VST Quick Controls Defaults - what assigns them?

Possibly one for an Arturia-specific forum but maybe some Cubase issues too…!

When viewing Remote Control Editor for both Steinberg & 3rd party VSTs, I’m curious what decides the default parameter assignments to the VST Quick Controls. Is it Cubase or the VST?

I ask since I get the occasional conflict with my Arturia KeyLab Mk2, a major selling point of which is that it auto-maps to Arturia’s Analog Lab VST, plus the majority of its V Collection VSTs.

For example, when loading up Analog Lab as a standalone VST, all the knobs & faders behave as designed. However, when firing up Cubase & loading up AL in a track, the 1st Track QC slot is labelled “Master”, which means that the 1st knob on the keyboard controls volume despite the GUI in Analog Lab showing it as controlling “Brightness” (aka LP filter cutoff) like it did in standalone mode.

If however I deactivate QC (via the button in the inspector) AL behaves as per standalone mode, i.e. the 1st knob referenced above controls cutoff.

If I go into Remote Control Editor & reassign the 1st VST QC slot to filter cutoff using the learn function, & then set Track QC to follow the default VST QC, all is well.

Hope that makes sense!


The plug-in manufacturer decides. In fact, every plug-in parameter has own unique ID, and the parameters are listed. Cubase just take this list and assign the first 8 parameters from the list. Same, what for example Mackie Control protocol does with the plug-ins. You should see the very same list, if you switch the plug-in to the Generic Editor view.

1 Like

Hi Martin, thank you, interesting I did not know that.

I got round the Analog Lab conflict by assigning the Track & VST QCs to different MIDI CCs not used by the Analog Lab mode, which uses ‘standard’ assignments (e.g. CC 74 for cutoff etc.). In Arturia’s configuration software it said MIDI CC 102 - 119 was undefined so I assigned those to the 18 knobs/faders & now all is good.

However, it has generated another question - how come when using Analog Lab mode with the knobs & faders assigned to CCs 74, 75, 76 etc. (i.e. not those in the QCs) I am still able to write automation? I thought that unless a QC is assigned, hardware controls won’t affect automation…?


What parameter do you automate then, please? Maybe a video screen recording would help. Thank you.

The automation parameters are all of the Analog Lab pre-mapped parameters such as cutoff & resonance, plus a few other things specific to whatever sound is loaded inside Analog Lab VSTi.

Analog Lab mode on the keyboard is basically a read-only factory template of MIDI CCs. For example, knob#1 in Analog Lab mode is mapped to CC 74 which for many sounds is linked to LP filter cutoff. So when I put the keyboard in Analog Lab mode with WRITE automation enabled, moving knob#1 writes automation for the LP filter cutoff. If I then went inside Analog Lab & assigned that knob#1 to LFO rate, a new automation lane would be created for LFO rate.

I’m not sure a screen recording would illustrate it any better than what I have described?

Fundamentally, since these CCs are not the ones used for the QCs (neither Track nor VST) then technically automation shouldn’t be able to be written - but it is! That’s what I don’t understand.

I can only assume it’s a manufacturer-specific script that works behind the scenes in Cubase…


If you enable Automation Write and you playback the project and move the controllers on the hardware, Cubase is writing the MIDI CC automation (not as MIDI CC lanes in the Key Editor, but really as the automation track). So there is an automation written in this case too.

Hi again Martin, I think I understand what you’re saying. The confusion is over how the automation is being written.

In the below examples, with write automation enabled, I move the control knob#1 which as mentioned above is mapped to MIDI CC 74.

  1. Analog Lab mode with Analog Lab VSTi - automation is written as separate automation lane (i.e. directly under the track). & labelled 'filter cutoff.

  2. Analog Lab mode with any Arturia V Collection VSTi - the automation data is displayed in the MIDI block but no automation lane is present. To see & edit this automation, you have to open Key Editor & at the bottom change velocity to whatever parameter it is you’ve written. The data is labelled ‘MIDI CC 74 Brightness’.

The 2 examples above are odd since the same method is used but the outcome is different. I appreciate this might be a quirk of Arturia controllers & VSTis. I think I also need to do more research into why there are 2 different methods of displaying automation!

One is actual automation, the other (in the midi editor CC lane) are MIDI continuous controllers. The confusion is due to an unfortune tendency by many to refer to both by the same name. They are not the same at all.

Thanks Steve, I agree that the terminology doesn’t help!

I’m still at a loss to explain why for one VSTi moving a control creates an automation lane, whilst for another VSTi a MIDI Continuous Controller event is instead triggered when moving the same control. The end result is the same (e.g. a filter sweep) but recorded differently.

In both VSTis, neither have been set up with Track or VST QCs either so I’d expect both examples to be recorded as MIDI CC events. But it’s odd that when the keyboard is in Analog lab mode, & using Analog Lab, an automation lane is written.

I don’t have any Arturia VSTs, so, sorry I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I can say that if you use the mouse to turn a knob, it’s probably automation. The Cubase gestalt includes offering the ability to do any one thing 20 different ways.

The problem is the history of the evolution of the jargon- there was no such thing as automation when I started doing midi – if I remember correctly, it was just after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated- I wanted to write a song about it. I couldn’t do it then though, and had to wait 125 years for someone to invent a midi cable. :rofl: :roll_of_toilet_paper:

1 Like

Haha, agreed! It was much simpler back in the early 90s when I first used Cubase on an Atari!

I think I’ve got my head round the differences between automation tracks & MIDI CC ‘automation’ (bad term I know). However, whilst I played around with it in Cubase tonight I noticed something odd…

Certain MIDI CC messages were not recording. I initially saved a User Preset (i.e. bank of MIDI CCs) & assigned the knobs/faders to MIDI CC 102 - 119 (undefined according to Arturia). Whilst they affected the VSTi controls in real time as desired, the MIDI wasn’t recorded.

So I loaded up a MIDI Monitor Insert & sure enough the knobs/faders were not registering. Selecting Analog Lab mode (with ‘standard’ MIDI CC assignments like 74, 73, 76, etc. for brightness, timbre etc.) & all knobs/faders triggered a response with the CC number shown.

I then tried some more MIDI CCs - 20 to 28 for the knobs & 52 to 60 for the sliders. This time the knob assigned to MIDI CC 28 worked, but none of the others did.

I checked MIDI Filter under Preferences & couldn’t see anything odd.

Why would these MIDI CCs not be registering? Cubase’s MIDI meter shows an input, & the corresponding controls on the VSTi move too - so why don’t they show up in the MIDI Monitor?

It sounds like those CCs are assigned in an expression map or in some remote maybe? (Studio Setup)

Actually that was a small part of the reason - 4 or 5 of the MIDI CCs were indeed set up for a 2nd keyboard I used (set up as a Generic Remote). However, why the remaining CCs aren’t working remains a mystery.

I’m not sure about expression maps so wouldn’t know where to look for those…


To me it sounds, you are using All MIDI Inputs in the Generic Remote Device and maybe even for some other remote devices. Therefore some of the MIDI data were doing something (over the Generic Remote Device), even if you didn’t expect this. I would strongly recommend to set the specific MIDI Port as the MIDI Input of the Generic Remote Device.

Maybe a screenshots of your remote devices and the setups could help.

The second problem could be in the Preferences > MIDI > MIDI Filter. Make sure, no CCs are filtered out, please.

Hi Martin, thanks - I’ve looked at MIDI Filter & nothing there.

The Generic Remote is set up as INPUT: Keystation Mk3, OUTPUT: Not Connected.

As a recap, the whole point of this is to be able to use my Arturia controller in the way Arturia intended with its V Collection VSTi’s, i.e. when the controller is in ‘Analog Lab’ mode, the 18 knobs & faders are pre-mapped to 18 of the specific VSTi parameters chosen by Arturia to be the most useful. These parameters are viewable (& changeable) within the VSTi (& many have a lot more than 18 parameters!) but I tend to leave them, using my mouse for the rest.

As I mentioned at the start, with QCs activated, the 8 assignments seem to override the VSTi mappings. For example, in a particular VSTi, Arturia choose to map knob#1 to filter cutoff. But in the VSTi rack, knob#1 is mapped to volume. So I need to go into the Remote Control Editor & change the VST QC mapping then transfer them over to Track QC. Not a big issue I appreciate!

The other option is to simply deactivate Track QC when using the Arturia VSTi’s - this then allows access to the Arturia mapping as per the VSTi defaults. However, with Track QC deactivated, the controller knobs can no longer be used to write an automation track (although MIDI CC ‘automation’ is available in the Key Editor as a controller lane).

One way round this problem I tried was copying the ‘Analog Lab’ mode mappings to a User Preset but having them transmit on MIDI ch 2 & setting up the Track QCs to use MIDI ch 2 - this solved the problem above, however these MIDI CCs would now not register as MIDI events in the Key Editor or a MIDI Monitor insert.

In practice, none of this is a huge issue - the hardware controls are simply a workflow saving tool & any automation I write I tend to draw in manually anyway for more precision. I’m just someone that likes to understand what I’m doing (& why something works the way it does!).

The easiest solution is to forget about QCs, but then I need them for my non-Arturia VSTis.


My solution would be to use the Analog Lab mode to control the Arturia instruments and use some other mode (User 1) to control the Quick Controls. My expectation is, it does send different MIDI CCs. If not, I would custom the MIDI CCs so, they don’t overlap.

But this is something, what puzzles me:

I don’t know, how is it done with the Arturia Instruments. I can’t imagine, the plug-in would steel the incoming MIDI CCs completely. The data comes to the track first, then to the plug-in.

Please, could you try to Unser MIDI Insert MIDI Monitor to verify the MIDI data arrives to the MIDI track?

This is exactly what I’ve been trying to do. Analog Lab mode assigns the following CCs to the knobs & faders (in order left to right):

Knobs: 74, 71, 76, 77, 93, 18, 19, 16, 17
Faders: 73, 75, 79, 72, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85

I’m struggling to find ‘spare’ MIDI CCs to use!

However, I’ve just noticed something. I have set up Track QCs for the 1st 8 knobs, & VST QCs for the 1st 8 faders & assigned them to MIDI ch 2 using the same CCs (i.e. as per Analog Lab defaults).

With QCs activated, the movement of the knobs (in both Analog Lab mode & User Preset) does not register on MIDI Monitor. But switching off QCs, the knobs register. So the QCs are somehow intercepting the MIDI data before it gets to the track.

RE: the faders, these never register on MIDI Monitor unless in Analog Lab mode.

If I wish the faders to be mapped to the 9 parameters inside Analog Lab or V Collection VSTi’s I can’t have anything mapped to them inside Cubase, or if I do I need to assign them to a MIDI ch other than 1.

This is all very odd & I feel like I’m tying myself up in knots!


When I have to do something like this, I often use some of the Undefined CCs, like 20-31, or 85-90.

I have KeyLab Essential 61 here on my desk. But I don’t have the Arturia software installed. I don’t know, this could be different. If I switch to the User 1 mode, then the device sends these CCs:

  • Encoders: 74, 71, 76, 77, 93, 18, 19, 16, 17
  • Sliders: 73, 75, 79, 72, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85

What a mess…

And actually it seems, it sends exactly the very same CCs, if I switch to the Analog Lab mode or aby other User mode. Why? :thinking: So it really looks, you have to assign them manually.

The same CCs as my KeyLab Mk2 in Analog Lab mode then!

As I mentioned in a post above, I did try 20 - 28, but these weren’t getting through (apart from CC 28!).

I’ve spent enough time on this now (& taken up far too much yours & Steve’s time!) so I came up with a workaround that does the job:

  1. Leave VST QCs unassigned.
  2. Assign Track QCs to 8 of the 9 encoders (knobs) using the default Analog Lab CCs as noted above (74, 71, 76 etc.) & MIDI ch 1.
  3. On all Arturia VSTi’s, use Remote Control Editor to reassign the VST QCs to the default parameters inside the VSTi’s (as per KeyLab config) then copy them over to the Track QCs.
  4. For all other VSTi’s, assign Track QCs as required.

This means I can use Arturia VSTi’s in Analog Lab mode, with QCs activated.

I’m still not sure what’s going on with the MIDI! I have no issues getting my head around MIDI in the context of a keyboard driving hardware on various channels, but when applied to Cubase, VSTi’s, CC’s & the relationship between the controller channel, channel as shown in the Track Inspector, channel selected inside the VSTi & channel selected on the Studio Setup pages (e.g. Generic Remore, VST & Track QCs etc.) my understanding changes to confusion rapidly!

Many thanks for your input… :+1:t2:


I’m sorry, this is still the part, I don’t understand, why does it behave this way…

But, congrats to the solution.