Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

For discussion of the Voltage Modular synthesis ecosystem.
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somebodyelseuk
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:00 pm

Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by somebodyelseuk » Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:56 am

Hiya,
Another 'newbie' question.
I'm learning away merrily, enthusiatic amateur, so there's no pressure...
I'm setting up a song which uses four sequencer patterns for different sections of the song.
I want to save them as four patches and then use MIDI to select the patch at the appropriate point in the song.

Questions -
I'm aware that VM can be setup to change parches using MIDI, but it's not clear whether that is just a simple next/previous change or it's possible to select specific patches?
Or
To do what I want, am I going to have to set up one patch with all 4 sequencers using a MIDI module to send triggers to switch them on and off at the appropriate moments?

Absolutely blown away by the software, but the patch storage layout doesn't seem conducive to MIDI use.I read eslewherel DCO106 forum I think, that patch changes can be read 000-127, alphabetically. That being the case, if I were to prefix my patches 000, 001 etc would they be read in numver order, and if so and any Devs are reading, can a similar system be implemented in VM?

Thanks

MRBarton
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by MRBarton » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:11 am

Patch changes take too long and would put a significant gap in your song. Fortunately, recent versions of VM feature "Variations". You'll find the controls in a strip just under the performance panel. Variation switching is near instantaneous and will serve you well for this purpose.

Be aware that you can control which modules take part in the variation switching and which remain unchanged. Right-clicking on any module will bring up a menu where you can turn variation participation on and off.

Variations are for knobs and switches only and do not support patch cable changes, but with creative use of mixers you can change routing using variations. Changing sequencer melodies is a perfect application.

Have fun. The variation system is a blast and one of the things that sets VM apart from the competition.

somebodyelseuk
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:00 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by somebodyelseuk » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:04 am

Thanks for the reply. I'll look in to that.
Like I say, it's a learning project. I have time to mess about. I'm just looking for automated solutions, I s'pose. If I was against the clock, I'd probably set up four tracks and record separately'
Is the Variation thing controlled by MIDI or will it be something I have to control manually?

MRBarton
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by MRBarton » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:35 am

Just investigate it and it will become clear. Signals from within the patch itself can increment, decrement, or randomly select the variation. Info in the user guide on this page. https://docs.cherryaudio.com/voltage-mo ... e/io-panel

somebodyelseuk
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:00 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by somebodyelseuk » Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:13 pm

MRBarton wrote:
Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:35 am
Just investigate it and it will become clear. Signals from within the patch itself can increment, decrement, or randomly select the variation. Info in the user guide on this page. https://docs.cherryaudio.com/voltage-mo ... e/io-panel
LOL... I think, maybe you overestimate my competence?
I got the variation stuff working fine, but I can only switch between them using a mouse on the 'next/prev' arrows... that ain't going to cut it.
I've tried linking the variations to the four Performance buttons. The buttons respond to mouse clicks, but nothing happens regarding the variations.
No response to MIDI learning - I assume the Performance buttons receive signal direct.
I know it's just something I'm missing.

somebodyelseuk
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:00 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by somebodyelseuk » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:09 am

Morning Peeps,

Thought it was time for an update...
After FOUR days f***ing around, scratching my head, swearing and chain smoking, I finally got there.
So, for anyone in the same position - middle aged long serving guitarist/boffin, new to synths, and probably specifically a Reaper 'issue' - here goes.

Set me up a VST3i with an 8 step sequencer, couple of oscillators, sync divider, envelope generator and amplifier, fairly basic by comparison to what I've seen other people do.
Now, I'm learning, so my aim was to recreate a fairly well known synth track from the 80s, which uses four different sequences for different sections of the song, and so I created four patches with the respective sequences, with the intention of arranging the song in my DAW, with MIDI CC messages to switch patches at the appropriate moment. I was advised that using variations was a more efficient way to go...
Groovy, how do I automate it?
Tried everything, couldn't get it to stick. MIDI Learn wouldn't work, linking to Performance buttons... you name it...
Yesterday morning, I woke up, plugged my controller in - Nektar LX25+ - and decided to try MIDI Learn on my other VSTis in a 'test project'. Of course, to get notes to sound IN REAPER, you have to 'arm' the track. Naturally, all MIDI Learn worked a charm in my tests, so loaded up VM... penny dropped.
Back to my sequencer project, 'arm' the track, rest is history as they say... 'problem' solved. Almost...
Assign some pads to send CC messages for setting up automation, saved to patch, wrote Midi Events list. Played through. Perfect.
Happy Bunny
Only fly in the ointment was this morning, opened the project, not playing ball?
I assumed that the MIDI Learn/Assignments would have saved to the patch, but that hasn't been the case. Not the end of the world, in this case, but...

What did I miss?
I, literally, assigned the pads to the variations and saved the patch, but the assignments aren't retained in the patch.
If anyone has the amswer...
Much appreciated.

Steve W
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by Steve W » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:31 pm

I was under the impression that program/preset/patch changes didn't work with VST3s. Not sure where I picked that up (probably multiple places), not sure if the VST3 standard has changed, not sure if that's just in some software and not others.

If I were debugging what you did, the first thing I'd do is test it with VM as a VST. You might have the same problem, but at least it might rule out the VST3 issue.

Test of Concept: Just did a test in another DAW. VM as VST responded to patch changes (when enabled under VM's Settings > Interface: "MIDI Program Changes Should Change Current Preset"). VM as VST3 did not.

somebodyelseuk
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:00 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by somebodyelseuk » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:20 am

Steve, thanks for the reply. I think we have our wires (patch cables?) crossed... I abandoned the patch changing in favour of using variations. Nevertheless, I've learned something from you as I wasn't aware of the VST vs VST3 situation.
I've been working under the assumption that VST3 was the new, improved way, so I've quite a few plugins installed as VST3 only. Guess I'm in for a busy morning, now. As far as this situation, everything's groovy, except for the minor annoyance of having to assign CC values to the variations, every time I open the DAW.
Once I've installed the VST version, I'll see whether that will fix it. Just out of interest, what IS the point/advantage of VST3, then?
Cheers

Steve W
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by Steve W » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:24 am

I did a quick test on a usb keyboard. MIDI Program Changes cycled through variations with up/down patch change buttons. But if you have a midi controller with multiple buttons, it is probably quicker to use MIDI learn to call up specific variations rather than cycling through them.

One of my usb keyboard has 10 non-programmable preset change buttons. They send out bank switching + program change MIDI commands. With VM's MIDI learn feature (Variations > Manage . . .) I did a quick test with buttons 1 -> 4 to select 4 variations. MIDI leaning of CCs using a controller with programmable buttons that send CCs also worked. :-)

As for VST2 v. VST3, I just know what I've read and what I experienced. I have briefly looked at the Steinberg Forum, but just a couple of times. I let others debate issues related to the VST specs.

somebodyelseuk
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:00 pm

Re: Patch changes/MIDI/Reaper

Post by somebodyelseuk » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:25 pm

Hi Steve,
I did a similar test after I'd installed the VST2 version. I'm using a Nektar Impact LX25+, which I programmed four of the drum pads to send CC trigger messages. Works a treat in both VST2 & 3. MIDI Learn works fine, but in both cases, while you can save the assignments for any of the virtual knobs and switches, neither one will retain the assignments for the variations.
Very frustrating, but I guess I can live with it. I'm primarily a guitarist, learning some new tricks. I wanted to avoid staring at a screen for hours, clicking in 6 minutes worth of notes on a piano roll, and find a way to automate the different sequence changes.
Knowing what I've learned, I'd maybe save the verse sequence to a variation for each verse - V1, V2, v3 etc - same with the other sequences, arrange them in the list in the order of the song and just assign a trigger to the next arrow.
I've learned new things. I'm enjoying the challenges. It's a good mental workout.

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