Standalone MIDI connection vs TI Plugin

  • Hi all,


    After using the Virus for a while in conjunction with Ableton, I'm starting to realize some of the limitations of using the plugin... 3 channels vs 16 via midi for instance, or the fact that automation can only happen on one channel at a time (I think, at least in Ableton). I also notice that using the plugin creates latency on other instruments and controllers. It's obviously easier and more visual to program patches in TI mode, but I'm curious about other peoples experiences here. Do most of you sequence with the plugin or just via midi? If there are more pros and cons to each method I'd like to hear them. I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface here

  • Usually, I use the Virus via VST3 plugin in Cubase during the sound design and arrangement phase of songs. Then I render all the Virus tracks to audio for further work and mixing. Tedious work to do the rendering espcially because, but much easier and faster to work with the audio afterwards. And you don‘t need a Virus hooked up all the time.

    Bass Player and Synthesist.
    Virus TI2 Darkstar | Virus TI2 Desktop | Moog Sub 37 | Blofeld | Machinedrum | Monomachine | Analog Four | Digitone | MPC Live | NI Maschine+
    Mac OS X 10.14.6 (Mojave) | Cubase Pro 11.0 | Ableton Live 9.6 | Logic 10.4 | MainStage 3.4 | NI Komplete Ultimate 13 | RME Fireface UFX+

  • I use the TI2 only via midi in Logic Pro X. I set up 16 channels in multi mode and record each sound as a midi region before printing each one to a new audio track. To me, there are three main aspects of this method:

    1. Latency. I need super fast response when playing, so the TI2 connected via midi having audio streamed over the analog outputs with a thunderbolt interface is great! In addition, you could setup different mono/stereo outputs for some sounds and having them processed with different fx in your daw (especially delay and reverb).

    2. I like sound design with real hardware :)

    3. Automation: You definitely need a detailed overview of the recorded automation parameters for mixing issues. So i record each sound with different automation lanes in Logic Pro X which is pretty great, afterwards naming each region with the CC numbers i automated. It´s still a bit office work but is the best solution from song creation to mixing later because you have (visual) access to everything you recorded. For professional mixing you often find that some automated sounds need finetuning, or you need to change the amount of modulation fx in the TI2. So you definitely need the original midi tracks to adjust/record them again.

  • It's awesome to get a peek at other peoples processes!

    Usually, I use the Virus via VST3 plugin in Cubase during the sound design and arrangement phase of songs. Then I render all the Virus tracks to audio for further work and mixing. Tedious work to do the rendering espcially because, but much easier and faster to work with the audio afterwards. And you don‘t need a Virus hooked up all the time.

    oliAtBass, I'm still a beginner here so bear with me, but I'm curious how to switch between different sounds/tracks while using your plugin workflow. Let me clarify by using an example: Lets say on Track 1 I have the plugin opened and have loaded/created a Bass sound I like, so I record a Midi clip with the melody, then perhaps some automations, and finally I commit this to audio on a separate channel. Great, I've got that in. Now I'd like to use/create a different sound, but keep all of the information from Track 1 in tact for later editing/expansion/rerecording etc. What do I do? My initial instinct is to close the plugin, and then reopen it on a different track where I can repeat the process I just used on Track 1, record new MIDI and automation etc, then to audio. If I do this, can I go back to Track 1, reopen the plugin and continue working on that Bass? Will it load the patch/parameters I wanted? On a side note sometimes it seems like closing the plugin and then reopening it can cause some USB connection issues as well. I like what XXXXXXXXXXX seems to presenting here, but I'm still undecided on what approach I want to take. Guidance is much needed! :D Thanks

  • Lets say on Track 1 I have the plugin opened and have loaded/created a Bass sound I like, so I record a Midi clip with the melody, then perhaps some automations, and finally I commit this to audio on a separate channel. Great, I've got that in. Now I'd like to use/create a different sound, but keep all of the information from Track 1 in tact for later editing/expansion/rerecording etc. What do I do? My initial instinct is to close the plugin, and then reopen it on a different track where I can repeat the process I just used on Track 1, record new MIDI and automation etc, then to audio.

    Couple of basics:

    1. Only ONE instance of the VC plugin can be open for each of your Virus hardware devices
    2. Like the Virus hardware, the VC plugin is multitimbral with 16 parts (4 on the Snow)

    This means, that in a common workflow, you add the VC plugin as a multitimbral plugin (without a specific track) and then add as many (up to 16) MIDI tracks routed to the VC plugin as you need for your song. The exact steps and names to achieve such a setup depend on the DAW. In Cubase you have so called "rack instruments", in Logic you have to setup your multitimbral instruments with the amount of related instrument tracks in one step, in Ableton Live you create a MIDI track with the VC plugin, and then create more MIDI tracks which are routed to the different channels of the MIDI track with the VC plugin.


    The one VC instances saves all settings in your project.


    The convert to audio / freezing part is also different in every application.

    Bass Player and Synthesist.
    Virus TI2 Darkstar | Virus TI2 Desktop | Moog Sub 37 | Blofeld | Machinedrum | Monomachine | Analog Four | Digitone | MPC Live | NI Maschine+
    Mac OS X 10.14.6 (Mojave) | Cubase Pro 11.0 | Ableton Live 9.6 | Logic 10.4 | MainStage 3.4 | NI Komplete Ultimate 13 | RME Fireface UFX+

  • Interesting. I was under the impression that the plugin could only run 3 tracks at a time, but now that I think about it that may apply only to sending the audio through the USB. If one is running up to sixteen channels I'm guessing that you port the audio through the main outputs on the hardware and into the audio interface instead? The question also remains regarding automation. In a video I watched on setting up the virus it said that automations could only be drawn on track that contains the plugin, not on the other midi tracks. This strikes me as odd since notes are just as much midi info as automations... So is this not an accurate depiction?


    Lastly, when the plugin is open it creates some annoying latency on my other midi controllers, like my PUSH, which makes it hard to tap in drums and the whatnot. Can i close the plugin for these tasks, then reopen it, while maintaining all the project settings? Very much appreciate the help btw!!

  • Interesting. I was under the impression that the plugin could only run 3 tracks at a time, but now that I think about it that may apply only to sending the audio through the USB.

    Exactly. You have 3 digital stereo audio outputs over USB you can use for all 16 parts. You can choose on every part which audio output should be used.

    If one is running up to sixteen channels I'm guessing that you port the audio through the main outputs on the hardware and into the audio interface instead?

    This is not desirable when working with Total Integration. The VC plugin cannot properly compensate for the latency introduced by the audio interface and your DAW when sending the Virus audio over analog outs to your audio interface.


    I've read about some users doing their sound design via VC plugin and then switching to Sequencer Mode without VC and doing all their arrangement and recording without Total Integration via conventional MIDI and analog audio.


    To me, this workflow adds an additional layer of complexity which I see no need for at the moment.


    The question also remains regarding automation. In a video I watched on setting up the virus it said that automations could only be drawn on track that contains the plugin, not on the other midi tracks. This strikes me as odd since notes are just as much midi info as automations... So is this not an accurate depiction?


    You can do automation via MIDI controller events on any of your MIDI tracks that also contain notes. It's the same as using the Pitchbend and Mod-Wheel.


    However, direct parameter automation of VC plugin which is not accomplished via MIDI controller events has to be done on the plugin track. But AFAIK, you can access all 16 parts there as well. It's just a bit more cumbersome.


    Lastly, when the plugin is open it creates some annoying latency on my other midi controllers, like my PUSH, which makes it hard to tap in drums and the whatnot. Can i close the plugin for these tasks, then reopen it, while maintaining all the project settings? Very much appreciate the help btw!!


    In my experience (with Cubase and Logic) you can deactivate the plugin to get rid of latency issues introduced by VC. I generally do that after rendering all parts.

    Bass Player and Synthesist.
    Virus TI2 Darkstar | Virus TI2 Desktop | Moog Sub 37 | Blofeld | Machinedrum | Monomachine | Analog Four | Digitone | MPC Live | NI Maschine+
    Mac OS X 10.14.6 (Mojave) | Cubase Pro 11.0 | Ableton Live 9.6 | Logic 10.4 | MainStage 3.4 | NI Komplete Ultimate 13 | RME Fireface UFX+