Can't get External Instrument/MIDI Device to show Presets?

This is my first time working with MIDI Devices & External Instruments and I’m so close… but :frowning:

I have a POD HD500 guitar board that I want to be able to select presets on from Cubase. I don’t need (or want) to return audio from the POD via the External Instrument so those are not connected - but I do understand how that works if I wanted. My issue is all on the MIDI Device side.

I have the basic MIDI Device configed so Cubase can control the POD. The POD follows Cubase’s tempo and I can use a Controller Lane to send Program Change messages and watch the presets on the POD change. This implies the connections are set up correctly.

Unfortunately the MIDI Devices manual has zero info about its own ability to display presets just like for VSTi’s. But after watching videos and examining some of the supplied devices I thought I understood how to set it up, but I must be missing something. The attached shows a working GM Device example & my POD Device.

In the GM example you can see that if I click on the Program Selector in the Track Inspector a list of presets appears as expected.

But on my POD device when I click on the Program Selector nothing happens just like if there was no instrument loaded on the track.

Obviously something is different between the two, but I can’t figure out what.

Hi Raino,

Take a look at the *.txt files in here. C:\Users%username%\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 10_64\Scripts\Patchnames\inactive
You need to create one just like this for your POD HD500 but you need to check the midi implementation for bank information on most and least significant bit. In the text file it looks like this:

Adjust the header and at least the device name to:
[device name] POD HD500

[p2, 11, 80, 0] 12 Orchestra

[P2 (leave it as it is), patch number, bank most significant bit, bank least significant bit] display name (as you will see it in Cubase)

After you’ve saved the text file (I would advise to create a directory ‘Line 6\POD HD500.txt’ and save it in there) you can go to Studio > More Options > Midi Device manager. Click on ‘Install device’ and choose the POD HD500 from the list. Make sure the output (on the bottom) points to your POD HD500!

Going into Cubase. If you choose the correct output device you’ll see you will now be able to select the patches under the ‘program selector’ field you’ve created in the text file.

C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase\Scripts\patchnames folder.
Any files you create must go in the Inactive folder to work.

Thanks for the info. Seems like a pretty obscure process, especially since MIDI Device Manager looks like it should be able to build it there. On the other hand it is probably easier to edit as text rather than entering fields inside Cubase.

OK, I got it sorted out. Now it’s down to typing in the real info. Figured out a few things though.

Turns out my original attempt would have functioned if I’d started off correctly. When in MIDI Device Manager and you create a New Device, there is an initial dialog that creates the device. The settings here can only be set at the time of creation, no going back and changing later. Some of these are related to displaying presets, so it pays to read the manual close on that. And the description is not the clearest.

But it’s good that didn’t work or I wouldn’t have found out about these text files which are much easier to edit than in the Cubase GUI. If you use the text file to create a script that will generate the structure when you first create the device, which is great. But if you later edit that text (e.g. changing patch names) those changes will not occur for the device installed in Cubase. You’d need to create a new device to capture those changes.

Additionally you can edit the patch names inside the device in Cubase. But those won’t be reflected in the text file. So you need to Export Setup if you want a file that includes the edits. This will be an xml not txt file. If you just remove the device all the edits made in Cubase are lost.

Looking at other scripts I discovered if you set the last two values (Bank Select MSB & LSB) in an entry to “-1, -1” you can send Program Changes without a Bank change - so you are just moving around the currently selected Bank.

I’ll post my HD500 script when it’s finished.

I agree that editing the text files is much easier then building it from the gui. Especially if you use something like the free Notepad++. Setting it up in the gui only makes sense if you want to control additional parameters (cc, sysex) per sound. You can’t do that from the patch list.
In any case the process is indeed not very easy and not described well in the manual. Also Steinberg stopped developing the midi devices environment years ago so we’re basically on our own.

If you don’t have to switch to any banks you might as well set it to -1,-1. But my Roland JV1080 for instance has multiple banks and also expansion cards so for devices like these it’s a must to configured the bank info correctly.

The HD500 has 8 banks, although they call them Setlists because, you know, guitarists. As a standalone pedal board it really is optimized for jumping around within the same bank by scrolling through via footswitches. There isn’t even a footswitch to change banks. You gotta squat down and fiddle with some knobs & buttons to change banks. So I’m setting it up to both go directly to any preset in any bank and also just to use presets in the ccurrent bank.