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Sending MIDI CC messages to plug-ins inside your DAW

The Lié workflow usually means that you would host the plug-in instrument whose parameters you want to control from Touché (SE) inside of Lié. This makes it possible to save both the sound of the plug-in as well as the tailormade Touché mapping in one preset. That way, presets can be easily recalled and modified at a later point. There is a comprehensive video available here: Creating a new plug-in preset.

For this workflow to function though, the plugin you host inside Lié has to support so-called 'host automation' for its parameters. Unfortunately, some plug-ins don't make (all) their parameters available for host automation. Instead, they are meant to be controlled largely by MIDI CC automation. In these cases, you won't be able to map certain parameters with Lié's Mapping Routine. Sometimes, host automation might be well supported, but just has to be manually activated in some way (video: Fixing mapping issues in Lié). In case of doubt, the plug-in's manual will tell you which kind of automation is supported.

If a parameter inside a plug-in that you want to control only reacts to MIDI CCs, it can help to use a Lié hardware preset (originally meant to control external devices). You will need to route the MIDI coming from Lié to a separate track with the plug-in on it. Unfortunately, hardware presets are only supported by the classic Touché, not by Touché SE.

Sending MIDI CCs from a hardware preset of Lié to another track in your DAW

As long as Touché is in Slave Mode (connected to Lié), it will always send MIDI CCs 16/17/18/19 via its USB port, because Lié needs those CCs to speak with Touché. Even if a hardware preset is loaded in Lié, Touché will continue to send the default CCs to Lié, but Lié will translate those to the CCs that are specified in the selected hardware preset (compare the video tutorial Signals sent in Slave Mode).

In order to to forward the CCs that are specified in the selected hardware preset to another track, you will need to get those CCs out of Lié's MIDI output instead. Simply choose "Lié" as MIDI input for the track that has the plug-in loaded in it.

Please be aware that the forwarding of MIDI messages as described above will only work with the VST version of Lié. It isn't workable when using the AU version of Lié due to an inherent limitation of the AU format.

This workflow is explained in a comprehensive tutorial video where MIDI CCs from Lié are forwarded to a Kontakt sample library inside Steinberg Cubase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqOvRJOycCU

Here is another basic screen recording, that shows a similar process with Ableton Live and Falcon:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ef526kjalno1ifj/CCsRouting_Li%C3%A9_Live.mov?dl=0

Another example with Studio One and Arturia Analog Lab 2:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/c9axmccsh1f3i8z/StudioOne_MIDIRouting_Li%C3%A9.mov?dl=0

Using Touché SE to send MIDI CCs to plug-ins

Touché SE doesn't support hardware presets, but it can still send up to 4 MIDI CCs + pitch bend. However, this is only possible when Touché SE is in its Standalone Mode (salmon colored LEDs). For the moment, as Touché SE owner, if a plug-in does not support host automation, instead of adapting a hardware preset, you would customize the MIDI Setup of Touché SE. You need to configure and save the MIDI Setup of Touché SE in a separate process, and then close any instance of Lié in your project in order to send Touché SE into its Standalone Mode (salmon colored LEDs). That way, you can end up with your SE sending the same CCs as the flagship Touché is able to send. It's just not possible to adapt the MIDI Setup while checking results in real time, and you are limited to one sole MIDI Setup with a maximum of 4 CCs being sent.

Outlook to upcoming feature

We are aware that the scenario explained above is an unwanted limitation of the Touché SE (Software Edition). It stems from the fact that hardware presets were orginally meant to be used with external hardware gear only, not with software. Even for owners of the classic Touché, creating an extra track just to make Lié work with some software that doesn't support host automation is a bit tedious.

Therefore, we already decided to make it possible to send MIDI CCs directly into the hosted plug-in in a future version of the Lié application. That way, you will be able to use both host automation and MIDI CC automation at the same time. You won't need to forward any control messages from one track to another inside your DAW. This feature will be introduced as part of the software presets, so it will be open for Touché SE owners as well.

To be as transparent as possible though, this Lié update is however still a few months away from being ready (as of October 2020).

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  • 18-Oct-2020
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