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Racks or Tracks in Cubase 10, what IS the difference?

stigc56

Active Member
So what is the difference between Rack instruments and Track instruments?
Are there any benefits by using the first one (Rack) when it comes to VEPro?
 

stevebarden

New Member
So what is the difference between Rack instruments and Track instruments?
Are there any benefits by using the first one (Rack) when it comes to VEPro?
Track instruments only respond to Port 1 from VEPro. Rack instruments respond to all ports.
 
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stigc56

stigc56

Active Member
Well it's possible to enable several outputs in the track instrument as well, but it can't be the only difference?
Even a thorough search of the user manual gives NO result! The SECRET instrument?
 

JamieLang

Active Member
Difference is---its MIDI INPUT channels. Meaning that a rack, you can put up a 32 MIDI channel Kontakt that you can then map 97678589 MIDI tracks to....where an instrument track accepts one MIDI channel as input....generally omni "all MIDI input", but you can wire it to a specific--but, I can't have 15 midi tracks of strings mapped INTO that instrument track.

the simple way I remember it is anything being sequenced gets a RACK....anything that I'm PLAYING with 10 fingers, gets an instrument track. Because it USED to be that only the Instrument Track got the smaller secondary input buffer. In recent versions of Cubase, they will map any flat MIDI track mapped to a rack into that smaller buffer, I think.

When in doubt, use a rack. It's the traditional way--to have a MIDI track feeding a multitimbral midi sound source. Instrument tracks were honestly made by Emagic to make MIDI easier to use for people who don't "get" channelized routing. It offers no REAL benefit now that both connect to the smaller input buffer.
 

Rob

Senior Member
For multitimbral Vstis I think it's better to use rack instruments, so that the vst remains in the rack and in the arrange window you only have midi tracks, it's cleaner this way...
Instruments with monotimbral capabilities can safely be loaded as track, that's at least what I do. But it isn't true that you can't assign different midi channels to track instruments, you just have to create midi tracks and assign their output to the loaded track instrument (Cubase does this automatically)...
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
Multitimbral setups are a relic of the past. Instrument tracks, one per instrument is the way to go. No midi tracks to take care of, channels, midi volume blah blah to confuse, automation and mixing is straight forward.
 

jneebz

Senior Member
Multitimbral setups are a relic of the past. Instrument tracks, one per instrument is the way to go. No midi tracks to take care of, channels, midi volume blah blah to confuse, automation and mixing is straight forward.
So for let's say a string library, you load a separate Instrument Track for every articulation and never run multi-timbral?
 

Rob

Senior Member
Multitimbral setups are a relic of the past. Instrument tracks, one per instrument is the way to go. No midi tracks to take care of, channels, midi volume blah blah to confuse, automation and mixing is straight forward.
to each his own
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
So for let's say a string library, you load a separate Instrument Track for every articulation and never run multi-timbral?
No I use 1 instrument track and expression maps to get to all the articulations. That keeps the track count down in a big template. My template is around 1300+ tracks right now, all disabled instrument tracks, all with expression maps where applicable.

If I want to go the separate articulation per track route, which I do often to keep string shorts separate for instance, I duplicate the track and change the articulation in the map. I don't multi-timbral anything. Mixing gets more complicated if everything goes through one Kontakt for me. I like a stereo track per instrument, easy to automate, no fussing with midi volume, pan which I never touch...
 

jneebz

Senior Member
No I use 1 instrument track and expression maps to get to all the articulations. That keeps the track count down in a big template. My template is around 1300+ tracks right now, all disabled instrument tracks, all with expression maps where applicable.

If I want to go the separate articulation per track route, which I do often to keep string shorts separate for instance, I duplicate the track and change the articulation in the map. I don't multi-timbral anything. Mixing gets more complicated if everything goes through one Kontakt for me. I like a stereo track per instrument, easy to automate, no fussing with midi volume, pan which I never touch...
Huh. Pretty cool... And if Steinberg works out the disabled track kinks, that would be pretty powerful. Thanks for the info!
 

Mishabou

Active Member
No I use 1 instrument track and expression maps to get to all the articulations. That keeps the track count down in a big template. My template is around 1300+ tracks right now, all disabled instrument tracks, all with expression maps where applicable.

If I want to go the separate articulation per track route, which I do often to keep string shorts separate for instance, I duplicate the track and change the articulation in the map. I don't multi-timbral anything. Mixing gets more complicated if everything goes through one Kontakt for me. I like a stereo track per instrument, easy to automate, no fussing with midi volume, pan which I never touch...
What do you do for libraries like EW Hollywood strings Diamond where there are no multi articulations patch ?
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
Huh. Pretty cool... And if Steinberg works out the disabled track kinks, that would be pretty powerful. Thanks for the info!
To note, I don't have any problems with the disabled tracks but I know Guy has some issues. The downside is the save times. For 1300+ tracks mostly Kontakt instances save times are about 2-3 seconds on an m2 drive with nothing loaded except 4 Reverbs. I try and sketch out my main ideas first using up to 10 tracks or so. After that when layering and what not, save times are about 10 seconds for 40 tracks. I'm comfortable with that...
 

Henu

Senior Member
I'm using track instruments...instrument tracks (mixed it up, sorry) with different articulations loaded into different midi channels, controlling them with the expression maps.

With this I think it's really "the best of both worlds"- I'll get to tweak the articulations one by one, but they are also used from one track only.
 
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stigc56

stigc56

Active Member
Thanks for your input. It seems though it's hard to find inf. about HOW to use the different systems.
So let me sum up what I until now have learned: Rack instruments combines the midi & audio side of one instrument into a simple and useful track, really well suited to "house" one instrument. It can be saved & loaded, disabled/enabled. Several midi tracks can be connected to the instrument, which can be a multi-timbral instrument (Kontakt, VEPro ex.), and if the VI supports it, it can be routed to extra outputs/new channels. Cubase has alleged problems with "remembering" the details about all these connections, and what have irritated me and others is that the naming procedure is a bit clumsy, - the "mother" instrument can of course be renamed, but this will clutter up the naming scheme, because the first channel will hold BOTH the midi and the audio side. The sub-audio outputs

Rack instruments on the other side simply contains a number of midi tracks, and a number of outputs from the instrument. All of them can be placed and renamed however one likes it. You can have ex. a midi track with a corresponding audio channel below, or you can move the audio channel to the bottom of the arrangement or hide it. You can save & load the rack instrument, but the midi tracks will not be included!! Stupid! For the VEPro set-up it's very convenient especially if you use the trick with remote controlling the VEPro on/off channel function from Cubase.

About creating a template with the rack instrument I suddenly find that if I create a VEPro set-up with ALL my string libraries (all VSL, LASS, SSS, SCS) and route them to combined outputs like: 1. violins/2. violins and so on, then I can have ALL my 1. violins (group a & b) routed to the same channel in my mixer. So this leaves me with ex. 10 audio channels that holds all my string libraries.
I know this is possible too with track instruments, but I think the big picture is much more clear with the Rack instrument.
 

greggybud

Active Member
I know this is possible too with track instruments, but I think the big picture is much more clear with the Rack instrument.
IMO, I think it really depends on your workflow and use of multi-timberal.

Initially everyone used Rack Instruments because there was no option. So you develop a mind-set based on the past.

Eventually, I used Track Instruments for single midi VSTI's and reserved Rack Instruments for Kontakt, Halion, or any multi-timberal VSTI's. However ultimately after a few years I became frustrated because there were always 2 continual methods being used, and I felt my workflow speed was a bit hampered because of 2 different methods, my thought process, automation, and how they show up in the mix window.

A couple years ago, composers started using hundreds of single instances, claiming there isn't much of a processing difference, so (with the exception of Toontrack where I had invested a good amount of time configuring many templates that only work under Rack Instruments using the Cubase feature Save Selected and Load Selected. Save Selected/Load Selected only work with Rack Instruments) for simplicity reasons I decided to go with Track Instruments.

I'm happy with the Track Instrument method, however Guys issue of enable/disable and Track Archive Export/Import and resulting messed up midi assignments, clearly show a difficult bug which is a drawback. I think the difference between myself and those with hundreds of Track Instruments is that while I disable/enable tracks, I'm not using Track Archive Export/Import combined with Enable/Disable. I have been using this method for well over a year, however disable/enable is not an every-day function since I only use EWQL Gold and limited Kontakt orchestral tools. I'm not a orchestral composer, just mostly pop and integrating occasional orchestral.

To sum it up, I guess it's really how your mind works, what you are used to, and how you wish to address multi-timberal instruments.

Hope that helps.
 

Daniel James

Senior Member
I use Instrument Tracks.

I forget when I moved over from racks but I remember why. For me I swapped over because for some reason the Render In Place feature would only work in multitimbral situations with the instrument rack. If I tried to render in place with Rack Instruments it would try to render every routed midi track from the rack.... Instrument Track only bounced the clip I had selected (even if it was a midi track in multitimbral mode with other things playing) I think at the time it was a bug, but I never went back. Also whenever I am writing and just want a synth or something I always add an instrument track, seems to get me going quicker, and I can route midi tracks and use it multitimbral too.

-DJ
 

shomynik

Active Member
I'm also running a hybrid setup with multitimbral instrument tracks. I like that I can select the instrument track which is then automatically selected in the mixer as well. You can't do that with midi. Also, that instrument track serves me as a folder for other audio outs for the same instance. Not as clean as midi only, but you use to it.

I use Instrument Tracks.

I forget when I moved over from racks but I remember why. For me I swapped over because for some reason the Render In Place feature would only work in multitimbral situations with the instrument rack. If I tried to render in place with Rack Instruments it would try to render every routed midi track from the rack.... Instrument Track only bounced the clip I had selected (even if it was a midi track in multitimbral mode with other things playing) I think at the time it was a bug, but I never went back. Also whenever I am writing and just want a synth or something I always add an instrument track, seems to get me going quicker, and I can route midi tracks and use it multitimbral too.

-DJ
Daniel, I'm having that problem with instrument tracks too if I render with "dry/transfer all settings and plugins" option. It renders every output from the instance. Did you maybe find a way to solve that? Or you use only "render the whole chain" option which doesn't do that?
 
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