MIDI panner and fader

I couldn’t find much about this, so I assume it’s something I’m not understanding. The MIDI panner and fader on a MIDI track in the inspector (or mixer page) seems to send out volume and pan information as expected to a rack instrument. the problem I’ve run into though is that it doesn’t “chase” these values, or send a burst of these values upon playback. For example if I’m using a piece of outboard gear, or even VE pro, where projects are using the same instrument and one project has the midi panner set to 73 and the other at 43 these values will not be recalled upon playback or stop. You have to manually move the panner again to set it to the value. So it seems like these controls are somewhat useless if they only send out information when you move them. Of course I can use CC automation to control whatever I want, but it doesn’t explain why anyone would use the actually midi fader or panner if they don’t recall their values to the instrument you are using.

Can someone please explain how to use these functions.


Be aware that not all soft-synths even recognize MIDI volume (CC 7). The majority seem to but I’ve seen some mainstream synths that do not. That would suggest those synths probably ignore MIDI pan as well. I’ve always found it best to avoid MIDI control of these two things and just use the faders and pan on the audio track. I suspect that’s why some synths developers have opted not to support CC 7, assuming producers would opt for audio volume and pan control.

Not sure why, these days, anyone would even use MIDI pan and faders—unless they were controlling an outboard GMS unit with only a stereo out… Pan and gain are unreliable and low-resolution compared to their audio daw counterparts.
Just ignore the MIDI pan and volume and simply control the audio pan and gain.

thanks for your responses. I understand that the audio counterparts are more desirable, but my issue is not with whether or not audio pan and gain is better than midi. My question is regarding the fact that the MIDI fader and MIDI panner are not “chased”, i.e. their values are not recalled when you switch between projects that utilize the same VE pro instruments or outboard gear, which make me think they are completely useless. So i’m trying to figure out why they even exist, what would they ever be used for if all they can do is send messages once when you move them.

[quote="fantasiom"So i’m trying to figure out why they even exist, what would they ever be used for if all they can do is send messages once when you move them.[/quote]

Yeah, I knew what you were asking. And yeah, it is useless behaviour. Basically, the MIDI fader is not sending any messages until you move it. You’re supposed to be creating an event in the List Editor to lock the volume or pan to where you want. Or write the fader with automation.

I used to have to use MIDI CCs for volume and pan (and fx sends/patches) back in the day, using my Sound Blaster sound add as a sampler. I would experience weird behaviours like that back then, too. I was elated when VSTi came out and I didn’t ever have to use them again.


I use the MIDI fader and the panner sometimes, here’s a bit of clarification.

To get them to chase you have to activate automation on the midi track and then add at lest one point onto their respective automation lines.

Otherwise, indeed, they don’t do anything unless you move them… Well, actually they send out their value when you first load the project too, but only the once and that’s it!

This ‘chase’ behaviour was changed a long long time ago because they used to chase in VST5 but I think it was removed in SX and onwards, pity I think. I guess they figured that if you haven’t moved the fader then the volume is still the same so no point in chasing it…