Writing to automation track using keyboard

Hi. I’m new to this. I want to record Retrologue filter cutoff to an automation track using my Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII. As far as I can tell, I should be able to “Learn CC” on the knob, tick Write, and hit Play, and voila. But it doesn’t seem to be that easy. It seems to sort of work, but not entirely. It records to “MIDIChann…ackTime)” rather than to “Retrologu…terCutoff”, which is what will be recorded when I just use the mouse to move the knob in the VST. That doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, Retrologue seems to behave correctly anyway.*

So that’s the banal technical question. Another, bigger, problem, is that I don’t seem to understand how this is all meant to integrate. The keyboard has a bunch of knobs and faders and buttons. Are they supposed to, by default, not be connected to anything in instruments like Retrologue, or is this supposed to be somewhat standardised and thus “just work”? Am I meant to set it up myself, and if so how? Basically, any pointers to what I should be reading up on to understand the basic workflow here would be greatly appreciated.


  • EDIT: It does not behave correctly. If I modify the curve at all, the cutoff filter stops responding appropriately. I do not know why it works if I don’t modify them, as it seems to me that it’s simply recording for the wrong parameter.

Hi Bernalex.
As I see it sb should explain to you how to set up and use your midi controller from scratch - what I’m not completely able to. But I think I can give you a hint on your problem.
Setting up the controller is explained in the handbook. If it is one of the ones “stored” in Cubase it should be bassicaly be: plug in and go (Studio>Setup>Devices>add Device). The other ones (generic) have to be put in “manually” (Studio>Setup>Midi or Vst and Track Quick controlls).
But one thing you can do which will simplify your problem is this: right click on cutoff in retrologue and use either “send to quickcontrolls” or “show automation lane”. Then you can use your midi controller to control this parameter very easy once it is setup!

Hi, and thanks for trying to help.

I set up the keyboard according to Arturia’s instructions. In the MIDI Control Center I set the DAW Map to Cubase. Then I added a Mackie Control in Cubase’s Studio Setup, and added commands for save, punch out, metronome, and undo. So the keyboard is added, and the “DAW Commands” mostly work fine (transport, mute, solo, punch in, metronome, and so on).

What I don’t understand yet is how I am meant to use all the knobs and faders in an elegant/simple way with my VST instruments.

Concerning your suggestions for Retrologue, I am already showing the track, and it is already connected to a Quick Control Slot, which I’m assuming should correspond to my first knob, which is labelled “Cutoff / Pan 1”. The Panning of track 1 works in DAW Mode. But when I am in USER Mode, which I thought would be the correct mode for using a VST, nothing happens. So I guess that means I haven’t set up my keyboard correctly. Though I am not sure whether I am meant to set this up in Cubase or in the MIDI Control Center.

So I understand your device is connected to your DAW and is working already somehow.
If you want to set up your knobs to be connected to certain functions you’ve gotta tell Cubase what to do like I mentioned above (Studio>Setup>Midi or Vst and Track Quick controlls).
Check the article in the handbook:
See here!
There are a lot of ways to use it. Mostly it would be writing automation lines or setting up clever quick controlls for a smooth and quick mixing and improving your workflow - at least that’s how I use it…

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Thanks again. I went through the manual and was able to set up the VST Quick Controls to function properly now.

However, is it not possible to set up more controls than 8? I have nine faders and nine knobs, and the keyboard can change between Part 1 and Part 2, giving me nine times two times two buttons that I could use. It’s unlikely I’ll ever need to use that many at once, but It would be convenient to set up at least all the physical faders and knobs times one.

Also, if anyone knows any tips/tutorials/guides/suggestions/etc. for what a keyboard can do for you in Cubase, that would be very helpful. I’m reading the manual and mostly understanding what’s going on, but I think my main problem is that I’m an outsider to the workflow per se, so I’m not sure what possibilites are out there.

Anyway, thanks for fixing my initial problem, Frank. Much appreciated!

No problemo. Unfortunately I can’t do much more…

Correct, there are only 8 quick control slots available at a time. But you can open new “pages”. I mean there are presets for the quick controlls so you could save up to 8 funcions and just simply load a new page of 8 more and so on…
(Plus: you can cmd click - Windows - on the quick controlls slot and asign the slider to other tracks as well!)
Another possibility is: on the generic controller page you can set up all the functions you want and asing them to your hardware. I don’t know how many but way more than you have knobs and faders available.
See here!

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