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Unify, VST instruments and MIDI out...

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(@machinesworking)
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 So Unify obviously works well with MIDI VSTs like the included BlueArp but I'm not figuring out how to even look for in the manual how to incorporate MIDI out from plug ins like Reason Rack, drum programs like Atlas etc? From what I can tell Unify does parallel MIDI processing for instruments, or basically it's not possible to assign a drum machine VSTi like Atlas to a MIDI channel out for a track in it's built in sequencer to control another VSTi like a kick etc. in Battery and other hosts. Am I looking at a feature request here or am I missing something in the manual? Would love to be able to set up Atlas with various MIDI and audio routings to other VSTs etc. 

 

 Or simply is it possible to capture separate MIDI outs from a VSTi in Unify? 


   
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(@getdunne)
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@machinesworking

Unify most definitely passes MIDI-out from plug-in to another. See https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=overview#signal_flow and https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=midi-details.

The only thing you can't do with Unify right now is pass MIDI output from Unify out to your DAW.


   
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(@machinesworking)
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Posted by: @getdunne

@machinesworking

Unify most definitely passes MIDI-out from plug-in to another. See https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=overview#signal_flow and https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=midi-details.

The only thing you can't do with Unify right now is pass MIDI output from Unify out to your DAW.

So in all those signal flow charts the instrument receives MIDI from either a dedicated MIDI source like your built in MIDI plug ins, or the outside world, control surfaces, keyboards etc. all on the same layer. In every case it's showing instrument layers in parallel, not being able to serially send MIDI to each other. Inside a DAW for instance I instantiate Reason Rack as a MIDI controller VSTi3 say for chords to control another VSTi in the DAW, it then shows up as a MIDI input source in that DAW for other instrument tracks. VST3 Reason Rack does not show up as a MIDI device in Unify, and as far as I can tell in stand alone Unify differentiates MIDI controllers by channel only and does not present VSTi with MIDI out as MIDI input sources. You can select MIDI FX layers as inputs but putting a drum player in Reason Rack for instance with MIDI out does not present itself as in input source for the next layer. 

 To put it plainly I don't see any way for a non dedicated to MIDI only VSTi like Atlas, Maschine, Spark, Reason Rack or others to be used as MIDI sources for other VSTi's inside Unify. The processes are all parallel, so built in MIDI devices can affect the layer, but only one instrument per layer and layers don't send and receive MIDI information to other layers. How can third party MIDI out capable VSTi fit into the Unify workflow? I'm not seeing any way in? 


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @machinesworking

I don't see any way for a non dedicated to MIDI only VSTi like Atlas, Maschine, Spark, Reason Rack or others to be used as MIDI sources for other VSTi's inside Unify.

...

How can third party MIDI out capable VSTi fit into the Unify workflow? I'm not seeing any way in? 

Unify can use ANY plug-in as a MIDI-effect, even one which also generates audio. The trick is to first add the plug-in to a MIDI plug-in subset (see manual page), so that you can select it for instantiation into a MIDI-effect slot. However, this will not allow you to use the plug-in's audio and MIDI outputs simultaneously.

When you need to set up MIDI/audio routings other than what Unify's layers provide, you can use the built-in ComboBox plug-in, which can be instantiated in any type of plug-in slot (MIDI-effect, Instrument, or Audio-effect) in Unify.

Another option is to use and embedded Unify instance. Unlike ComboBox, which is inherently single-threaded, this can provide some amount of multi-thread optimization through use of multiple layers.

The best choice will usually depend on exactly what you're trying to do. If you can give me an example of a specific result you're after, I can suggest how to set it up in Unify.


   
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(@machinesworking)
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Posted by: @getdunne 
Unify can use ANY plug-in as a MIDI-effect, even one which also generates audio. The trick is to first add the plug-in to a MIDI plug-in subset (see manual page), so that you can select it for instantiation into a MIDI-effect slot. However, this will not allow you to use the plug-in's audio and MIDI outputs simultaneously.

When you need to set up MIDI/audio routings other than what Unify's layers provide, you can use the built-in ComboBox plug-in, which can be instantiated in any type of plug-in slot (MIDI-effect, Instrument, or Audio-effect) in Unify.

Another option is to use and embedded Unify instance. Unlike ComboBox, which is inherently single-threaded, this can provide some amount of multi-thread optimization through use of multiple layers.

The best choice will usually depend on exactly what you're trying to do. If you can give me an example of a specific result you're after, I can suggest how to set it up in Unify.

OK cool thank you so much, that's the information that I could not find! 😀 I'm 99% of the time a Mac OS person, but I've got something like 6 DAWs on this computer, none of them ask you to create a MIDI plug in subset to be able to use VSTi's that have MIDI out, they all publish the VSTi's as MIDI input sources. Unify works more like Logic this way, except Logic also publishes the AUi's that have MIDI out to it's MIDI effect list without a need to add it to a subset. Logic also cannot use an AUi as an instrument and MIDI effect at the same time.

  One super positive note on this though, since Unify works like Logic it allows AUi's to act as MIDI effect plug ins, which is fantastic, because stragglers to to M1 compatibility all need to load as AU's which means usually no MIDI effect plug in for things like the Reason Rack AUi, but Unify at least in Rosetta is allowing the AUi to work as a MIDI effect plug in! I'm about to instal the Apple Silicon version of Unify, and I would bet that it also can use even Rosetta AUi's as MIDI effects plug ins like the Rosetta Unify version can. This means DAWs besides Logic like DP11, Live etc. can be used with Unify to get MIDI effects capabilities out of plug ins like Reason Rack which is not Apple Silicon compatible yet, and AUi in Live and DP does not work as a MIDI effect due to the difference in the way they publish MIDI effect capable instruments and the way that AU does. 


   
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(@machinesworking)
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 OK verified with the Apple Silicon native version of Unify. Unify because of the way it addresses MIDI effects capable AUi plug ins can host Rosetta 2 AUi's and use them as MIDI FX plug ins, which is a huge advantage for plug ins like Reason Rack and others that are not AS native yet, since AU Rosetta is the only choice for MIDI effect use of Reason Rack, but DAWs like Live and DP11 etc. do not use AU the way Logic and Unify do. 


   
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(@getdunne)
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@machinesworking

Very good news, thank you.

The universal Mac version of Unify (currently in beta), running in ARM mode, it can load even Intel-only AU plug-ins in any position (MIDI effect, instrument, audio effect). All AU plug-ins run out-of-process, and the host process will be ARM if the plug-in supports it, or Rosetta-based if not. All this AU-bridging magic is built into MacOS, and unfortunately only works for AU plug-ins, not VSTs.

One thing I'm still working on is the ability to load AUv3 plug-ins, including those originally built as iOS apps. That requires a different loading sequence, which I didn't anticipate when I first wrote Unify, so it will take a while to make it work.


   
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(@dewdman42)
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The one thing that is not entirely straightforward with Unify right now is the situation when you have an instrument plugin that produces both audio and midi and you need to use both.  You need its audio, and you need its output midi to feed another plugin.

You can set that up inside the Combo plugin... its just not straightforward directly from the main front end layers mixer interface.  Its also a little annoying to have to dig open the combo plugin order to get to the underlying plugin GUI's.

If there was a way to route both audio and midi from a plugin, on to other plugins...from the main mixer interface..it could be helpful in some cases, this especially comes up with drum oriented plugins that often produce both audio and midi and you need to feed the midi to another drum sampler while also using the audio from the instrument itself.


   
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(@getdunne)
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@dewdman42

Please have a look at https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=midi-details

I agree it would be nice to have an expanded GUI to set up more complicated routings without resorting to ComboBox, but that's a huge amount of work, with no sensible way to justify assigning a high priority to it. It's on the to-do list, but not close to the top.


   
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