MIDI Instrument Setup
MIDI instrument setup is a very broad subject, and countless issues could be holding up your system. Please consult the MIDI 101 section below for more setup tips.
Instrument Rack vs. Instrument Channels
The two main methods of accessing MIDI instruments in Cubase are instrument channels and instrument tracks. The following are some reasons you might use an instrument channel/rack instead of a track:
1) Manipulating multi-timbral instruments by routing multiple MIDI tracks to the instrument. For that matter, you can route any number of MIDI tracks to an instrument as you wish.
2) Intuitive setup when working with multiple virtual instruments at the same time.
3) Choosing multiple outputs.
For most applications, an instrument track is more simplistic and straightforward but can only be used as a stereo source.
A common use for the instrument rack is to mix the kitpieces of a drumkit in the project window or the Cubase mixer.
For instance, let's say I have EZDrummer but I want to process all pieces of the kit individually, each of them being on a separate channel in the mixer. A little EQ on the snare, a touch of reverb on the crash, etc. So I would add EZDrummer to the rack, and click the little routing button on the right of bypass. On the menu, choose Activate All Outputs. Finally I go to my EZDrummer control panel, Open Mixer, and assign each of these tracks as I please, or click Multichannel.
Instrument Connection Setup
Instrument rack setup
When using an instrument channel configuration, and having problems producing sound:
1) Confirm that each of the up to eight "output" tracks are routed to the output bus specified in your VST Connections. (Or to a group channel that is, in turn, routed to the appropriate output bus.) This will all be shown in the inspector.
2) That the corresponding MIDI track's output routing in the inspector is to the desired instrument.
3) Make sure that the MIDI track's input routing is to the correct MIDI device. All this should be configured automatically, but some MIDI devices have several ports.
4) Check settings with the instrument, the external connections of your MIDI device, and internal audio connections as outlined in the Cubase Troubleshooting above.
5) If you are still having issues, please temporarily resort to an instrument track, and follow the steps below.
Instrument Track setup
Furthermore, if you are using an instrument track and still having difficulty producing sound:
1) Confirm that your keyboard is transmitting MIDI data to your computer by watching the MIDI activity in your transport panel.
2) Confirm the monitor button is activated on your track’s control panel. (Also confirm that monitoring in your preferences is set to Manual.)
3) Check that the instrument's samples have had time to load. Some instruments have to be authorized before they will produce sound.
4) Ensure that your instrument is not bypassed, muted, or deactivated, and that an instrument sound has been selected.
5) Lastly check your audio output connections in your driver control panel, VST Connections, and track inspectors.
Note that when using versions Cubase 7.5 and greater, the nature of instrument tracks and the rack has radically changed. The instrument track has lost it's limitation of one stereo output, so there is really no practical reason to use the rack under the new version, except by habit of setting up external MIDI sequencers.
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