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Question: I've got an audio effect plug-in that I want to control using a MIDI track, but I can't seem to do this in Sonar. What's the method?

This is a common issue experienced by users of audio effects like Guitar Rig, Auto Tune, etc.. We'll discuss the method here using a free vocal pitch correction plug-in called G-Snap.


In order to control this type of audio effect using MIDI, you have to redefine the plug-in as a synth (as opposed to an effect). To do this:
  1. Insert G-Snap (or your own effect) into the FX Bin of a track as an audio effect
  2. The effect will display its interface, so press Tab until you get to the VST entry then press Enter
  3. From the context menu that appears, select Plug-in Properties
  4. Once in the property sheet, Tab to the "Plug-In Options, Configure As Synth" check box and check it - Tab to the OK button and press Enter
  5. Delete the effect from the track's FX Bin
  6. Rescan your VST plug-ins
  7. Set the input of the audio track to your vocal mic, or whatever you're using as a source
  8. Go to the track's FX Bin, bring up the context menu using the Applications key, then expand the Soft Synth option and choose your modified effect (e.g. G-Snap)
  9. Insert a MIDI track and use its Track Properties dialog to set a controlling MIDI device and output channel (1 seems to work fine for G-Snap). Set the output of the track to point to G-Snap, or whatever effect you're trying to use - it'll probably be near to the last item in the list. With some plug-ins, you may be able to select a bank and ppatch (preset) from within this dialog
  10. If you've already recorded the material you want to effect, copy and paste your recorded audio onto the audio track containing your plug-in
  11. Enable MIDI Mode in the G-snap interface (or configure the MIDI options in whatever plug-in you're using) and you should be able to pitch, or otherwise alter, the audio from your attached MIDI device.