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Cubase / external synth set-up probs. Can anyone help?

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Cubase / external synth set-up probs. Can anyone help?

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:08 pm

Hi all.

I am struggling a bit at the mo to do what I want to do. If any of you chaps can help it would be very greatly appreciated as I have been sat here scratching my head all day and seem to be getting nowhere. It is an external connections issue. Please note, I am not the brightest when it comes to technical issues!

Inspired by my visit to Synthfest, I have purchased a couple of lovely synths: Matrixbrute and Subsequent 37. I have plugged them in and I can get a sound no probs. I have set them up in VST connections 'External Instruments' (that was quite an achievement in itself for me tbh). My interface is an RME Fireface UFX.

I can play some midi and record it to audio in real time and add effects after the event. But what I really want to do is add fx as I'm playing. So I presume I need to add an instrument track.

However, this is where the problems start as the only way I can hear the fx is if I set the external instruments' device port to Analog 1 and Analog 2 (Stereo in L & R). Unfortunately, what this does is disconnect the Fireface and Analog 1 & 2 from the Stereo-in bus on the inputs page. Which means it won't then record the audio. So a bit of a catch 22. I am probably being very thick here and missing something very obvious. I guess it doesn't like sharing ports or something.

Can anyone offer some advice? How do you chaps set up external synths and the vst connections page? I do find it all a tad bamboozling.

Help!

CS
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Re: Cubase / external synth set-up probs. Can anyone help?

Postby Mixedup » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:00 pm

I'm a little old-school in my approach, but I just have a MIDI track to trigger the synth, and an audio track to capture the audio. Set that audio track to monitor the input channels your synth is hooked up to, and place insert FX on that track (or route to send FX) as you wish.

I don't think two devices can share an input port in Cubase, which can be mildly annoying if trying to use things like channel strips as both inputs and line-level external FX. The whole 'external plugin' side of Cubase still needs a bit of work IMO...
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Re: Cubase / external synth set-up probs. Can anyone help?

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:36 pm

Mixedup wrote:The whole 'external plugin' side of Cubase still needs a bit of work IMO...

I agree!

Thanks for the tip I will try that.

Cheers.
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Re: Cubase / external synth set-up probs. Can anyone help?

Postby The Elf » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:43 pm

This has nothing to do with Instrument Tracks.

I wouldn't advocate trying to generate your real-time effects within Cubase, and neither would I be adding effects to the recorded signal - that's better done at the mixing stage - but if you want to hear some effects as you work then it might be easier to add them from RME's TotalMix mixer. After all, that's why they are there! I have an older Fireface 800, and I've not used the newer models with built-in effects, so I can't advise with any confidence.

I keep a few old effects processors around that I use for 'confidence' monitoring purposes, but I always record the signal dry so I can sort out the final effects later.

You can create 'External Instruments' in Cubase. Essentially it lets you tie together MIDI ports and audio channels as a packaged 'Instrument', but it doesn't really absolve you from knowing exactly what is going where, and it assumes you'll never change your assignments on the fly. I've never found them useful, TBH.
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