Program/Preset Change of VST Instruments via midi automation: how to?

Hello, we are finalizing our live setup with VST Live/ transfer period from NI maschine, but still can’t figure out how to change presets within a vst instrument via midi (from one part of a song to a next part) we placed as e.g. a global layer .

  • we used for example Halion and Massive (as Synthesizers)
  • changing presets with a mouse click: works
  • changig presets with an attached midi keyboard via program change buttons*: doesnt work
  • changing presets via a midi track from the song tracks window: doenst work (can we only write velocity notes and not program changes?)

Are we missing something essential here, or is it really not possible?

Is the only way to achieve different sounds/presets form the same VST instrument to duplicate the desired VST instrument in “x” instances on new individual layers for each song part with individual sounds, instead of having only “one” vst instrument set as global and change (sounds)presets via (midi) automation?

Is ist possible to generate a midi track within a song and route it accordingly to autmate outbound program changes of for my exmaple our Kemper or Quad Cortex?

Thanks in advance for any tips :slight_smile:

*works absolutely perfect for playing a synth preset with the black and white piano keys. input from dedicated “program change” buttons gets registered, but doesnt pass thorugh to the vst instrument.
when using the same vst instrument (e.g. massive) standalone outside / without VST Live as host application eversthing works perfect


Works fine here.
Pls. check with built-in Halion Sonic SE: open its editor, go to options and set Program Changes to “GM Mode”. Can you change its program via Program Change messages?

You can use Edit/MIDI List Editor.

For one, you are probably missing Shared Instruments. If your Instrument can handle program changes, select its first instance (say, Layer 1) from the “Shared” menu in the Layer Instrument selection menu for any more Layers that should address it. Then you control its slots via Layer MIDI Channel and Layer Program Change, Volume, Pan etc (switch to MIDI Controls). You could even send Program Changes from tracks via the built-in Virual MIDI cable.

Yes, sure.

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Thanks @musicullum ! We will try that. Sounds promising.

Quick question: how exactly do you make a vst Instrument on a Layer „Shared“?
I cant find something in the layer Dropdown-Menu. And the manual is pretty short on „howto“ details too.
I have Seen Shared vst Instruments in the „ghost“ demo project (rounded s-Icon) but cant Reverse Engineer how to make them :person_shrugging::sweat_smile:

In the “slot” where you select the VST instruments, click and the VST menu opens. Expand the last “shared” entry and it shows you the VSTs used in the project.

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Thanks a lot @Italyuser . That was the hint i needed!

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