MIDI Controller knobs, VST knobs and Automation

I kinda have 2 questions:

  1. Is it possible to control a VST knob with a physical knob on a MIDI controller?
    Nexus VST knob example

  2. Is it then possible to record these knob tweaks in an automation “track” (whatever the horizontal automation window is called)

Where’s the best place to get a good (beginner’s) overview on how to set this up? I keep findings bits and pieces on the Renoise forum but I haven’t found anything that describes the whole process - especially linking a MIDI controller to a particular VST knob.

  1. I don’t have nexus vst, but it works here in any vst. just enable midi learn inside the vst and move the desired MIDI controller. (edit: maybe too advanced) youtube tutorial

  2. youtube tutorial for recording automation

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you can use the “instrument automation device” to set whatever parameters you want to control from the drop down list of available parameters, then right click and drag the slider to control/record via mouse, or press command+m to open midi mapping if you want to use a midi controller
Screen Shot 2022-09-12 at 9.00.56 AM
controlling serum’s octave A shown here

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Usually you 'll want to switch from Points to Lines or Curves, in order to playback the automation like you wrote it. Otherwise it will read the points registered while recording and won’t do the interampling thing. Just switch to curves.

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Thanks guys. I still can’t find the “MIDI learn” anywhere. @shorty I read your message as saying that right-clicking within the VST itself (on one of it’s knobs) would initiate MIDI learning but that doesn’t happen for Nexus.
@slujr I can see that with *Instr. Automation I can manually adjust the Nexus parameters with the mouse etc, but I don’t understand how to map the MIDI controller. I’m on Windows so I don’t have a Command key.

If I go to the MIDI page (clicking on the MIDI DIN plug icon), I can see controller changes when I move my keyboard knobs but I don’t know how to link a particular knob to a particular CC value within the VST.

Sorry if I’m not making a lot of sense.

In the image above, if I move knobs on my controller, I can see the values changing in the edit cell of the current track.

Am I supposed to be setting something on this screen to map the knob to the automation somehow?

I have Spire as well - I’ll definitely be wanting to control knobs on Spire (just in case anyone else has Spire and is doing the same thing)

Screen Shot 2022-09-12 at 9.22.49 AM
I’m on mac, so I don’t know the windows key command for midi mapping, but it’s probably something similar. you can access it through the song menu as well. click it, click the parameter you want to map, turn a knob, close the dialog, profit

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I still can’t find the “MIDI learn” anywhere.

It can also be opened by clicking the 3.0 upperstatusbar-midimap.png button to the right of the VU meters at the top of the Renoise interface.


OK, so I can open the MIDI Mapping, select a fader on Renoise and move the knobs on my keyboard…

Now when I move a chosen knob on my keyboard, it will move the cutoff slider/fader in Renoise itself (MIDI learn mode would only let me click on Renoise controls, not the VST widgets… which makes sense from a dev point of view).

And… once I select the correct CC parameter in the little drop down box, I can move the chosen Nexus knob with my keyboard too!

Solved! Thank you guys. I’m going to have to go and document that for myself!

Now I’m wondering if “continuous knobs” on MIDI controllers would be better than fixed range. I’m just imagining some automation value (say 50%) being played and then when I tap the knob on my keyboard sitting at the 0 position I’ll get a sudden jump in recording from 50 to 0… Maybe I’m overthinking this., I just know that some keyboards have these “continuous knobs” and I’m wondering how they would work out?

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you still have a long way to go. You’re on the right track.

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