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Camelot Tutorial 4: Manage Hardware and Software Instruments
Camelot can control and process both hardware (HW) and software (SW) instruments, representing them as Items that are placed in Layers. Hardware and software instruments can be freely combined in Layers. In this tutorial, we do an in-depth examination of both HW devices and SW instruments and how they work in Camelot. If you are not already familiar with Camelot’s basic concepts and layout, you should take a look at these articles before going on:
The Basics of Camelot: An Overview
Getting Started: A Camelot Tutorial
Hardware and software instruments in Camelot are both controlled by MIDI, so make sure your MIDI controllers are properly connected and functioning before even attempting to set up hardware or software instruments. If your MIDI controllers are not working right in Camelot, you could spend a lot of time chasing your tail trying to figure out why an instrument is not sounding. There are three points in the MIDI signal flow that have to be taken into account and properly configured:
- MIDI controllers (the sources of MIDI data)
- Camelot’s MIDI processing and routing functions
- MIDI settings in the hardware and software instruments you are trying to play (the destinations or targets).
In order to get everything set up and working, you need also to be clear on a few important concepts. The first is the difference between ports and channels. A port is a MIDI data stream. In the early days of MIDI, way back before desktop computers were everywhere, life was easy: each MIDI In or MIDI Out 5-pin DIN connector was a port that carried a single MIDI data stream. Simple.
Figure 1 - Channels versus ports. The controller sends multiple channels in a single data stream. The sound module receives multiple channels in a single data stream. Each of these streams is considered a "port" by Camelot. The solid lines show the actual connections and data flow, but the dotted lines show the effective data flow into and out of Camelot, which displays named lists of MIDI Input and Output ports.
But as computers became more capable, multiple MIDI data streams became common. You can think of each data stream as a “virtual cable,” but it is usually referred to as a “port.” Each MIDI port carries 16 channels of MIDI messages, as well as MIDI System messages that are not channelized. Thus, to completely specify communications to a particular device or plugin, you need to name both the port and the channel.
MIDI input and output ports available in your system are listed in Camelot’s Settings>MIDI panel.
Be sure you know the channel(s) over which the controller is setup to transmit. Many controllers have the ability to set up zones or other structures that allow transmission over multiple channels. Camelot can accommodate and modify data received over any channel, but you can’t catch data if you don’t know it’s there, so make sure you understand how your controller(s) is set up to transmit.
Figure 2 - MIDI controllers can be set to transmit on more than one channel and use numerous Continuous Control numbers. Be sure you are aware of all of these assignments before trying to use a controller with Camelot.
Another aspect of controller setup you will want to understand and configure is how wheels, sliders, buttons, and other control items are set to transmit. Many such controls transmit MIDI Continuous Control messages, in which case you should know what controller numbers they are using. Often, the controller number for a given wheel or slider is user-programmable. Many plugins offer real-time parameter control via MIDI, and Camelot has numerous remote control functions that can be operated by MIDI messages. These will be the targets of the data from sliders, buttons, wheels, footpedals, footswitches, and so forth sent from your controller(s).
Figure 3 - Some plugins provide for MIDI control of parameters, which needs to be set up in the plugin's interface, as seen at top (NI Massive on the left, Audio Modeling SWAM Alto Sax 3 on the right). But Camelot itself has a great many MIDI-controllable functions, which are set up in the Remote Control panel of the Settings view (bottom).
In sum, examine your controller(s) and have a thorough understanding of how it (they) are configured before trying to go too far with Camelot.
All Items in a Layer receive MIDI only from the sources selected on the Layer MIDI Inputs list, but, using an Item’s Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Connections>Item Input Channel parameter, an Item can be set to receive MIDI only on a selected channel. When Item Input Channel is set to “ANY'', the Item is working in Omni mode and receiving MIDI data from any channel.
So what happens when more than one MIDI Input source is selected for a Layer, but data from the two sources are received on different channels? Say we have a keyboard controller set to transmit on channel 1, a fader box set to transmit on channel 2, and an instrument Item in Camelot set to receive only on channel 1? Multiple MIDI inputs to a Layer are merged, but channel data is maintained, so, in the example given, our instrument Item will only respond to the keyboard and not the fader box. But if the fader box is changed to also send on channel 1, the Item will respond to both, because the MIDI data streams from the two sources are merged, so the Layer sees channel 1 data from both controllers as a single channel 1 stream.
Hardware Device Items
This section is a quick introduction to the facilities and features of hardware device Items before we explore them in depth.
A hardware device Item is the primary way that Camelot takes control of hardware devices. HW device Items are fundamentally MIDI processors that receive MIDI from selected MIDI Input ports, process it, then send it out designated MIDI Output ports to external devices. This is shown in Figure 1.
Each Item allows presets for the device to be recalled using either a Smart Map or a custom map you create. Keyboard workstations and sound modules often offer both single part presets and multi-part presets, and both of these can be contained in the maps shown in the Item.
MIDI data is received from whichever MIDI Input ports are selected for the Layer in which the Item lives, as shown in the Item’s Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Connections>Receive MIDI from setting. As mentioned above, the Item Input Channel parameter can be set to let a HW device Item respond to MIDI received on all channels or only on a specified channel.
The Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Transformers panel contains numerous tools for processing MIDI data, including transposition, controller curve shaping, pitch remapping, and much more.
Finally, MIDI data is routed to the hardware device through the port specified in the Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Connections>Send MIDI to parameter, and the channel set in the Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Connections>Global MIDI Channel setting.
Finally, HW device items can accept an audio input selected in the Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Connections>Audio Inputs>Audio Input parameter. The audio from this input can be passed through whatever audio processors follow it in the Layer.
Basic HW Instrument Setup
Hardware Devices are things like keyboard workstations, sound modules, guitar amp simulators, mixing consoles, or any other outboard physical MIDI device. The usual scenario when these devices are used with Camelot is that MIDI is generated by one or more hardware controllers, passed through and processed by Camelot, and, finally, sent on to one or more HW instruments or devices. An external MIDI device will have its own onboard MIDI settings. Getting your device to operate as you want with Camelot will usually take some amount of coordination between MIDI settings in the device and settings in Camelot. Keeping this in mind will help avoid confusing situations, as well as aid in troubleshooting when your device is not performing as expected. Here’s the basic process for getting a HW instrument set up to use with Camelot:
- In order for Camelot to communicate with a device, it has to be interfaced to the computer in some way, usually through a hardware MIDI interface box of some sort or over USB. Most of the time, one-way communication will be all that is needed - MIDI data sent from Camelot to play the device or change its preset. In this situation, a cable from MIDI Out on the MIDI interface to MIDI In on the device is sufficient.
- Some more advanced applications benefit from Camelot also being able to receive MIDI data from the device. In those cases, a connection must be made from MIDI Out on the device to a MIDI Input port for Camelot.
- Camelot is capable of working with devices communicating MIDI over Bluetooth, which obviously do not require physical cables.
- If you will be using the HW device both as a controller and a sound source, it is strongly recommended that you set Local Control in the device’s MIDI settings to Off. This disconnects the controller from directly playing the device’s onboard sound engine, so that MIDI control of the device’s sound engine comes entirely from Camelot.
Once the device is connected to the computer, the following software connections need to be made in Camelot:
- The device must be made active in Settings>MIDI>MIDI Outputs in order to receive MIDI data from Camelot. All of your MIDI interface’s ports should show up in that list, and you need only click the proper port to activate it. We suggest renaming the port for the device, as the name shown in MIDI Outputs is how it will appear throughout Camelot.
- If you will need to receive MIDI from the device, activate it in the same fashion in the MIDI Inputs panel.
- The option exists of routing audio outputs from your external MIDI device into Camelot, so that both MIDI and audio for the device are under Camelot’s control. This is often a convenient and intuitive way to configure your system. If you will want to have audio from your device available in Camelot, create a new entry in Settings>Audio>Audio Inputs for it by clicking the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the panel, then clicking the new entry to edit it. Rename the entry for the device (click the “three dots” icon), set it to be a Stereo or Mono input by selecting one or the other in the upper right, then choose an audio input from the list of available audio interface inputs shown below. The contextual menu under the “three dots” icon also has the Delete command, should you need to remove this input entry for any reason.
Figure 4 - Camelot maintains lists of MIDI inputs and outputs (top left and right) and audio inputs (bottom). Each input or output can be given a convenient name that will be used throughout Camelot and made active or not.
MIDI uses a channel system to direct messages correctly, so MIDI channelization is clearly important when communicating with external hardware devices. The first key point to remember is that Camelot can only direct the channels over which MIDI messages are sent; the channel(s) to which a HW device will actually respond MUST be set at the device itself. If the receive channel(s) is not set correctly on the device, it will not sound when you play on your controller, it will not change sounds when a Scene with a Program Change is loaded, or follow any other instruction from Camelot. Setting receive channels properly becomes an even bigger issue for multi-part HW instruments that can play several different sounds simultaneously.
The other channelization function that is outside Camelot’s control is the channel(s) your controller is set to send on. Camelot CAN modify channel data internally, but, again, you can spend way too long troubleshooting if you have not made certain of the channels your controllers are sending. For example, perhaps the controller is set up to do a split with part of the range being transmitted on one channel and the rest of the range transmitted on a different channel. If you don’t realize this, you could spend time looking at Key Ranges and other settings in Camelot instead of finding and fixing the problem at the source.
Your external hardware instrument is now set up in Camelot and whatever MIDI and audio connections you defined will be available in the appropriate areas of the program.
Using Smart Maps and Custom Maps to Access Presets
Changing sounds for different parts of a Song is one of the most common functions for performers. There are several ways to change sounds on your external device when using Camelot. If a device is within easy reach, you could always simply change the preset on the device itself. However, there are numerous reasons that it often will be preferable to use Camelot to change presets when needed.
Camelot stores lists of presets for HW devices in maps. Audio Modeling has created maps for a large number of current devices as Smart Maps. These maps hold the names of presets, along with the MIDI program change number to recall each one. When you add a new HW device Item, you are given the opportunity to locate a Smart Map for it from a collection of folders organized by developer name. If a Smart Map exists for your device, you need only locate it and load it and Camelot is all set.
You do, however, need to be sure your HW device is properly set up internally. When you add an Item with a Smart Map, the first panel you see in the Smart Map often contains settings you need to make, plus important tips. In addition to showing all of the available presets, Smart Maps also assign parameter faders in the expanded Item to selected parameters in the device.
Figure 5 - Smart Maps are available for many instruments. They make presets available, map parameters to faders in expanded Items, and offer setup tips. When creating a new Hardware Device Item, you are presented with the array of folders on the left, from which you can select a Smart Map for your device, if a map exists. Many Smart Maps give important information on setting the device up properly to work with Camelot. On the right is screen with tips for the Vox Continental.
However, there are still lots of devices for which we haven’t yet gotten to make Smart Maps (we’re working as fast as we can to add them, so let us know if there’s one you think we should make), not to mention many more vintage MIDI instruments that we may not be able to get to. You can create custom maps for any device for which a Smart Map does not exist. It takes some work to enter the name and program change data for every preset, but the work only needs to be done once. The procedure is simple:
1. Click the Add Item button for the Layer to which you want to add the HW device.
2. Click Instruments & Devices, and then Hardware Devices.
3. Click the User folder. This is where you will build all of your custom maps.
4. Rather than storing custom maps directly in the User folder, you create subfolders inside the User folder, and then create custom maps inside the folders. You may only ever need one subfolder, or you may come up with a system of organization for subfolders. Create as few or as many subfolders as you need.
5. Click the subfolder to open it, then click the New instrument button.
6. Enter a name for the HW device and click Next.
7. Select a MIDI Output port for the device. If there are no suitable active ports, go to Settings>MIDI>MIDI Outputs and activate one. Click Done.
8. Now you are finally at the custom map and ready to start creating presets.
Figure 6 - These are the steps to making a Custom Map, as described above.
There are three kinds of presets you can add: Single part, Multi part, and Advanced. Single part is just a normal, MIDI Program Change command. HW devices that only produce one sound at a time will only ever need Single part presets in the custom map.
However, keyboard workstations and many sound modules have multiple parts, each able to receive over a different MIDI channel and play a different sound. A complete configuration of all parts is typically stored as a multi-part preset (“Multi” and “Combi” are just two of the names commonly used for these). Multi part presets in a custom map are intended for recalling one of these complete configurations.
Figure 7 - At the top is a Single part preset, one sound played by one channel of MIDI data. At the bottom is a Multi preset, which contains several parts, each running a Single preset and addressed on its own MIDI channel.
Technically, there is no difference between the MIDI message sent by a Single part and that sent by a Multi part preset, but it is useful to label them differently for the sake of clarity.
The third type of preset is Advanced, and it is a whole different thing, which we will talk about in a moment. First, let’s just get you entering Single part and Multi part presets, as follows:
Figure 8 - Three steps to create a new preset, in this case, a Single part preset.
1. Select the type of preset you want to add and click the Add new preset button. A new, blank preset is created.
2. Click the pencil icon on the right of the new preset to open it for editing.
Figure 9 - Enter a new preset name and set the bank and program number.
3. Select the text in the name field and rename the preset, then set the bank and program number fields below to the correct values for the preset you want to call on the HW device. Unless you are already familiar with the device’s MIDI implementation, it may take a little experimenting to figure out the device’s system for recalling presets. As you change program numbers in the Camelot preset, it sends the indicated program change message to the device. This facilitates ensuring you have the right program number entered. There also is a Send test message button that does the same thing. Some devices also contain their own maps that remap incoming MIDI program change messages to onboard presets.
4. Once you figure out the right numbering scheme for your device, repeat steps 9 (if necessary), 10, and 11 as many times as needed to create all of the presets in the device.
5. An alternate method of entering the program number is to click the Learn button, select the MIDI Input from which you want to receive data, and then call up the preset on the device itself. For most devices, a MIDI program change message is sent when you do this, and Camelot will grab the needed data when it receives that message. Click the Stop Learning button once you have captured the data.
Figure 10 - The "Learn" and "Send test message" buttons are at the bottom of the Edit Preset panel.
Now, whenever you create a HW Device Item for that instrument, clicking the Item once will open the preset list. Clicking on a preset recalls it and places a checkmark next to its name. As we will get to very shortly, recalling presets automatically is much more powerful than this manual method, but manual recall is useful when you are first figuring out which sound you want.
Should you need to delete a preset from Camelot, open it for editing and click the red square to the right of the preset name. A confirmation message will appear before the preset is deleted. Note that this deletes the preset ONLY from the custom map. The device itself is unaffected.
The Advanced preset type is very powerful, as it is capable of sending out a string of different MIDI messages at once. Creating an Advanced preset is the same as creating a Single part or Multi part, until it comes to specifying the data to be sent. Instead of indicating a program number, the Advanced preset presents you with a blank area in which you will build your list of messages. Clicking the Add button brings up a list of the message types that can be added:
- Note On
- Note Off
- Program Change
- Control Change
- Pitch Wheel
- Channel Pressure
- System Exclusive
- System Real-Time
- Song Select
- Song Position Pointer
- MIDI Time Code Quarter Frame
- Tune Request
For Channel messages, like Note On, Note Off, Control Change, and Program Change, you can select a MIDI channel for each message, as well as its value. If you have a multi-part device and want to send it three or four Program Change messages over different channels, adding them manually could be just fine. But some devices are capable of advanced functionality when they receive packets of System Exclusive messages. In such situations, it can be much easier to use the Learn button, transmit the data from the device, and capture it into Camelot.
Note that sending large streams of messages will add latency. Making an Advanced Preset is easy:
1. Open the HW instrument Item, select Advanced preset, and click the Add new preset button.
Figure 11 - On the right is the new Advanced preset that has been added. Clicking the pencil icon opens it for editing.
2. Click the pencil icon to edit the new preset.
3. Rename the preset and either click Add to manually add a message, or click Learn and send the desired message(s) to Camelot from the hardware device.
Figure 12 - Messages can be added to the Advanced preset by clicking the Add or Learn button.
4. If manually adding a message, select the desired message type from the list that appears and specify the values for it, as appropriate. Click Done when the message is complete.
Figure 13 - Adding a new message to an Advanced preset. On the left is the list of available message types, while on the right is the details panel for the selected message type (in this case, a note).
5. Add more messages as desired until you have added all that you need.
Figure 14 - This Advanced preset calls a new program, sets the pitch wheel back to zero, and sends a note for a key switch.
Changing Presets on a HW Device
Camelot uses Scenes to play different Song parts, so an easy way to automatically send preset changes from Camelot is to have a HW instrument Item for your device in a Scene Layer. When that Scene is recalled, the Program Change message will be sent. HW items are very lightweight in Camelot compared to SW items that take more time to load, so it is no problem to have a HW item, set to the desired sound, in each Scene. Scenes can be recalled either manually or through automation on Camelot’s Timeline.
If a HW Item really needs to reside in a Song Rack or Setlist Rack, its sound can still change when the Scene changes, Create a Scene Layer and populate it with a MIDI Program Change Item (Add Item>Pre-Processors>MIDI Programs>MIDI-Single Part) set to the desired Program Change number, and a MIDI Layer Connector>MIDI Thru Item that points to the target Layer. When the Scene is loaded, the specified Program Change message will get sent to the designated Layer and the desired sound will get loaded.
Figure 15 - This Layer can change the program of a hardware Item residing in a Song or Setlist Rack Layer. When this Scene is called, it sends the designated program change to the hardware device.
Setting Up Your HW Device
With your HW controller and instrument MIDI channels set correctly, we can now look at how HW instruments in Camelot deal with channels. Note that there are no basic Layer settings that deal with MIDI channels, but the Advanced Channel Routing feature in MIDI Settings>MIDI Transformers remaps MIDI data coming from the controller(s) to channels you specify before sending it out to the HW instrument. This can be useful in creating stacks on multi-part instruments.
MIDI Channels and HW Device Items
Hardware Device Items receive MIDI from whatever sources are selected as MIDI Inputs to the Layer. The devices themselves respond to MIDI data sent to them that matches their channel. (We refer here to single-part devices. We will discuss multi-part devices in a moment.) There are some MIDI messages (MIDI System messages) that all devices respond to, regardless of channel, but the most heavily used messages – note messages, controller messages, aftertouch, pitch bend – are channelized.
There are numerous places in the path from the controller to the device where MIDI channels can be altered, potentially causing the device not to respond as intended.
- The channel over which the controller is set to transmit.
- The Layer MIDI Settings>MIDI Transformers>Advanced Channel Routing feature
- The Item Audio & MIDI Settings>MIDI Connections>Item Input Channel parameter
- The Item MIDI Settings>MIDI Transformers>Advanced Channel Routing feature
- The channel set in the device itself.
Real-Time Parameter Control
There are two ways to control parameters of a hardware device in real time.
Click the double arrow in the lower right corner of the Item to expand it. The top half of the expanded display shows nine faders that can send MIDI control change data to the device. The leftmost fader is intended to be a master volume control, and it is flanked by level meters to show the level of audio coming in the audio. Although the fader can be set to any MIDI CC number, you will generally want it set to transmit either CC 11 (Expression) or CC 7 (Volume).
Figure 16 - An expanded hardware device Item. Master level is on the left, sending MIDI CC7. Note the meters flanking the fader on either side.
The other eight faders can be set to any MIDI CC message you want. You will need to be sure assignments of MIDI CC numbers to parameters are made correctly in the device for it to respond as desired. When a Smart Map is selected, key parameters have already been assigned to the faders, although, of course, you can always choose to change those assignments. The bottom portion of the expanded item enables you to set a key range for the item, as well as velocity range.
In many cases, it will be preferable in performance to use sliders or other physical controls on your controller to modify parameters in real time. Since their data can be remapped by Camelot, you can have standard assignments of CC numbers in the device, then remap as needed for each hardware device within its Item.
Figure 17 - The MIDI Transformers panel offers a long list of MIDI processing functions.
The Audio & Settings>MIDI Transformers panel is a very powerful collection of MIDI processors that will be fully covered in another tutorial. For now, it will be sufficient to simply list what is available:
- Transpose offers 12 semitones up or down of transposition.
- Octave Shift offers 5 octaves up or down of transposition.
- Message Transformer allows you to build a list of remappings of MIDI control information. Control change numbers can be remapped, or even something more exotic like converting pitch bend to a control change.
- Note to Chord can produce an arbitrary group of notes from a single note. A list can be built of these transformations, so that each note produces a different chord.
- Filters allows you to specify MIDI messages that will be filtered out of the incoming MIDI data stream.
- Octaver What is this?
- Remapping Table enables curves to be defined to scale specified control change messages, velocity, or other messages.
- Musical Scale remaps notes coming into the Item to conform to a specified scale.
- Advanced Channel Routing lets you define, for each channel of incoming MIDI data, one or more output channels. This makes it easy to take data coming in one channel and “mult” it out to devices operating on several different channels.
- Humanizer introduces a defined amount of randomness to timing, velocity, or pitch.
The Fine Print: Advanced MIDI Settings
Hardware devices can have all sorts of obscure settings that seem difficult to understand and even more difficult to imagine being useful. But when one of these arcane parameters is actually needed, suddenly it becomes a lifesaver and you realize the reason it was there in the first place was that somebody had needed it before. You are likely to rarely, if ever, need to use any of these Advanced MIDI settings, and, if you do, it will probably be under the direction of Audio Modeling Technical Support. For the sake of completeness, we show you some of these settings here, but without explanation. The actual selection of settings available in Camelot (and in a device) varies with the type of device, the model, the manufacturer, and so forth. To access these settings:
1. Click the hardware device Item to open its settings.
2. Click the gear icon at the top of the Item settings. A panel will open with two tabs.
3. Click the Advanced Settings tab.
Figure 18 - Advanced Settings. You may never need to use any of these, but, Tech Support may suggest one to solve an idiosyncrtic problem.
Hardware device Items have audio inputs. We are not talking about audio inputs on the device itself, but audio inputs defined in the Settings>Audio>Audio Input panel. The most obvious application for this is to bring the hardware device’s audio into Camelot and run it through the hardware device Item for the sake of simplicity, so that one item is controlling both MIDI and audio for the device.
Figure 19 - Some hardware device Items have audio inputs available. Note also the second setting, which allows the main fader in the expanded Item to either control audio volume directly in Camelot, or send out MIDI volume control messages.
However, the audio source can be anything you wish, so be creative! Whatever the source, it will pass through any audio processors following it in the Layer. Audio Layer Connector Items can route audio to other Layers, as well.
Managing software instruments in Camelot has only a few similarities to handling hardware instruments. The obvious difference, of course, is the lack of hardware, meaning there are no MIDI interface and cabling issues and fewer internal setup issues than with hardware instruments. Since a software instrument resides entirely within Camelot, many functions, especially routing and communications, are considerably simpler. Take, for example, MIDI input. As with hardware instrument Items, a software instrument Item receives MIDI from whichever MIDI input ports are selected for the Layer in which the instrument resides. Also similarly to HW instrument Items, software instrument items can be set to receive only on a single channel. But there is no need in a SW instrument Item for a channel setting to direct outgoing MIDI because the SW instrument Item is the final target.
Figure 20 - MIDI Connections for a software instrument Item couldn't be simpler. The Receive MIDI from parameter is just a display, so the only editable setting is the Item Input Channel.
Some SW instruments are multi-part, that is, they can play several sounds simultaneously with each sound responding to a different MIDI channel. Setting up the channels and what sounds they play is a task that must be performed in the instrument’s own interface.
SW Instrument Presets
Every hardware instrument can recall presets with MIDI program change messages, but this is not true at all with software instruments. In fact, most software instruments do not respond to program change messages. This inability is not a problem if you can create a Scene for each sound you need to use in a Song. In that case, you simply:
1. Create a Scene
2. Add a Scene Layer and add the SW instrument to the Scene.
3. Open the SW instrument and recall the preset you want.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each sound you want to use for that instrument in the Song.
Figure 21 - Here are three Scenes, each including the SWAM Baritone Sax. The sax is running a different preset in each Scene, so changing Scenes changes sounds without using MIDI Program Change messages.
For most situations, this works fine. Since all Scenes for a Song are loaded when the Song is loaded, there will not be any load time when a Scene is changed. Occasionally, you may encounter circumstances that can present challenges to this method. For example, if you have a number of software instruments that change sounds at different points in a Song, you might end up with a lot of Scenes, which could be a hassle to manage. If you are improvising and want to be able to change sounds on the fly, there is no easy way to do it if the SW instrument does not respond to Program Change messages. It also is not possible to construct a custom map for a software instrument that cannot respond to program change commands. You will need to open the instrument’s own interface any time you want to change presets.
Even if a software instrument can respond to program change commands, if the instrument developer does not publish (meaning “make available to other applications”) a preset list, Camelot cannot show it.
Figure 22 - This software instrument doesn't respond to MIDI program changes, nor does it expose its presets so Camelot can see them. There is no option but to open the plugin's interface and select presets there.
However, if you open a SW instrument Item and see no presets listed, you might want to do a little research before resigning yourself to Camelot not displaying presets. For example, in Native Instruments plugins, there is a separate list that the user (you) must populate with presets from the library of available presets on your hard disk. It’s a simple drag-and-drop operation to add presets to the list, after which you will see them when you open the instrument Item, as well as recall them with MIDI program change messages. So consult the instrument’s documentation to be sure you understand its capabilities.
Parameter Control and Audio
There are several possible ways to adjust or control parameters for SW instruments. The most obvious, of course, is to open the instrument’s interface and make adjustments there. Another way is to expand the instrument Item, to reveal the master volume fader/pan control and eight parameter faders. Unlike hardware device items, which must send MIDI CC messages to the device in order to change parameters, software instrument parameters can be directly addressed by the faders in the expanded item. Any automatable parameter can be assigned to one of the faders by clicking at the top of a fader and choosing the desired parameter from the list of automatable parameters that appears.
Figure 23 - Plugins generally expose most or all of their parameters for automating. Any of those can be assigned to faders in an expanded software instrument Item.
Finally, some SW instruments also allow MIDI control of parameters. This must be configured from the plugin interface. Note that the list of parameters controllable via MIDI and those controllable by automation are not always exactly the same.
Some SW instruments have audio inputs. You access those in Camelot with the SideChain Bus and SideChain Input parameters in the Item’s Audio & MIDI Settings>Audio Inputs. SideChain Bus may or may not offer a choice of settings, but SideChain Input will show the list of active audio inputs, from which you can select an input as the source. Routing or processing of that input must be dealt with in the plugin’s interface.
Figure 24 - Some software instruments can accept audio inputs, which show up as SideChain inputs.
Software instrument Items have the same MIDI Transformer capabilities as hardware device Items.