MIDI CC default values

We have all been in that situation where an instrument does not make a sound, then you realise ten minutes later, the mod value CC1 is set to 0.
Many of us set a one bar default so that the mod wheel gets a positive value
This can be done for volume cc7 expression CC11 too.

But what do people set these values too? You can of course set them all to 128, but isn’t that just like building a ceiling only just above your head? If you choose a lower value, then you have room to increase this value later.

Sometimes. even often, my ears tell me that the dynamic range of my VST acoustic instruments is narrower that the real thing. I have been wondering if these settings might improve things a little. When the velocity hits 128 and you still want more, it is good to automate a bit of volume - for example.

What’s the right way, what values do you use?


For my three string libraries, I start with a cc1 (modulation) value of 30-45, and cc11 (expression) gets set at around 70. It took me a while to come up with these baselines, because I was getting seriously into a mess where by the end of the piece everything was a lot louder than the beginning.

I am very careful with velocity as well, and especially now because the string libraries are very sensitive to how much it changes the attack.

I keep cc7 (volume) to zero now, because I noticed that whenever it’s above zero, it overrides the mixer fader and I’d rather control it there. If I need extra volume I use cc11 to raise the expression.