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changing plugin presets in ableton via midi

howdy all

ive been struggling to find a good way to change plugin presets in ableton-

i have a track with an EQ on it. As the song progresses ild like to have the EQ change to another preset on receiving a midi command.
i thought this would be easy but i cant seem to figure out how to do it-

i dont have any VSTi's, but i would imagine they would completely worthless if you couldnt change tones during a song... thus there has to be a way to assign midi bank and PC messages or something of the sorts to archive and access your tones....
so why cant i do this with effect plugins?

is it the fault of the VST? does the vst have to have a menu or something to allow you to link midi to the tone preset? because every basic comp/eq/gate plugin-in simply has the load/save options....the waves bundle is the same way...honestly ive never seen a vst that has these options

the alternatives ive read thus far are as follows, and im just curious if theres any hope for another solution:

1) use only live's plugins and map parameter or macro controls...... i dont like this at all because i want to keep my tones seperate from ableton and simply use it as my mixer in hopes of simplifying any issues from switching hosts down the road-
2) i read there is a way to assign the output of a midi track to the input of a VST plugin somehow to send it PC and bank messages...... but i am not sure how to connect these messages to plugin presets.....is this option only available on certain VST's?.... also, would i then need a midi clip for each preset?  that would be several hundred midi clips on a single midi track.... is that normal? ...and then i would bind a midi message to trigger the midi clip to send a midi message to the vst?
i have not gotten anywhere close to getting this to work as i have yet to find a good explanation/walkthrough
3) use an elaborate matrix of audio effect racks.... this leads to hundreds of duplicated plugins when in reality i only need 1 plugin and hundreds of presets.....

am i missing something? take into consideration im an ableton noob......
any other options?!

how in the heck do you guys changes your tones and fx via midi?


The Wandering Madman