MQ Installing, Uninstalling and Configuring Plug-ins for VST3, VST 2, AU, MFX, and Studio Connections (Plug-ins)

Midi Quest Pro only


When Midi Quest 12 Pro is installed, you will find that initially it does not install any plug-ins. The reason is that each plug-in is instrument specific and is directly associated with the instruments installed in Midi Quest Pro.


Obviously it is important to know which plug-in formats the host application supports as you will need to create the correct plug-ins to work with that host. Following is a short list of the more common applications:


Steinberg Cubase: VST3, VST2, Studio Connections (not supported by all versions)

Presonus Studio One: VST3, VST2, AU (Macintosh only)

Avid Protools: AAX

Apple Logic: AU

Cakewalk SONAR: VST3, VST2, MFX

MOTU Performer: AU, VST2

Ableton Live: VST3 (Live 10.1), VST2, AU (Macintosh only)

Synapse Orion: VST2

Renoise: VST2, AU (Macintosh only)

Cuckos Reaper: VST2, AU (Macintosh only)

Other: most DAWs support VST2 at a minimum and should work with Midi Quest plugins


Cubase 9.5 note: automation for Midi Quest VST2 plug-ins is not supported by Cubase 9.5. Use VST3 plug-ins instead.


AU Plug-in note: Sound Quest has seen situations where AU plug-ins are misidentified by the AU system. If multiple Midi Quest plug-ins are installed on a system and the wrong plug-in is created, for example a Roland JV-1010 editor is selected but a Korg Triton editor is created instead, follow these steps to correct the problem:


1. Quit all DAWs capable of using AU plug-ins

2. Open the folder /Users/<username>/Library/Audio/Components

3. Temporarily move all Midi Quest plug-ins into a temporary folder on the desktop (the temporary folder must NOT be a sub folder of Components)

4. Run then quit any DAW capable of using AU plug-ins

5. Move all of the Midi Quest AU plug-in back to the Components folder where they were originally found



Installing Midi Quest Pro Plug-ins


The first step in using a Midi Quest plug-in with a VST3, VST2, AAX, AU, MFX, or Studio Connections host is to create the plug-in. This is accomplished by selecting one or more devices in the Studio window and from the menus choosing the plug-in format from Studio / Install Plug-ins. Once the menu option is selected, Midi Quest will perform the steps necessary to create the plug-in for the selected format(s).


To create plug-ins for multiple formats, repeat this process or choose the "all" option to create plug-ins for all formats simultaneously.


In each plug-in format with the exception of AAX, the plug-in will be named after the company and instrument so a Korg 01/W will have the following file names:


Windows VST2: Korg 01W.dll

Macintosh VST2: Korg 01W.vst

Windows VST3: Korg 01W.vst3

Macintosh VST3: Korg 01W.vst3

Macintosh AU: Korg 01W.component

Windows AAX: MidiQuestAAX.aaxplugin

Macintosh AAX: Midi Quest AAX.aaxplugin


note 1: MFX and Studio Connections plug-ins are instantiated differently and do not create new files.

note 2: as mentioned above, all Midi Quest plug-ins for AAX are derived from a single executable (Windows: MidiQuestAAX.plugin, Mac: Midi Quest AAX.aaxplugin)

note 3: on Windows, McAfee virus protection is known to interfere with the disk operations required by the plug-in. SQ recommends the use of alternate virus protection.

note 4: on Macintosh, sometimes the MacOS will fail to copy  the AAX plug-in into the correct location with no failure message. In this occurs, the plug-in will need to be installed manually. To manually install the AAX plug-in, follow these steps:

 a/ Go to the folder /Library/Application Support/Sound Quest/MidiQuestPro/v12

 b/ in that folder is a bundle called: "Midi Quest  AAX.aaxplugin"

 c/ right click on the bundle and choose "copy" from the popup context menu

 d/ go to the folder /Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins

 e/ right click in the plug-ins folder area and choose "Paste item" from the popup context menu

 f/ follow any prompts to copy the plug-in bundle to the Plug-ins folder

note 5: The way AAX manages plug-ins is different from other formats. For AAX, only one plug-in is installed and at the startup of ProTools, individual plug-ins are created for each instrument installed in Midi Quest. While this feature is built in to Pro Tools, In multiple cases we have seen the DAW fail to generate the plug-ins. To date, the solution has been to force a rebuild of the AAX plug-ins database. It appears that any issues in the database files will cause ProTools to fail to dynamically create the plug-ins as per the AAX spec.


Once the plug-in has been created, start a host application to use it.


Similar to the main application, Midi Quest plug-ins require an active Midi Quest license either from the cloud or an iLok USB device. If you are using cloud based activation, ensure that there is an active session running in the iLok License Manager software before attempting to open a plug-in. Without an active session, creating the plug-in will fail.



Uninstalling Midi Quest Pro Plug-ins


Uninstalling a plug-in is just as easy as creating a new one. Select one or more MIDI devices in the Studio to uninstall plug-ins for. After selection, choose the plug-ins to uninstall using the Studio / Uninstall Plug-ins menu. Midi Quest will take the required steps to uninstall the selected plug-in(s).



Automatically Installing and Uninstalling Plug-ins


Instead of manually installing and uninstalling plug-ins, it is possible for Midi Quest to handle this task automatically for the following plug-in formats: VST 2, MFX (Windows only), and Studio Connections.


To have Midi Quest automatically install plug-ins as MIDI devices are added to the Studio and uninstall them when a device is removed from the studio, open Preferences and go to the Plug-ins page. In the Install Plug-ins section, check the plug-ins to create each time a device is added to the studio. In the Uninstall Plug-ins section, check the plug-in formats to uninstall when a device is removed from the Studio. In practice, plug-ins should be uninstalled for any MIDI device being removed from the Midi Quest Studio. If not automatically, then manually.


Once configured, Midi Quest will automatically handle plug-in management.



Adding a Plug-in in a DAW


It is expected that at this point you know how to create a plug-in using your host application although this documentation will step through a number of the more common applications. If you are using a significantly older version of hosting software, the process of instantiating a plug-in may be different from the description below.


Midi Quest plug-ins are displayed in host systems as instruments so that they are able to receive and process MIDI input from the host where appropriate.




Ableton Live




1.Choose Devices / VST Instruments from the menus the VST Instruments window, left click the mouse on an empty slot where it says "no instrument"
3.Use the pop-up menu to select the new plug-in by instrument name
4.Cubase will instantiate the plug-in in the same way it does with all other plug-ins


1.Display Insert / Soft Synths / vstplugins from the menus
2.From the plug-in list, select a Midi Quest plug-in
3.Set the soft synth options and click OK
4.SONAR will create a new MIDI track and associated audio tracks for the plug-in


1.Display the left column browser if necessary
2.Click on the plug-in icon to display the Plug-in Devices
3.Find a Midi Quest plug-in based on instrument
4.Left click drag and drop the plug-in to an existing MIDI track or an unused track location to create the plug-in





1.From the track menu on the Arrange page, choose New..
2.Use the displayed dialog to create a new software instrument
3.Once the new track is displayed, select it
4.In the instrument display on the left side of the Arrange page, find I / O
5.Just below it will be an empty box, click on it to display a pop-up menu displaying the available plug-ins
6.Find AU Instruments / Sound Quest / Instrument name and select it
7.Logic will instantiate the plug-in


1. From the menus choose "Track / New..."

2. From the dialog, select "Instrument Track"

3. Each track added shows up in the Mix window on the right (the Mix window can be opened from the "Window" menu)

4. Click on "Insert" and the popup menu: "multi-channel / instrument" to display the available instrument plug-ins



Plug-in Support for CC Editing


Midi Quest plug-ins do support CC and NRPN editing of editor parameters. However, support is limited.


To use CC and NRPN editing of controls, record the CC information in the track that the plug-in is instantiated on. It is also necessary to press the Settings button to open the Settings dialog, go to the "Plugin Setup" tab and check the "MIDI Event Routing / Host to Editor" option. With this option checked, MIDI events received from the Host - either recorded on the track or live, are forwarded to the editor. If this option is not checked, MIDI events from the host are ignored. This system allows CC and NRPN events to be recorded on the plug-in track and used to modify parameters in the editor and send updates to the instrument. It will be necessary to ensure that every parameter to be edited in this fashion has either a CC or NRPN value associated with it.


Midi Quest does not support receiving CC and NRPN messages and converting these to host automation values.


In more detail: Midi Quest can’t do reliable remote CC and NRPN automation so the plug-in doesn’t try to. In summary, automation is entered into the host using the following concept. On mouse down, the plug-in lets the host know to start recording, any automation messages are recorded (either merging with or overwriting existing messages depending on host settings) until the mouse is released and recording is stopped. With CC messages, there is no concept of mouse down (start record), or mouse up (end record). As a result, there is no way to reliably tell the host when to start recording and more importantly, when to stop recording.


Companies which make controllers such as Novation, are able to get around this by tracking when the musician touches are releases a knob on the controller keyboard. These events are, presumably, converted to virtual mouse down and mouse up events by their management software. Since Midi Quest is completely software based, it can’t do the same.




MIDI and the Midi Quest Plug-ins on Windows


How you use Midi Quest on a Windows system will depend largely on the capabilities of your MIDI interface and its drivers. Yes, that's right! Your MIDI interface. Here is why...


Most current USB MIDI drivers are modeled on sample code provided by Microsoft. The problem with this code is that it does not allow a MIDI driver to be open more than once in any process. Since the Midi Quest plug-in is running in your DAW's process it means that either the DAW can use the MIDI interface or Midi Quest can use the MIDI interface but not both at the same time. As a result, there are important choices to make.


Option 1: If your system supports virtual MIDI ports and MIDIOX, you can start using this system or one similar to it. Virtual MIDI ports allow both Midi Quest and the host to connect at the same time so as long as you connect to these ports and route their output to the actual MIDI hardware, you will be fine. (For a full discussion on using virtual MIDI ports, please see Using Plug-ins with Single Client Windows MIDI interfaces)


Option 2: If you are using an older MIDI interface from a quality manufacturer (M-Audio, MOTU, Edirol) then your MIDI interface may have truly multi-client MIDI drivers and both your host and Midi Quest will have direct access to the MIDI interface.


Option 3: If options 1 or 2 are not available to you, there is option 3. In order for this to work, you will need to disable the MIDI connection between the host and the MIDI interface so that Midi Quest can open it. MIDI events intended for the MIDI device must then be routed through the Midi Quest plug-in. This option will work well but it is the least preferred because it leads to the least accurate MIDI timing.



How do I know there is a MIDI Interface problem? If you start Midi Quest as a plug-in and when opening the MIDI ports you get the error message "Can't open MIDI port. Port is already in use" or similar language, then the interface isn't capable of being opened multiple times in a hosting environment and you will need to determine which solution you wish to use.



Options 1 and 2: If you are able to work using options 1 or 2, then the best way to work with Midi Quest is to place the plug-in on its own track. This track should only contain automation events intended for the plug-in. Any MIDI performance events should be recorded to one or more additional MIDI tracks and sent directly to the instrument.


Option 3: If you must use Option 3, all MIDI and automation events must be recorded on the single track containing the plug-in. Midi Quest will then route the MIDI events to the instrument and use the automation to generate parameter edit messages as required. To obtain the best possible timing, it is recommended that you use the smallest possible audio buffer size as this will directly affect the resolution of MIDI event output from the Midi Quest plug-in.



MIDI and the Midi Quest Plug-ins on Macintosh


On the Macintosh, Midi Quest and the host application will happily share MIDI port resources. As a result, we recommend that you take advantage of multiple tracks. The Midi Quest plug-in should be instantiated on one track and that track should only contain automation and MIDI events that are intended for the plug-in itself. Any MIDI performance events (note on, note off, etc) should be recorded to one or more additional MIDI tracks and sent directly to the instrument. This configuration will give you the best possible MIDI timing while taking advantage of Midi Quest's plug-in capabilities.




Selecting MIDI Ports (Macintosh)


As discussed above by default, all MIDI ports are selected. This is almost always the best option on the Macintosh and there is no requirement to select ports. Should there be, follow these steps:


1a. In a standard plug-in press the "Settings" button on the button bar in the upper left of the editor.

1b. In a custom editor, ctrl-click to display a context menu and select Open Settings..." from the bottom of the menu.

2. Click the MIDI IN Ports button and use the MIDI IN Ports dialog to select the MIDI IN ports to use

3. Press the OK button when finished

4. Click the MIDI OUT Ports button and use the MIDI Out Ports dialog to select the MIDI OUT ports to use

5. Press the OK button when finished

6. Use the "MIDI IN Port" and "MIDI OUT Port" selectors to choose the MIDI ports that the plug-in will use to communicate with the MIDI device.



Selecting MIDI Ports (Windows)


As discussed above by default, all MIDI ports are unselected. In the Midi Quest plug-in, MIDI port select is made by following these steps:


1a. In a standard plug-in press the "Settings" button on the button bar in the upper left of the editor.

1b. In a custom editor, ctrl-click to display a context menu and select Open Settings..." from the bottom of the menu.

2. Click the MIDI IN Ports button and use the MIDI IN Ports dialog to select the MIDI IN ports to use

3. Press the OK button when finished

4. Click the MIDI OUT Ports button and use the MIDI Out Ports dialog to select the MIDI OUT ports to use

5. Press the OK button when finished

6. Use the "MIDI IN Port" and "MIDI OUT Port" selectors to choose the MIDI ports that the plug-in will use to communicate with the MIDI device.


If there are problems with accessing MIDI ports from Midi Quest in a DAW, please read the section above "MIDI and Midi Quest plug-ins on Windows".



Instrument Setup (Macintosh and Windows)


By default, Midi Quest uses the "Default Set" instrument configuration when a new plug-in is created.


If this is not the desired memory configuration, change by loading a Set (.sqs) file with the desired configuration into the plug-in. This can be accomplished one of three ways:


1. Drag and drop an .sqs file

2. With a standard plug-in, right click (cntrl-click) in the left column and choose "Open Set..." from the context menu and select an .sqs file

3. With a custom plug-in, irght click (cntrl-click) in the editor and choose "Open Set..." from the bottom of the context menu and select an .sqs file





Similar to other most plug-ins, Midi Quest plug-ins store their data as part of the host's project. In the case of the Midi Quest plug-ins, this is the equivalent of storing a Set in the host's project file.



Midi Quest 10 and Earlier


If you own Midi Quest 10 XL or earlier you may have the following .dll installed in your VSTPlugins folder: Midi Quest VST.dll. This VST plug-in dll is no longer supported by Midi Quest Pro and must be removed from your VSTPlugins folder. Failure to do so will result of plug-in hosting issues.


If this dll is installed in a VSTPlugins folder, there will be a VST plug-in titled "Midi Quest VST" in the plug-ins list. This is an indicator that there is an issue and the dll should be found and removed. At the very least, never attempt to instantiate it.


Available in:

Midi Quest Pro


Midi Quest


Midi Quest Essentials


Midi Quest one