :rofl:

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