Jump to content
Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

My biggest, simple wish for the VST softsynth spec...


Sundown

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

I think the overall virtual studio thing is amazing, and it's hard to believe the capability that we have now, versus 20-30 years ago. It's just been an exponential growth in composing/production capability, not to mention all of the great instruments we have to pick from in software form.

 

One small thing that I'd like to see (and I'll probably post it over at Steinberg's forum) is an enhancement to the output routing for VST instruments. In the hardware realm, I typically get rid of one of the stereo outputs on synths and just take a mono feed. When I'm recording a large composition, stereo tracks just suck up too much sonic space and result in a lifeless mix. Sometimes I'll use the summed mono output (by unplugging the right output at the synth), and sometimes I'll just use the audio of the left channel and leave the right plugged in. It depends on the sound and how it's set up.

 

The tasks that I have to go through to recreate this in the virtual realm suck up a lot of time. If I render the soft synth to audio, I have to create dual mono tracks and then dump one of the channels. But if I don't render the audio (and with the power we have today it's not something I want to spend time on), I can't get the result I want, as there is (typically) no way to drop one of the stereo outputs on a "live" VST instrument. I'm using Cubase 6.5, and I don't think this has changed with 9.x (and I'm not aware of any other hosts that support this). In essence, I want to be able to quickly choose whether I want the default stereo output, a summed mono output, or just the left or right channel.

 

Some soft synths (and particularly samplers) give you advanced routing flexibility to send a sound out through auxiliary stereo or mono outputs, but this still doesn't address what I'm looking for. I want the ability to quickly drop half the signal (or sum the signal) before it gets to the mixer, and I haven't seen any quick routing options that allow you to drop a channel.

 

Perhaps the best solution would be a simple plug-in. Then I could apply it to any instrument of any vintage, and not have to worry about the manufacturer migrating to a higher coding standard (many older plugins will never be released in the VST 3.x spec).

 

The plugin could be the first insert in the chain, and it would allow you to choose stereo, summed mono, left channel, or right channel. It's not a perfect solution in that Cubase would still route the instrument to a stereo channel, so the panner and effects setup would still be a stereo configuration as opposed to mono. But it's a start... I have a plug-in or two that can sum audio to mono, so I'll play around with it a bit and see what happens.

 

This routing improvement would be a simple enhancement to the virtual environment that would really boost my productivity.

 

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 6
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I hear ya. Yes, there are workarounds (including bouncing out to mono and having it reimported into the pool). You can also change the panner style and collapse to mono there. BUT! None of that is quick to audition back and forth.

 

Check out Brainworx's "bx_solo" plugin. CLONK The page has a button for "BUY" but if you go to the shop page it's actually FREE! I use their "bx_control" plugin (cheap, but not free) all the time specifically for this purpose.

 

Merry merry!

 

 

Roland Fantom 06; Yamaha P-125; QSC K10; Cubase 13 Pro; Windows 10

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm using Cubase 6.5, and I don't think this has changed with 9.x (and I'm not aware of any other hosts that support this). In essence, I want to be able to quickly choose whether I want the default stereo output, a summed mono output, or just the left or right channel.

 

Reaper allows recording output as mono, stereo or multi with optional latency compensation for each. I'm sure others do as well. There is no choice of left or right output however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out Brainworx's "bx_solo" plugin. CLONK The page has a button for "BUY" but if you go to the shop page it's actually FREE! I use their "bx_control" plugin (cheap, but not free) all the time specifically for this purpose.

 

Merry merry!

 

 

I'll check it out. Thanks. Right after I posted, I did a search and found that unit. I'll give it a try.

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few ideas,

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=24982

 

First deals with using the stereo enhancer plugin. Put it on your track, click the mono button and freeze your track.

 

The second has to do with using control room. Which will let you audition your track as mono, but I think freeze only works on tracks, not buses.

 

In this thread they talk about using a mono bus and rendering in place:

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=84729

"Go to vst connections (F4), and make a mono bus, do not connect it to your sound card, and name it something you can remember. Now take your stereo track and select it's Output to that mono bus. Now you can do a Render In Place on that track, and it will be rendered as a mono track. Reassign the output bus back, afterwards. Sounds cumbersome but it's really fast, once you have tried it a few times."

 

More details in the thread. I think there is a light at the end of your mono tunnel. You'll definitely find a method faster than bouncing and manually importing.

 

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys,

 

I got the Brainworx BX-Solo plugin, and it has helped me decide in advance what I want to do with a VSTi track. In other words, I can audition the left channel, right channel, or summed mono output, which streamlines the decision making a bit when it comes to rendering and importing audio.

 

No plugin solution will make the VSTi channel itself mono, which is ultimately what I want. Plugins will only make the VSTi audio mono in a stereo channel (which affects downstream plugins, etc).

 

As unlikely as it may be, I'd love it if Steinberg would update the mixer in the next version to allow more flexible configuration of VSTi mixer channels. I marked up an image of the 6.5 mixer below.

 

VSTi_Channel_Type.jpg

 

Just like an input is chosen for audio tracks, an input filter could be set for VST instruments. The options would be Left Channel only, Right Channel only, Summed Mono, or Stereo R/L. The mixer channel would then conform to that configuration. Problem solved.

 

This seems like a niche want, but I would think professionals are not using the stereo channels in dense mixes.

 

I'll post it over at the Feature Suggestion section on Steinberg's forum. Who knows... There are a few features in the current software that I can legitimately trace back to my suggestions (I used to be really active in their forum).

 

Sundown

 

Just finished: The Jupiter Bluff

Working on: Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...