VIP is a powerful application that allows users to control virtually any VST plugin from their Akai Pro Advance, Alesis VX49 or M-Audio CTRL49 keyboards. To do so, the application utilizes "Plugin Maps" to connect the hardware controls to software parameters, as well as manage presets and settings. This guide will walk through creating a personalized map for a plugin.
There are two reason to create a plugin map:
Start by checking your Plugin Manager (Settings > Plugin Manager) to see if there is already a map available. If there is an available map, you will see it listed on the right side of the plugin manager. Click on the box next to it to either activate or deactivate the map. In the example below, you'll see that the map for the AIR Music DB-33 and Blaukraut Engineering's Charlatan are currently activated:
If the plugin you are mapping does not have an available map, you will not see any map listed in the right-most column (i.e. Carbon Electra). If this is the case, make sure to select the box to the left of the plugin name (in the leftmost column) to activate the plugin for use in VIP:
Once your plugin has been activated, close the Plugin Manager and return to the main view.
To open your plugin, find your plugin in the plugin list and click on the Default patch when it appears in the patch list. You'll notice that the preset count (to the right of the plugin name in the plugin column) will be 1. I will be using the DB-33 plugin as an example, so I have turned the included map off in the plugin manager.
To view the plugin GUI once the plugin has loaded, click on PLUGIN at the top of the VIP window, or click on the icon in the upper right-hand corner to "pop-out" the plugin to it's own window. With the plugin open and visible, you are now ready to start creating your map.
Important Note: The following steps will cover what to consider before exporting your map, but the order is not necessarily important. VIP is designed to be able to communicate with your plugins whether there is a map or not. Although this may not work for every plugin, in a lot of cases VIP will be able to automatically find and import preset and parameter data on it's own. So, you may find that some of the work has been done for you.
Please refer to the guide as a reference for what to look for and expect while creating your maps.
Once the Default preset is loaded, you may notice that the knobs and buttons in the VIP Control Panel automatically assign themselves to parameters and jump into position like this:
Depending on how many adjustable parameters your plugin has or the order that the parameters are assigned, you may want to change this before importing all of the patches.
Please Note: To edit the control settings for all of the plugin's patches at once select PLUGIN in the top right. Select PATCH to only edit the control settings for a particular patch.
Continue assigning the rest of the controls to your preference. Keep in mind, there are 4 banks of knobs and buttons (total of 32 knobs and 32 buttons) available for mapping. Use the Bank option at the top of the Control Panel to change banks, or use the bank buttons on your controller.
Important Note: You can always go back to change parameters and re-map knobs and buttons later.
Before importing presets, it may be important to consider your tags. The tags are used to sort your plugin patches into categories to make them easier to find from your controller. Categories include instrument type, timbre, style, and articulation for Instrument plugins and effect type, subtype, attribute, and source for effect plugins.
If you only have a Default preset for your plugin loaded, you may notice that there are no tags available in the main view. To display the tags, simply click on the small arrow at the top of each category:
If your plugin is selected in the Plugin Category, only the associated tags will be displayed until you click on these arrows. Once the list is displayed, you can click on a tag to highlight it and view all patches associated with that tag. If you only have the Default Patch for your particular plugin, chances are there are no associated tags yet:
Important Note: If you select a tag with '0 patches' all of your patches will disappear from the patch list. You've hit a dead end. If this happens, just de-select tags to back up. So if you suddenly notice that all of your plugins have 0 available patches, this may be why.
Auto-tagging is a feature that allows you to add tags automatically as a preset is imported. This may be important to consider before importing any patches and can be very useful if you'd like to add a few particular tags to a large quantity of presets, like an entire plugin or even just a particular bank. Please note: Auto-tagging may not work for every plugin but is worth attempting before resorting to manually tagging the patches.
The first option to Autotag can be found in the preferences:
To add your own tags automatically:
Manually tagging patches is always an option and is useful to further categorize certain patches.
If VIP does not automatically recognize and import your plugins presets, either because the plugin does not have a map or you are importing your own user-presets, you can still import these on your own. Before doing so, you may want to consider turning off duplicate patches. This can help you avoid accidentally importing the same preset multiple times. To do this:
The next available option is Auto-Import. This will automatically import presets as you cycle through them in the plugin GUI. So, as you switch to the next preset, VIP will see the patch change and import the new patch. No need to click on the import button.
To be safe, make sure to wait until the current preset is loaded and imported before moving to the next preset.
The Import Bank option allows you to automatically import the entire plugin bank. This may respond differently depending on the plugin and may not work for some plugins.
Now, that your presets are imported, the controls are setup and the patches are tagged, your map is complete! VIP will automatically save all of your work for the next time you open the software, but you may want to transfer your work to a second VIP rig, share it with friends, or even just back it up to be safe. Here are a few steps you may want to consider:
Exporting the plugin map is an easy way to transfer your changes to a different computer or just back up your work in case you ever need to reinstall VIP.
Please note: All of your work is already stored inside of VIP so you do not need to activate the map in order to continue. Any changes you make to the mapping, tags, transposition or patches will be saved to the activated map, so only do this if you plan to continue making changes.
One option you may want to consider, especially after importing a large amount of presets, is the Back Up option. You can find this under the File menu. Simply select File > Back Up to save all of your current VIP settings, patches, tag, controller settings, etc. It may be a good idea to do this periodically.
To load a stored back up file, simply select File > Restore Back Up and find your back up file.
You can find a number of additional articles and videos in our knowledge base:
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Akai Pro, Alesis or M-Audio product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the technical support team is available to help!
Visit the links below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.