now when I have 4 instances of diva, i would like the knobs to control the instance that has the focus automatically. Just by flipping focus, NOT being tied to the first instance, not mapping anything manually again in the inspector window.
Once Valhallaverb has the focus the settings need to switch to control this plugin.
resume: define knob controls per plugin on a program level ONCE (not on a track level, not tied to tracks like in the generic remote control editor), even when using multiple instances, the focus plugin being the one that is controlled.
This means when I start a new EMPTY project
I add a VST (which i defined before) that VST is controlled when it has the focus
I add a 2nd VST(i) when when having the taking the focus, I now control that VST.
All without mapping anything on project by project by track basis
I’ve not been succesful to set this up with the options available. Can this be done with a “traditional” midi controller WITHOUT any dedicated software like Automap or Panorama etc.
Am I overlooking something, or is this just not possible?
I’m sitting here with a very nice AKAI MPK261 controller, I’m extremely happy with for the pads and keybeds and fader/knob quality. But if I can’t intergrate it with Cubase to support my workflow I need to send it back within it’s return period.
Personally, I use Generic Remote Controls, and I have more than one MAP. I.E. I use THREE maps for my MPK2, and still more maps for tricking Cubase into automating things via MIDI that it doesn’t have native automation lanes for.
Some of my Generic Maps are strictly for transport controls. Since my MPK2 has up to three physical ‘ports’ it can communicate over…I can easily isolate one port for remote control of Cubase itself, and VST effect plugins, while the other port is reserved for running synths and VSTi plugins. This means that I need more than one map, each listening to different MIDI ports.
You can elect to manage remote map ‘presets or mappings’ either via hard presets in your MIDI controller(s), OR you can use software presets in your Generic Remote maps.
Example: My MPK261 has three banks of 8 faders and knobs. I can take advantage of these banks on the Controller itself to easily and quickly bounce among hardwired assignments. I can also have several different presets in my MPK2 for different workflow scenarios. I.E. A Cubase Mixer preset, a preset for the ‘score editor’, and so on. If I prefer (or if I had a keyboard that didn’t have enough presets for my needs), I could also elect to manage as many presets or banks as I like from inside Cubase itself (it has a drop-down menu for changing such presets, and the menu can also be assigned to remote controls if desired).
When building Generic Remote Maps I get all sorts of choices. I can bind controls relative to tracks, or I can bind them relative to VST/VSTi instances.
If I bind them directly to VST/VSTi controls in instruments that support this, the automation lanes are connected to the plugin output in the Tracklist. If I bind them to tracks instead, the automation lanes live with the instrument or MIDI tracks and control order across my MIDI keyboard will be related to my ‘track order’.
Under either scenario (Relative Track, or VST instance bindings), once remote automation data is recorded…it no longer matters what remote control was used to make it…so the project will still work even if you export it to some other Cubase workstation that has different remote maps (or even none at all).
When building a Generic Remote map with the intention of having a somewhat ‘fixed and consistent’ workflow from project to project, it’s important to build your map(s) to scale with your most commonly used project size. I.E. If you often do projects that need 30 audio tracks, and 5 instance of Halion 5, then go ahead and load all this up when doing your initial remote map. Build some extras to give yourself some headroom! Once you’ve done this you won’t necessarily need to rely on project templates; however, starting with a nice template WILL save you quite a bit of setup time in the long run.
Some things you’re likely to want bound to track automation lanes. I.E. If you have sliders and pots 1 - 8 set to run the volume and pan controls from left to right across the Cubase Mixing desk, then swapped the order of a few tracks in your track list, they would also swap sliders and pots (since you’ve told Cubase to assign the controls in the order of your Mixing console from left to right).
Other things you might want bound in a static fashion, directly to VSTi plugin controls (so they are ALWAYS active, from the same control at all times), and in this case the order of controls is dependent on the the plugin name and the order it was loaded. So…if you know you want parked and independent remote control of up to 5 Retrologue instances…when building your generic map(s) go ahead and load up at least 5 Retrologue instances and assign all the remote controls you like across the board. No…you won’t necessarily have to keep ‘project templates’, but you will need to be aware that you can’t assign new controls to a plugin instance in a generic remote map without loading them into Cubase while building your Generic Maps.
If you’re typically doing smaller projects, you can just as easily build things on the fly as you need it. It’s not very difficult to pull up the Remote Map and build or change things on the fly as needed. Also keep in mind that you can indeed stack or use multiple maps.
While you’re building Generic Remote maps, you’ll soon learn that almost EVERYTHING in Cubase can be done ‘via remote control’. If it can be clicked or tweaked in Cubase, chances are, you can teach some remote control to do it through these maps! I.E. I can do an entire composition with ‘step mode input’ in the score editor and never touch my Computer keyboard. I tap an MPC pad that sets it to enter a quarter note, play the note, then tap another MPC pad to enter an eight note, play that, and the list goes on.
Generic Remote maps will also give you access to some Cubase controls that do not have native ‘automation lanes’ (Examples include arming and disarming tracks, launching marcos and logic editors, etc.). With a virtual MIDI port driver (like loopMIDI) and bit of creative map stacking, you can gain the ability to automate these things via MIDI tracks!
If you’ve got a controller with motorized faders, fancy lights, etc…it’s also possible to teach the maps to forward data back to the controller. There are lots of little flags in there to tell Cubase what sort of controller it’s listening for, and how it should behave (I.E. is it an on off toggle switch, a momentary switch, a continuous controller, etc.). So…you should be well covered to do just about anything you can imagine.
As complicated as all this may seem, it’s really not that bad. Just start out with a single Generic Remote Map and assign controls to things you want them to do. It’s only two clicks (or a single key combo if you elect to build one) to get at your Generic Remote map(s) to make any changes you need on the fly! The maps even have a ‘learn button’.
Thnx for the responses gents
So if I know that I will use up to 5 retrologue instances in Cubase, ill:
Create 5 retrologue instrument tracks
Map these 5 instances all to different pages
Remove the tracks
And i can now add up to 5 instances in the future which are “automatically” mapped
If i ever end up needing a 6th instance I can add that manually .
That’s sort of what you are saying?
So cubase is not smart enough to map it only once and just follow the focussed plugin of choice?
Yes, that is certainly one way to tackle it. You could have each instance get its own ‘preset’ in the map that you can easily swap out. You could also elect to spread all five instances over MANY sliders/knobs/etc. at the same time. Really fun stuff if you have lots of knobs and sliders at your disposal
Once you get into the maps and start playing around with them, I’d imagine all sorts of light bulbs will come on in your mind as to what all might be possible
Yes Brian, I’ve worked around that way upon till now.
But what I really want is the following
Assign the MPK261 both to generic controller and VST Quick controller
In the generic controller leave it on the MPK261 template so transport works
But assign the 8 rotaries on the right to VST quick controls
When doing this, the quick controls follow the VSTi assigned to the instrument channel
But if i put some fx on it’s insert I can’t control these, unless i remap them in the quick control and break the QC’s for the VSTi on that track.
In the generic editor ofcourse i can add 5 or 10 instances of every plugin i potentially use, but that’s defeating it’s purpose
I just want to define every plugin ONCE and whenever ANY instance of that plugin has the focus those 8 controls will control what I defined once before. But as I understand now, that’s not possible.
My Artists mix do exactly that, but have a bit of an annoying menu structure to get there. Not very muscle memory friendly sort of speak.
This means I need to decide if the MPK261 is worth €499,00 for just pads, transport and keys for me.
Or “map as I go” in projects.
I was really hoping the generic editor was able to map your favorite plugins once (regardless of location in project mixer) and whenever / whereever you open a new instance everyting just works. But is is unfortunately not the case.
The full blown Generic Remote mapping stuff isn’t really necessary if all you want to do is snap 8 quick controls to different plugins or track parameters as needed. Just build pages of the VST controls you want available and ‘swap between them’ in sets.
Pull up your Instrument Rack and make the button beside the Quick Controls orange (p630 in the OM…this is one way to change the focus or where the QC set is connected).
When done remote controlling that plugin, click the orange button to toggle it off. Now you can activate it for the next plugin you need want to bring into ‘focus’. Etc…
If you don’t like the controls showing, or the order they are in, then open the plugin’s remote control editor and build a new page that has what you want on it in the order you desire so they match up across your 8 QCs. You can build as many ‘pages’ as you like, and flip through them in the Instrument Rack. You can have duplicate entries of a control on different pages too…so it’s OK if you want to build different sets that have some common controls in more than one page.
Track Quick Control sets are similar, but they are connected/disconnected through the Track Inspector in the project window.
If you want to remote control the DAW itself however…you’ll want at least one Generic Remote Map, and with most controllers I’ve seen on the market today, you’ll probably want at least 2 of them.
As for remote control of the whole DAW…
What I’ve done is make several maps that are all loaded at the same time.
The first map does nothing but listen to the transport controls over the MPK2’s first MIDI Port (A). I’ve elected NOT to remote control Cubase itself over Port A other than these transport controls. This leaves me free to automate VSTi stuff via the old school MIDI method (just use the learn features of individual plugins). Quite a few VSTi plugins I like to use do not support VST automation anyway (Such as ARIA player). Most VSTi plugins these days already have the most common stuff mapped out to GM CC messages…and anything else can typically be ‘learned’ for automation via MIDI events in the plugin as needed.
My second map only listens to the MPK2’s B port. I’ve also got the transsport controls assigned in this second map (just in case I change the global channel to the B port for some unusual reason…my transport controls still work). This B port is where I remote control the DAW itself. I’ve reserved various ranges and channels of CC messages for specific purposes. I’ve got a range for the 16 quick controls (VST and Track). I’ve got a range for running my Cubase Mixer. I’ve got a range for binding directly to VSTi instances full time. Etc.
Finally have quite a few special maps that listen to the DAW itself using a loopMIDI port. That’ll let me automate things in Cubase that don’t get native automation tracks. I.E. I can make a MIDI track that will arm and disarm tracks, launch macros/Logic Editors, and the list goes on.
Each Generic Remote map will let you assign 128 CC messages X 16 channels, plus program changes, plus independent note on/off events, and possibly even multiple CC RPN/NRPN events…to pretty much ANY feature or control available in Cubase. Since the MPK2 gives you two USB MIDI ports…you can multiply all that by 2 using two Generic Maps.
So…yes…you should be able to get what you seem to be after. Even if your aim is to have more controls bound directly to individual parameters in specific VST controls in VSTi instances…you can do it. Note that with an MPK2, you can assign each slider/knob/button/pedal/MPC pad, independently to any of 16 channels over an A or B port (and you can also send it over the DIN interface).
Make TWO maps (or more if your controller has more than 2 MIDI port drivers). One for each ‘port’. Put your transport controls in all of them, and build whatever else you need over the some 4,096 continuous controller, plus another 4,096 program change events, plus another 4,096 note on/off events you now have at your disposal for mapping things anywhere you want it.
If you bind directly to VST controls in a Generic Map…track order does NOT matter. The only thing that matters is that you load as many instances as you typically need when building your map (and you can always add more controls as required if you need more instances). I.E. You could have 3 instances of Retrologue mapped out across the three banks of 8 sliders on an MPK2. The first instance of Retrologue you load will get the bindings for ‘instance 1’. Load another copy of the plugin and it picks up with your bindings for ‘instance 2’, and so on.
Yes! via the instrument rack works perfect for me. So that’s the VSTi’s sorted
now how can I do the same thing for FX?
Say I have a instances of Valhalla Vintage Verb and I want to switch between them on the fly depending on the focus?
I don’t see a simmilar button on them to gain focus? how does that work (via the plugin’s control editor, not quick controls or track controls)
Again you’ve tons of options. First lets consider an effect VST loaded on a track insert.
In this example we’ll use one of your ‘Track Quick Controls’.
You can assign the default CC events for these in your Device Setup.
Now look in your “Track Inspector” for a tab called ‘quick controls’.
In this example I’m going to link my first QC slider to a parameter in an EQ (the 5th slider or 500Hz band) that I’ve loaded in the second insert slot for that ‘track’. For some reason this particular EQ plugin doesn’t name all the little frequency sliders in this graphics EQ, but it’s easy to get the idea and pick the 500hz control what I want bound to QC1.
While holding ctrl I’m gong to click the “Quick Controls” tab (holding ctrl allows me to open this tab without the other open tabs in the inspector ‘closing’ on me). Then I’ll click one of the blank areas and wade through the list of options until I find the specific control on my EQ I want bound to this control. Note, if you do not see such a tab then you’ll need to click the little settings gear icon in the lower right hand corner of the track inspector (a tiny gear shaped icon) and add the tab.
As you can see I’ve got 8 slots on this track to work with. I can bind them to individual VST controls loaded into the insert slots, as well as control stuff in the ‘strip’, or the send levels on aux bus sends.
Once I’ve assigned them on a per track basis they are remembered throughout the project. I can simply ‘toggle’ the set ‘on or off’ in the track inspector on a track by track basis. Each track gets its own QC tab to assign as you like. Again, once you’ve ‘recorded to a lane’ it doesn’t matter what control was used anymore…so you can change any of this stuff on the fly as needed for different situations for the track throughout your project. Also, don’t forget that you can make ‘track presets’! That allows you to set up commonly used ‘starting places’. I.E. You can build a ‘vocal track preset’ that would go ahead and load up all your favorite vocal effects, and have QC assignments all ready to go!
Do read up on this stuff in the OM, because you do get some not so obvious abilities…such as remapping controls on the fly via learning them while in the Track inspector and so forth. After a little practice it’ll start to make sense
Some things you can’t see about this particular setup is that I can already drive everything in those two mixers you see at the top of the screen with my MPK2 working from left to right. It visually aligns with what I’ve assigned across the banks of my MPK sliders and knobs. When I run out of faders and mixers I swap to another preset on the MPK2 which picks up where the first preset left off.
Of course for most things tied into VST effects I still DO USE the Quick controls quite frequently.
For my MIDI stuff, I personally prefer sticking with the old school MIDI CC method…but the QC and individual remote mapping of VSTi instances is still a possibility if I ever want to build a wacky and wild instrument with TONS of real time controllers going on.
Thanks a lot for your extensive replies, I did already playbwith the track controls this morning and it seems Cubase remembers the preferences for plugins who have been mapped already once yet.
So it’s just a matter of asigning in the inspector as you mentioned.
I think what I will do is map my most important 8 controls for each VSTi in the VSTi editor and use connect via the instrument rack, while using my Avid Artists for faders, EQ, Pan, Inserts and send plugins.
For VSTi’s for me it’s mostly the filter envelope, volume and FX wet/dry so 8 knobs are plenty, the rest I prefer to do on screen. It’s to complex to remember muscle memorywise if everything is mapped and banked, but not labelled
I’ve successfully set-up some great functionality in Cubase as a result of this thread. I actually have this thing operating more like a “real studio” now, it’s been especially fun and efficient for basic mixing tasks, levels, track mute/solo. I have some questions and I’ll try to be as succinct as possible.
Cubase’s CC Automation Setup: Found under the Midi Menu, this brings up the list of assignments already in use, many of them are the traditional MIDI standard assignments. My question: If I assign a Midi CC on the list to a physical control (rotary control, momentary switch) of my Midi Keyboard, will that create problems? I’ve avoided using Midi CC’s already assigned in the CC Automation Setup for use as assignments to my Keyboard’s physical controls, but does it really matter? Do the physical switches and controls on the Keyboards transmit an address for a particular control for itself along with the control message? “Hello Cubase, I am switch 3, sending you MIDI CC 65, please mute/unmute the selected track.”
When or why would I’d use Program change or Program Bank functions rather than Midi CC in terms of any particular Generic Remote functions or tasks in Cubase? My keyboard’s switches will send Midi CC (using now), but also can send Program Change and Program Bank. Are PC or PB needed to do a any particular tasks that use of Midi CC does not address?
Is it possible to convert Note Values to MIDI CC and then use the my Keyboard’s Pads, which themselves send only Notes On/Off messages, to perform other functions? Note Number C0, triggers MIDI CC #XX, to perform “assigned function” Perhaps this is not possible with my current hardware. Not sure?
It took some time, but the effort was very much worth it. My workflow actually as a little more flow and a little less work.
It is possible to have a controller conflict. I.E. Something that you mean to only control a plugin or MIDI instrument could possibly be picked up by a generic remote map. To avoid this scenario with my MPK2, I only drive CuBase remote maps over the B port of the MPK2. I leave the A port for driving my plugins and MIDI instruments directly.
Use program changes when it’s convenient. I.E. Maybe you have a controller that’s already got buttons or something set to send program changes. Technically, just like a CC message, it’s still just a 12bit MIDI message with 128 possible values.
3a. Yes, it is possible to use regular note-on, note-off messages in generic remote maps. In this case you do not need to ‘convert them’. Be aware that in the generic remote maps, you can assign different things to the note-on and note-off events independently. You can also make the remote map forward events back to a controller (I.E. to operate lights, meters, motorized faders, etc).
I’ve a map for my MPK2 that arms/disarms tracks in an organ-stop style when punching MPC Pads. It works in track order…and when a track is armed, its corresponding MPC Pad is lit. When disarmed the light goes out.
Example: With my MPK2 Controller, I’ve made myself a remote map to control ‘step input’ in the Score Editor using my MPC Pads. So, I can tap an MPC pad to set the note/rest duration, tap a key to enter the note, tap another MPC pad to change the note duration, tap another key, etc. I can step input very easily using only MIDI Keyboard and its built in MPC pads.
Thank you for such a good and timely post! I do have a few more questions, but those may resolve with some more work on my part.
My Advance 49 Keyboard is very simple – eight rotary pots, eight switches and eight drum-style pads. It has four additional switches which also send MIDI messages, program change messages as I recall – record, play, stop, loop (but could no doubt but used different in other GR banks)
The Score Editor step input method you mention above and in your previous post in this thread would be pure gold for me, I’ll have to work out how to convert a note on, note off messages to trigger controllers. I’m not clear on how that works and will spend time looking at how that’s done.
I looked at the Input Transformer and realize I’ve still got a long way to go with all this. That said, I finally have a good GR going – flipping banks to control groups of faders, pans, mutes, solos, Instrument quick controls – and, as a result, Cubase has never been a more interesting to me. Brain, thank you so much for this and all your amazingly good posts. Have a great weekend and all the best.
Some GR oddities in the items on the list of possible control assignments noticed.
When editing the Generic Remote, it appears the list of available assignments to which a control may be assigned “bound” is different depending on which kind of track, or no track (empty project), the project contains.
If there’s no tracks, an empty project, the list of choices for many normal Track Related tasks not present. For example, under Mixer, there’s no choice for “Monitor” and some other items may be also absent – (doing this from memory, here, so please allow for some possible inaccuracies on this.)
If an Audio Track is selected (a single track in an otherwise empty project), then “Monitor” suddenly appears on the list of possible assignments, absent in the empty project.
If there’s a single Midi track (empty project otherwise) then only “Midi Thru” is on the Mixer list in the GR Editor and there’s no “Monitor”
However, in this case “Monitor” operates correctly when Applied in the Generic Remote for both Midi and Audio channels.
So, when setting up your Generic Remote, it is important to check what kind of project and tracks you’re using during the set-up. Different kinds of tracks seem to yield differing or missing items on the list of possible assignment targets.
One more item, somehow Cubase is responding to Control messages sent from my controller even though the controls have not been included in the Generic Remote? Are some controllers “hard wired,” so to speak, within Cubase?
My head is still spinning, but mostly that’s ok. heh
For smaller setups it’s not uncommon to simply start with clean slate and build things only as you need it. Otherwise, I’d personally make a template that’s a bit bigger than your normal project size.
If you typically work with around 16 audio tracks, and 32 MIDI or Instrument tracks, then set up a blank template all arranged in your favorite order. Now you can assign controls in ‘track order’.
A fader that responds to CC14 on channel 1 works volume for track 1 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC15 on channel 1 works pan for track 1 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC16 on channel 1 toggles mute on/off for track 1 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC14 on channel 2 works volume for track 2 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC15 on channel 2 works pan for track 2 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC16 on channel 2 toggles mute on/off for track 2 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC14 on channel 3 works volume for track 3 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC15 on channel 3 works pan for track 3 in the mixing console.
A fader that responds to CC16 on channel 3 toggles mute on/off for track 3 in the mixing console.
Now imagine you’ve loaded a Virtual flute in your first track, and a piccolo in your second track.
You’d find that your first slider most likely works your audio input since that’s the first thing in the mixer from left to right (if you’ve assigned one).
Your flute and piccolo would be under faders 2 and 3 respectively.
If you were to drag the track order so the piccolo is now the first track and flute the second, you’ll also note that fader 2 now works the piccolo mixer slot, and fader 3 does the flute.
The same goes for using a Generic Remote map for VST or VSTi instruments that support VST remote control. You’ll need to load the instrument first and then build your map. Similar to the mixing console above…VST/i bindings also work in the order of your Instrument rack, but also according to the plugin name. So, if you know you often like to use 4 instances of retrologue and you want them hard bound via Generic Remote map, load up 4 instances, and then do your bindings.
No, without any remote maps loaded CuBase is not hard wired to react to any remote control. Do be aware that it is possible to stack several maps and have more than one active at the same time. It’s possible to accidentally (or on purpose) have a message registered to do more than one thing at once in a map. So, take advantage of channels, and ports to keep things isolated enough to avoid conflicts.
Once you start using generic remote control maps, it’s a good idea to be more selective in what tracks listen for in the track inspector. Where in the past you may have just left things to listen to ‘all MIDI inputs’…once you start making use of multiple controllers, or multiple ports on them, it’s more important to be specific as to what a track can listen for and record. So, before I start recording my keyboard playing on a MIDI track, I take care to set that track’s input specifically to my MPK2’s port A input in the track inspector.
Example of a conflict:
When I first got my MPK2 it came with some example remote maps for CuBase. The default CuBase preset in the MPK2 had assigned CC64 on port A to mute/unmute mixer channels! So off I go playing this piano part, and every time I stomp the sustain pedal…my track mutes!
That is a prime example of a controller conflict. To fix this I decided on that day that I would reserve the B port of the mpk2 for remote control of the DAW itself, and never have Generic Remote Maps listening to the MPK2 A port (other than a small one that accepts transport controls for the DAW).
If I had a controller that does not have multiple ports, then I would take care to only use undefined controller messages on channels and in ranges my instruments and plugins typically do not use. I’d also use the global transformer to ‘filter out’ such messages from being recorded into my MIDI or Instrument tracks, or otherwise forwarded to a plugin/instrument directly.
Note that my earlier example of controlling the Score Step input with MPC pads that are simply sending note-on/off events: For this scenario not to cause any conflicts, I need to make sure all my MPC pads are programmed to send the note events over port B, and for my instrument tracks, I’ll need to make sure in the track inspector that they ONLY listen to my MPK2’s port A. So, isolation is the key…
Also be aware that you have separate device maps for 8 Quick Track, and 8 Quick VST assignments. These can be set one time to match a bank of controls and easily snapped/unsnapped to tracks or plugins respectively. It’s possible to have a conflict between these and things you assign in a generic remote map too, so be careful.
If you have a controller with only one port…I highly suggest making a spread sheet that is easy for you to read, and list out controllers that you’ve used, and what for. This way, you’ll be less likely to accidentally duplicate something and end up having one control do multiple things without intention.
Instruments themselves do often accept various CC messages. You’ll have to check the manual of the plugin or instrument to know exactly, but as a general rule of thumb all of them are going to take CC7 (Master volume), CC1 (mod wheel), CC10 (Pan), CC11 (expression), CC64 (sustain pedal), and so forth. So, avoid using these in a Generic Remote map unless you can easily isolate it all to a totally different port from what you’ll be playing/controlling your instruments with. Many plugins also have a way for you learn controls on the fly. I.E. In halion if there is a pot in an organ preset you want to remote control, you can right click it, choose learn, then move a control and it’ll start working it.
Another potential conflict is if you have the ‘output’ of a Generic Remote map routed somewhere that might also be set to echo thru data back into the DAW…creating a loop. With this in mind, I would NOT set an ‘output’ for a generic map unless you know exactly why you are doing it, and that no feedback loop will be created (I.E. feedback for a motorized mixing console, or intentional looping back into a specific MIDI track over a virtual port that does NOT have any remote maps assigned to it).
One last thing for now…is to realize that with more modern VST/VSTi plugins you have a couple of options on how you’d like to automate controls. You can do VST automation directly in lanes on each track, or you can do it Via MIDI into a plugin, and let the plugin itself learn it.
Personally, when it comes to a VSTi plugin, I typically just keep everything in the MIDI part itself, and learn remotes in the plugin itself. With HALion I use more VST lane automation these days…but for the basic stuff I more often like to just keep it all in the MIDI parts and let HALion ‘learn’ it.
VST effects in your insert slots are different animal though. Most of these you’ll have to use VST automation, on the lanes provided by your tracks. Unless it’s a staple effect that you ALWAYS have loaded and need remote control over at all times, I personally would just use the Track Quick Controls to snap and automate things on an as need basis.