Volume levels change on their own

I’m experiencing a strange thing since this afternoon
Some instruments (1 instance of Kontakt7 and one Sine Player), all of a sudden, they became super quiet.
I checked on the Automation panel but it doesn’t show any accidental automation, nor I touched the volume fader.
Did anyone experienced this?

I’ve seen this sort of thing from time to time, usually where the MIDI has a volume event in it. Those don’t show up as automation, but some (not all) VIs respond to them and change their volume.

Thanks Sy!
today it happened again. What’s weird is that the session was playing fine, went for a bike ride and left everything open, came back home and pressed play and the flute was super low. Didn’t touch anything at all.

Know where I can find if there’s such volume event somewhere?

Ya if you pop open the editor/piano roll and then go down to the bottom where it shows velocity, change that over to CC7 (main volume) and see if there’s anything these.

Something else that can cause it is if you are doing midi tracks → rack instruments (that’s how I do) is the volume fader on the channel itself. It sets itself to 100 by default. However it doesn’t send that out all the time, so when you start playing the level in Kontakt will be whatever the default you’ve set, but then when it resets, like if you seek to the beginning I think, it’ll send you the “100” level which will cause Kontakt to change the volume.

The two solutions for that are:

  1. When you start a new track, use the fader to set the level you like. Then it should stay there, unless you load a new patch.

  2. Disable the volume slider on the MIDI track before you load a patch. If you drag it all the way down below 0 in the mix console it should say “Off” which means that it shouldn’t do anything.

You can also edit the Kontakt instrument and tell it not to accept CC7 and CC10 messages but that is a per-instrument thing.

Many thanks Sy <3
appreciated taking the time to share some knowledge

I sincerely don’t understand the solutions lol
But just because I don’t understand the issue and why it’s happening :rofl: (and why such thing happens in a DAW)

When you said “saw this happening from time to time” you mean here in the forums?

Need to do some research and find out what “some (not all) VIs respond to them and change their volume” is all about since it never heard anything like it in over 2 decades.

No I meant in my own use.

In terms of “some, not all, VIs respond” what I mean is the MIDI controls in particular CC7 and CC10.

So remember that MIDI goes WAAAAAAAY back, and back in Ye Olden Thymes™ usually you were sending MIDI out to a hardware synth, often one with multiple channels like the Roland SC-55. Thus there needed to be a way to control things like pan and volume for individual channels, and to do so on MIDI. The control numbers decided on were 7 for volume and 10 for panning. There’s others (128 of them in fact) but for what we are talking about those are the two we care about.

You’d use those to adjust the volume of parts, so your MIDI would play back with the balance you wanted on other people’s stuff, or just to make it easier than adjusting the probably non-automated fader on the mixing desk.

Ok well fast forward to now. We basically do everything in the box, all instruments are actually virtual, they are all loaded in a DAW where we can automate the volume, panning, and anything else we want of the audio channels that our VIs live on. But the underlying MIDI hasn’t changed. We are STILL on MIDI version 1, they keep talking about MIDI 2.0 but nothing uses it.

That means those control commands are still there and they do get used sometimes. Some of them, like modulation (CC1) and expression (CC11) are pretty commonly used by VIs and most keyboards have physical controllers for them. Volume and pan get less use, but they still do.

Well what CCs a VI responds to is up to the VI, and often up to the specific instrument. Some of them ignore CC7 by default. They play back the instrument at whatever volume they are set at no matter what CC7 says, they figure you’ll manually change it if you want, or automate the audio fader. However others do respond. They’ll have a default volume they play back an instrument at, but if they get a CC7 message it’ll cause them to change the volume.

In Kontakt it is something instruments themselves can set, and you can change. If you click the settings wrench on an instrument and then pick “instrument options” or the two little gears on instruments that don’t allow editing, you get the options panel. Under “Controller” you can set up some various MIDI CC options. One is if the instrument should respond to volume and pan changes on 7 and 10 or not. Another is that if it gets a volume change, how does it interpret that range-wise.

Others VIs will do it differently. Like in Synthmaster, you have to assign CC7 to the control(s) you want it to modify, if you want it to do anything.

So that is where I’ve seen it happen. Instrument gets loaded in Kontakt, level is set to default, something sends CC7 message to Kontakt, level gets changed.

Thanks Sy!

At this point tho’ it must be something unique to the Cubase/Nuendo architecture since I’ve used the same VIs for years in Logic and never bumped into this strange behavior.

I recently bought a MIDI fader tool and one was set to CC7 but, apart from the fact that I never touched it (remember the session was working fine, went out for a bike ride (left N12 open) and upon my return, I pressed Play and the entire string section was almost inaudible), but I’ve been using the same MIDI controller setup and the same VIs for months and never ran into this issue.
As a precaution I have changed the CC7 to CC120 yesterday night.

So it must be something within CB/N. And need to find out why cos it’s pretty inconvenient as it forces me to freeze the tracks all the time in order not to loose the balance :sweat_smile:

Any idea where I can dig into the CB/N

I mean maybe you are having a different issue, maybe something else is causing problems. For me it has been CC7 issues and the solution is either:

  1. Disable the instrument form responding to CC7

  2. Make sure a have the MIDI volume set to the level I want from the get go.

Thank you so much Sy

If I bump into something else I’ll add it here for future ref