Modulate FX with FX, help

How to use say GateLab or similar LFO plugin which outputs cc data to control say the cutoff parameter of a filter FX loaded onto a VST plugin??

I’ve been through a loop of forum posts and getting into looking at MIDI loops and virtual ports but don’t get how to do it and pulling my hair

I’d rather have a simple flexible and effective modular system in C14 rather than any new plugin FX or instrument.

So how to route that sort of stuff please?? Thanks !!

Step one would be to install a virtual MIDI Port using a 3rd party software such as loopMIDI or Bome’s MIDI Translator. Have you done that?

Not excited about installing third party, but yes just installed loopMIDI, rather cumbersome setup with Generic Device, I think I managed to set this up with Auto LFO, but can’t manage with the free Gatelab plugin.
I’m reasonably geeky but this is challenging. I’d appreciate help indeed !

If you were going to a VST instrument track you wouldn’t even need a virtual port, and could just route the outgoing MIDI of Gatelab into a VSTi track.

I presume it’s audio tracks that you are wanting as the destination? That’s where it becomes more complicated.

Personally, i’d not go the generic remote route nowadays as it’s cumbersome.

Instead I’d create a MIDI Remote (The new system) bound to the Gatelab Virtual Port CC address.

I wouldn’t map them beyond that though. Rather instead, I would learn them to plugins as required (i.e. on the fly).

So you’d have this as a fixed routing:
Gatelab > MIDI OUT > Virtual Port 1
Virtual Port 1 > MIDI IN > MIDI Remote

And then your MIDI Remote would target specific track insert parameters as you learn them via the mapping assistant. i.e.:
MIDI Remote Ctrl 1 > Track 1 / Insert 1 / Cutoff
MIDI Remote Ctrl 2 > Track 1 / Insert 1 / Resonance

As long as you’re ensuring that they are mapped in project mode (P) rather than global (G) you’re good and won’t accidentally modulate a parameter you don’t want.

Doing it this way you could have multiple instances of Gatelab generative CC’s coming back through a single MIDI Remote too, if you wanted to modulate more than one source.

Does that make sense? It’s not as complicated as it sounds… honest! :slight_smile:

First a big thanks because I saw your post from 2022 and this new reply and am grateful for your input !

Cool video, works for me, though needs midi learn, plus seems needs track activated or monitor on, but useable for a VST instrument indeed.

Now following your procedure to control an FX loaded onto a VSTi :
1- Gatelab>MIDI out> Virtual port 1
Gatelab supposed to be set onto a “carry audio track”? Then in Gatelab MIDI settings set the 2 channels to some cc numbers. What Virtual Port do you mean, Gatelab or loopMIDI? I don’t get this first routing…

I spent a good hour on this and can’t get it… 20 years on Cubase and feel like a noob!

2- same I don’t get it, if you have time I’d love some more details, perhaps this will help others too as this Cubase area is obscure !!

Unless Gatelab has a VSTi (Instrument) version, or can send directly to a MIDI port - you would need to create a MIDI track that has the Gatelab MIDI as it’s input and the Virtual MIDI port as it’s output - that would then act as the connect you need.

Sounds a bit convoluted though, doesn’t it?

I will grab Gatelab later and try it and work out the best solution.

I’m just thinking that the advantage of using the new MIDI Remote is that you wouldn’t have to rely on MIDI learn being available on the destination targets (As per that video), as you would be mapping to automation parameters instead.

With great struggle I managed to make it work.
Here is a breakdown in case anyone is passionate (foolish) enough to try !

  • Gatelab is an audio FX, so it needs a “audio carry track” to put it on. Means you create an empty stereo track with no sound on it, even no need to route it to the master. just plain empty
  • needs a MIDI track to act as connector. will have Gatelab as input, and the virtual loopMIDI as output (as mentioned this is 3rd party, simple to setup but needs to be configured in Cubase Studio Setup)
  • then need to Use MIDI Remote to create a controller with input as loopMIDI, create a knob on it, move the parameter you wish to control on the FX which is on the VSTi track you need to effect, apply mapping, and should work when you play
  • the midi track has to have the orange monitor button ON so as to send the Gatelab info through to the loopMIDI which sends to remote which sends to FX
  • I couldn’t figure out how to select the CC number on Midi remote, for some reason mine has a Knob property set to CC20 yet I have to set Gatelab to CC21 otherwise it doesn’t work. Puzzling, but could be a Cubase bug.

Thanks to skijumptoes for taking the time. I think this technique could result in really fun modulation for sound design, even for mixing to apply variation to parameters.
BUT, this is VERY convoluted indeed and such a pain to setup.
MANY users wish for a much better MIDI, modulation, control system, I think Bitwig comes up regularly, I seriously hope Steinberg listens and delivers for C14.

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Great to hear you’ve got it running, worth noting that the way you have it mapped would write automation on the track too.

So you could then copy and paste those envelopes out to other tracks/different parameters too. Maybe offsetting them or experimenting further.

I did touch on it above, but you could also have multiple instances through the same virtual port too.

Gatelab 1 - MIDI OUT : CC20 & CC21
Gatelab 2 - MIDI OUT: CC22 & CC23. …etc.
MIDI Remote Param 1 = CC20
MIDI Remote Param 2 = CC21
MIDI Remote Param 3 = CC22
MIDI Remote Param 4 = CC23 …etc.

I do wonder how viable it would be for Steinberg to create a MIDI remote panel that has lots of modulation options built in, and we can simply just map from those modulators to inserts via the mapping assistant.

Much of it is there already, so you’d imagine it would be easier than having to build something in at the track level, and could become a very attractive feature for sound designers.

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I think this is a great idea! I’ve had similar visions where function generators and modulators can seamlessly connect to MIDI ports, MIDI remote, MIDI/Instrument tracks and output to VST plugin parameters. My vision would be to use a node based GUI to easily connect these inputs and outputs with generators and modulators.


Thanks for the pointer for multiple instances.
I will try that.
Fully approve your ideas for the modulation matrix option, if Steinberg can scratch all this back to the basics and provide a great UX and UI it will be new generation level software. And I will upgrade !

Yes that would be great, I don’t know if SB have enough interest to really go to work on this though?

I was thinking more simply of adding the option to insert modulators to the existing MIDI Remote panel as objects. Which in turn could be mapped as per via the mapping assistant.

It seems to be the least amount of work for a pretty decent return in added functionality to me?

The more I think it through, it may even be possible using the API currently. Obviously the modulator rates and directions would be prefixed in code and you couldn’t do any kind of animation on there, but it’d be an interesting project to see if you could place a control that is self modulating and then assign it to parameters on the fly.

I’m gonna have to try now the seeds been planted! :slight_smile:

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Please let us know your findings using the API. :slight_smile:
I would’ve thought that the JS scripts run in a single thread and as such, an LFO for example, would lock up the script entirely. I’d love to be proven wrong though!

I think you should just be able to right click on any knob, on any plugin instrument or FX, and be able to assign it to either a hardware controller or any available cc modulator source.
Should be as simple as a right click, the rest done by Cubase through some kind of matrix, and with further options for those who need extra control.
Or improve the QC panel to bring in this function. Like MIDI inputs on channel will show all available, then QC could offer to modulate any parameter with any source.
You guys are more clued up than I am, I hope you can push Steinberg to give attention to this topic, and ideally have a Steinberg Modulation Matrix with all kinds of LFOs or wavetable modulation sources.