Actually, they can. A bit of a kludge, but possible. I agree, this should be a hack that’s not necessary, but oh well.
Load a Virtual Port.
Set up some empty MIDI tracks to store ‘routing and MIDI effects’.
MIDI Track > Virtual Port > Generic Remote
It’s not difficult at all to have a few generic maps with their inputs set to a few virtual ports, and plug and go in those maps as needed.
If you need to instant render later there are couple of options.
Set read/write on the automation lanes bound in the generic remote, do a pass as to record everything to the real VST lane, then disarm/mute the MIDI Routeing track.
Freeze the MIDI routing track to a part, have it put the CCs in a lane rather than in part. Copy and paste the results to lanes you need.
This also opens up new doors to store anything you do with controllers in MIDI parts, or easily draw-in/edit stuff controllers do.
Advantages: Superior graphical and list editing (Through Key Editor, List Editor, Drum Editor, etc.) Cyclical recording, retrospective recording support, ability to run Logic Editors and batch process, and more. You can also automate a lot of things that do NOT have native automation tracks/lanes (such as playing a macro, or arming/disarming tracks).
Disadvantages: Lower resolution and/or accuracy? At least in MIDI editors, it’s easy to nudge and bump everything where it really needs to live to get the sound. Can even do it via Logic Editor so it’s something of an automated one time entry.
For what it’s worth, EDM aren’t the only people who want things like:
Cyclical recording and versions for automation lanes.
Logic editing on automation lanes.
Ability to create patterns and effects on automation lanes using modifiers, similar to the MIDI mods with MIDI/Instrument tracks.
We ‘non EDM’ people have been asking for this sort of thing for a long time, but instead got synthy content packs we’ll never use, new plugin ‘skins’, and sample tracks (what was wrong with Groove Agent?).
Yes, we’ve also been asking for improvements to the arranger tracks, score editor, macro and project/MIDI logic editing engine. Access to more event types in those engines, a few more native automation lanes for triggering things like playing macros, arming/disarming tracks, moving locators around, etc.
What still DO have that no other DAW does quite as well is:
Awesome MIDI editors and theory/chord tools.
Full Note Expression support.
Amazing Legacy support…for just about everything ever made since the 80s. Open ended enough to teach it to do a lot of things, and connect to equipment no other DAW ever could, nor ever will.