Track vs Rack Instruments in Cubase Templates: a Different Approach

composerlarkin

New Member
Hi All,

I'm a big fan of using the track settings window in Cubase while composing with track instruments. But when using rack instruments, or midi tracks that are connected to an instrument, you have to travel a bit, sometimes a long way, to get to the track settings window of that vst channel.

When building my new template with a slave PC and VE Pro, I wanted to figure out a new way to organise my midi tracks and their associated VST out channel. I've explained how I've done it in this video:


This is my first tutorial/advice video and I welcome any feedback or questions. Note I incorrectly called the track settings window the "inspector" a couple times.

Thanks!
 

ryanstrong

Senior Member
Hi All,

I'm a big fan of using the track settings window in Cubase while composing with track instruments. But when using rack instruments, or midi tracks that are connected to an instrument, you have to travel a bit, sometimes a long way, to get to the track settings window of that vst channel.

When building my new template with a slave PC and VE Pro, I wanted to figure out a new way to organise my midi tracks and their associated VST out channel. I've explained how I've done it in this video:


This is my first tutorial/advice video and I welcome any feedback or questions. Note I incorrectly called the track settings window the "inspector" a couple times.

Thanks!
First great first video, well done.

But secondly and most importantly GREAT work around. This has been something that has taken so much time away from the moment of writing, and it makes so much sense.

Question, and sorry if you explained this in the video but I didn't catch it, how are you hiding JUST the VST audio tracks?
 
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composerlarkin

New Member
First great first video, well done.

But secondly and most importantly GREAT work around. This has been something that has taken so much time away from the moment of writing, and it makes so much sense.

Question, and sorry if you explained this in the video but I didn't catch it, how are you hiding JUST the VST audio tracks?
Awesome. Glad it helped!

The way you hide only the vst channels is a little tedious, you have to select them manually, then hide them, then create a visibility configuration called "MIDI Only" ... or something like that. Make sure you also have visibility configs for "ALL" and "VST Only" as well to help. You can then use keyboard shortcuts or controller buttons to jump between the config views to go "under the hood" so to speak.

All that said, before hiding, there might be a quicker way to "batch" select vst only.. I've just forgotten what it is :)
 

brett

Active Member
Nice

But what do you do when multiple midi tracks are 'feeding' a single VST audio output track? Or do you have a strict rule that there must be an audio output pair per midi track?
 
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composerlarkin

New Member
Nice

But what do you do when multiple midi tracks are 'feeding' a single VST audio output track? Or do you have a strict rule that there must be an audio output pair per midi track?
I think I see what you mean. I used to build templates that just have one vst output for, say, the entire wood winds section, but I've found that I need to be able to adjust mixing-related things per instrument. hence: vsl flute 1, flute 2, oboe etc. Also, no one project/cue/composition is the same, so instead of setting default mixing settings for the master template, I mix as I go and change it up. Keeps it interesting that way :)
 

brett

Active Member
By the way, trying to solve this problem of bringing up the linked audio channel settings is a worthy goal. Drives me nuts too.
 
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composerlarkin

New Member
Hell. Do you find that allocating that many audio outputs, even unused, adds much overhead?
I'm not an expert on how VEPro works, but I understand that it is better to have more ports, more instruments per instance, and less instances - when setting up an ethernet slave (if you look at the Junkie XL vids, you notice he has only one instance per slave computer, and a squillion ports open, though they are probably all connected to instruments). I haven't kept to that rule very well, so there are a lot of empty/unutilised ports on VEPro. That said, I only activate necessary vst instrument channels in Cubase, so Cubase should only be processing what it has to.

ryanstrong, couldn't agree more. An option to combine a midi track with any instrument channel would be good. I guess the track instrument was their way of addressing the issue.. And their recent addition to enable multiple outputs of one track instrument kind of helps, but when you need to connect a large number of channels to one VEPro connection, one still has to scroll through a heap of channels to find what one is after.

I also want to address why I'm not going down the instrument track template, and disabling/enabling tracks route. My reasoning is, you still have to wait for channels to load when you load a composition. And if you are working on a film with multiple cues, jumping around different sessions takes longer. Also, unless they've fixed this, Cubase seems to forget the midi input when you enable the track.. I can't be bothered having to re-route this every time! -end rant.
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
The routing issue with disabled instrument track templates is solved, I have zero issues. As far as loading m2 drives or pcie drives could probably solve the waiting times but I have no experience with them as I can't afford them yet but I plan to go there, personally I don't care about shaving some seconds as I'm not under neck choking deadlines. Everything is pretty swift on my modest system but hearing you all describe working out all the intricacies and routing issues makes me pause if it's all worth it...
 

Mishabou

Active Member
I'm not an expert on how VEPro works, but I understand that it is better to have more ports, more instruments per instance, and less instances - when setting up an ethernet slave (if you look at the Junkie XL vids, you notice he has only one instance per slave computer, and a squillion ports open, though they are probably all connected to instruments). I haven't kept to that rule very well, so there are a lot of empty/unutilised ports on VEPro. That said, I only activate necessary vst instrument channels in Cubase, so Cubase should only be processing what it has to.

ryanstrong, couldn't agree more. An option to combine a midi track with any instrument channel would be good. I guess the track instrument was their way of addressing the issue.. And their recent addition to enable multiple outputs of one track instrument kind of helps, but when you need to connect a large number of channels to one VEPro connection, one still has to scroll through a heap of channels to find what one is after.

I also want to address why I'm not going down the instrument track template, and disabling/enabling tracks route. My reasoning is, you still have to wait for channels to load when you load a composition. And if you are working on a film with multiple cues, jumping around different sessions takes longer. Also, unless they've fixed this, Cubase seems to forget the midi input when you enable the track.. I can't be bothered having to re-route this every time! -end rant.
I tried both ways, more instruments less instances vs more instances less instruments, and have not notice any difference. As for Junkie XL set up, he must use more than one instance with his VEP slave as each instance max out at 48 ports, this means 768 midi channels, I believe he has way more than 768 instruments...
 

jemu999

Active Member
Thanks composerlarkin. I just messed around a bit with this.

One thing for everyone to note: to make this work properly, you need to go to File>Preferences>Editing>Project & Mixer, and uncheck "Select Channel/Track on Edit Settings." Otherwise, when you move the arrow up or down, it unselects the midi track.
 

IFM

Senior Member
I tried both ways, more instruments less instances vs more instances less instruments, and have not notice any difference. As for Junkie XL set up, he must use more than one instance with his VEP slave as each instance max out at 48 ports, this means 768 midi channels, I believe he has way more than 768 instruments...
You are correct. The old VEP was better at less instances more instruments but that was a few years ago and has long since improved. I can run 20 instances or more, no issues from VEP...just keep your core count down to say 2 per.
 

esencia

Active Member
Hey Brett, I've currently got it set to 12 midi ports, 120 audio in, 120 audio out. Though that might change.
On my case, I decided to have 18 VEP instances, using a máximum of 6 Midi ports and 32 audio outs per instances.

Using the midi tracks method.. Cool trick the one you shared. But it only works if you have a different audio output per articulation, and I found that too big and for articulations under the same library, I prefered to have them grouped by articulation type..

BTW..have you find cpu spikes with cubase+VEP on a big template? I'm still trying to find the right preferences to stop that annoying thing.
What buffer size did you set in cubase? do you have any other important tweaks in kontakt, VEP, or so to make it stable for big templates?
 
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composerlarkin

New Member
I tried both ways, more instruments less instances vs more instances less instruments, and have not notice any difference. As for Junkie XL set up, he must use more than one instance with his VEP slave as each instance max out at 48 ports, this means 768 midi channels, I believe he has way more than 768 instruments...
Ah thanks for pointing that out!

Also IFM, good to hear you say that. Despite what I said, I end up using a separate instance per library, or specific group of libs. Eg. my cinestrings and cinestrings solo libs are in one instance.

One benefit to this is you can adjust library-specific buffer settings. E.g. If one particular patch is slowing your session down, you can extend the buffer for that instance, keeping the buffers the same for all the other libs. Another benefit to VEPro templates.
 
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composerlarkin

New Member
On my case, I decided to have 18 VEP instances, using a máximum of 6 Midi ports and 32 audio outs per instances.

Using the midi tracks method.. Cool trick the one you shared. But it only works if you have a different audio output per articulation, and I found that too big and for articulations under the same library, I prefered to have them grouped by articulation type..

BTW..have you find cpu spikes with cubase+VEP on a big template? I'm still trying to find the right preferences to stop that annoying thing.
What buffer size did you set in cubase? do you have any other important tweaks in kontakt, VEP, or so to make it stable for big templates?
I have been getting these 'hiccups' where the sound repeats itself once or twice, then goes back to normal. This could be due to the other software I'm using symulaneously though. There's this software called f.lux which is great for using at night, but recently discovered it causes hell for Cubase. Things like this anyway.

Other things that are worth doing are checking Ethernet connections, drivers, etc. Other than that I'm all ears for more VEPro optimisation ideas.