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Old 01-21-2022, 10:33 AM   #1
sockmonkey72
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Default MIDIControl: VST plugin / replacement for ReaControlMIDI



Here's a new "test" version of a new plugin for REAPER. It's envisioned as a mostly more flexible solution compared to ReaControlMIDI, with some nice features:
  • Bank Select / Program (everything automatable)
  • MIDI note tranpose (+- 48 semitones) (automatable)
  • Velocity scale/offset (automatable)
  • 16 lanes of controller stuff (envelopes/mapping/etc.)
    • 7-bit CC, aftertouch, or (14-bit) pitch bend
    • 14-bit CC (0-31)
    • NRPN/RPN
    • 14-bit CC to arbitrary pairs of controllers
    • 10-bit CC to arbitrary pairs of controllers
    • 8-bit CC to arbitrary pairs of controllers
    • MSB/LSB ordering of data bytes can be swapped with a global switch
    • (controller & channel mappings, bitmode NOT automatable, but the values are)
  • sysex
    • data can either be typed in or recorded from a device
    • support for multiple messages
    • send at play switch
    • wildcard support (8 variable bytes for sysex automation)
    • trigger output from sequence
  • non-destructive note duration tools (alpha):



    quick video demo of note duration scaling (turn on the speaker icon)

This mostly reflects the stuff that I use, and excludes stuff that I don't (transpose to scale support, for instance). But all in all, if we need a plugin on our MIDI tracks, I think this is a pretty good attempt at a more full-featured version of that plugin.

Available here for macOS (Intel x64, ARM/M1) and Windows (w32, x64) (28.1.2022): MIDIControl test 010 on Dropbox.

Thanks for giving it a thorough beating. Should be largely self-explanatory, but happy to field questions as they come.

Last edited by sockmonkey72; 01-28-2022 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:48 AM   #2
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Great!
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Old 01-21-2022, 01:33 PM   #3
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Known issues:
  • Note duration beats doesn't take time signature denominator into account
  • Note duration ticks doesn't get the real PPQ, assumes 960 FIXED FOR 004
  • In note duration mode, MIDI note data should be decoupled from the actual MIDI activity on the track. Right now, it's still using note-ons to check accuracy of the implementation. This means that moving, stretching or otherwise editing data while the sequence is playing in note duration mode will cause some weirdness with note-offs.

Previous issues:
  • Note duration scale has wrong default (0.25 instead of 1.00) FIXED FOR 003
  • Note duration beats could offer subdivisions of the beat to be more useful ADDED FOR 003
  • MIDI note data acquisition could take MIDI hash into account and only update if changes occur ADDED FOR 003 and then removed, it was a bad idea
  • Only supports Track FX at the moment, Take FX should also work, though. ADDED FOR 003

Last edited by sockmonkey72; 01-23-2022 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 01-21-2022, 02:47 PM   #4
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Interesting.
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Old 01-22-2022, 03:14 PM   #5
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version 003 is now up: on Dropbox
  • fixed Scale default
  • added divisions to Note Duration Beat mode
  • support for Take FX
  • added, then removed MIDI hash support. It caused more problems than it solved.

This version added a parameter (Beat Divisions) and for organizational reasons, I put it where the Scale parameter was. Sorry for the change, it will mess up saved state if you have created any in the last 24 hours. That's the last change of that kind, though -- the parameter list won't be modified any further (at least not downward).
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Old 01-22-2022, 04:56 PM   #6
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The technique I'm using for controlling note durations can also be used (with less real-time flexibility/automatability) for non-destructive quantization. I just got that working as a proof of concept, but it will need to wait for the next plugin, since the limitations inherent in changing note-ons don't really mix with the relative dynamism permitted by MIDIControl. But it's pretty cool.
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:17 AM   #7
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Hot on the heels of 003, 004 is now ready:
  • added triplet and dotted note duration beat modes
  • added project PPQ acquisition (requires SWS, or falls back to 960)
  • some cosmetic work, some menu improvement (don't get your hopes up for a good UI, though)
  • fix beat mode min/max defaults
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing. If you could add non-destructive groove quantization (presets from SWS groove quantization), like Atari ST Notator, that would be cool. Now we have SWS groove quantization. But not sure what would be the real gain of non-destructiveness, only more flexibility I guess, or you just do not lose the original recording, or you do not need to trigger UNDO inbetween always (not to lose the original), or you do not need a duplication of original (for saving). Maybe as a separate plugin, name suggestion: GrooveControl.
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TonE View Post
Thanks for sharing. If you could add non-destructive groove quantization (presets from SWS groove quantization), like Atari ST Notator, that would be cool. Now we have SWS groove quantization. But not sure what would be the real gain of non-destructiveness, only more flexibility I guess, or you just do not lose the original recording, or you do not need to trigger UNDO inbetween always (not to lose the original), or you do not need a duplication of original (for saving). Maybe as a separate plugin, name suggestion: GrooveControl.
I like to save my originals, and generally find some benefit in switching quickly between different non-destructive quantization presets without worrying about doing any permanent harm to the original material. So it's all just about improving (my) workflow -- REAPER can destructively quantize just fine. :-)

I hope others find some benefit in this work, of course. I'll look into the SWS groove quantization, it's a good excuse to learn about it.
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:46 PM   #10
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I keep SWS grooven quantization permanently open on the left side, I guess in one of my youtube videos you can see it (or in multiple).
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:54 PM   #11
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This is great!
Is it possible to send SysEx with variable values to control external synth with no CC MIDI implementation....
thanks
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lalo View Post
This is great!
Is it possible to send SysEx with variable values to control external synth with no CC MIDI implementation....
thanks
I'm into it, but it comes down to "how many variable bytes", since each will need to be a parameter/automation lane. 8 is probably enough for most stuff that I have experience using...

There's also the question of how to sync multiple bytes, but maybe it's not impossible.

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Old 01-23-2022, 03:37 PM   #13
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I'm into it, but it comes down to "how many variable bytes", since each will need to be a parameter/automation lane. 8 is probably enough for most stuff that I have experience using...

There's also the question of how to sync multiple bytes, but maybe it's not impossible.
Great! AFAIK i'my rig the most complicated SysEx implementation is the Yamaha TG-77 (rack version of SY-77). And AFAIR there are no message types with more than some variable. But there are some "composite" variables with single bit values...a beautiful nightmare :-D

Last edited by lalo; 01-23-2022 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lalo View Post
Great! AFAIK i'my rig the most complicated SysEx implementation is the Yamaha TG-77 (rack version of SY-77). And AFAIR there are no message types with more than a variable. But there are some "composite" variables with single bit values...a beautiful nightmare :-D
Taking the TG77, or even a DX7, you often have 2 or 3 bytes to select the parameter, and another byte (on newer equipment, often 2 or 3) for the payload. Whatever I go with, it'll be inadequate for some tasks, so I just want to make sure it's adequate for _my_ tasks! 😂 I also have a TG77, and a room full of other sexy-sysexy stuff, so I will do a little research.
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:29 PM   #15
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I also have a TG77, and a room full of other sexy-sysexy stuff, so I will do a little research.
that's great! just to see a little old school mess...take a look at the Custom Algo data at page 8 - Table <1-7> of MIDI Implementation of TG77...
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Old 01-24-2022, 01:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by lalo View Post
that's great! just to see a little old school mess...take a look at the Custom Algo data at page 8 - Table <1-7> of MIDI Implementation of TG77...
Haha, I spent some time a few years back trying to piece together the meanings of all the bits and the implied rules of the custom algorithm sysex. Thinking that I would come up with a better editor than FM Alive's. I was probably overthinking it, but it felt like 3D chess after a while and I gave up. In the end, though, both SY Manager (esp, Jon improved it recently) and MIDIQuest do a good job handling that stuff.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:13 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by lalo View Post
that's great! just to see a little old school mess...take a look at the Custom Algo data at page 8 - Table <1-7> of MIDI Implementation of TG77...
So this works... $1 through $8 can be associated to a parameter lane and will be substituted at output. Lots of details to work out, but the guts are in place.

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Old 01-24-2022, 02:30 PM   #18
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So this works... $1 through $8 can be associated to a parameter lane and will be substituted at output. Lots of details to work out, but the guts are in place.

that's great! thanks for this new gem!
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Old 01-25-2022, 12:01 PM   #19
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Very nice, sockmonkey72! Thanks for developing this. This looks perfect for what I need right now. I am trying to set up some track templates for a multi-instrument orchestral VST with 16 instrument selections available per instance. I would like to use your MIDIControl to provide 16 volume sliders, and another instance of MIDIControl to provide 16 panning sliders (it's the old Edirol VST that has limitations that doesn't support saving parameter values in the template).

Each instrument is on a separate MIDI channel (1-16). I thought that I could assign each MIDIControl slider to a separate MIDI channel with the control message set to "7:MainVolume". Either I'm doing something wrong or I don't understand how MIDIControl works, but no matter how I set the Channel Value, the sliders only work work on Midi Channel 1. I verified this by adding the ReaControlMidi plugin and showing the Log. The control messages always are sent with channel 1. Maybe I need some other configuration? Kind of lost. Any insight would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-25-2022, 12:37 PM   #20
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Very nice, sockmonkey72! Thanks for developing this. This looks perfect for what I need right now. I am trying to set up some track templates for a multi-instrument orchestral VST with 16 instrument selections available per instance. I would like to use your MIDIControl to provide 16 volume sliders, and another instance of MIDIControl to provide 16 panning sliders (it's the old Edirol VST that has limitations that doesn't support saving parameter values in the template).

Each instrument is on a separate MIDI channel (1-16). I thought that I could assign each MIDIControl slider to a separate MIDI channel with the control message set to "7:MainVolume". Either I'm doing something wrong or I don't understand how MIDIControl works, but no matter how I set the Channel Value, the sliders only work work on Midi Channel 1. I verified this by adding the ReaControlMidi plugin and showing the Log. The control messages always are sent with channel 1. Maybe I need some other configuration? Kind of lost. Any insight would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I just tried this and it's working for me, both with ReaControlMIDI and with a hardware output. So there must be something strange going on -- can you send me a picture of your MIDIControl pane? PM if you prefer.
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Old 01-26-2022, 05:07 AM   #21
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Version 006 is online. No, there was no 005, but I wrote 006 and then didn't want to recompile everything just for a version number. Link in the first post, and here.

This version includes:
  • plenty of cleanup, both visually (still looks like garbage) and structurally. In particular, did some work to improve the suppression of repeated value output.
  • implementation of sysex wildcards. You use them by placing the symbols $1 - $8 into your block of sysex bytes. The wildcards correspond to 8 automation lanes which can be then used to automate sysex messages, to control your DX7, TG77, Matrix-1000 or whatever you've got that doesn't have CC automation.

    There is a menu to the left of the wildcard display which allows you to choose a wildcard automation mode. Available modes are:
    • Manual: either use the Send button in the UI, or use the new "Sysex Send Trigger" parameter (0 = don't send, 1 = send once)
    • Single: if your sysex data contains multiple messages (multiple F0...F7 sets of data), changing a wildcard will cause the output of only the message affected by the change. So you could have 8 messages for 8 synths in your sysex block and send them separately in response to wildcard parameter changes. Or whatever, seemed like a good idea.
    • All: every time a wildcard change occurs, send then entire sysex block

    For the moment, sysex output in response to wildcard triggers will be performed once per audio buffer. Let me know if that's too limiting, though.

That's it. Thanks for checking it out. Unless something comes up, the next version will probably add the requested feature of min/max range for CC parameter automation.
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Old 01-26-2022, 06:47 AM   #22
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Oops, here's version 007. Found some bugs switching in and out of pitchbend mode. Sorry about that.
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Old 01-26-2022, 07:48 AM   #23
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That's it. Thanks for checking it out. Unless something comes up, the next version will probably add the requested feature of min/max range for CC parameter automation.
Hope so, thanks!
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:26 AM   #24
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I just tried this and it's working for me, both with ReaControlMIDI and with a hardware output. So there must be something strange going on -- can you send me a picture of your MIDIControl pane? PM if you prefer.
Thanks for responding. I did get it working by putting MIDIControl on a separate blank track and sending midi routes to the VST instrument track. Maybe I'm not fully understanding how the midi routing works under the covers. Also, I tried to add a second MIDIControl instance to the same track for panning controls, but the two instances seem to interfere with each other. One works while the other doesn't. I made two separate blank tracks with one MIDIControl on each one for volume and panning respectively, routing each midi to the VST instrument channel. That works fine also. I don't think it's a problem with MIDIControl as much as it is the way Reaper works and my lack of understanding.
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:28 AM   #25
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Thanks for responding. I did get it working by putting MIDIControl on a separate blank track and sending midi routes to the VST instrument track. Maybe I'm not fully understanding how the midi routing works under the covers. Also, I tried to add a second MIDIControl instance to the same track for panning controls, but the two instances seem to interfere with each other. One works while the other doesn't. I made two separate blank tracks with one MIDIControl on each one for volume and panning respectively, routing each midi to the VST instrument channel. That works fine also. I don't think it's a problem with MIDIControl as much as it is the way Reaper works and my lack of understanding.
If you send me project showing the problems, maybe I can help find a solution.
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Old 01-26-2022, 11:50 AM   #26
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If you send me project showing the problems, maybe I can help find a solution.
It would be kind of a pain to package up what I have, but I think I can see what is happening and can fix it by changing the Midi Output FX chain setting. I can reproduce the problem by just creating a simple project with one track with the following effects chain:

MIDIControl(1) -> MIDIControl(2) -> ReaControlMIDI (or JS:MidiLogger)

Looking at the LOG window in ReaControlMIDI or JS:MidiLogger, moving a slider in MIDIControl(2) shows the midi control messages being logged. But moving aslider in MIDIControl (1) shows no messages being received by the logger. Now this is with the default MIDI output setting in the effects window for MIDIControl(2) which is "Replaces Midi Bus (default)". The midi messages from MIDIControl(1) don't seem to pass through MIDIControl(2).

However if I set the MIDI output setting for MIDIControl(2) to "Merges with MIDI Bus" it now works. It seems to allow the messages from MIDIControl(1) to bypass MIDIControl(2) and get directly to the logger (or my instrument VST). I did the same thing with 2 ReaControlMIDI plugins instead, and they work with the default setting of "Replaces Midi Bus (default)".

There is definitely something subtle going on. You could easily reproduce this setup and verify if I'm correct or not.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by gerrytc View Post
It would be kind of a pain to package up what I have, but I think I can see what is happening and can fix it by changing the Midi Output FX chain setting. I can reproduce the problem by just creating a simple project with one track with the following effects chain:

MIDIControl(1) -> MIDIControl(2) -> ReaControlMIDI (or JS:MidiLogger)

Looking at the LOG window in ReaControlMIDI or JS:MidiLogger, moving a slider in MIDIControl(2) shows the midi control messages being logged. But moving aslider in MIDIControl (1) shows no messages being received by the logger. Now this is with the default MIDI output setting in the effects window for MIDIControl(2) which is "Replaces Midi Bus (default)". The midi messages from MIDIControl(1) don't seem to pass through MIDIControl(2).

However if I set the MIDI output setting for MIDIControl(2) to "Merges with MIDI Bus" it now works. It seems to allow the messages from MIDIControl(1) to bypass MIDIControl(2) and get directly to the logger (or my instrument VST). I did the same thing with 2 ReaControlMIDI plugins instead, and they work with the default setting of "Replaces Midi Bus (default)".

There is definitely something subtle going on. You could easily reproduce this setup and verify if I'm correct or not.

Thanks again.
Confirmed. Baffling. I am not receiving MIDI in the 2nd plugin when "Merge" isn't set. I'll see if I can figure it out -- it might be VST2 vs VST3 thing, or maybe it's related to the VST3 plugin subtype, or ... I might need to get some assistance from Justin or schwa to understand what's going on.

The good news is that the "Merge" setting is saved with your REAPER FX preset, and you can save it as the default preset for the plugin. If you do that, it will always be set up that way, but obviously it would be desirable to understand the problem.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:55 PM   #28
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Hope so, thanks!
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:54 AM   #29
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Looking forward! <3
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:11 AM   #30
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And here's 008:
  • NEW: custom range option for each controller lane (permits range inversion). To use it, click the nasty "Range" tab-like thing to see the enable check, the min and max. The interface is clearly not ideal, but it's ok for the time being. The word "Range" in that tab will light up when a modified range is active.
  • Fix additional output issues related to duplicate detection
  • Fix iPlug2 bug with pitch bend output
  • Misc bug fixing & interface muckery
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Old 01-27-2022, 09:56 AM   #31
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MIDIControl(1) -> MIDIControl(2) -> ReaControlMIDI (or JS:MidiLogger)
I changed the VST3 subtype for this release, and now I cannot reproduce what you were seeing. Can you try again when you have a moment?
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:04 AM   #32
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I changed the VST3 subtype for this release, and now I cannot reproduce what you were seeing. Can you try again when you have a moment?
Will do.
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:34 AM   #33
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I changed the VST3 subtype for this release, and now I cannot reproduce what you were seeing. Can you try again when you have a moment?
OK, I gave it a go. No joy . It's behaving the same way for me, both with my VST and just the logger. I am running the latest version of Reaper, 6.46, 64-bit. I ran the project with MIDIControl 007 as a baseline, shut down Reaper, dropped in 008 and started reaper again. The one thing I did notice for both 007 and 008 was that with "Replaces MIDI Bus (default)" set, it works for MIDI channel 1 only but not channels 2-16. I'm totally confused with that one.
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:36 AM   #34
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OK, I gave it a go. No joy . It's behaving the same way for me, both with my VST and just the logger. I am running the latest version of Reaper, 6.46, 64-bit. I ran the project with MIDIControl 007 as a baseline, shut down Reaper, dropped in 008 and started reaper again. The one thing I did notice for both 007 and 008 was that with "Replaces MIDI Bus (default)" set, it works for MIDI channel 1 only but not channels 2-16. I'm totally confused with that one.
Ah interesting, I was probably testing on Ch1. I have a call into Cockos support, maybe they can provide a clue.
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Old 01-27-2022, 12:42 PM   #35
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And here's 008:
[LIST][*]NEW: custom range option for each controller lane (permits range inversion). To use it, click the nasty "Range" tab-like thing to see the enable check, the min and max. The interface is clearly not ideal, but it's ok for the time being. The word "Range" in that tab will light up when a modified range is active.
Love it! Thanks so much for min/max addition
Btw is there a reason for the value switch when we press range? Wouldn't it be faster if we didn't have to press the value switch to activate min/max and to activate just with range?
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Old 01-27-2022, 12:44 PM   #36
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Love it! Thanks so much for min/max addition
Btw is there a reason for the value switch when we press range? Wouldn't it be faster if we didn't have to press the value switch to activate min/max and to activate just with range?
I wanted for there to be a way to use the slider in Range mode, or to turn off Range mode without changing the values in the boxes. I could enable the switch the first time you click on Range, though, if that would speed things up.
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Old 01-27-2022, 12:45 PM   #37
Vagelis
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Originally Posted by sockmonkey72 View Post
I wanted for there to be a way to use the slider in Range mode, or to turn off Range mode without changing the values in the boxes. I could enable the switch the first time you click on Range, though, if that would speed things up.
Yes please, like this would be perfect
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Old 01-27-2022, 12:56 PM   #38
Vagelis
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One thing I've noticed, is that it's not easy to change the value of the fader from the area with the value to the right of the fader, happens also with the mouse wheel.
One more thing is when i change the max value and is less than the existing fader value, the fader value doesn't change relatively to the max value.

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Old 01-27-2022, 01:00 PM   #39
sockmonkey72
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One thing I've noticed, is that it's not easy to change the value of the fader from the area with the value to the right of the fader, happens also with the mouse wheel.
One more thing is when i change the max value and is less than the existing fader value, the fader value doesn't change relatively to the max value.

I'll check both of these out. Thanks for kicking the tires.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:01 PM   #40
Vagelis
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I'll check both of these out. Thanks for kicking the tires.
Thanks
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