It’s possible to automate arming/disarming the recording or monitoring of tracks. The magic bullet is the Generic Remote Device portion of Cubase. Such remote maps will allow you to remote control nearly everything in Cubase.
This is a handy method to sometimes automate things that don’t have dedicated automation lanes/tracks of their own, such as arming/disarming tracks for recording/monitoring.
I.E. I have a Cubase Project that I enjoy using to emulate organ stops my with MIDI Controller’s MPC pads. I can use whatever VSTi instruments I like to build each ‘rank’. I can arm/disarm tracks (ranks) in Cubase by tapping MPC pads.
My 16 rank Project Template and Generic Remote map looks like this. I record stop changes in the red MIDI track called “Stops”.
I can tap an MPC pad, it lights up and arms a corresponding Cubase Track. Tap it again, and the light goes off, and disarms the track. In this particular case I’ve programmed the MPC pads of my MPK261 into a toggle configuration, and used simple Note On/Off events in the map, but you could opt to use CC events instead if it’s more convenient for you due to your controller, or the way Cubase handles note-off in the Key-editor (Cubase key-editor doesn’t deal with note-on and note-off independently, so you might be in for drawing some REALLY LONG notes across many measures using my approach if you want to enter them by hand in the key-editor…not a problem for me, but if it bugs you, go with CC events instead).
If I use a virtual MIDI port, I can also record my ‘stop changes’ in a standard MIDI track and/or enter/edit them with the MIDI Key-Editor. Such a MIDI track would in turn be routed through a Virtual MIDI port into the Generic Remote map.
Set up a virtual MIDI port. On Windows I personally like the free loopMIDI driver. On Mac you can create virtual MIDI ports with the native Core Audio cpl.
Make a MIDI track in your project, set its output to your Virtual MIDI port, with channel “any”.
Create a Generic Remote Device in Cubase, and assign MIDI events in to arm/disarm your track(s). In my example above I simply used Note On/Off events.
Don’t forget that Track order matters, so bind plenty of events to more tracks than you think you’ll need, and keep the stuff you wish to automate at the top of the project, and in the proper order. Be sure to set the MIDI INPUT of your remote map as the same Virtual MIDI port assigned above.
- Open your key editor for the track you created above, and draw in the events required to Arm/Disarm your tracks as needed. You could also elect to assign a MIDI controller as the input for such a track and record events live. Note, you’ll most likely want to keep this “Automation MIDI” Track at the bottom of your project order. You can also mute/unmute this automation at will, and keep as many different versions of an Automation Track as you like.
Using a Generic Remote Device/Map gives you more options than simply arming/disarming tracks in Cubase. You can opt to go even deeper, and enable/disable things inside the instrument rack itself…
So…it’s a pretty neat trick.
Want to automate something in Cubase that doesn’t have a native automation lane? Just assign it to a remote MIDI event in a Generic Remote Device, and route a MIDI track into it using a Virtual MIDI port. Abracadabra…Tadah…