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Cubase 5.5 Question: VST instruments

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:32 pm
by mholloway
When you load VST instruments into the "VST Instruments" window (rather than using a standard Instrument Track) it creates, apparently, 2 audio channels associated with the instrument. What is the second one? The audio signal shows up in the topmost one, but a second audio box appears beneath it, and has drastically fewer controls, but allows automation: what is it? why is it there? It's been bugging me....

thanks,
-Michael

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:37 pm
by hibidy
Using that is for multiout. FE, if you wanted one lane for midi (like drums) but wanted all the kit pieces to be separate audio outputs (snare, kick, etc) that's what it's for

One is midi, the others are all audio.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:54 pm
by mholloway
hibidy wrote:Using that is for multiout. FE, if you wanted one lane for midi (like drums) but wanted all the kit pieces to be separate audio outputs (snare, kick, etc) that's what it's for

One is midi, the others are all audio.


I'm not sure that makes sense to me; I understand the multi-out concept just fine, but I thought to make use of multi-output instruments you did so by activating the additional outputs in the VST Instruments window itself (clicking the little arrow brings up the dropdown of all available outputs), which then makes the selected audio channels appear in the mixer and arranger. If the 2nd audio channel that I'm referring in my original post is for multi-out, which outputs is it for? Because I can click the list of available ones and none of them are checked.....see what I mean?

-M

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:59 pm
by hibidy
I guess I'm not following. What I thought you meant was that VS. the instrument track, using the VST instruments created two tracks. Re reading I guess I missed the 2 audio track part. But that that doesn't make sense either.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:15 pm
by mholloway
Look at this screenshot (actually taken from a youtube tutorial as I'm on my laptop and dont' have cubase available) and it shows exactly what I mean: HalionOne is the only instrument loaded into the VST instruments window, but it clearly has 2 associated audio channels (the green ones) that show up in the created HalionOne folder, and then a midi channel beneath those. When you play the instrument, the audio signal shows up only on the upper of those two....


Image

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:33 pm
by hibidy
What I see there are two midi tracks (well kinda) and an instrument track. I now know what you mean but I don't remember why it has both. Someone on here has to have cubase up and able to explain it.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:13 pm
by Ah_Dziz
top is audio channel
middle is automation for the instrument itself
bottom is midi channel

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:18 pm
by hibidy
? Now I'm so confused I'm tempted to install cubase just set this thing straight :? (I'm trying to sell mine)

The photo I see has 3 tracks. None of them are audio tracks.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:29 pm
by buscemi
hibidy wrote:? Now I'm so confused I'm tempted to install cubase just set this thing straight :? (I'm trying to sell mine)

The photo I see has 3 tracks. None of them are audio tracks.

Technically I guess it is a "mixer channel" (or Instrument Channel from the manual excerpt below) since it isn't a traditional audio track but it is where the audio gets routed so you can apply insert effects, add to a group/bus/whatever, etc like an audio track. Here's a short bit from the manual that explains the automation track(s) added:

If you now look in the Project window Track list, you
will find that a dedicated folder for the chosen instrument
has been added, within a "VST Instruments" folder (where
all your VST Instrument channels will be listed).
The separate folder for the added VST Instrument contains two or more
automation tracks: one for automating the plug-in parameters and one for
each mixer channel used by the VST Instrument. For example, if you add a
VST Instrument with four separate outputs (four separate mixer channels),
the folder will contain five automation tracks. To keep the screen less cluttered,
you may want to close the folder for the VST Instrument until you
need to view or edit any of the automation tracks. For more about automation,
see the chapter "Automation" on page 188.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:37 pm
by hibidy
Thank you buscemi ;) All I had laying around was an old cubase 4 user guide and couldn't find it but now I remember. IE, you'd have 5 of those if you had 4 channels for midi...right?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:49 pm
by mholloway
Yep that definitely clears it up for me, thanks!

-Michael

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:20 pm
by buscemi
hibidy wrote:Thank you buscemi ;) All I had laying around was an old cubase 4 user guide and couldn't find it but now I remember. IE, you'd have 5 of those if you had 4 channels for midi...right?

Technically when using the instrument rack, the MIDI channels are optional (you are prompted to add one when you add an instrument to the rack) and you could just use one MIDI track to control a bunch of instruments if whatever you were doing called for it, or similar situations. I really do like this system of handling the work flow, which is probably a good part of why Cubase is my main DAW. I like the audio track handling too, so it is win-win. Though I do sometimes like to mix with PT but that's mostly to keep sharp on it since I run into so many using it. But I digress...

I usually do a 1-to-1 MIDI track to instrument (or output even) even if I copy the same MIDI information from one to another. That way I can do different automation or edits on tracks differently even if they are mostly the same, for example. I group tracks so it really doesn't get overbearing.

The automation channels are created one-per-output, though, as pointed out in the excerpt I posted.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:32 pm
by jancivil
NB: automation lanes for a vsti's channel can be added til the cows come home, and displayed or hidden. they can also (except for the 'top' one) be rearranged by dragging so one is not limited to the order instantiated.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:18 pm
by buscemi
jancivil wrote:NB: automation lanes for a vsti's channel can be added til the cows come home, and displayed or hidden. they can also (except for the 'top' one) be rearranged by dragging so one is not limited to the order instantiated.

Good point. Hopefully my manual excerpt inspired the type of interest that leads to reading more and finding stuff like your information too :)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:16 pm
by FrankT
So it wasn't just me, the dumb user! Tracks setup in Cubase in deed is totally confusing! In fact, this damn track-clutter and the plethora of meaningless, un-intuitive, Klingon-style icons is what drove me totally mad in Cubase.

P.S. In Studio One I just drag and drop everything exactly where I want it.
Clean. Easy. Uncluttered. I just focus on my music and I am loving it.

P.S. sorry to derail