TrackControl is very nice! I installed it into my signal chain and it does have things I may want to include in the future … however …
What I think is needed is a VST that does nothing at all (since Pan is provided by Cantabile) except to pass a stereo signal (**) (I’m not sure if VSTs are hardwired for the number of in/out audio channels). No controls needed. No GUI needed. Minimal footprint preferred.
Was directed in a KVR post (https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8664949) to BitShiftGain64 from Chris Johnson’s AirWindows plugins. This open-source VST collection is quite interesting: ultra-lightweight, no GUI, and quite techie (in keeping with Chris Johnson - from his YouTube posts). Available at:
for 64 bit, 32 bit and PPC Macs and 64 and 32 bit Windows
Airwindows plugins are modular, graphic-less, stripped-down, VST plugins, for Mac and PC. The Mac VSTs are all 64 bit- triple binary, i386 / x86_64 / ppc. The PC VSTs come in 32 and 64 bit versions.
why no GUI?
Airwindows’ reputation was built out of generic-interface plugins, which typically focus on doing only one thing, often with very simple controls, labelled to help understanding but not to encourage formulaic work. There are two reasons for the generic, non-GUI interfaces. One, because it improves reliability a huge amount (many audio plugin bugs, including showstopper bugs, have to do with the GUI part). Two, because time that could be spent debugging the GUI or tweaking its look—or writing copyprotect code—can be better spent improving the sound. That’s how Airwindows rolls, since 2007.
I have inserted BitShiftGain64 in my signal chain, hooked the output Pan to an EC4 encoder, and it and it works perfectly!
(**) One thing I’m not clear on is how VSTs deal with the number of channels on an audio input port. Are VST audio input ports hardwired for a given number of channels or can they pass “however many channels are in the input”. And how can we tell what their behavior is. (This is all reminiscent of staring at a 1/4" port and wondering whether it’s Balanced, Unbal Mono, Unbal Stereo, or even TRRS.)