Velpro is a Mac and Windows application that lets you adjust the velocity curve of each MIDI note, which is a changeable setting that controls how hard a note will play. Think of it as a measure of how your finger hits the keyboard that can be tuned to sound softer or harder, or altered in a manner that allows you to be more expressive with it. Velpro comes in handy in a variety of situations. For example, certain virtual instruments sound good only when playing MIDI notes at a certain velocity. Or sometimes your MIDI controller doesn’t reflect the way you hit the keys properly. You can use Velpro to adjust these notes to produce a variety of sounds in a live performance or recording situation.
Sometimes I get asked why I made Velpro a standalone application instead of a plugin to be inserted in a project in a Digital Audio Workstation.
The first reason is that having a standalone velocity curve application allows you to apply the changes to any other musical app. If you have different music applications (DAWs, synths, trackers, etc), you don’t have to worry about them supporting a certain plugin format. You can apply the same settings everywhere, even to several apps at once. With a plugin, you would have to add the plugin to each of your projects and make sure the proper setting is loaded. If you share the project with someone else with a different MIDI controller, that person will get her input velocity transformed and it might not make sense for the hardware she uses.
Since it’s a transformation that is tied with your MIDI controller, it makes sense for it to be applied as soon as the signal enters your computer as possible.
You might not know that, but until version 3, the VST format did not support MIDI-only plugins. And VST 2.4 is still widely used out there.
Not to mention the plethora of different plugin formats that exist on the market. Even with tools and frameworks to generate several plugin formats from the same code, it still means I have to test my product with all the different DAWs and platforms in the market.
For a solo developer, it is much easier to follow new releases of Windows and Mac OSX than new releases of every different tool on the market that supports a given plugin format. I’ve done it in the past for customers, and it is really time consuming. Sometimes your plugin works with Ableton Live, but not with Studio One (just a completely random example I swear!).
I hope this answer the question I sometimes read of specialised forums.
Of course, I can be wrong. If you think I really should make a VST3 version of Velpro, send me an email and if there is enough demand, I’ll work on it!
Have a wonderful year full of music and don’t forget to spend time with your loved ones all year long!