Songs are … songs. They have names like “Yellow Submarine”, “Feelings”, and “Green-Eyed Lady”, They have Parts like Verse1, and Chorus, and Bridge, etc. Verse1 may be a Piano sound, Verse2 has Piano w/StringPad added, and Chorus is B3…etc.By the way, Songs go in Set Lists!
Racks are like hardware synthesizers. They contain VSTs, effects, Bindings, Routes, etc. Much the same elements of a Cantabile Song, but rather than Verse/Chorus/Bridge, their States are like Patch Names.
To get started with Racks, suppose you have a generic poly-synth like FM8. Today, you use 3 patches from FM8, e.g. CS-80 Pad, AquaBubble, and Brasspad. You would create a Rack, add FM8 as a VST object, connect Input port Rack: MIDI-In (not Main Keyboard!) with FM8 using a MIDI Route. Then you connect FM8 Audio output to Rack: Stereo Out (not Main Speakers) with an Audio Route.
We need a name for this, so you click on New State radio button in the Rack window (on the top left-hand side). Name the New State e.g. CS-80 Pad. Here’s the tricky part. On the left side, under where you clicked New State, below it, there is a box for Rack Behaviors. Checking the Middle column box causes the Rack to remember (stored with the State) various options including Patch and Bank. Depending on the way Patching is implemented in the VST you may only need to put a tic mark besides Patch. Some VST will also require a tic mark besides Bank (there are other ways, but this is the “Horsey, Ducky” version).
Now, the State in the Rack will remember that you want this Patch. Go back to a Song and add an Object using Add object-> “Existing Linked Rack” and add the Rack you just created. The bar that represents the Rack (in the Song) will have a pull down menu with all the Patch names you created (as Rack States). For this Song, you select “CS-80 Pad” and when you load the Song, the Song will load the Rack, and the Rack will set FM8 to the CS-80 patch!
If you look at the State Behaviors in the Rack, you will see there are a lot of things the Rack can remember including Volume and Patch. So, it’s like a hardware synth. You bring up the name, and it remembers all of your settings.
Now go through and create a few other Rack States for AquaBubble and Brasspad. One word of caution, don’t try to boil the ocean and create every single patch you may ever use. After attempting that several times, I find it’s easier to create 2 or 3 Rack States, then whenever I need one, create it then.
BTW, the left-most tic box in the State Behaviors box delegates remembering the Patches, etc. to the SONG. That’s advanced stuff, but very useful for things like Volume. You have a bunch of Racks in a Song, get the mix like you want it, and the SONG will remember the levels.