MIDI Control of Soft Knobs

  • The Virus TI's soft knobs (also known as value knobs) can be configured to be controlled by MIDI on a per patch basis by assigning MIDI Control Change numbers to the soft knobs and, in the matrix, assigning parameter changes to the same CC#s.

    What is missing is a global, non-patch-specific way of controlling (or is emulating a better word?) the soft knobs via MIDI. Such a feature would need to run in parallel with still being able to control the soft knobs via the specific CC#s assigned to each soft knob (value knob) and matrix slot within each patch. If there are no spare CC#s that could safely be reserved for this, MIDI NRPNs, of which there can be zillions, might possibly be used.

    What would be the point of this new feature? Well, I can at least explain what I would use it for. I use four expression pedals / control pedals / foot controllers / continuous controllers / whatever-you-want-to-call-them with my Virus TI. I have one plugged into the Virus's control pedal socket. I always use that one to control volume (CC#7). I have the signals of the other three converted into three different CC#s by MIDI Solutions Pedal Controllers. On my favourite Virus patches, I configure the soft knobs and the matrix so that the CC# of each expression pedal will do the same thing as turning the corresponding soft knob (value knob). This gives me wonderfully versatile dynamic control of timbre without having to take my hands off the keyboard. But I have to configure it on a patch-by-patch basis. It would be so much easier if there were a global way of doing this.

    (TIP: In the absence of global MIDI assignments for the soft knobs, if you want to use expression pedals to control / emulate the soft knobs, I recommend using CC#1 (MODULATION WHEEL), CC#6 (DATA ENTRY) and CC#3 (CONTROL 03) for soft knobs 1 to 3 respectively. These are the most commonly assigned to the Virus's preset patches. So having the expression pedals send those three CC#s minimises the work required to tweak the patches to allow the expression pedals to control the soft knobs. )


    Virus TI2 Polar | TIOS | Cubase Pro 9.5 | Windows 10 Professional

    Edited once, last by SimonO ().

  • It's not missing. Nearly every single virus knob outputs a midi CC already when you turn it, provided that it's configured for that. Go to config > midi control and ensure that page A is set to "controller data" and not sysex.

    Cutoff is CC40, OSC balance is 33, etc. So you don't need to configure anything.

  • Most parameters can be controlled by specific CC#s. In the case of a knob that just controls a specific parameter then, yes, a CC# corresponds to the knob and you can say that the CC# controls the knob, though more properly the CC# controls the same Virus parameter that the knob controls. But the three soft knobs are not like that. Each soft knob can control several parameters to differing degrees and even in different directions. That richness and complexity of real-time timbral variation is what I am trying to achieve by mapping expression pedals to soft knobs via CC#s. The several parameters that are configured in a particular patch to be controlled by a specific soft knob can usually each be controlled separately by different CC#s that map to the individual parameters. But that does not help achieve the objective of controlling multiple parameters at once. There are no CC#s that have one-to-one correspondences with any of the three soft knobs on all patches. CC#s can be mapped to soft knobs, but only on a per-patch basis.

    I should add that, if I could quickly and easily change the CC# output by each expression pedal, some different approaches could be possible. But, at least with my current gear, I cannot.

  • Hello Marc. The method you describe is exactly what I do use to make my expression pedals interact with the Virus TI.

    Indeed it would be possible to take this technique even further than I have so far done. Not all the CC#s in the matrix need necessarily map to soft knobs. So the potential is there to make each expression pedal control a set set of parameters that are NOT controlled by any of the soft knobs. In that scenario, the player has even more scope for complex dynamic variation of the timbe.

    The new feature I am asking for is something different. I would like to be able to select a preset patch I've never played before and always be able to emulate the patch's soft knobs straight away without having to modify the patch.

    I estimate that currently I would only be able to do that with a large minority of unmodified preset ptaches, those that happen to have their soft knobs set to what appears to be the most common configuration: CC#1 (MODULATION WHEEL), CC#6 (DATA ENTRY) and CC#3 (CONTROL 3) for soft knobs 1 to 3 respectively, which is what I have configured my three expression pedals to send. I supose theoretically one solution would be for Access Music to police all the preset patches to force them to conform to this as a standard. But that sounds overly restrictive and probably not feasible to enforce.

    That is why I am proposing a way of controlling/emulating the soft knobs that would be
    a) global rather than patch-specific
    and therefore
    b) completely separate from the soft knob to matrix linkage.

    Hence my suggestion that NRPNs be used instead of CC#s for the proposed new feature. I can make my expression pedals send NRPNs instead of CC#s. NRPNs are guaranteed not to conflict with the matrix configuration of individual patches and also to not conflict with CC#s assigned in TIOS to individual Virus parameters. On the other hand, I have just noticed that CC#98 and CC#99, the two CC#s required to initialise an NRPN, are reserved in TIOS for controlling the Unison Detune and Unison Panorama Spread parameters respectively. Does that mean that TIOS cannot receive NRPNs? If so, perhaps global MIDI control of the soft knobs would have to be done via system exclusive messages. My expression pedals can send those too, but I expect it would not be as efficient as CC#s or NRPNs.

  • I ofthen find myself browsing through tons of patches. Controlling soft knobs from MIDI controller would be really great, since Virus is out of my hands reach. What Marc suggests is to tweak every single patch matrix, how is that a solution? Matrix is patch specific and not global.

  • +1
    I totally see the value in this. I actually love when programmers create descriptive names like "Hype" and "Elevate" - BUT My TI (in live scenarios) is not always in reach. So to be able to assign three knobs of my main controller to just hit the "Value 1" 2 & 3 of ANY patch I load up (no matter what the soft knobs themselves are respectively assigned to per patch) would be amazing. I just want a Controller KNOB to turn the TI KNOB - without reassigning anything.

  • I know this thread is ages old, but I just got my first Virus {TI Rack] and am astill going through all the patches - I would have thought that this was already a feature, but like some other users, my Virus is not immediatly reachable and it would be incredibly useful to have this feature. I realize that these knobs can be mapped to anything, but with all the unused MIDI CCs it seems a natural setup to have these mapped to he Soft Knobs and then mapped to the selected paramter. I also get that this is an extra layer of translation the synth must perform, but I am just putting in a vote for this.

  • This old thread retains its relevance. I am trying to connect the (newish) Expressive E Touche controller to a Virus TI and it would be ideal to use MIDI CC to link it to the soft knobs. The soft knobs can easily be linked to Ableton's macros in an instrument rack, so maybe there's a way of doing it. My Virus is connected to a PC and the Touche software Lie doesn't work there. The Max for Live thing that Expressive E offer might?

  • I am bringing the thread to life after just getting myself a ROLI Seaboard RISE 49. I was experimenting with it connected to my TI and thought it would be super cool to globally assign either the 3 CC sliders to the SOFT KNOBS or even some of the 5D gestures. Still love the sound of the Virus after all these years.