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Jezric

Multitrack Audio and MIDI Routing TO and FROM VSTs

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11 minutes ago, scook said:

Yes, there is no support for multiple separate MIDI and audio tracks going into and out of the same plug-in.

Thanks for the confirmation. 

So, the ask here is to support that.

I believe Reaper does support this (from what I gather, I haven't tried it myself). I don't want to move to Reaper, I have used and evolved with Cakewalk for 20+ years, and love just about everything about it, except this...  I'm not in their code (so this is an ignorant statement), but I would imagine that it would not be a huge amount of work to just support audio input to VST hosted outside the context of the FX rack. :) 

Any devs on here care to comment?

Edited by Jezric

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FWIW, I am able to route multiple audio tracks out of VCV Rack 2 Pro FX using the Host-XL module and Blue Cat's Connector

If the Maschine hosts VSTs, it should be able to do the same.

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32 minutes ago, scook said:

FWIW, I am able to route multiple audio tracks out of VCV Rack 2 Pro FX using the Host-XL module and Blue Cat's Connector

If the Maschine hosts VSTs, it should be able to do the same.

Hmm, not sure I understand... You're hosting VCV Rack 2 Pro FX in a Cakewalk Audio track's FX rack? And then are able to get to VCV's multiple track outputs as input sources to other Cakewalk audio tracks?

Maschine (like VCV), is a sort of DAW on its own. It hosts VSTs, samples, etc. and has its own Ableton Live like Parts/Sections/Tracks performance concept (and is tied to the Maschine Mk3 hardware controller in my case). It can run standalone or as a VST. In both modes, it supports multichannel audio in and out as well as multichannel MIDI in and out. 

I can host VCV from within Maschine, or from what I think you're suggesting, can also host Maschine inside of VCV using that module. However, I don't think that gets us to that nirvana like state of being able to truly route everything (audio and midi) inside Cakewalk. 

My own ideal scenario is the ability to host Maschine in CbB and use it to record patterns of MIDI from external synths and then route the audio from those external synths through CbB to record the audio back into the Maschine instance to record it as a sample/loop. Then doing all of the arrangement inside of Maschine, then come time to mix and add other acoustic instruments/acoustic drums, etc., have Cakewalk's multitrack audio capabilities to record audio tracks alongside. I can do pretty all of this with CbB as is (woot!), but not being able to output individual channels of audio back to CbB is limiting. Also, another benefit of being able to do this routing is being able to record the multitrack output of Maschine while doing live performances on Maschine (as it has a whole performance aspect with its controllers, etc.).  The same could be said about being able to record the Audio output of a VCV performance into multiple tracks, while also routing audio (and MIDI) from CbB into VCV. The only way to do this right now is if you're hosting Maschine/VCV in an Instrument track, but then, no audio input... :(  So, so close!

I just loaded up Ableton live to see how it handles all this and it is more capable with multitrack in and out support, but alas, it has a pretty major limitation. All the MIDI coming from a plugin/VST is summed into a single channel. :( So, there is no way to have Maschine (or VCV) outputting multiple channels of MIDI and then routing that MIDI in Live to hardware synths or other Live hosted plugins. I will likely be testing out Reaper and Cubase myself just to see if any of these actually do what I want.

But like I said before, I love CbB, and really would love to just stay put as it is SO superior is many ways to just about every other DAW.

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18 minutes ago, Jezric said:

I just loaded up Ableton . . . .  All the MIDI coming from a plugin/VST is summed into a single channel.   So, there is no way to have Maschine (or VCV) outputting multiple channels of MIDI and then routing that MIDI in Live to hardware synths or other Live hosted plugins.

Forgive me. It seems like this is going around in circles and I am getting dizzy.  So, I am trying to understand this. It seems to me that you want MIDI data from multiple MIDI Channels coming from different MIDI Tracks merged in such a way as to play a single instance of a Multi-Timbral software synth on a single Instrument track.  Is that what your request is for?

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20 minutes ago, User 905133 said:

Forgive me. It seems like this is going around in circles and I am getting dizzy.  So, I am trying to understand this. It seems to me that you want MIDI data from multiple MIDI Channels coming from different MIDI Tracks merged in such a way as to play a single instance of a Multi-Timbral software synth on a single Instrument track.  Is that what your request is for?

Back in the thread there are a couple breakdowns of the behavior in CbB. To put it simply:

The VST plugin standard supports multiple channels of MIDI in and out, and it supports multiple channels of audio in and out.

There is no way to setup a VST in CbB and actually do all this routing at once. 

The ask is to have a way to host a VST in CbB that supports the full VST capabilities.

 

In a previous post I wrote out this scenario. This step by step shows the different ways that you can host a VST in CbB and what the outcome is regarding the routing options. None of the ways you can host a VST today in CbB allows for all of the VST capabilities at once. 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

  • Create an Audio track
  • Add a multi-track capable VST as an FX Rack plugin
  • Enable MIDI out for that VST instance
  • Add a MIDI track and select the VST as the MIDI output
    • Note: You can route any number of audio tracks to any number of the VSTs supported audio inputs, however, you cannot create another audio track and select any of the audio outputs coming from that VST as the input
  • Select the Audio track and MIDI track, right click and select "Make instrument track"
  • The 2 tracks become 1 instrument track
    • Note: You can no longer route any other audio track's output to the supported inputs of that VST, however you can now create additional audio tracks and route any number of the supported audio output channels from the VST as the input sources.
  • Select the Instrument track, right click and select "Split instrument track"
    • Note: Even though it splits out the audio and MIDI tracks, the VST is no longer added to the FX rack, and the instrument track behavior (as previously noted) for that VST is still in effect. 

This can also be looked at like this:

  • VST hosting scenarios and capabilities:
    • Instrument Track
      • No: Audio input to the VST
      • Yes: Audio output from the VST (to other audio tracks, supports multichannel audio from the VST)
      • Yes: MIDI in
      • Yes: MIDI out
    • FX Rack on an Audio Track
      • Yes: Audio input to the VST
      • No: Audio output from the VST (to other audio tracks, supports multichannel audio from the VST)
      • Yes: MIDI in
      • Yes: MIDI out (not enabled by default)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Edited by Jezric

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42 minutes ago, Jezric said:

You're hosting VCV Rack 2 Pro FX in a Cakewalk Audio track's FX rack? And then are able to get to VCV's multiple track outputs as input sources to other Cakewalk audio tracks?

Audio in VCV Rack is routed to BC connector plug-ins hosted in VCV rack. I am using VCV rack as my example because it can handle multiple MIDI and audio i/o connections and is a VST host too. I do not have Maschine.

The BC connectors in VCV Rack send data to other instances of BC connector in FX racks in other tracks, not to the track input. Placed at the top of the FX rack this works effectively as the track input.

BC connector works in any VST host and can send or received audio and MIDI data to other instances of BC Connector either in the same app, a different app or across a LAN. 

Maschine would not need VCV Rack to do this, Maschine needs to host instances of BC connector to handle the audio routing not available in CbB, 

 

There is a demo of BC connector at the link provided above.

 

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2 minutes ago, scook said:

These plug-ins send their data to other instances of BC connector in FX racks in other tracks, not to the track input. Placed at the top of the FX rack this works effectively as the track input.

Well, that's interesting...   I'll have to look into that.

Still, as far as I know, there is no way to record the output of the FX chain in a CbB audio track.

So, in the scenario of wanting to record the audio that's occurring within a VST (VCV/Maschine/Etc.) into another audio track in CbB, there is no way to do that unless A) you're using instrument tracks or B) you're recording from a loopback (either some other virtual audio device, or outputting through your audio interface and looping back to an input).

Unless you can host the BC connector (VST?) as an instrument track in CbB. 

I would love to make the ask to BandLab to add the ability to route audio into an Instrument track hosted VST. 

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For what purpose? The only way that can possibly work is if the particular VSTi you're using can be configured as an audio effect and then it has to be placed in the effects rack of an audio track.

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8 minutes ago, Jezric said:

Still, as far as I know, there is no way to record the output of the FX chain in a CbB audio track.

Effects cannot be recorded in real time in the track where the FX reside, but they may be recorded in real time by sending the data to an aux track.

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9 minutes ago, Jezric said:

. . . the ability to route audio into an Instrument track hosted VST. 

Wouldn't this risk causing feedback?

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1 minute ago, User 905133 said:

Wouldn't this risk causing feedback?

No, you can do this now when the VST is in the FX rack. But then you can't route the audio from that audio track where it's hosted to another audio track for recording or to route the multitrack audio from the VST (like you can do when the VST is hosted as an instrument track)

So, internal routing wouldn't allow for a loop. Of course, you can always create a feedback loop elsewhere, but that's just part of multitrack recording in general. :) 

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10 minutes ago, scook said:

Effects cannot be recorded in real time in the track where the FX reside, but they may be recorded in real time by sending the data to an aux track.

Woah...   yes, that does work! ...and what makes an aux track so special?? I see that it is actually its own category in the bus send assignment right click menu. I've never seen this. 

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22 minutes ago, bdickens said:

For what purpose? The only way that can possibly work is if the particular VSTi you're using can be configured as an audio effect and then it has to be placed in the effects rack of an audio track.

Yeah, check out the scenarios I posted above for complete details on the problem and the ask. 

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15 minutes ago, Jezric said:

Woah...   yes, that does work! ...and what makes an aux track so special?? I see that it is actually its own category in the bus send assignment right click menu. I've never seen this. 

All tracks in CbB record whatever signal is at their input.

An aux track is an audio track with a patch point as its input.

The patch point used for the aux track input receives data from other tracks sending to the patch point.

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On 1/31/2022 at 6:13 PM, Jezric said:

The overall scenario here is mainly around Maschine (when running as a VST plugin). Maschine can take in MIDI and Audio and it can produce MIDI and Audio. So if you want to fully utilize Maschine within Cakewalk you can't. Say I have a hardware synth that I'd like to trigger from Maschine via MIDI (hosting within Cakewalk). Then I want to take the audio output of that hardware synth and route it into the Maschine plguin so that I can use Maschine's internal sampler to sample that synth

You can't do this by running two instances of it?

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50 minutes ago, bdickens said:

You can't do this by running two instances of it?

No, the Maschine and VCV (to name just a couple like this) plugins are a self-contained DAW'like environments with their own internal audio/midi routing, so 2 instances wouldn't be able to route between the instances (unless you were using the virtual router like the Blue Cat Connector).  Also, in the case of Maschine, it is tied to a hardware controller, not sure it can deal with multiple instances. 

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Quick thanks for the initial question, the follow-up questions and for the abundance of details and limitations presented in the discussion.  I had a different task--how to send MIDI data from a usb keyboard to both (1) a soft synth in an Instrument Track (note data and CCs)  and at the same time to (2) Audio FX in the Instrument Track's FX bin.

I realize this is not the same as the goal of this thread, but the information was very helpful nevertheless.  I ended up going old school and using a strategy from a number of years ago (insert a MIDI track to route the CCs), but all the details in the discussion helped me to think through many of the settings I needed consider.

If I ever get around to doing a MIDI signal flow chart, I will include details from this thread. Very helpful stuff here!!!

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1 hour ago, User 905133 said:

Very helpful stuff here!!!

Agreed. This thread is a goldmine for more advanced users, especially anyone working with a device like Maschine.

 

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