Questions & Answers

Serial, multi MIDI channel Multi Instrument (e.g. use VST as Note FX)

+151 votes
asked Dec 12, 2015 in Instruments and Plug-Ins by niles (54,490 points)
recategorized Apr 20, 2018 by niles

Please note: Regarding use VST as Note FX

With the release of Studio One 3.3.0, PreSonus introduced Direct Input. This gives the user the possibility to trigger one VST Instrument directly from the output of another VST Instrument or Effect, without the need of having an armed track in between.

For me personally the Direct Input covers what I missed to build serial MIDI chains with VST Instruments.

However since this request is also related to the Multi Instrument I'll leave it open.


Currently the Multi Instrument  is a container receiving MIDI data on any channel, but passing it through to the VST Instruments within the container only on MIDI channel 1, in a parallel fashion. So you can’t trigger one VST Instrument with the MIDI output of another VST Instrument (serial) within the Multi Instrument. Nor can you trigger Multitimbral VST Instruments with other channels than MIDI channel 1.

The request
To exploit the concept of a Multi Instrument, I would like to suggest a serial, multi MIDI channel implementation for the Multi Instrument. So it’s possible to trigger one VST Instrument with the output of another VST Instrument. But also being able to use Multitimbral VST’s within the Multi Instrument.

A fundamental new Note FX device might be introduced for this. I call it MIDI divider in the examples below. But basically it has to be a device able to transform/filter/replicate the MIDI channel from one number to another (e.g. input MIDI  channel #1 output MIDI channel #5)

For those not fully grasping the concept, I’ve created a few basic examples to show what can be done:

Example #1:
This is a Multi Instrument triggering a basic VST Instrument over MIDI channel #1 and a Multitimbral VST Instrument over MIDI channel #2. The MIDI channel to the Multitimbral VST Instrument is transformed from channel #1 to channel #2. Basically this is a parallel setup apart from the Note FX.

Example #2:
A 3rd party step sequencer VST Instrument with MIDI out is triggering a basic VST Instrument. This is a serial setup.

Example #3:
A 3rd party step sequencer VST Instrument with MIDI out is triggering a basic VST Instrument on channel #1 and a Multitimbral Instrument on channel#2. Again the MIDI channel to the Multitimbral VST Instrument is transformed from channel #1 to channel #2.

Example #4:
A VST Instrument with MIDI output to channel #1 triggers a Multitimbral VST Instrument on channel #5. Before the signal reaches the Multitimbral instrument it’s transformed by the Note FX divider from channel #1 to #5. Parallel is a MIDI data stream to MIDI  channel #2 of the Multitimbral VST. This one is also transformed by the Note FX divider (from #1 to #2).

11 Answers

+7 votes
answered Dec 12, 2015 by AlexTinsley (924,570 points)
Very well laid out feature request, as a traditional MIDI user.

Thanks for the request.

If anyone else agrees, please vote it up.
0 votes
answered Jan 2, 2016 by Ellinas (2,180 points)
I am going to see if I can use Bidule instead of Multi Instrument.
Had used it in Cubase. It offers much freedom in routing. I am new
Studio One 3 so what will I loose by using Bidule instead of Multi Instrument?

Why not allow the 4 Note fx to be used inside the Multi Instrument?

Better name for Multi Instrument may be Studio Modular or VSTi Modular or VSTM?

On a similar issue: Why not allow a modular environment like Multi Instrument
but limited to hosting midi fx such as VSTi midi fx. Or better yet allow Bidule to
be listed in the Note FX.
0 votes
answered Jan 3, 2016 by niles (54,490 points)
edited Jan 3, 2016 by niles

@ Ellinas answer The current Multi Instrument basically is a folder with an audio bus. You can't compare it to Bidule which is much more extensive.

For the record, you CAN use Note FX within a Multi Instrument. That's actually the only thing that works in a serial fashion at the moment.

+1 vote
answered Jan 3, 2016 by Ellinas (2,180 points)

I will appreciate more your suggestion as I begin to face the limitations of the Multi  Instruments. I am just getting my started in learning Multi Instruments. I do applaud PreSonus for adding M.I and your suggestion to make it more flexible and thus more usable.

Meanwhile would you suggest as an Alternative to Multi Instruments:

1.  Use FL Studio as a VSTi and use the Patcher . I love Patcher primarily because it has the multi-touch Control Surface.

2.  I love Bidule for the freedom of midi and audio routing. Bidule beside replacing Multi Instruments it can also be used as an Instrument Input. Done it this both ways in Cubase.

3.  Besides Bidule there is energyXT and other free and paid modular VST/VSTi’s that can host VST/VSTi’s. Too bad that the free MiniHost Modular by Image-Line has issues in the 64 bit Studio One.

+1 vote
answered Jan 3, 2016 by niles (54,490 points)

Ellinas answer It all comes down to your own preferences and extent of routing capabilities necessary. If you are used to FL's Patcher and it does the job for you, I would definitely use that. Same goes for the other alternatives.

Personally I don't like to work in all kinds of different modular environments when it comes to sending instructional data to different VST devices. I rather have that on project/song level. I tried VSTForx and Minihost Modular, but find it long-winded to setup and wonky to work with. When a song needs extended (MIDI) routing capabilities I simply use a different DAW.


+2 votes
answered May 9, 2016 by masterJoe (2,480 points)
I think not having having VST plugins as Note FX is a pretty severe limitation. We are restricted to the internal effects (which are not the best out there)!

Adding VST support for Note FX would open up a huge 3rd party world! Just do it!
0 votes
answered Jun 21, 2016 by Scoox (16,550 points)
For me the biggest and most unfortunate limitation of multi-instruments is that they cannot host FX plugins alongside the instrument plugins, so if you need reverb on two instruments, each instrument must have its own separate instance of the reverb plugin, instead of routing the output of the two instruments to a single reverb plugin.

Bidule, MUX and FL Studio's Patcher all do this. It would be great if a future update would allow for flexible routing. For now I will continue to use MUX.
0 votes
answered Jan 1, 2018 by bennyr1 (2,510 points)

this is better but a more simple to program request, i have done here.

it help alot if a vst plugin can choose and add with the + Note FX button

0 votes
answered Jun 10, 2018 by bennyr1 (2,510 points)
really sad, studio one 4 offer this important feature too not
0 votes
answered Jun 15, 2018 by bennyr1 (2,510 points)
I have done a feature request that allow the use of midi vsti, look as a very easy to program way, by just allow direct input in multi instruments too. the limit that all connections need stay in multinstruments, is no problem. if you like this feature please vote, maybe they do this in newer s4
0 votes
answered May 31, 2019 by robertgray3 (42,190 points)

Since part of this request has been fulfilled, the mock-up images are gone, and the “plugins as notefx” portion of the request is a little convoluted for basic everyday work-

I made a feature request that is a much simplified more general version of that piece of this FR. It’s not a duplicate- just a cleaner explanation that takes into account changes in 3rd party chord/scale plugin options since 2015 and tries to offer a simpler way to do this, rather than this requests more involved modular-synth approach