Using Ctrlr with Vst Instruments

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  • #73531
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    Hi to the Ctrlr community,
    I’ve been using Ctrlr for a few months now. It’s been a bit of an uphill struggle getting my head around the interface. Unfortunately, I was unable to register on the forum at first (a spanner in the machine for a while I think?) and so have only just been able to post. I had, in the meantime been reading the forum and looking at various panels for information, which has been really useful. I’m aware that the main gripe from people is the lack of any comprehensive manual for such a complex app which is a shame. I know that some forum members have compiled an introductory pdf, which is great but I suppose to real knowledge seems to be gained from people’s experience of using it in a ‘trial and error’ manner.

    I was fortunate to be able to contact one member outside of the forum (‘Possemo’, hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning him?) who was incredibly helpful and steered me in the right direction.

    Apart from introducing myself, I would like to know if anyone out there is using Ctrlr in the same way as myself? I understand that the primary use is to control external hardware i.e. synths, outboard effects, drum machines, etc. However, my use of it is all ‘inside the box’. I use Sonar Platinum as my DAW and work exclusively with vst instruments. I use Ctrlr via a touchscreen to control any gui interface for any vst instrument in my work template. Keyswitching, for ‘articulation changes’ in various sample libraries from a touchscreen is so much better than using keys from the keyboard. Everything can be clearly labelled and buttons can be made big enough to play in a performance fashion, even if you are only recording in a studio environment.

    Previously to Ctrlr, I had been using TouchOSC on a tablet, but found the size of screen a bit too fiddly and so progressed to ‘Surface Editor’ on the PC touchscreen. I used ‘Surface Editor’ (which is a great program but no longer supported or updated) for a few years but it’s limitations became more and more frustrating. I like the fact that with Ctrlr there seems to be an active helpful forum.

    So one of my questions at the moment is, can I achieve bi-directional communication with vst instruments? I have no problem assigning buttons, sliders, switches etc. from Ctrlr to any controls in a vst window but I can’t seem to set up bi-directional feedback so that my panel updates when I switch to the track that contains that particular vst instrument. Is this even possible? All midi messages sent are non SysEx and I know that most external synths use SysEx as a form of 2-way control so I’m not sure if this is where the problem may be? I’ve looked into using ‘AZ controller’, which is a third party surface controller interface which is exclusive to Sonar and bridges between the DAW and any external controller. But I don’t see why this can’t apply to Ctrlr even if it’s inside the box.

    Anyway, apologies for a long first post but I just wanted to make clear where I am with this and would love to hear from anyone using Ctrlr in a similar way or indeed anyone with some useful ideas?


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    Possibly, but I think you’d have to use a utility like MIDIox for the MIDI routing

    The Puppeteer

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    It sounds like you would need to route midi in/out from the vst or DAW to a virtual midi port like loopBe1 or loopMidi.

    I think all the routing has to be all set up through MIDI-OX.

    I have never tried this though.

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