How to change external guitar patch (Axe FX 3) at certain points in track?

I’m evaluating the trial version of VST Live and want to be able to play a backing track and trigger AXE FX 3 patch changes at certain points in the backing track. I can get the backing track part going. It’s the midi part that is hard to create. I mean… I can do this in Cubase by creating a midi track and manually drawing in appropriate CC34 and program change values at certain points in the automation track. I was hoping there is an elegant way to do this in VST Live using triggers or parts or something. I can’t see a way to do this. This seems like a very common use case for any live guitar player.


Hi @Jeff_Wrana,

have a look to the manual V1.1.0, page 50, section “MIDI Continuous Controller Panel”. Create a Layer route the output to your MIDI port and send your CC34 to your AXE FX 3.


Layers also have MIDI Program Change and Bank Select items. These are also fired whenever the Part of the Layer becomes activated.
You can activate Layers by selecting their Part (also with MIDI commands, see menu devices/Actions and Shortcuts), or by assigning a trigger time: locate to the desired point in time, and click in the “Trigger” field of the Part. Then whenever transport passes that time, all Layers of that Part fire whatever you programmed them to, PGM CHG, Controllers etc.

Ok… thank you for the feedback. I will try this later tonight and let you know how it works out.

Ok, I did get this to work. Thank you.

Let me summarize… every time I want to automate changing a patch/scene or turn on/off an effect pedal in the outboard AX FX 3 I have to create a new ‘PART’ at the precise time I want my guitar to change it’s sound. Each one of these 'PART’s has a new ‘LAYER’ assigned to it which sends the
corresponding midi data to the AXE FX. Ultimately a PART is just a trigger to invoke a LAYER? Anyway to predefine a LAYER and just refer to it?

The rest can be ignored if you want… It’s just me thinking out loud. :slight_smile:

Conceptually this seems rather weird as I instinctually see PARTs as Intro, Verse, etc. Since they technically can be anything, things can get messy. Some songs have the guitar tone change very often depending on what’s part of the riff is being played. I could have dozens of these PARTS cluttering up the SONG mixed with perhaps more traditional Verse, Chorus, Ending PARTS.

Maybe separate this kind of thing out to make it easier to understand. Some kind of specific separate EVENT/TRIGGER → ACTION structure. I.E. Predefine a bunch of ACTIONS once (eg AX Scene 1, AX Delay On, AX Overdrive ON, etc) then trigger each ACTION in an action track or something like that. Just a thought.

All Layers of that Part, and Stacks, yes.

Menu Layers/Save Default Layer. Any newly created Layer will use that as template from then on. Or copy/paste. Note that if you need multiple Layers every time you can do the same with Parts (Save Default Part).

As for action macros…we think about that.

Thanks again.

By refer to a Layer I mean create the layer somewhere just once then refer to it in a PART. That way if I change some aspect of the layer it gets reflected in all the parts that refer to it. I don’t mean just create a new layer from a template or copy/paste from some other. I take it this doesn’t exist. (yet?)

It would also be nice to be able to see/edit these parts visually on a ‘parts track’ . (They kind of seem like markers that can trigger) In that way I could see a parts track showing song structure for example and another of external effect changes laid out in a nicely organized, easy to understand manor.

Just a thought.

You are wrong, exactly that exists already. Check the “Shared” submenu when selecting an Instrument; there, you can refer to any Layer Instrument from any Part.

yep, we are working on that.

But this doesn’t share then entire layer with all it’s parameters. My use case doesn’t use an instrument… I simply use a midi port. That said, even if I did, a quick test on my part suggest PGM CHG, LSB, MSB and the 8 CC outputs aren’t shared either. (volume, pan are)

Ultimately my desired use case is this. AXE FX has 8 SCENCEs changeable by CC34 (0…7) per program. I want to create 8 global predefined LAYERS called Scene 1, Scene 2… etc. Then simply trigger any one of them at various points in the timeline. Visually would be best but creating multiple PARTs will work for now.

I’m just lobbying for a more elegant solution to a use case I believe many other people would benefit from including myself. :slight_smile:


Did you discover menu Parts/Create Global Part?

I tried creating a global layer within the global part but now all parts in all songs have that layer in it. I want to be able to define the layer once (eg. Scene 1, Scene 2) then choose which part contains that layer (eg. which Scene gets triggered on the ax fx when the corresponding part gets triggered) . That way if I change the defining layer, all the parts containing that layer are reflecting the change.

This brings me back to my original statement. “I take it this doesn’t exist. (yet?)”

Cannot confirm:

  • new project
  • Parts/Add Global Part
  • select “Global”, set Instrument to something specific
  • select any other Part: has not changed.

Globally this is possible, selectively not. You may also want to have a look at the Media Bay (bottom rightmost item), switch to “Layers” and there you can drag and drop your favourite Layers. This does not provide what you want, but at least you can easily configure Layers there.
We’ll consider shared Layers and Stacks, thanks.