VSTi automation using MIDI one knob for more than one parameter at a time

Hi folks,

What is it with automation of VSTi in Nuendo ?
I guess it will be the same in Cubase.
Maybe it’s just me expecting it to be simple and intuitive. I was trying to figure it out for nearly 3 hours yesterday but just can’t get it to do a simple thing that I want.
I just want to automate the two cutoffs (A and B) in Hybrid using one single knob of my Nektar Impact LX25+.
Also I want to have the cutoff B going reverse from maximum to minimum, that is, opposite to that of cutoff A, which should go minimum to maximum which it normally does.
There are ways to do this pretty quickly in other DAWS. Just can’t figure out how to do this in Nuendo.

I fiddled around with the Quick Controls, Generic remote under Studio setup, Remote control editor of the VSTi and all that for 3 hours, but it just doesn’t work. There is an “Invert Control Value” option in the remote control editor of the VSTi. But even on selecting that for a control assigned to a parameter and applying the settings, it still goes from minimum to maximum when it should go from maximum to minimum due to the invert control value option.
Maybe this option is for something else ? Just can’t figure out. The online help, manual, etc., don’t provide any details on this.

Somehow even the right click options on parameters of the instrument plugins are different for VSTis other than Steinberg instruments. Steinberg instruments have option to assign a parameter directly to a quick control but other 3rd party VSTis don’t.

I mean it all just seems so inconsistent or maybe it’s just me hallucinating ? I don’t know.
Anyone here tried any of this ? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

There are so many options these days it’s unreal.

VST vs Note Expression vs old school MIDI straight from CC, and on and on.

KISS Method…
Not sure about Nuendo, but for Cubase that’s found in at: MIDI/CC Automation Setup

Set Cubendo to keep incoming CC in the MIDI parts rather than on VST Lanes.

If the plugin supports it, right click the stuff you want the control to do in its interface and choose ‘learn’. Move the fader/pot. Here’s an example of doing this in HSSE, and in my experience loads of ‘non-Steinberg’ plugins support this standard these days. You’d just learn the same CC twice for the different controls.

Then there are some older plugins that don’t register VST parameters at all, nor do they have ‘learn’ features. Instead, you’d have to know the proper CC. Sometimes it shows in the UI, sometimes you have to look in the OM. Here’s an example…Garritan Libraries. Notice the reference in parenthesis saying Attack can be tweaked via CC73.

Well shoot…how do I have one knob do both CC73 and CC75 for this ARIA Player?
I could have my MIDI Controller send whatever CC I like, and use a pair of transformers to make it into two new/different events like so.

Say the fader/pot sends CC88.

Use two transformer inserts in serial. The first one captures CC88, changes it into CC73 and sends it down the pipe.
The second one Inserts a new CC75 event with the same Value 2 as the original CC73 and then allows both to pass through to the track.

OK, so far I’ve only covered some possibilities if both sounds are in the same plugin.

What if I want to spread it out over than more than one?

One way to use the ideas I’ve already covered but add at least one MIDI track (even if it’s kept empty and has no actual Parts on it) to use as a sort of ‘router’. Why? MIDI tracks have something called MIDI Sends, making it possible to route whatever is coming into the track out to more than one channel and/or plugin at the same time.

So, if you have true CC based instruments, and you want to spread a single CC across more than one channel, or even more than one plugin…try MIDI tracks. You can divert the main outputs to a plugin, and then use the AUX Sends to echo the stream to other plugins. You can also use those MIDI Transformers in the equation if required.

And what if your Instrument or Insert ONLY accepts VST style automation? These days some plugins are like that, in fact, stuff you run in Mixer inserts MUST be controlled via VST, as there’s no ‘MIDI INPUT’ coming to them from anywhere, right?

I’ll have to take a break and come back to revisit this where VST automation is involved…I’m hungry and it’s time to eat! Perhaps some others might chime in with tips for the VST only plugins. I can suggest doing a search in the manual for these terms:
Quick Controls
Generic Remote
Note Expression


Excellent info

Pin this thread!!!

Hey thanks Brian :slightly_smiling_face:
That was excellent indeed, the possibilities that exist with the Transformer MIDI insert.
Glad I could use that to route the MIDI CC from my MIDI controller knob (CC 78) to two cutoff parameters on the Hybrid instrument that had different MIDI CCs assigned to them (CCs 36 and 85).
And in addition to the two steps you illustrated, I used a third Transformer instance to “Mirror” the 2nd cutoff parameter at the center (using 64 as value for mirror) which inverted it’s movement, thereby going from maximum to minimum.

Then further realized that the automation curve generated by the knob movements don’t show up on the automation lanes of the cutoff parameters directly, the lines simply move according to the value. I had to insert the automation lane for the original MIDI CC (78) of my MIDI controller’s knob to actually see the curve generated.
So all in all, worked out but I have to be honest, these operations should be made lot more simple and direct to execute rather than having so many steps and inserts.

Then, as a side note, realized that there was no way to directly route the Hybrid instrument track’s output to a new Audio track like you could do in other DAWs.
Had to create sort of a dummy bus as a “Group” under Audio connections and then use that as audio output from the Hybrid instrument track and audio input into the new Audio track so that I could record the audio of the instrument track.
Wonder why the various instrument outs and other audio outs are directly not available under the inputs and outputs of all tracks. This is quite common in most other DAWs such as Cakewalk, Studio One, Bitwig and so on.
Just wish Steinberg makes these operations much simpler and direct.

Thanks once again Brian, your inputs really helped :pray:
Here’s a screenshot :

And here’s a gif (sorry, couldn’t upload a larger size one because of file size restriction, and not able to upload a video clip which has sound, doesn’t accept either an uploaded video clip or a cloud link to one, wonder why :thinking: ) :

Automation VSTi - small

The reasoning might be that they figure people will typically just ‘instant render’ instrument tracks into audio (Can other DAWs do this? When it came about in Cubase 8 (I think it was version 8), I believe it was the only DAW on the market that could ‘instant render’ offline like that), and for a live recording mixed with sequenced material situation you’d probably have some group busses (or extra actual output buses that you build by tapping F4) going on anyway?

Or, just record the ‘performance data’ on instrument/MIDI tracks, and process it to audio later (way less bandwidth and processing demanded up front).

I do get it though, as I’ve done some things upon occasion that really need me to record or mix down in real time (uses external effects, or has some weird routing involved for the MIDI over virtual port > Generic Remote that only works in real time).

When that’s not needed though rendering cuts out a step, as you can build audio tracks (as fast as your CPU can do it…skips the real-time ASIO mess) with a click or three: Rendering Tracks (steinberg.help)


I still do plan to try to revisit the thread at some point to go into more depth on setting up remotes for VST automation. It’ll have to wait for now though. Too much going on today.

For instruments that can ONLY be done via VST, it gets a bit more complicated when you start talking ‘one control needs to do multiple things at once’.

If you do this sort of thing often, I highly recommend inserting a 3rd party app into the equation. You’ll get well more than your money’s worth out of the investment (regardless of your main HOST/DAW).

Subsequently there is a third party plugin I have in mind that can fill in a lot of these gaps in routing/automation flexibility for any DAW that can host plugins or run rewire slaves. I use it with just about every DAW and Scoring package on the market (OK, all of them but Muse Score, and only because it’s more trouble than it’s worth for that one). It fills out the ‘missing feature gaps’ and then some, plus serves as a major diagnostics and routing ‘swiss army knife’ for building and automating just about anything you can dream up :wink: