Custom Macro Control

Is there a way… well lets take Quick Control knobs. We can connect a parameter to a quick control and automate with that knob.

I want to take parameters from different VST, maybe different channels, maybe a send level or return: group these into one control. Like Waves One Knob.

I have a dream of one knob that controls the cutoff of a HPF, the send level to a reverb, the predelay, and the threshold of a comp in the path.

Or a Satson HPF, a UAD DBX, a UAD LL VOG, Amplitube mic distance.

Can we do this without too much fuss, should it be implemented, would that be just too much fun, or would it prevent too many VST sales?


just posted about this:

i can achieve it in cubase but it is definitely a kind of a pain to set up. remember that with quick controls, you can control parameters of any plugin, not just the ones inserted on the respective channel. this way, you can add a channel at the top of the arrange (you musn’t move it then), and select it to quick control which ever plugin parameter in the project. then, set up a generic remote to control this channel’s quick control slots 1-8 (yes, a generic remote’s target can be a channel’s quick control slider amount). then, set up a proprietary virtual MIDI channel (midiyoke, loopmidi et al), and set up midi channels to receive your MIDI controller’s knob movement messages by one of the virtual MIDI ports. then go back to your newly created generic remote settings and select the virtual MIDI channel as the input for controlling the quick control slot amounts as mentioned above.


but yeah, this is a way to do it.

similarly, i can insert an audio > midi cc plugin, and have, say, a kick drum’s audio envelope control (for instance) the wet slider inside a reverb plugin on another channel, as well as (for example) the feedback slider on a delay plugin on yet another channel. the drawback is, this only has a 128-step resolution (the resolution of a midi cc parameter*), and is hugely dependent on the current audio buffer size (at least on my system; the greater the buffer size, the more quantized and jittery the results are; plus, the resulting automation envelope differs slightly each time you try to capture it).

*or are there some parameters with a greater resolution, along with an audio > midi cc plugin that would convert the values?

also, some plugin developers enable their own set of vst plugins to ‘talk to each other’ when inserted in a single project, and allow for something similar. melda vsts spring to mind (you can have MIDI fire off automation envelopes, automating the plugins’ parameters for instance). it’s not as streamlined and flexible as what you describe (and what is easily possible using ableton macro controls, or in FL studio), but it’s at least getting you a little closer.

a native implementation would be great but cubase as it is is way too stiff of an architecture.

Oh my. Yeah, up that alley, but without the kinks that interuppt the flow!

Really is it that complex? If I set up 6 QC, all I want is one mother knob then to control those QC all at once. Preferrably with some relative speed options, inverse, min/max, some logical editor stuff maybe.

I dunno, isn’t it already there in Cubase? Or am I missing some integral handshaking between Cubase and the VST?
As far as I know it’s just giving myself more fingers to move more than one thing at a time.

An elegant solution would be amazing, game changer really.

it’s not there… you need to have that one big knob (sic) controller to send MIDI via a MIDI channel to a vsti that will inverse or limit its range ( if that’s what you require, then send that CC data to midiyoke, then set up a generic remote, then use that midiyoke as input, then set it up to control the quickcontrol amount slider on a given channel. then set this up for each of the quickcontrol sliders individually (or for however many you want to control at once with your ‘big knob’). i’ve got a template for that, but like i said, the results are so heavily quantized due to the 128-step resolution and audio interface buffer-dependancy that i don’t really use it.

maybe there’s a better solution aside from using another DAW, i’d love to know… the bummer with ableton is, it won’t load up VST’s when rewired (or has this changed in v9?).

ok the min/max and inverse stuff is getting more complex, I can see why you’re restricted to midi. And forget VSTi, lets stay with FX.

Am I underthinking this?
What about automation? Is it still under the constitution of midi? If I have a physical controller with 6 knobs, and I have 5 of my buddies simultaneuosly turn a parameter linked to a few VST/channel controls, is that midi control or is it simply multiple automation pass? It’s not too much different than modulating a modulator in a synth, no?

If it’s crude implementation to start off thats fine. It would be a crude one knob that unsympathetically hamfists all parameters at once regardless of initial knob position.

Surely it can be done with Cubase!

As I outlined above, I can do it using the setup I described, using proprietary virtual midi channel (midiYOKE), and Audio > CC or MIDI filtering plugins. I haven’t found out another simpler way of achieving that, so alas I think you are underthinking it (considering what Cubase offers in this regard). But if you come up with a simpler solution do let me know.

(Btw. another way – although still far from elegant or streamlined – is using a more powerful VST-hosting environment like Bidule, and performing those automation operations within its GUI.)


I think it would be a great idea, even if just for the bundled Cubase FX, if we could build hybrids onto some generic interface by mixing up to 8-10 or 20? various parameters. Think of ALL the plug-ins that you could pull out of the basement and use again (or for the 1st time). Perhaps we can save and share “custom macro” presets… you get the idea.

Trying to plant a little seed.

definitely, i’m with you on that. been wishing for something like this for ages until i came up with my solution, to find out it’s so fiddly it’s not really too usable. so you just get on doing the best with what you got…

logic x pro now seems to have this with ‘smart controls’; get on the bandwagon!

Thanks for bumping.

Logic looks good actually. Oh well.


it looks very limited to me as it always has actually, but this one feature surely is nice!

I’m not sure that people really get the power that could be had with something like that. Maybe Apple saw the thread and was like … your loss fools.

Not only that, but it would be great for the community, if it works I think it could be a source of pride for the user to be able to browse a Steinberg library of custom macros ONLY for Cubase users. Drop down track presets or something and connect to a library of 1000s of macro tools. Basically free, with what you already have.

Its pretty infinite, the tools that could be developed. I already have some ideas of things that have never been done before.

I can easily see myself sitting a 3-4 hour session, just developing/testing combinations. I may never get any real work done, but what the heck.