basic question about what instrument tracks are

Just was watching one of the quick start tutorials on YouTube, and they were explaining that an instrument track is just a midi track equipped with a vst instrument. Is there a difference from using this as opposed to just creating a midi track and adding an instrument to it? I mean, you’d never create a midi track and not add an instrument right? So aren’t all midi tracks instrument tracks?

Search the forum there is a multi-page thread comparing the 2 that should tell you all you need to know. I think it was titled “Instrument tracks vs Instrument Rack”

can’t find the above mentioned thread, if anyone does please post a link here

Same…and search for “instrument rack” got like 600 pages of results.

or look for the explanation in the manual. They are becoming less and less different. However, a MIDI track does not require a VSTi. Some of us old people still have these big heavy things with white and black buttons that we can push down on with our fingers.

And, a VSTi by itself only benefits from a separate MIDI track under certain scenarios. This combination befuddled many users for years, so the Borgz invented the completely unnecessary “Instrument Track” to somehow “cut down on the confusion”. All it really did was move the confusion around.

With the advent of 7.5 and multi-channel support in the Instrument track, there are only a few instances where having MIDI tracks associated with VSTi would be beneficial. Some of us just like the additional control have a dedicated MIDI track targeted at a specific MIDI channel on a VSTi provides, even though that leads to extra tracks.

http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=51468

http://japan.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=52984&p=323267

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/889151-track-instruments-vs-rack-instruments-cubase-7-5-a.html


To get you guys started, anyway!

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Also, can someone say whether they think what I took away from this Steinberg video ( http://www.youtube.com/embed/5iJluFehpCY ) is correct or not please?

  1. Advantage to Tracks: (2:00 in the video) Only Instrument Tracks allow you to create/recall Track Presets of really complicated combinations of output channels, MIDI inserts, channel strip settings, etc. Can’t do that with Instrument Racks.

  2. Advantage to Racks: (5:26 in the video). Only Instrument Racks allow you to hook up a hardware controller, and have it “learn” a quick control. Can’t do that with Instrument Tracks.

If I’m understanding that correctly, it sounds like a real bummer … means I can’t create those great Track Presets (big time saver, that), and then later use my BCF 2000 to control the VST Quick Control … have to use a mouse. So, gotta choose between the convenience of a Track Preset, or the convenience of a hardware controller … but not both at once??

Is that really so?

Bumping up after a week to see if anyone can give their opinion on my interpretation of this Steinberg video … http://www.youtube.com/embed/5iJluFehpCY … am I understanding these advantages/disadvantages of Instrument Tracks vs. Racks correctly?


  1. Advantage to Tracks: (2:00 in the video) Only Instrument Tracks allow you to create/recall Track Presets of really complicated combinations of output channels, MIDI inserts, channel strip settings, etc. Can’t do that with Instrument Racks.

  2. Advantage to Racks: (5:26 in the video). Only Instrument Racks allow you to hook up a hardware controller, and have it “learn” a quick control. Can’t do that with Instrument Tracks.

If I’m understanding that correctly, it sounds like a real bummer … means I can’t create those great Track Presets (big time saver, that), and then later use my BCF 2000 to control the VST Quick Control … have to use a mouse. So, gotta choose between the convenience of a Track Preset, OR the convenience of a hardware controller … but not both at once??

Is that really so?


Thanks!

One advantage of midi racks for vst’s is the ability to use midi sends, which are incredibly useful. Otherwise, instrument tracks - with multiple outputs - seem like a more elegant approach, imo.

Thanks, vesepian.

I might ask it a different way … is anyone using a hardware controller to “learn” the quick controls … with Tracks?

I use them with the sliders on my synth. I admit I find it a bit confusing, but I get it to work.

Thank you, Philskeys. To clarify, you are using your synth sliders to:

A) learn the Quick Controls, and
B) control instrument Ttracks?

Thanks -

Yes and yes.
The Kurzweil pc3 has only 9 sliders so I sometimes switch between 2 assignments. Usually I have it on “get defaults from plug-in” and then the sliders control the 8 Quick Control for the virtual instrument on that track. Otherwise I use a preset that handles volume/panning/hi-cut/low-cut and it automates the audio mixing functions while still in the project window.
[As an aside, it would be nice if Cubase would let me enable one assignment for all tracks - that is,have all the QCs on all tracks function as send levels without having to switch manually. That way you could just use the arrow keys to move through all tracks quickly. I wonder if anyone else has a way of dealing with that]

The same can be done with a midi track and rack instrument. The plug-in quick controls will be on the midi track and the audio QC’s will be the the audio track.

Are you having difficulty assigning your knobs/sliders, or getting them to control the instrument track?

Thanks Philskeys.

I used my BCF2K on Instrument Racks in Cubase 6.5, no probs.

I haven’t gotten to the point in Cubase 7.5.20 where I have hooked up the BCF2K yet … and I’m trying to think ahead as to whether I need to stay with the instrument Rracks (but lose out on saving Track Presets), to be able to keep using the BCF2K.

Sounds like you have got instrument Ttracks VST Quick Control Learning and communicating with your hardware - which I wasn’t sure from that video whether that could be done - so that’s good to know … thanks!

this dichotomy has become purely historical now, i hope the next cubase addresses this and merges the two (at the expense of incompatibility with projects created with earlier versions). to a newcomer to cubase, this is one (of quite a few) things that must feel downright illogical.