I write this in case someone is interested to do something similar, or has some tipps for making this task easier.
I own a dedicated vst-hosting performance software called “inTone Keys” which works great but supports neither 64-bit nor vst3-plug-ins (at least until now). So I decided to use Cubase for my upcoming live-performance in november.
I use two keyboards: one with weighted keys (for piano-like sounds) and one without (for organ-like performances).
For each song in my setlist I add a folder track containing (at least) one midi-track for each of my keyboards, respectively more tracks, if I want to have keyboard-splits or layers. The folder track gets the name of the song. I set the input of the midi-tracks to one of my two connected keyboards. If I want to add keyboard-splits I do this in the midi parameters section of the track-inspector. (Setting Range to “note filter” and min and max values according to the key-range I want to use)
Multi-timbral vst-instruments (like Halion Sonic SE) I load in vst-instruments other vstis directly in the track.
In each track I load Transformer as midi-insert in slot 1. I make a preset called “Mute all” which uses a filter that deletes all events containing “channel” “equal or greater” than “1”. This I recall in every Transformer
Next I insert an Arranger Track to my project. Each Song in my setlist gets an entry. I edit the defaul A, B, C, … to my songnames.
In each midi-track I activate an automation-track for the parameter “midi-insert 1 active” and set the parameter to “on”. Now I add points for each automation-track in my song-folder corresponding to the arranger event to deactivate the transformer (inserted as midi-insert 1) at the start-point of the arranger event, and activate it again at the next arranger event.
Let’s say I have “Skyfall” in my setlist, then I have a folder track called “Skyfall” containing two midi-tracks. I also have an arranger event at bar 8 (for example) called “Skyfall”. The “midi-insert 1 active” parameter is set to “on” from the beginning of the project until bar 8. There it is set to “off” until bar 10, where my next arranger event (=song) sits.
At least I add a tempo track changing the tempo at every arranger-event according to the particular song. This allows for tempo-synced effects like delays and so on.
I add an arranger sequence according to my setlist. It is quite easy to reorder the songs if the setlist changes. (Repeating the same song - or an equal sound-set - is also very easy)
At the beginning of the show I switch on monitoring for all midi-tracks in my project. That’s where the folder track comes in handy: I only need to click on each “song” track and monitoring is set on for all the subordinate midi-tracks.
One of the two keyboards I use has buttons which can be set to send midi-events. So I set up an generic controller that uses “mute button 1” and “2” to receive the events sent from my two buttons and set their action to “next arranger-event” and “previous arranger-event”.
During the show I use this two buttons to navigate through my arranger events.
The only downside I detected so far are “hanging” midi-notes when holding down some keys and switching from arranger-event to arranger-event. As the transformer is set to “on” killing all midi-events the vst-instrument never wil receive the “note-off” event. Maybe a more complex filter could be built to kill all midi-events except note-offs.
And yes, this is a complex approach. But it works and I didn’t find and easier way!
If one is interested I can post my experiences after the shows in november.