Stack and plug-in preset management

I really dont understand how VST live deals with stack and plug-in presets.
I use the same global stack hosting two plugins for all my Songs in a setlist.
For example in Song 1 I want to use the global stack with a specific state (setting, plugin-in tone). In Song 2 I want to use the global stack with a different state
I would have expected that I can save presets for a global stack which a song can re-call when the song gets loaded. Obviously this is not the case, but there must be a different method.
Also I wonder how I can recall a global stack “preset” triggered by a midi program change. Any support or guidance is appreciated.
Maybe the approach how I expect this should work is completely wrong.

Global means, that it is identical for all songs. If you need a specific stack for each song (as you mention in your post) than have one part for each song with one stack with the settings for this song.


If your plugins support program change, you can also send some from a MIDI track via a virtual MIDI cable. Set MIDI Input of the plugin to Virtual Midi 2 Input (for instance) and send from a MIDI track to Virtual MIDI 2 Output. The Virtual MIDI ports are really “cables”, so you can use those this way.
We are also working on shared Stacks, those work like shared Layers.

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Here my live setting:
I want to use VST live as Multi-FX for my guitar which I play live.
Hence I thought a global stack with multiple insert VST plugins is the right thing to do. I have a couple of different tones (presets) which I want to use depended on which song I play. And then also when I make changes to a tones (preset), I want this changes apply for all Songs using this preset.

Well, I want a global stack because for every Song and Part I have the same plug-in chain, same send levels, all the same.
The only thing I want is that when I load a Song or Part, then I want to use different “stack presets” for my Songs and parts. And also want to have Song specific backing track, but that is easy because its not a global track but a track per Song.
In short words:
Globally defined stack and song/part specific preset for this global stack.
I simply want to store/recall the state (settings) of my global stack, automatically when a Song/Part will become active.
Such “stack preset” should include the selected preset for evert insert-VST-plugin.

Here the information about the vst3 plugins I want to use:

Some plugins have a built-in set of presets (aka “programs”) that they make available to the host but leaves all preset management to the plugin itself.
Some plug-in support midi-in to accept midi program changes to change within the plug-in the “program”, sone others not.

Some other plugins have only one program available which they expose to the host. (For examples the ones I want to use). Note that these plugins may have a comprehensive built-in programs/preset system but don’t make it accessible to the host program. For these plugins I need VSTLife control over preset management.

I use for example Line6 Helix Native which has built-in preset management but exposes only one program to the host. The plugin supports midi-in but not accept program changes for plugin-internal preset loading: “At this time, remote MIDI control of setlist and preset changes is supported only with the AU (Mac) and Pro Tools AAX (Mac and Windows) Helix Native plugin formats. It is not supported for the VST2 or VST3 Helix Native plugin formats on Mac or Windows.”, well too sad.

Thats the reason I need VST-Live to manage the preset loading.
Cubase can do so, but I dont know how to assig a Midi PC to advice VST-Live to load an indexed vst-preset.

I hope it clarifies the issue.

Then you need an instance for each state you want to switch to.

Global Stacks are global and cannot change their content other than when the plugin supports external changes (Program Change, Quick Control). It also takes all the time the plugin needs to change its state, which is not the case with individual instances (and Preload).

You can copy/paste/load/save Layers, Stacks, Parts etc. In fact you can save your presets in the Media Bay and just drag it from and to the Stacks or Parts view, which is the recommended way to use it. Plugin Instances other than samplers etc usually don’t cost much memory (and no CPU at all when not activated).

Another tip is to set up your Part with all the bells and whistles and simply set it as default (menu Parts/Save Default Part). Whenever you create a new Part, it will then have it all ready to use, you can also drag the “Default” part from the bay to your playlist. This should be pretty much what you want, no? And it also provides more rapid switching.

Exactly for this purpose I need a midi binding. Normally when I play live, I dont have my hands free to load presets from the Media Bay and just drag it from and to the Stacks.
And I thought that live is the main purpose of VST-Live.
I want to trigger a PC sent from my foot controller, and that loads a new preset into my Stack.

Well, my evaluation period is anyway over.
I was so enthusiastic when I saw VST-Live, but if this is not supported I’ll need to stay with Brad.

The workflow for this would be to have a second part with a stack , which contains the “new” preset. With midi you trigger to go to the next (in this case second) part.

…or any other Part whasoever, by index.
Parts in the Playlist (list to the left) can be switched by actions Next Part, Previous Part, or Select Part. All of these will activate the Parts’ Layers, Stacks, and Modules.

You can select a specific Part for instance with a Program Change, set the PC number to the index (like 3 for 4th Part, because MIDI data counts from zero, you have to subtract one “human” unit).

If you use Program Change in particular, which only has 2 MIDI bytes, set Data Source to Data 1, otherwise in almost all other cases you will want to choose Data 2, e.g. Status: Controller, Data1: Breath (or whatever), Data 2: value (in this case, Part index of the Song).

You can also switch Songs and even Setlists this way via Actions and Shortcuts…

Thank you so much for this support and your suggestions.
I really appreciate it. As I said my evaluation period is over.
I am convinced your proposal would work, but still sounds a little odd,
because in my case with a PC I dont want to change the part of a Song, but I want to change the state/preset of a stack. When I am in the process of finding the right sound/preset for a certain part in a Song, I dont want to to use mouse/keyboard, but my footcontroller switching through the plugin presets.

I am a very satisfied user of Steinberg Cubase Elements since many years.
I use it in my home studio and it has more than everything that I need for making (hobby-) music alone at home. (Except the issue that my Helix plugin does not react on program changes, but that’s not a cubase issue but a Line6 issue).

But when I play together with my band in our rehearsal room or in live situations, I need something like a mainstage or cantabile. These are situations where you dont fiddle around with mouse and keyboard.
I am still very optimistic that VSTLive will catch up, but today its not enough to change to VSTlive. Particularly I miss the versatile Midi binding possibilities and the preset model (Cantabile has three models for managing a plugin’s presets.)

Certainly, I will test VSTlive again in one year from now.
Again, thank you so much for your prompt feedback and support.

Sure, and you can do that,

And you don’t have to.
I guess you are confused by the term “Part” here. Just see Parts as presets, and you can select those with your foot controllers. Or, send a Program Change as programmed in a Layer.
Anyway, good luck.