Is it possible for the VST to access MIDI devices directly?

Right now, in VST mode, all of the MIDI modules only have DAW available… is it possible for the VST to access MIDI devices directly, and not via the DAW driver? I’m not sure if that is just a convenience thing, or if it’s a VST limitation that forces all MIDI access thru the DAW, or what… However I was hoping to send MIDI to virtual MIDI cables (loopMIDI) from within the VST. Is this technically doable?

It is, on Windows at least, e.g. Bidule VST can address any installed MIDI device, I’m sure there are many other examples

Hmm… well hopefully this gets added into the standard MIDI modules, or someone releases a module to do that! If I could do that, I could multi-track sequence stuff from VCV VST and bypass Ableton’s annoying behavior of pushing all MIDI output from VST onto channel 1, sending MIDI out to the virtual cable, then back in to Ableton via that cable, unmangled!

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Have a look at the ODDSound plugin, it’s been released for 2.0

Whether it works with standard MIDI devices (it’s designed for devices that work with the MTS-ESP standard) I don’t know, but worth a try

Actually don’t - it’s also constrained to DAW output when Rack is running as VST :lying_face:

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Seems like a good feature request, kind of the MIDI version of letting the VST make its own audio connection, which I’m very happy is coming!

And an interesting way to workaround the Ableton thing–it would certainly level the VCV VST playing field somewhat between Live and Bitwig (which right now has MIDI handling as a huge advantage). Of course, ideally Ableton would fix it on their end…

Not having tried it in V2 VST yet, isn’t Oddsound mainly making a connection to the global MTS-ESP server process? I don’t know if it’s doing anything special with regard to MIDI handling. That said, it’s terrific!

and this VCV Library - Kilpatrick Audio MIDI Output


Nope - only DAW in VST Rack 2 Pro

Yep, Oddsound too (just checked). They’re just inheriting from the standard VCV midi stuff, I suspect.

I think this would be a great feature request and I suspect much easier to implement than the separate-audio feature that’s already on its way.

OK… Trying again with my head connected this time…

If you have any other VST plugin that can send its MIDI input to an external MIDI device, you can use VCV Host to host it within Rack.

I just tried it with Plogue Bidule inside Host and sent MIDI via a loopback device to another track in the DAW - so there is a way, if slightly inelegant

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whoa–well played, @attheleash !

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When I said slightly inelegant, I really meant painful - I think you’d have to have a separate Host and hosted plugin for each MIDI channel you want to transmit on, and the ability to remap the MIDI channel - so probably only Bidule (and maybe Reaktor, Loomer Architect, any others?) are the options here :angry:

It would also allow you to push more MIDI to the DAW than 16 channels worth. I’m not sure how necessary that is in regular use, but might be more relevant when using MPE (which I have not tried yet in VCV VST). I will submit a feature request!

Thanks for the research, I actually do have Host, but that sounds painful enough to make me not want to bother! I looked at Bidule when trying to integrate Maschine w/Ableton and overcome this same sequencing issue, and could not get my head around it at the time. =/

Hopefully either the feature request is accepted, or someone else creates a module for this purpose!

You could try making something in m4l and use OSC…

Ableton has realeased a m4l device that sends midi data over OSC - it should be possible to make one that receives midi data over OSC.

“OSC MIDI Send – sends MIDI note and velocity data as OSC messages”

At least on Windows, if one application (mostly the DAW) uses a particular MIDI device, then no other application can use it simultaneously.

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yes. in general this feature (which is now the subject of 8,142 threads on this forum) is quite dangerous. In many cases it won’t work an it would be a testing nightmare (if anyone tested this stuff). I wouldn’t do it… But if someone wants to make some modules that do it - more power to them.

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Yeahh… I would say on Windows these things are a hot mess, on macOS far more elegant, simple and flexible :slight_smile: There’s a (several) reason music people prefer macOS.

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Or… just wait for Teleport, which can send its signals between multiple vst-instances. That way you just open a separate instance on a new track with a teleport-receiver and a midi-out. I don’t know when it will be ready, but I read somewhere that this was the behaviour of teleport in an early 2.0 beta-build.

Edit: Here we go: Teleport - Strangest discovery of Rack VST so far....

Not true of loopMIDI from my experience. That’s the whole point, and in fact I have used that along with Jack in the past fairly extensively to simulate the VST experience by routing audio and midi to/from VCV standalone from/to the DAW, and never had a problem. Granted, I’ve only ever had one thing sending midi to a cable at a particular time, and only set Ableton to use the end of the virtual cable that’s needed, but that would be the use case here. A (set of) virtual midi cable whose sole purpose in life is to take MIDI from VCV VST, and send it to Ableton, or vice-versa.

Thanks for the suggestions! I did hear back that the feature I requested will be coming in an upcoming release, so I will probably wait a bit to see when that materializes before pursuing further (plenty of other things to focus on in the meantime), but if the wait is too long I will look into these further!

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