Best midi sounds?

Greetings y’all!

I have been using Cubase for several years to edit midi tracks which we use for live performance with a Roland MT90 music player. The MT90 sounds great, but if I export to audio file directly in Cubase instead of to midi file, it sounds terrible.

My understanding is the VST is the midi sound generator. I have helion or whatever it’s called that came with Cubase. Here’s the question is like help with:

Should I buy a different VST (or am I missing something in the settings that would make it sound better)?? What do you recommend for VST’s? In general it’s for general midi instrument playback, no crazy synth stuff. Still, if I could add some nice synth stuff it would be occasionally useful. The goal here is to export to a sound file that sounds the best possible for live performance, and also nice sounds inside Cubase would be great.

Thanks!! I have many questions about Cubase and look forward to digging into these forums.


VSTi are virtual Instruments, so like virtual version of your hardware instruments.

You can try HALion Sonic (not SE, which is part of Cubase) or even HALion. You can try Native Instruments products, very often used.

Cubase LE/AI only has very basic General MIDI sounds from the 90’s (these mostly come from Yamaha’s MU100).

Cubase Artist and Pro add more sounds coming from Yamaha’s Motif Classic keyboards, along with several select sounds from the newer Motif XS and XF. These sounds should be for the most part better (or at least on par) than the sounds from your MT-90. Cubase Pro has the most sounds.

If this is the MT-90S, the Cubase sounds will be much better.

You can get these sounds (and even more of them) with suggested HALion Sonic, if you are not interested in other Cubase features.

The full version of Halion Sonic doesn’t actually come with the Halion Sonic SE sounds, but yes.

I’m reading conflicting statements, so Halion Sonic SE does include its own content, and that content does not come with the full version of Halion Sonic? If you purchase Halion Sonic, can you then download SE and gain access to those sounds, or…?


HALion Sonic SE is for free.