Control Vsti With Midi

Hi there, very simple question, but can’t figure it out:/
I know how to midi map vstfx by clicking show/hide parameter sliders.
But how to do that to softsynth without internal midi map function?
Thanks in advance!

Use an Automation Device.

Thanks :rolleyes:

How come this question gets asked nearly every week? :unsure:

we posted a link to this in the forum rules, but… :(

Nobody reads forum rules :)

No offense to the thread starter, but since questions like this one, or how to enter notes, or make a note stop from playing, often come up, there needs to be a Renoise-beginner download. Something that works like an interactive tutorial inside the program with text balloons, plus arrows and shit, which you can turn off once you know it.

we have a Tutorial section which also features introductive videos. I recommend beginners checking them all

what about a sticky answering the most common questions in the beginners questions section?

nobody reads stickies either :rolleyes:


Obviously we need to categorize these automation devices more accurately.
Midi Control and Automation Device should be categorized underneath “Instrument Automation” and the Automation Device should be called VSTI Control device.
It was named quite closely in the past (when it was called VSTI automate device) but Automation Device sounds way too generic.

Let me play the devil’s advocate here. Maybe the reason it gets asked every week is that the current scheme doesn’t make any sense.

Why is there effectively an de facto “automation device” for VST effects, but not for instruments? I can imagine one reason - the number of automation parameters for VST instruments is generally larger. But selection of automation parameters could be built into the design without having this esoteric workflow step of creating an automation device.

One of the selling points of a tracker is efficient parameter control, automating instrument parameters should require as few steps as possible.

I’ve answered this is most threads about the subject.

Think about how Renosie. Works. DSP (Effects) are in a Track, so the Automation goes there. An Instrument can be used in any Track you want. Therefore to have the Automation there upon loading of a VSTi you would have to have it in every single Track in the Song. Either that or start tying Instruments to Tracks and start limiting Renoise’s functionality (although maybe making MIDI control of multiple Instruments at once easier.)

Therefore it makes sense to have you load a device to control parameters of an Instrument within a Track. As some Instruments do have literally Hundreds of parameters the limiting of which are listed can actually be a good thing, even if slightly confusing to start.

Could possibly add a Drop Down Menu in the Instrument Settings box for tying Automation to a Track (but not audio) and then have all parameters displayed in that track but I honestly don’t think that will be any less confusing to most Renoise n00bs.

But this is exactly what the Automation Device gives you right now. It gives you efficient access to control the specific parameters you need to automate within an instrument, without the extra clutter of displaying hundreds (or thousands!) of other parameters that you don’t care about.

When keeping in mind the following things…

  • Parameter automation can only be performed within the confines of a track, either through pattern commands or envelopes.
  • VST/AU instruments are not physically connected to tracks in the same way that DSP/VST/AU effects are, and can potentially change tracks throughout the song.

… then the Automation Device actually makes a lot of sense and already performs its job very nicely.

Perhaps you can describe in more detail some of the ideas you had for how things should work, hopefully without requiring some drastic changes to the current automation system?

The way I see it, even if the instrument was physically locked to a specific track, and its parameters were displayed directly within that track somehow, my best guess is that it would still end up looking like the current Automation Device. The simple fact that a VST/AU instrument can have a huge number of parameters (Linplug Albino has over 6000!) makes it necessary to interface with the instrument in a more intelligent and compact way, so that there’s only a few custom parameters visible which you then map to the stuff you actually care about - which is exactly what the Automation Device already does.

Either way you look at it, the Automation Device makes sense. Whether you are adding it to a track manually, or whether some future version of Renoise would lock instruments to specific tracks and automatically show something similar to let you work with the parameters, the actual functionality of each method is going to be more or less identical since this is pretty much the only sensible way to handle it.

I do agree that things probably aren’t crystal clear at first, though, especially if you’re coming from another DAW which does things a certain way that you’re used to, and so I also agree that steps could probably be taken to somehow make this process easier to understand for new users. Maybe the Automation Device could be inserted automatically when you load an instrument, and some notification could appear for new users to let them know how to work with it, I don’t know for sure.

Maybe Renoise simply needs a more dynamic help system similar to Ableton Live, where every element of the interface triggers a detailed page of help that answers the most common problems.


The relationship between instruments and tracks is weird, but that’s another story. I realize it adds the possibility of routing different notes to different effects chains, but in practice, this gets ugly because VSTs don’t send per-note audio output, so routing a new note to a new track often means the tail of a previous note gets cut off and re-routed. It also seems to duplicate the functionality of send devices. Anyway, this is a separate issue, so I probably shouldn’t get too sidetracked.

I agree with some of what you’re saying - instruments aren’t coupled to a track, so instrument automation doesn’t make sense as a track DSP, but this is effectively what’s an automation device is!

So what would make sense? I don’t have a perfect answer - maybe a second page of the instrument settings tab, maybe a separate tab. You wouldn’t have it display all parameters, but have some logical way of selecting parameters. I disagree with what I think kazakore was saying - this would neither require having it associated with every single track (automation would be associated with instrument, as it should be), nor would it “limit” the functionality of renoise by coupling instruments to tracks (in spite of my earlier point that this is not necessarily that big a deal since we have send devices).

Why would a solution like this be better than the current scheme? You don’t manually have to add an automation device (logically, why would a newbie think of adding a track DSP is required to automate their instrument? It’s not doing any DSP on the track…), then have to route the automation device parameter to an instrument. Instead, the mapping between the parameter control and the instrument is already there and makes sense because the panel would reflect whatever instrument is selected. This may seem basic, but for new users, it’s two big stumbling blocks that they don’t run into. For experienced users, there’s the added bonus that this means fewer steps to prepare instrument automation.


You do realize that the relationship between instrument and track dates back to 1989? This is one of the fundamental design principles of a tracker…

It may be weird to you, but it’s not weird for a tracker.

Or did I misunderstand your random “why isn’t this Cubase” comment?

Easy man, I started writing music on mmedit, then ft2 st3 and it… im versed and you’re preaching to the choir here.

What I do agree with:
-complexity and flexibility can be good, if they are implemented in a consistent way. Im just pointing out some things that I think could make
Things more consistent and effective. If there’s something im not getting, by all means correct me. I’ve been around trackers but im new to renoise, so im open to being enlightened.

what id take issue with:
-keeping something the way it is because that’s how it used to be, whether its cubase or renoise. At the end of the day, we’re here to make (and help others make) good music efficiently and have fun doing it, not relive our collective childhoods…


Hahaha. Excellent.


From what you are saying the way to implement that would have Instrument Automation depend on which Instrument is selected, rather than which Track. (Unless you can describe yourself and come up for another way to do what you’re saying.)

It may work in some ways. But in others I think it would be very weird to split the two (Effects and Instrument) Automation apart from each other.

It would also make it impossible to use via the Pattern Commands as they currently stand (although I do personally think they should be extended.)

It would also especially confuse using Renoise’s native LFO and Signal Follower (and other Meta Devices) with VSTi parameters. You would still need to use a Automation Device to do so really, so wouldn’t eliminate the need for the device, just add more than one place to be able to access it, adding for more confusion than the current system.

In short I don’t think it will be any more intuitive, would limit Renoise compared to the current way of working and would extremely confuse existing users.