Ardour Automation lanes and DecentSampler

Anyone able to help with Ardour 7.2 and DecentSampler VST3 on a Debian system?

I’m getting some great results. And the DS files are really straightforward to edit, add midi control of parameters etc.

How can I get the Ardour interface to recognise the Midi CC assignments in a DecentSampler instrument?

So for example;
I’ve assigned cc104 to control attack time for a DS instrument. There’s a knob in the UI that controls the same parameter.

When I click the Automation button in the relevant Ardour track it allows me to open the lanes of any CC number from 1 to 128. But it doesn’t show the assignments of those CC numbers, just what the General Midi assignments are. So 104 is just “undefined.”

When I open the lane for CC104 I can draw values in. But on playback the slider doesn’t move to show that those values are being recognised. However I can hear that they are being transmitted and, if I have the DS UI open, I can see the relevant knob moving as it should.

Do I need some extra information to get the communication a bit more seamless? The software instrument equivalent of a midnam file maybe?

In the track in Ardour Editor the defaults in the menus below the slider are “Generic” and “General MIDI.”

When I use a SFZ instrument in sfizz (LV2) there’s only a single menu and it says “Plugin Provided.” In that situation the only CC lanes you can access are those where a CC assignment been written into the SFZ file. It makes it much easier to find your way around.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Yes, you would need a MIDNAM file that maps the CC numbers to names. They can be provided by a plugin, but that is unusual.

Thanks for the speedy reply. Very helpful.

I’ve put in a request via the DS website. Will post back here if I hear anything.

The plugin cannot really provide this. The bindings between MIDI and a DS patch/library are set up by the user. MIDNAM files cannot be provided dynamically (at least, I think they cannot). You would need to do this yourself, for whatever MIDI CC <-> DS patch parameter bindings you use.

Thanks for the clarification.

This is why in my initial post I mention the contrast between the behaviour of DecentSampler and Sfizz. In both cases it’s possible to assign any controllable parameter to any cc number on an instrument by instrument basis. Actually that’s not strictly true as volume and pan are set by default in sfizz to correspond to the GM settings. But the point is that the mappings can change from instrument to instrument, ie within different instances of the same plugin. And for Sfizz those specifics are shown in the Ardour GUI, while for DecentSampler only the GM settings are shown.

That’s why I was unsure about the MIDNAM solution, as the mapping is a bit more flexible than I understand MIDNAM to be.

I haven’t tried the VST3 version of Sfizz recently as I remember it being much buggier than the lv2. So could it be something to do with how lv2 plugins are treated compared to VST3? Or more likely just to be how those 2 particular plugins behave?

Just a follow up after updating to Ardour 7.3 and in case anyone else is scratching their head over this.

I’ve tried the VST3 version of sfizz again. Its behaviour is like that of DS as I describe it in previous posts.

Conversely running a couple of sf2 instruments through ACE Fluid Synth; only the cc numbers that will actually control the instrument show up in the automation interface. So similar behaviour to the lv2 sfizz plugin. Much easier to navigate the menu and select what you need.

Unless anyone knows differently I’m going to assume that there’s something in the VST3 spec, or how its implemented in Ardour, that causes this difference in behaviour.

This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.