Suggest 64bit VSTi's that support ProgChange

Steinberg, please help me. I would like to keep using Cubase but I don’t know what to replace my 32bit plug-ins with. PLease Please, do not suggest Halion as IT DOES NOT SUPPORT Midi ProgChange Messages.

Can you, or anyone please suggest some 64bit VSTi’s that support midi ProgChange ? (Is there a 64bit version of Hyper Canvas?)

(By the way, I think it is really poor that although I have been using Cubase for years, I’m left completely stranded by the Steinberg Company because their product does not support Video Import properly (QT issues!) unless I upgrade to 9.5, which I’m happy to do BUT IT WON’T RUN MY PLUGINS and the new plug ins don’t work properly as they don’t support ProgChange. (I want to have say 40 songs in one session for live presentation. With old ProgCh plugins I could do that with 16 tracks and send ProgCh as necessary. With Halion I’d need 16x40= 640 tracks ! Stupid.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

I’ve been using HALion since version 5 (Using v6 now), and it CAN manage a table of up to 128 programs/patches that can be called up via MIDI PC events. You build your program table with any stuff you want to call up via PC in the first 128 slots and save that as multi-program. Your table can have more than 128 programs, but as far as I know it’s just the first 128 that will respond to PC changes (I don’t think bank messages are supported to do more than 128, perhaps multiple banks would be a good feature request). Note, you should subtract one to get the right program called…I.E. A PC 0 event will call up Program 1 from your table, PC 2 will call program 1, etc.

In HALion 6, the program table works independently for each MIDI channel…just like any other GM instrument.

There is also a General MIDI I multi-program included with HALion. I typically start with that and simply drag my own programs into the tree to replace slots I want my own (or different) programs in. Of course you can start with a totally empty program tree and build it any way you like. Just be sure in the “Options” tab, you have HALion set to receive Program Changes.

Larger programs/patches that need to be called up instantly via PC can also be set to ‘preload’ into memory, though for constantly swapping between sounds with ‘really large’ sample sets, it may be more efficient on the system (uses more memory, but less CPU or D2D activity) to channel bounce, or build key-switches into your program(s) instead.

I.E. Here is one where I started with the GM set, and replaced a bunch of stuff with programs from the HALion Symphonic Orchestra library:

Since GM I expects a drum kit on Channel 10, I just have a default one already loaded with the multi-program. If I want a different one I just drag it to channel 10 (or 11 in the case of multi kit GM II files) from my program tree. I also changed up my effects and audio routing for the multi-program so various families of instruments get their own outputs and internal HALion effect chains.

So, if 128 slots are enough for a given project/gig…HALion has you covered.

HALion 6 is a very deep sound design platform. It integrates into Cubase exceptionally well. The UI is very unique and allows very good user configuration in terms of what you want displayed when, where, and how. The included content is subjective (great in my opinion) so it’s best to grab demos and try it yourself if included or available content packs are a major part of your decision making process. As for making your own content, H6 hangs in there with the best of them…it’s a great engine.

In cases where you want to mix and match an assortment of plugins (which may even be totally dumb to live program changes) into one aggregated super plugin, and get all sorts of options to change stuff up with PC, CC, velocity curves, mapping, etc…you might have a look at something like Bidule, Vienna Ensemble Pro, VIP etc.

Bidule in rewire mode (CuBase supports this) is also a solid method for bridging your old 32but stuff to work with a 64bit host (or vice verse). So, check it out. You could keep using your 32bit stuff with 64bit hosts that can be a Rewire Master. If you have a DAW/Host that does not have Rewire Master support, you can add it to most hosts with VST Plugin (VST Plugin was designed for Reason, but I’ve found it works well in everything I’ve tried that I wanted to become a Rewire “Master”…Dorico, Finale and Sibelius, and more).

I’ve been using Bidule for a while now, and it’s great for mixing and mashing plugins for ultra creative sound design. I.E. I can easily blend ARIA, HALion, SONiVOX, and others into one seamless plugin (or a rewire client). As a quick example here is a Bidule where I am actually mixing/blending 8 totally different VST/i plugins into a single instrument. Portato comes from Sforzando, Sustain 1 comes from HALion, Slow Harmonics from NI Player, Sustain 2 from SONiVOX Film Scoring companion, etc. All of this runs in a single VSTi slot in the Cubase instrument rack.

I can easily automate and swap/merge/blend/isolate the sounds via key switches, program changes, keyboard mapping, velocity, tempo, and more. I could also ‘round robin’ among sets of sustains coming from a number of independent plugins, and more. I can call up different routings via PC or CC events. With the registered VST/i versions I can use it as a plugin chainer when I run out of slots, or want to side chain things that do not have native side chaining abilities, etc. I can use it to force VSTi plugins to work in VST slots, and vice verse. I also often use Bidule, rtpMIDI; plus free utilities, reaStream to host sounds on different computers (make use of all the door stop computers in the house to run some synths/samplers). Low level MIDI and audio processing possibilities are pretty intense. It also provides a layer of OSC based remote support if you’re in need of that.


If you have not already tried jBridge, give it a go. With that you should be able to keep using your 32bit stuff until you’ve shopped around and made some decisions.

Again, with Bidule, you could set up the 32bit version as a Rewire client (The free stand alone demo will work in this rewire mode) and run your 32bit stuff in that as well.

In the Halion Sonic SE 3 included with Cubase 9.5, click this square in the preset browser to add a “GM Sound” column:

This will allow you to replace any General MIDI sound with any Halion preset.

Go to the options and enable GM Mode:

All of this also applies to the full version of Halion Sonic 3, which has an almost completely different, newer set of sounds compared to Halion Sonic SE.

Sonic and SE 3 does things a little differently with Program Changes than his big brother HALion 6.

There are a couple of different PC modes in the OPTIONS tab of Sonic or SE.

You have a General MIDI mode. This can be used for quick playback of general MIDI files. It forces the use of a special slate of programs from the Basic content pack (all of them have a GM in the program name). This GM table cannot be changed by users. In this mode PC events work on independent channels…and call up General MIDI I compliant sounds.

You have a “Multi” mode. In this case, I don’t think you can assign independent per channel program changes. A PC change will call up an entire Multi program (for all 16 instrument slots) in one go. So, you can call up an entire performance set (all 16 instrument slots) via PC. This is configured in the MULTI tab. I.E. First you load and configure all your instruments slots as you like them. Next, you save that as a Multi-Program. Finally, you assign your multi-program to a PC number in the MULTI tab.

To work around this in a case where you need to quickly swap sounds for a given Channel (say you want to swap between pizzicato and arco strings on channel 7), you can simply use a fresh instance of HALion Sonic/SE for channel 7, and make a couple of Multi Templates for channel 7 to swap back and forth. Leave channel 7 empty on your first instance. You can either use a MIDI send to echo things to both instances of Sonic, or simply arm multiple tracks at once, etc.

Another solution is to assign more than one instrument slot in Sonic to the same channel, then ‘learn’ a CC to change the ‘level’ of each instrument that needs to ‘share’ a channel. Make sure each instrument uses a different CC. At that point you can use CC events instead of Program changes in the sequence to bring the volume of one to zero, and the other up as needed. You could also opt to use a local transformer in CuBase’s track inspector to convert a single PC event into the two CC events required to toggle the volumes of swappable instruments that might be sharing a channel.

There are indeed ways to arm/disarm or mute/unmute entire tracks via remote (I.E. PC Changes). So, doing organ stop style instrument changes can also be an option (not just for HALion Sonic/SE, but for any plugins).

Better yet, simply channel bounce when at all possible (no abrupt cutting off of the previous tone if your sound has nice reverb tails built into the sample). There are likely some ways to teach CuBase to channel bounce via remote if you need it done live (maybe through generic remote devices). I’d need to test the theory and get back to you on this, but there just might be a way. If you’re working with editors instead of live playing to build your sequences, it’s easy as pie, just use all the tracks you need across as many channels/instances of instruments as you need instead of using MIDI PC events. Later, if you like, you can ‘freeze’ the tracks and then merge them down with channel output set to ‘any’ should you need that (I.E. for scoring purposes).

In a DAW like Cubase, don’t be afraid to spread things out and use lots and lots of tracks (or even instances of VST/i plugins)! It’s easy to organize and pack them into folders for compacting the view and manipulating larger ‘groups’ of tracks in one go. Breaking out of the box of trying to make a single track ‘do everything’ on its own holds a lot of people back in my opinion. When you spread things out, you get the full power of everything in the track inspector(s) many times over. It’s also easy to merge/expand/freeze/melt tracks when you want to streamline things down to fewer tracks later in projects. So, let all those fancy articulations live on their own independent tracks (and plugin instances if needed) and have their own channels…ultimately you’ll get much more control over every nuance of your sequence without having to constantly ‘duplicate’ a bunch of expressive controller data for just about every single note in the piece. PC changes and Key Switches were critical back when we were limited to a couple dozen tracks, on expensive hardware synths/samplers that could only take input over a single MIDI port by 16 channels, with well under a gig of memory to work with, etc…but these days we can spread it all out without having to think as much about maxing out our track limits or instrument limits.

Oh, this cool! I did not know we could do this (alter the GM program mapping) in Sonic/SE :slight_smile:

I’d already composed my monologue about Multi-Programs and PC changes before I saw this post…oh well…
I’ll try to come back and edit it later …meanwhile gotta go to work.

This is all really helpful information. Thanks to all those that replied, I appreciate your help.

Thank you.

from first hand
native instruments - massive, fm8, absynth
EDIT – I completely forgot that you can do this in Kontakt as well, since I haven’t done it in ages…

u-he - zebra, diva

i think some of the rob papen plugs as well