TLDR: Can we get a way to pass MIDI note data directly to effects inserts without having to create extra duplicate instrument tracks?
The long version:
I think it would be beneficial to have a simpler way to route MIDI events to effects inserts on instrument tracks. Possible solutions include effects inserts getting passed MIDI-equivalent data from their tracks, a "Direct Input" equivalent for effects inserts, or a NoteFX MIDI Send module. With the current tools, I have to use two tracks with duplicate MIDI data and I would like to do this with just one track and no duplicating of data.
Current method (for comparison)
Right now, the current solution I've been using is to have multiple instrument tracks with duplicate data. It's a little tedious to quickly setup if you just want to hear how a MIDI-triggered effect would sound. The first one is called "Synth" and has a Virtual instrument, Kickstart as an insert, and a single MIDI event. The second instrument track is called "Trigger" and is assigned to Kickstart (the instance on the other track) and has a shared copy of the MIDI event.
Here's an example with one synth part and two trigger tracks for the effects inserts shown in the mixer:
Problems with current methods:
The problem with the current method is I have two tracks with duplicate events every time I want to use an envelope effect. It's not very fast, so there is a whole variety of MIDI-triggered effects that take much longer to audition than other effects. There's also an increased risk of user error because if I forget to share a copy or alter a section without also altering the "trigger track" it can lead to large changes in the arrangement. I'm simply duplicating the MIDI event and re-routing it to an effects plugin, so I would prefer if there was a way to do this all under the hood. A "Direct Input" option for inserts that could select an instrument or a NoteFX "MIDI Send" module would help.
- Effects inserts could be passed MIDI-equivalent data from the track they are on.
- An option for "Direct Input" on VST effects inserts to listen to MIDI data from other tracks. I say tracks instead of instruments because I often only want my MIDI-triggered plugins to be triggered by one set of MIDI parts. Upside: Simple and keeps in line with the "Direct Input" idea of instruments.
- Maybe a NoteFX "MIDI Send" Module that would send duplicate MIDI data to any number of other instruments, chosen from a drop-down menu? Potential downside: Sending to Instruments outside of the Multi-Instrument might be odd when saving multi-instruments?
The most common use case I've seen for this type of feature would be using MIDI-triggered amplitude shaping effects such as Nicky Romero Kickstart and AIR Music Tech Pumper, which have varieties of a "listen to Host MIDI" option for retriggering the envelopes.
In most use cases, a user would have one of them as an insert on a instrument track, triggered from the same MIDI data the instrument is playing. In some cases, users may want multiple of these plugins across multiple tracks to react simultaneously to identical MIDI data from one single instrument track.