Synplant not passing through MIDI / CC messages

Marek Jedliński112 views4 posts
  • Marek Jedliński

    Hi! I’ve noticed that, unlike most VST instruments I know, Synplant 2 is not passing MIDI notes and CC messages forward. This is an extremely useful behavior, since notes and CC can be used to control effects.

    Details: In Bitwig, I create generative patches in the Note Grid which drive Synplant, but also control FX (in this case, a filter). This almost always works, but doesn’t work with Synplant, because Synplant doesn’t seem to be forwarding notes and CC messages to the chain beyond it. I can work around it if I have to, but that requires inserting a separate grid after Synplant, which comes at a noticeable cost of CPU cycles.

    In DAWs that don’t have an equivalent of Bitwig’s grid (so, in all other DAWs 😊) there may be no workaround at all - if, for example, I wanted to control FX such as ShaperBox by sending it MIDI notes from the piano roll. The MIDI would not pass beyond Synplant.

    I’m still on the 3-week trial and I’d like to say that, despite my heavy skepticism about the current forms of “AI”, I will definitely be buying a license. Synplant convinced me simply with the sounds it creates! The above is just a bit of a hassle, but fixing it could potentially help a lot of users.

  • Magnus Lidström

    Thank you for your kind words about Synplant 2.

    VST's don't pass through MIDI notes and CC messages; this would be the DAW's responsibility. Do you experience this behavior with the VST2, the VST3, or both?

    Maybe Bitwig blocks the MIDI because Synplant has a MIDI output port where notes played from the UI are sent?

    Is it the same with e.g., Microtonic?

  • Andrew Richards

    Yes, the way Bitwig handles tracks is that both MIDI and audio are sent through the plugin chain of a track. If a plugin purports to send MIDI, then Bitwig will stop the existing MIDI messages at that point in the chain, and use the MIDI output of that plugin instead. Most plugins don't emit MIDI, but both Synplant and Microtonic do.

    The solution to Marek's problem is easier than having to create two separate Note Grid devices. Use a single Note Grid at the beginning of the track's chain, then Synplant, and then use a Note Receiver device to pull the MIDI from the Note Grid and overwrite the MIDI output of Synplant. After that, you can put additional plugins that you want to receive MIDI from the Note Grid. Here is a screenshot to illustrate it:

    Screen Shot 2023-10-23 at 17.37.44.png

    You can see the yellow boxes along the top between the devices illustrate MIDI activity. The Note Receiver device blocks the output of Synplant, and substitutes the MIDI from the output of the Note Grid. Synplant and Volcano 3 are both receiving the same set of MIDI data emitted by the Note Grid device.

  • Marek Jedliński

    Thank you, Magnus and Andrew, all this makes sense. One other plugin that seems to be "blocking" MIDI in this way is Pigments, and Pigments of course sends MIDI via its sequencer.

    I'm curious though, what is the purpose of MIDI output in Synplant? The manual suggests Synplant only sends MIDI notes to itself, when branches are clicked (the "Output Channel" section).

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