How to send MIDI to a plugin in a DAW

This guide will show you step by step how to send MIDI to an Overloud plugin when inserted in a DAW. In particular we will focus on 6 DAWs:

  • Reaper

  • Sonar

  • Pro tools

  • Cubase

  • Ableton Live

  • Logic Pro X

Other DAWs send the MIDI to the virtual instruments only and not to the effect plugins.

Basically the idea is to create an Audio track in which we open the Audio plugin we want to control with MIDI.
Than we create a MIDI track as well whose purpose is to route the MIDI messages from the MIDI input to the plugin.

Now let’s see how this can be done in the DAW listed above

REAPER

As a first step insert 2 tracks.
Right click and select “insert new track”

Reaper1

 

Now load the plugin on the first track.

Reaper2

 

On the other track set the input control on MIDI and select your MIDI interface.

Reaper3

 

On the First track click on the “Route” button, a new window will be opened.
In that window click on the “Receives” panel and select the second track.

Repaer4

 

Switch on the “Record monitoring” on both the tracks.

Repaer5

 

Arm the record on the second track as showed in the following image.

Reaper6

 

At this point you can use your MIDI interface and a Overloud plugin in Reaper.

 

SONAR

As first step insert an audio track.
Right click and select “Insert Audio Track”.

img sonar 1

 

Now in the same way insert a MIDI track.

img sonar 2

 

After that load the plugin on the audio track, TH3 in this example.

img sonar 3

 

Once you have loaded the plugin, on the top bar of the plugin you can see a button called VST3. Click on that button and then click on “enable MIDI input”.

img sonar 4

 

Now open the Sonar preferences panel by selecting the Edit menu -> Preferences…

img sonar 5

 

In the Preferences panel select MIDI -> Devices and check the MIDI interface you want to use, in this example “Automap MIDI”.

img sonar 6

 

Check the input/output settings of the tracks: the MIDI track should have as input your MIDI interface and as output TH3 (or any other plugin you choose to use) as shown in the picture below.

img sonar 7

 

At this point you can use your MIDI interface and a Overloud plugin in Sonar.

 

PRO TOOLS

The first step is to insert 2 tracks: one Audio track and one MIDI track as shown in the following images.

img pro 1

img pro 2.0

img pro 2.1

 

Now load a Overloud plugin (like TH3) on the audio track.
Check the input/output setting of the tracks: the MIDI track should have as input your MIDI interface and as output TH3 (or any other plugin you choose to use).

img pro 3

 

At the end what you will see is this:

img pro 4

 

At this point you can use your MIDI interface and a Overloud plugin in Pro tools.

 

CUBASE

Due to a limitation on the VST3 protocol into Cubase, in order to send MIDI to a plugin we need to open the VST2 version.

To start insert an Audio track.

img cubase 1

 

Then a MIDI track.

img cubase 2

 

Load on the Audio track the Overloud plugin that you want to use, for example TH3.

img cubase 3

 

Check the input/output setting of the tracks: the MIDI track should have as input your MIDI interface and as output TH3 (or any other plugin you choose to use) as shown in the picture below.

img cubase 4

 

Activate the Monitor setting on both the MIDI and the Audio tracks.

cubase

 

At this point you can use your MIDI interface and a Overloud plugin in Cubase.

 

ABLETON LIVE

The first step is to add 2 tracks: one Audio track and one MIDI track as shown in the following images.
To do that right click on the track area and select first “Insert Audio Track” and than “Insert MIDI Track”.

img live 1

img live 2

 

Now load on the Audio track the Overloud plugin that you want to use, for example TH3.

img live 3

 

Check the input/output setting of the tracks: the MIDI track should have as input your MIDI interface and as output the audio track in which you have load the plugin as shown in the picture below.

img live 4

 

Now arm the arrangement recording on the MIDI track.

img live 5

 

At this point you can use your MIDI interface and a Overloud plugin in Ableton Live.

 

Logic Pro X

Add a “software instrument track” by clicking on the Track menu in the top side of the window and selecting “New Tracks...”

img Logic 1

 

Set the instrument menu at “Empty Channel Strip” and the Output menu at “Output 1+2”.

img Logic 2

 

At this point you should see something like that:

img Logic 3

 

Click on the Instrument button like showed in the images and select TH3 or another plugin that you want to use.

img 4 Logic

 

In the Side Chain menu of the plugin window select the Input to which you have connected the instrument that you want to precess in real time (in the case of this example it is Input 1).

img 5 logic

 

If you want to record what you are playing, add an audio track and set the input menu at “input 1” and the output menu at “Output 1+2”.

img 6 Logic

 

Then in the TH3 window set the Side Chain at “Audio 1”.
Also the Input monitoring button should be switched on in order to enable the real time processing.

img 6 Logic

 

At this point you can use your MIDI interface and a Overloud plugin in Logic Pro X.