VST Live & automating 3rd Party Plugins

I’m considering getting the Steinberg VST Live app. A main factor for me is whether it can run 3rd party VST plugins and, equally important, if it can be setup to automate 3rd part VST plugins on/off for guitar FX live in sync with a pre-recorded backing track & click track (such that a guitarist wouldn’t need to use a foot pedal live)?

Hi @shgrindeland,

yes, it’s possible. Let me show you a short description.

You could use a STACK for your Guitar Input signal and two Plug-Ins. In this example I am running an built-in Plug-In (AmpSimulator) and a 3rd Party Plug-In (TH-U).

Both Slots can be enabled and disabled with that control

Screenshot 2024-05-06 at 21.35.54

Those Parameters can be automated. For that you can add an Automation Track in TRACKS.

Select your Input source. In that case we select the Stack directly. It’s also possible to select the Plug-Ins itself. But here we want to enable/disable the Plug-Ins

Every Automation track can manage up to 16 Params. We want to automate the “Enable” Controls of Slots 1 and 2.

let me select them

Now we need control them at a specific time. The Automation editor will help.

There we go. The “Enable” Parameter of Slot_1 will be activate from 1.1 to 2.1 and the “Enable” Parameter of Slot 2 will be active from 3.1 to 4.1

And of course you can add audio track to that setup.

I hope that will give you a rough idea what’s possible.

More questions?

See you,


Thank you! I really appreciate all the visual snipits and step-by-step you provided.

So, would you advise on storing the pre-recorded backing track on the laptop or on an X32 Rack digital mixer using an X-Live expansion card and calling it from there?.. if you have an opinion on that. I don’t know how much I need to worry about where which items are being processed from and latency issues.

Additionally, hopefully this is still on-topic, can VST Live send midi commands to external devices (e.g. to an X32 Rack to turn vocal FX at the X32 on/off during a song?

VST Live can play audio files if that’s what you mean?