Best way to setup multi-timbral multiout external synths?

What’s the best way to setup multi-timbral multi-out external synths in C8?

I’m really hoping I don’t have to use a MIDI track and an audio track. I’m coming from Live where the MIDI output and audio input for each slot on the likes of my Nord Lead A1 can be done on one track using a stock plugin where you just set the MIDI output and audio input.

I know there are instrument tracks in Cubase, but i’ve read they can only send MIDI to ch1 of their instrument, so of no use to me as I need to be able to choose the channel. Or is that wrong?