How do you configure MIDI settings for external instruments in Cubase?
In the digital age, music production has been elevated with numerous software catering to all facets of sound creation and manipulation. Steinberg’s Cubase is one of the most sought-after digital audio workstations (DAW).
Despite the vast internal sound resources within Cubase, many producers prefer to use external instruments for additional depth and flavor. This article walks you through the process of setting up external instruments in Cubase.
Why use external instruments?
External instruments, be they synthesisers, drum machines, or any other MIDI devices, possess unique sound characteristics that can often bring an edge to your music. Using them doesn’t necessarily mean Cubase’s internal sound library or VST plugins are inadequate. Rather, it’s about having more sound options and textures at your disposal.
Before jumping into the setup process, ensure your external device is connected to your computer. This requires an audio and MIDI interface handling audio and MIDI in and out between the computer and the instrument.
Setting Up External Instruments Within Cubase
Cubase has made integrating external instruments into your projects convenient. This function allows MIDI and audio to be handled in one place.
Step 1: Create A New External Instrument
To start, go to Studio > Studio Setup > MIDI Port Setup
Ensure your MIDI device is listed in the MIDI Port Setup window. Activate the ‘visible’ option to be able to find your external instrument while working on your project.
Next, in the Studio Setup window, select the ‘+’ sign and then select ‘External Instrument’ from the drop-down menu. This will create a new external instrument.
Step 2: Setting Up
After setting up the new external instrument, assign it a name.
Go to Audio Return > Device Port and select the input from your interface where the instrument audio is connected. If it is a stereo instrument, click the ‘Add’ button, which opens another slot, and select the second input. Finally, set the MIDI Output to the appropriate MIDI port connected to the external instrument.
Step 3: Confirm the Setup
After your settings, it is crucial to confirm that the connection has been established. To do this, create a new Instrument Track. When choosing the Instrument, you should see the name of the external instrument you set up.
Select it and play your external instrument; you should hear its audio in Cubase and see the audio level in the instrument channel.
adds a whole new level to your music production. The process is straightforward, and once the initial set-up is done, the creative process can be even more seamless and rewarding.
Whether you’re using synthesizers, drum machines or other MIDI devices, making them a part of your Cubase workflow can unveil new, endless possibilities in terms of sound and texture. Happy producing!