I am using Cubase 8 Pro. I have noticed that automating Omnisphere 2 is somewhat of a nightmare, especially if I’ve loaded Omnisphere as a rack instrument in order to take advantage of Multi-Timbral mode.
If I’ve loaded Omnisphere as a Rack instrument, in order to automate its parameters, I have to go into Omnisphere, right click on the parameter I wish to automate, click “Enable Host Automation” (That’s all fine)…
Here’s the problem, when I go back into Cubase and open up the automation lane on the midi track that was assigned to Omnisphere, the automation parameter is not available to select (ie Filter Cutoff) in any of the drop-down menus.
To automate it, I need to go into the “VST Instruments” folder track (Which was created when I loaded up Omnisphere as a rack instrument) and use the automation lane there. This is not convenient, especially if I want to use Omnisphere as a multi-timbral instrument, it doesn’t appear that there is a way to automate the parameters on a second midi channel assigned to the VST Instrument.
The same problem applies if I load Omnisphere as an Instrument track and then create an additional midi track to use on channel 2 of Omnisphere.
When using Omnisphere on an instrument track, as a single instance, the automatable parameters are available from the drop-down menus in the automation lanes beneath the instrument track.
I hope I am communicating the problem effectively.
Why aren’t the automation parameters populated into automation lanes of the midi tracks?
Edited to add: I’ve just noticed that this behavior is consistent across the board for all midi tracks assigned to any VST Instrument, not just Omnisphere. Is this a bug, or am I missing something?
You have two different ways to automate controls. The one I prefer is the ‘host’ automation. The other is to send Midi CC values to a control. I prefer the former because it cuts out the middle man, e.g. the midi, and also midi only has a range of 0-127 which may be a bit low resolution for some things. But, each to his own of course.
So, as you stated, if you use the host automation mode then you either have to have all the automation in the first Track instance or all in the Rack instrument. There’s no way round this. And it’s a pain because you can’t read the automation lane names very well, and you can’t move them away from the single instrument track or rename them. You can re-order them though.
As for controlling via midi, I managed to get this to work. What I did was show an automation lane for the midi track, then select a Midi CC value that I thought wasn’t being used (most of the numbered ones). Then I drew in a simple ramp in a looped section of the song and pressed play. What we should have now is a single Midi CC ramp being sent into Omnisphere, so I right clicked on my chosen control in Omni and selected Midi CC Learn. As soon as I did that the control started to move as per the ramp I drew.
Now, using the Midi control method, you can’t wiggle the control in Omni and record it because it doesn’t send midi back to the track, so you either need an external knob or draw it in manually (or use quick controls, but I’m no expert on this one!). However, using the Host Automation method you can wiggle the knob in Omni and record the automation - just put the track into Write Automation Mode by clicking the W to make it Red. Another reason I prefer the latter method. But, as you said, it doesn’t allow you to split the automation out for each midi channel
Hope this chat helps!
What you wrote is indeed helpful, thank you Mike!
Although probably no one from SB listens to this stuff anymore…
You’ve hit on one of THE most confusing areas of Cubase. This is the sort of thing that should be in a Sticky FAQ post PROMINENTLY in the docs.
It drives me NUTS with virtually every VSTi. You end up having -some- automation in with the VSTi lanes and -some- in the MIDI Key Editor and -some- in the MIDI Channel lanes. And if the VSTi is multi-channel (like Omnisphere?) It gets even uglier.
My guess is that it’s stuck like this for the sake of backward compatibility.
But at -some- point, the root problem needs to be addressed, which IMO is this crazy thing of ‘Track’ vs. ‘Rack’ instruments. There needs to be ONE UI paradigm that works consistently for all VSTis. Perhaps an entirely new track type that works for ALL VSTis so that it doesn’t disturb backward compatibility.