Ok. Finally VST Expressions looks like it could be a paradigm shifting technology for composers working to deadlines and needing control of beasts like Vienna Symphonic Library etc.
If Steinberg could make one final push with this, I think it will be a DP, Logic and PT killer, at least for those who use MIDI extensively. That push may mean a collaboration with the folks at Vienna Symphonic Library, and the key point is this:
VST 3.5 apparently now allows Nuendo/Cubase to query a plugin and receive all its patch (or at least key switch) information back. Allowing an automatic Expression map to be generated. The subtle but important thing here is that, rather than users being restricted to the pre-made maps and patches that work (or having to face hours and hours of Map programming) the user can now freely create VSL patches and get Expression Maps automatically.
This allows VSL users to work within the philosophy originally dreamt up by VSL - that the user is in command of customising patches all the time. And this is a big thing!
Personally I have tried, in an effort to tame VSL, various control methods, none of which have worked 100%. From programme changes (now defunct in VST 3) to key switches (that don’t properly chase unless you sustain them with manual editing or create separate tracks for patch assignments) and my final idea, CC control messages in MIDI automation lanes. This last I had high hopes for, until I learnt that Nuendo/Cubase does not chase these well, and it’s bugged it would seem when in cycle mode. I spent much time developing Logical Transformer presets to adapt CC Data into digestible form for VSL. It was working - but bugged. Sadly.
VST Expressions 2 has a couple of quirks that also need ironing out. I am personally still discovering these, but one is that, at the end of a MIDI part, the expression map spits out a reset to the VSTi. It would be great to be able to change this.
Sooo, my point is, VST Expressions is by no means dead in the water. Well done SB for continuing to develop it. It’s so nearly there but just needs a final push. SB: please help VSL to go VST 3.5. And maybe Native Instruments (Kontakt) and others will follow suit. This would open things up for LA Scoring Strings for example, to name but just one.
MIDI is a terribly old protocol. It’s really creaking at its foundations when faced with behemoths like VSL. But changing the MIDI protocol will never happen. VST Expression almost cracks the problem. Some lateral thinking is still to be done (EG could Polyphonic Pressure data not be used as a way to tunnel note specific information down that MIDI pipe?)
Thanks for reading