I actually agree with marcusidlo (except for the FL Studio “toy” characterization ) on the addition of a sampler track into Cubase. This is something that I have been thinking about for a while now. I also have samplers, including FL Studio and Kontakt, and I use the former as a vsti for its browser, sampler channels, Slicex and other looping tools. There is a flow to it when you are working on a song. You can drop in a sample and apply midi tools (in Cubase or in FL Studio’s channel or piano roll)…don‘t like it …throw in another sample, etc. while staying in the flow of what you are doing. I prefer, however, to take maximum advantage of all of the great tools and arranging features that are in Cubase and try to minimize having to go back and forth between certain applications because Cubase can’t do something. In the case of a sample track, Cubase actually has many of the necessary capabilities in the program as is. I think it is just a matter of how it could be implemented to be useful and creative.
To me, this is more of an issue of effective integration with Cubase like how Groove Agent One and the Beat Designer were added to Cubase 5. That is, utilizing Cubase’s existing strengths (midi, drum editors and midi effects) and audio editors and effect processing in a user friendly and creative/musical manner. I am sure many folks had various drum vsti’s and used them with Cubase’s drum editor before these items were introduced. These additions were about workflow…making it easier/faster to accomplish certain tasks. It will make my dependence on other vsti’s change or I will use them differently. Take a look at the Beat Track in Sequel 3 as to how Steinberg tied the Beat Designer and Groove Agent One to a “track” designation.
For instance, with a sampler/sample track, you could drop in a sample (or load from Media Bay…default to replace existing sample when a new sample is added (please?)). Play or input your midi notes and then add a midi effect (i.e., Arpache SX ). Utilize the mixer and audio effects that you already have in Cubase (or your third party vst effects). I don’t think you would need all of the additional effects that you find in vsti samplers.
What if the sampler/sample track actually allowed you to record from any input buss or group buss? Need hitpoints? Use the Cubase audio editor. You can create them and then play each slice on your keyboard like a “Dr Rex” or Groove Agent One. Place several samplers/sampler tracks in a “folder track” that would enable you to you layer them on one midi channel or spit them to several channels (like a “layer channel” in Fl Studio). You could save these sampler folders in Media Bay as presets in Cubase. Oh yeah,…one less vsti to deal with… save your juice for something else. I would think a sample/track and midi data would use less resources that a full fledged sampler vsti, sample, and midi data.
I find that sometimes using a full fledged sampler like Kontakt for some sampling tasks is like trying to hit a barn with a bazooka (I am glad I have the bazooka …but I’m just sayin’…you can get the job done with less).
“Halion lite” on a track level? Maybe. As long as it is done with integration, functionality and creativity in mind I would welcome it. If it keeps me in Cubase’s Project Page and utilizing its great midi, audio, arrangement and project tools then I would be happy.