Controlling parameters of vst/instrument within a song...

Hi guys,

I have this TB303 vst synth clone, that I’d like to control through the pattern editor in order to have the cutoff and resonate of the bassline changing throughout the song. Is there anyway to control it through any midi command or similar within the pattern editor? Please help me!

Thanks in advance.


First of all, you want to insert an Instr. Automation device in the track where you want to automate the plugin.

This can be any track, but it’s good practice to keep the notes and automation together.

Next, consider how you want to automate the device. Is it a requirement that this goes through the pattern editor?

Because, even as this is possible I would still prefer to use graphical automation.

Once you are comfortable with this, consider going one step further and use something like the LFO device to “automate” the parameter (e.g. make the LFO modulate the parameter, and then automate the offset of the LFO instead). You can go pretty crazy with meta-devices :slight_smile:

Thank you very much!!! Just tried it and that’s exactly what I was looking for. And yes…graphical automation is much simpler.

ps_I will also try that step further you have suggested.

Hello, new user here!
Sorry for bumping an old thread…

I have been trying Renoise for the last couple of weeks, Im considering buying it. I have some experience with trackers and i’m really liking Renoise workflow and VSTs.

I have the same question AlphaC posted firstly.
Tried the graphical automation using *Instr. Automation and also downloaded a couple of tools to generate automation curves, it’s all pretty cool and useful but I`d like to be able to control and trigger specific VST parameters from the pattern/tracks editor, using the Local FX column maybe?

danoise said:
Because, even as this is possible I would still prefer to use graphical automation

I have gone through the manual but unfortunately I cannot find how to, would anyone have a little spare time to tell me how to?

I couldn`t also figure how to assign VST parameters to macro sliders, under the Instrument Properties section below the Instruments List, would also appreciate any hints on this matter!

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

When you have set up your instrument automation properly, you can start clicking its sliders with mouse 2. This will write the corresponding values to the pattern editor’s effect column if record is active. Also don’t forget that if you record 2 different values of the same parameter in the pattern editor, you can use the built-in interpolate function to smoothly generate correct values between these values. Just highlight the recorded effects with mouse selection (alt + mb1 drag for selecting effect column only, I suppose) and then click CTRL+I. This is pretty cool but depending on your song speed settings, it may not give you the same smooth precision as with graphical automation curves.

Yes, VSTis require an automation (meta) device for automation, while VSTs can be automated directly using its dsp box sliders without a meta device.

This is because the dev team thinks it is better that a VSTi should not be bound to a track, unlike in other DAWs, also to keep this numeric instrument list as in other trackers, too. In old trackers, the number of voices/tracks were limited, so the composers used one track often for multiple instruments, depending on the position in the song structure.

Also a lot VSTis would have thousands of sliders then, and it would require some additional logic to keep the overview in the gui. That’s why a custom mapping with only the parameters you require is a lot simpler (This also is a problem with more recent VSTs btw, for example any melda fx, which provides 500 parameters then and currently there is no way to limit/map the view).

I also always switch the graphical automation then manually to line mode, because it seems to be in “step-mode” by default, strangely. The new line mode actually can now do curves, too, like any other DAW.

Thanks @wabe and @ffx, really appreciate your replies, I’m going to try your tips :slightly_smiling_face:
All the best

It works!!
Load instrument, load *Instr. Automation in DSP chain, Rec enabled, hit play, on *Instr. Automation I’ll right click+hold and drag the fader for desired parameter and the automation is recorded on the FX column.
Entering values manually also works, type value for first step and another value for last, highlight the range between the two, hit Ctrl+I and Renoise generates an interpolated sequence.
It`s perfect, exactly what I was looking for.
Many thanks, owe you guys one!