Connecting hardware synth - audio fine but MIDI not playing back

Focusrite 18i8 audio interface
Dreadbox Erebus hardware synth
Arturia Keylab Mk II 61
Cubase 13 Pro
Win 11

I have a Dreadbox Erebus that I want to be able to use as a MIDI instrument in Cubase 13 Pro. I’ve followed some YouTube videos to get it all to work and have had partial success. I can record audio from the Erebus with no problem. And I can record MIDI data from it. On playback, however, I hear nothing.

I’m very close to working it out but this is my first stab at using an external hardware synth in this way. The videos I’ve seen mention that I should be able to select my synth in the output list in Inspector for the MIDI track. But I don’t know how to make the Erebus into an output destination in the first place.

I will try and describe how I’ve connected it all:

  1. The Keylab Mk II sends MIDI via 5-pin cable to the MIDI in on the Erebus synth.
  2. The Erebus is powered by USB to a mains adapter.
  3. The Erebus sends audio out from its OUT jack via a splitter to a pair of inputs (5 & 6) at the rear of the Focusrite.
  4. The Focusrite sends sound from its rear outputs 1 & 2 to my monitors.

It’s easy enough to capture and record audio, as I’ve got it set to take audio from 5 & 6 on the Focusrite and send it to Stereo out in Cubase.

And I can capture and record MIDI with input from “All MIDI”. But… I don’t have that all-important option in the output list in Inspector to send it to the synth,

I hope that’s sufficient info. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Thank you :wink:


Could you please attach a screenshot of the Studio > Studio Setup > MIDI Ports Setup window?

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From your description, it seems like there’s no way for a MIDI signal to travel from the computer to your hardware synth.

If you fix that, things should get better?

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Thanks for both of these. I will post a screenshot tomorrow as it’s after midnight where I am.

I did wonder if the Erebus ought to be powered by a USB to the PC rather than a transformer plug (to the wall socket).

I’ll take a look and get back on here tomorrow. Don’t go away!

Thanks again.

As Nico5 suggested there is no physical MIDI connection from your computer to your hardware synth. Therefore the MIDI data cannot travel from the computer to the Erebus.

Hopefully this little drawing makes it easier to see:


OK thank you for the info last night and to Johnny_MOneto above for doing that diagram. Here’s an update:

I’ve got a USB cable now running from synth to PC, so that’s taken care of. Now I need to somehow get things talking to each other.

Here is the screenshot Martin.Jirsak asked for:

And one of the inspector’s output setup for the Erebus’ MIDI track:

Grateful of your thoughts…


I don’t see the Erebus MIDI Input in the list. Do you use MIDI cable from Erebus Out to Focusrite In? If yes, use also another MIDI cable from Focusrite Out to Erebus In. Then use Focusrite Output as the IDI Track’s output, please.

The only sockets that the Erebus has are;

  1. USB B for power (currently connected to the PC)
  2. 3.5mm jack for MIDI in (Currently receiving midi data from the Keylab via 5-pin din to 3.5mm jack)
  3. 3.5mm jack for audio out (currently via splitter to twin inputs on Focusrite)
  4. 3.5mm jack for EXT in (currently unused)

I did try exploiting the last item on that list by using another splitter back into the Erebus but that didn’t seem to do anything and I was grasping at straws by that point.


In this case use this MIDI Port as MIDI Out of the given MIDI Track, please.

As has already been said…you have no connection from the computer to the synth.
You need to reconfigure how you have things hooked up.

Go from controller into Cubase, then out to the midi devices. All midi passes through the computer.

As Erebus has no USB midi the way you’ll have to do it is with the midi on your audio interface:

Keylab into computer (USB midi)
Focusrite MIDI out into Erebus midi in (via the adapter).

Then you can either do a full external instruments setup

Or just add a midi track and set input to keylab and output to Focusrite.

Thank you folks - give me some time to rework it and then I’ll let you know how it’s gone.


OK good news. I now have it recording and playing back MIDI. So that’s a big thank you to everyone. I really do appreciate your help getting this problem sorted out.

I take it I just revert my MIDI connection to the way it was, if I ever needed to record straight audio?

Why would you do that ? As soon as there is an audio connection between your Erebus outputs and the Focusrite inputs, you should be able to record the audio signals from the former in all cases, this, no matter if there is an additional MIDI connection or not.


The common way is to record MIDI data, then white then. Once you are happy with it you play it back and record the audio out of it.

I can now record and playback midi data but I can’t, for instance, render it in place. And I can’t record the Erebus straight to an audio track (for whatever reason).

The first issue is normal, as any external instrument needs to be recorded in real time. From which, the Render in Place feature is of no use to get audio events from a MIDI driven hardware synth.

So, as there is the need to record the incoming audio in an audio track with the relevent routing, could you post a screenshot of the involved audio track with its inspector opened and the routing settings visible ?

EDIT - A quick help, maybe. I’ll take the simplest case, in which you don’t use the external instruments feature (which is available only in Cubase Pro, AFAIK) :

  1. Be sure that a stereo bus is available in the Inputs panel of the Studio > Audio Connections window.

  1. In your audio track, set the Input Routing setting to this bus.

  2. Record enable your audio track and use the transport Record button. You should get something like this, from an already existing MIDI part previously recorded in a MIDI track, routed to a hardware synth :

If you use Cubase Pro External Instruments feature, things are just a little more complicated, but basically, the process is the same : recording the relevent audio input bus that receives the incoming audio signal from the hardware synth.

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OK thanks for this. I will take a look and see if I can copy what you’ve kindly demonstrated.
It may be tomorrow before I’m back as I’m out this evening…

P.s. I have Cubase 13 Pro

OK, that all works fine. So… I think we’re there.

Thank you, everyone, for your time on this.