For 3rd part VSTs, it is necessary to tweak a knob in order to expose the parameter for automation. You must then either be looking in the browser for the highlighted knob to show up, or go into the menu and drill down to Tools > last tweaked.
For knobs that are not easily placed to a specific value, this creates a fear of changing a 3rd party vst knob in a way that alters the patch in a substantial way, especially if the knob in question affects the sound drastically for small tweaks. You can somewhat remedy this fear by placing your patch in a "spare state", tweaking knobs, and then moving to the other state. In practice, doing this before tweaking any knob is annoying. Most 3rd party vsts' knob tweaks can be undone outside of Patcher by default, already. However, at least for 32-bit Oatmeal, the undo is not always the same value as before, whereas knob undo's in Patcher are always accurate, even for Oatmeal. I'm not sure how many 3rd party Vsts suffer from innacurrate knob undos by default.
I created a python script that clicks the mouse, holds the button down, and moves the cursor up and down by the same amount very fast. This is triggered by shift + tab. This has the effect of tweaking nobs in any VST without changing the value. There are only a few VSTs I've tried where this has not worked (Sakura, Poizone), but it appears to work in all the 3rd party Vsts I tried and should work in the vast majority of cases. You may change "tab" to be any key within the python script. There is one comment in the script. If you uncomment the comment, the script will use "w" instead of "tab". Change this to any key. In order for "tab" to work well for you, you must go into general options and set "detach all plugins" so that tab no longer cycles between windows. Remember to detach the Piano Roll, Playlist, and Mixer. Since knob undo's are a thing in 3rd party vsts outside of Patcher, the above keyboard shortcut is most useful in a Patcher ecosystem, or for cases where the knob undo is innacurate.
The script also allows you to expose the last tweaked parameter for a Patcher instrument by hovering over the instrument and pressing ctrl + tab. If you use Patcher for every instrument, this frees up the Alt+F8 Browser for patch navigation.
I believe using Patcher for every instrument allows you to quickly A/B effects chains in a way that promotes musical creativity. I think everyone should have mostly Patcher instruments in their channel rack. The mixer is not the place where you want to be experimenting with effects, unless you have a single patcher instance in the mixer bus. Still, more clicks are needed to go from instrument to effects if you place a patcher in the effects instead of the effects right after the instrument on the channel patcher.
To Install The script:
Download the latest version of Python 3.
Open a powershell or cmd window and type "pip install pynput"
Place the following two files anywhere on your pc:
Note that if you can't download the above due to your virus scanner, create your own .bat file. These are the lines in the above file:
start "" "C:\Program Files\Image-Line\FL Studio 20\FL64.exe"
wt python "C:\Program Files\Image-Line\FL Studio 20\pyfl.py"
Edit "Fl Launch.bat" so that it points to your FL studio exe, as well as the above python file.
Click "FL Launch.bat" to both open FL Studio and launch a Powershell window that operates the script.
Remember to exit the powershell window when you shut down FL Studio. By default, the script presses windows key + shift + left when it starts to place the window on your left screen. If you don't have dual monitors, change "Key.left" to "Key.down" to minimize the window. If you don't want the window to be placed somewhere, delete lines 15-20 in the script using notepad.
Here is a script (keyboard shortcuts) to tweak knobs without changing value, as well as expose last-twkd knob in Patcher
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