Can Cubase 11 generate 'mouse-clicks' and apply them to plugins?

So, for example, is it possible to have Cubase change a VI patch or FX plugin preset so that I can audition them while looping something to see how they sound?

To be more specific, say that I want to add a synth lead to an existing mix and want to cycle through a VI’s patches while looping four bars of the mix. Is there a way to get Cubase to ‘click’ the patch up/down arrow key at the beginning of each four-bar loop iteration?

You could start with Midi learn, which works on many VST presets. And then get creative from there with automation.

I just tried to apply MIDI learn on several VIs (Pigments, Synthmaster, Hybrid 3, XPand!, Halion Sonic SE 3) and it did not work for any of them. And for sake of completeness, I was able to automate various modulation knobs on all of them, so there’s nothing in my system/setup preventing me from doing this. It appaers that MIDI learn does not work with patch changes.

I should also mention that I used to do this routinely with various outboard synths and a simple Behringer controller and it worked great. Unfortunately Cubase does not seem to allow us to route MIDI information to patch selection.

But thank you for the suggestion. Cheers…

BTW, I did try using automation by itself (before posting this question), but what that did was to write a gazillion tracks of automation, one for each of the numerous parameters of the patch (e.g., oscillator type, filter settings, FX settings,…). But despite all that, it only changes to the specific patch corresponding to all those parameters.

Interesting situation. I’m running a basic Midi setup with Nuendo (usually identical to Cubase Pro), and I’m able to assign pretty much any midi control to the presets on Pigments 3.

Did you do this by right-mouse clicking on Pigments patch selector (yellow circle in screenshot below) and then select assign in the little menu that pops open?

Maybe I’m just doing it wrong.

You’re getting at the reason why many of us love our Komplete Kontrol controllers. The very quickly being able to audition many presets, along with DAW control so you can start recording as soon as you load a patch you like was a big improvement in creative workflow.

The Komplete Kontrol controllers sound nice, but I’m trying to do this natively in Cubase. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it is that Steinberg has put quite a bit of functionality into Cubase, if you know where to look. Hopefully I’m not the first person to try and make this work … fingers crossed.

From memory (away from studio at the moment), Click the gear icon (far right), then the Midi tab, and the Learn button.

I think your best option might be to set up Key Commands for ‘Project > VST Preset: Open Browser’ and ‘Project > VST Preset: Next’. Might want to do ‘Previous’ as well as ‘Next’


Okay, thanks, I found it. It was literally the last item in a list of what seemed like 1000+ parameters.

I was able to assign a few knobs/buttons to the preset selector, but none actually incremented the presets. I think I’m almost there though; I’ll keep playing with it.

Thanks again for helping me along.

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This suggestion worked quite well, except for two things: 1) it only works for some plugins (those which have presets in the Preset Manager (which Pigments, for example does not); and 2) I don’t think this solves my original problem of obtaining something that I can automate in an automation lane. For example, once I get this going I was planning to create a staircase waveform in the appropriate automation lane with each ‘step’ corresponding to one VI patch.

Then again, now that I’m thinking about this, I’m not sure how to have Cubase choose a different staircase step each time it returns to the beginning of the loop. It almost seems like I’d have to duplicate my loop N times where N = the number of VI patches to preview; a very messy and inelegant solution!

Hmm. Maybe I’ll just stick to my current method of manual mouse-clicking.


It sounds like you need a more real-time, or offline processing, way to automated parameter changes instead of presets. With presets, the main issues in cycling through them is if it’s loading/off-loading additional samples or other chained filters and such.

Which specific “parameter change” did you have in mind?

Or maybe a better question to ask is if what you’re doing in Nuendo (or what you’re describing above) would ultimately allow me to write some automation data in an automation lane and have this increment VI patches.

My current method of doing this manually is distracting and makes it difficult to assess each new patch. And so I would like to setup Cubase to increment the patch automatically so that I can concentrate on assessing how well each one sits in the overall mix.

I do this often, so it would be a huge time-saver to be able to do what I’m describing.

You guys are overthinking this. I have it working using a virtual midi port.

The concept is: Track 1 sends C0 to virtual midi port, generic remote receives C0 from track 1 and gets translated to send “next preset”. Track 2 with VSTi open, will receive this translated midi message and will.
Here’s the steps I’ve taken.
1)Create midi track that outputs to virtual midi port (use loopmidi or springbeats, doesn’t matter, both are free).
2)Create Generic Remote with the same virtual midi port from step 1).
3) Assign C0 from Midi track to a slot in input portion (top half of Generic Remote). “Fader 1” by default. (I know it’s not a fader, it’s just to keep track of what input is link to which output). Make sure it’s done via “Learn” function of generic remote.
4) Link this C0 to an action on the bottom at “Fader 1”. Device->Command, Channel/Category-> Preset, Value/Action-> either Previous or Next. (setup C#0 for the other if needed).
5)Create midi clip on Track 1 with C0 note at zero.
6)Create and activate track 2 with VSTi that you want this preset change to apply to.
7)Press play, and each C0 that is played on track 1 will cause the Preset on the Track 2 VSTi to increment.

May want to exclude the virtual midi port from the “All MIDI Inputs” list, and maybe be careful about leaving this active when not doing this auditioning to avoid accidently changing presets.

I hope I covered it all here.

This may or may not work, depending on the VSTi. I can confirm this works with Retrologue.

Let me know if you need screen shots.


BTW, BaseCu, this is an amazing idea. Never thought of approaching auditioning presets this way.

Very nice explanation of side-chaining a midi event based on a key.

@ClendeningSound thanks!
I guess it is a kind of side-chaining!

Its like @BaseCu said, “Steinberg has put quite a bit of functionality into Cubase, if you know where to look”. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing, side-chaining seemed the best way for old mind to get it.


Despite being apparently abandoned, generic remote along with key commands (especially macros) and project logical editor, you can do a LOT of customized actions.

Throw MIDI-OX and virtual midi ports in and… well, let’s just say I’m able to get the actual AI knob function (including parameter locking) without having the CMC-AI hardware.

But, yes. It’s a matter of digging through the options and figuring out how to link them.

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