Cubase 9.5 Pro with External Hardware using SysEX data

I have three external hardware devices I would like to use with Cubase 9.5 Pro that have MIDI. I have more external hardware but just normal analog stuff that does not have midi. The three I want to use with Cubase are:

Eventide h3000 d/dx upgraded with ALL h3500 presets
Lexicon PCM 91
Yamaha SPX 2000

I have been trying to get SoundQuest MidiQuest to work for some time now and have not had any luck. I have heard of a lot of different users having this problem. They say do not use MOTU midi devices I have two of them and I just bought a 3rd M-Audio midisport. I could not get any of them to transfer SysEX data with SoundQuest. I see there is a way to do it in Cubase from:

on Pg 23 it starts to talk about SysEX data. Basically all I want to do is copy in the Presets from the three different hardware listed above and recall them when a project loads. For the Eventide I need all presets. For the spx 2000 I need only the classic bank of 25 presets (I could shorten this down to 5-6 of the ones I want and save them as user presets). The Lexicon PCM 91 I need about 10 user presets. I do not need to have any of this stuff do any automation or anything. I just need snap shot recalls when I open the project. It would be cool if it could say open user preset 3 on PCM 91 and change 0ms predelay to 60ms predelay or whatever I need to change for that song. I do not have to even make the changes on Cubase and have them change on the hardware. I can make all the changes on the hardware. I really just want Cubase to remember and recall them. Do any of you guys have experience doing this? and if so is what I want this do do easy to do? I have just had so many problem with MidiQuest I do not want to jump into this until I know this can be done and not take 2 months to get it to work.

I haven’t done this for years as I don’t much use my external sound and effects modules any more but rather than get into the programming I used to dump the entire set of Sysex from each device onto blank dedicated MIDI channels. Then I could simply upload everything to the device before playing the song. I’d then mute the sysex tracks. This way you’re transferring much more than you need to but it just seemed simpler And at least this way you know you’ve got everything. You just have to make sure you’re not filtering out Sysex data (by default I think Cubase does).
I’m sure there’s someone else out here still using Sysex with Cubase.

This is the correct answer … by default Cubase is set to filter out SYSEX. Just go into Preferences->MIDI->MIDI Filter and uncheck Sysex. But, I’ll echo the comment that different hardware can behave very differently. I’ve notice issues with some devices that don’t receive well and you have to really slow down the send to get a clean dump. It can be a real PITA.

I found “About Device panels” on page 682

I think I may be calling it the wrong name in Cubase. In Midi Quest they say dump the sysex data then you use that to control the hardware. Or at least you should be able to I never actually got past the sysex dump.

So, do you guys think I should be using the “About Device panels” do do what I am trying to do? I cannot check this out until Wednesday but I will then.

I use 4 MOTU Midi TimePieces networked and SoundQuest MidiQuest 11. (My Windows 7 PC will see 2 sets of 16)

I have not checked with C9.5 but I have had no issues in the past. Remember the person behind MidiQuest is more than happy to answer any questions you may have as well. He has been very timely and helpful when I have had questions…and rightfully so considering the price MidiQuest.

just thought of something. Correct me if I am wrong. When you do the sysex data dump it creates a xml file right? This is the xml “adding Device Panels” right? So if my hardware is not on the list (which it is not) then I have to do a sysex data dump to create the “device maps” right? Like this?

If so this sort of makes sense but how do I create the sysex xml file if this is right since I cannot get midiquest to work with the dump.


I have posted in their forums and it says needs Admin approval and it has still has not updated. If I can do this in Cubase I would rather do that and keep it simple.

No, you just record the Sysex data straight onto a MIDI track.

This is the good point about doing it this way.

I think the OP is confusing dumping a configuration that you want to restore at a future time, and using sysex implementation to remote control external gear in real time. A sysex dump will be a single configuration that you want to restore with the project. The Panels allow sending of control data in real time.

Indeed, I suspect you’re right. :slight_smile:

For clarity ( if needed), my solution of dumping the entire Sysex to a MIDI track will only allow to reset the external unit to its settings as they were when the dump was made.

I checked out the MIDI spec for the SPX 2000 and looks like it would be a PITA to use from a DAW. For example you have to build your own preset to MIDI patch assignment matrix in the device. However, I would have no problem getting a sysex dump and restoring the session data to it.

In the SPX 2000 there are only 25 presets I care about in the Classic folder. Basically the SPX 90 ones. Actually there is really ones 5-6 that I really care about using.

So is this the sript at .46 in the text file

Yeah, that would be a huge pain to make. Especially for three different hardware units. I though the midi learn got way easier in the later versions of Cubase like 8 and on. There must be an easier way to do this?

Almost certainly not. I suspect it’s a very niche field these days. The vast majority of DAW users don’t use a lot (if any) external units. This is the first time this sort of issue has come to my attention whilst perusing this forum over the last few years.

The Sysex dump will work just fine as JMCecil says but you will have to do the editing on the external unit.

Again, you are confused about what MIDI learn is. The device itself has to put out CC data for Cubase to learn it. If you look at page 88 of the 2000, you will see a complete MIDI reference card. Some of it is learnable. MIDI Learn has nothing to do with SysEx.

Device Panels are Cubase’s built in way to do that scripting. Yes it is PITA. But, so far it isn’t clear what you are trying to do. If all you want to do is select a preset, arm a track and change patches. That will show you which CC is being used by the device in case it isn’t the default patch CC. You don’t need to do anything but add that CC to any MIDI track and add an event point at the right value. It will select the preset on the unit. No programming or sysex dumping required.

So, the ease of doing something will depend on what you want to do …

What I am trying to do with the external hardware is have Cubase be able to recall the settings like you would with a plugin. The way I do it now is just write in the track notes what preset then what I changed about it. Like 60ms pre delay 1.1 sec rev time if I change anything. I already manually have to do this for stuff like my ssl bus comp. So either way I will still have to manually do something. This is not a life or death thing. If I cannot get it working no big deal. I was just wondering if I could get this working with not too much work.

This all started a few months ago. I got tired of plugin reverbs and bought a Bricasti M7. Exponential audio make a plugin that controls the Bricasti and gives you full automation. This made getting the Bricasti a no brainer especially since I could get the faceless version for a grand or so less… Then I bought a few other external hardware efx. I though it would be cool if I could do a similar type thing with the other hardware midi efx I have.

I was unaware about the CC midi not working on this type of midi hardware. I just do not do enough midi to fully understand everything about it. My extend of midi are my control surfaces with are pretty much plug and play and a keyboard input. 99% of the stuff I do it real instruments with mics. Not amp sims but real amps and mics. So midi is not my strong point.

as long as you don’t want to automate controls, the easiest thing to do is just save presets on the device itself. Then send a patch select CC to the device. I’ve been known just to name patches with song/track names. However, you CAN just to record the MIDI SysEx dump at the start of your project (at least that’s where I do that normally, you could put it at the end too). It will write it back when you run the project. Of course you have to set up the device to send/receive the sysex data prior to each operation.

If you do want to automate controls, just look on page 88 of the 2000 manual and see what the CC is. You would be able to use your surface via QC in Cubase to write the automation on a normal automation lane that way. But, this won’t recall the state of the device, it will just push the knobs around.

That’s kind of a difference in general. SYSEX = Snapshot of current state - CC = Adjusting Controsl of the current State
There are a thousand variations of that from device to device though.

Thank you. I will check that out tomorrow. I am sure I will have a few more questions after that that I will post.

" the easiest thing to do is just save presets on the device itself. Then send a patch select CC to the device."

This is what I would do on pg 6 of:

“The Create New MIDI Device dialog?”

No! Much simpler than that, as JMC described above.

BUT to go back to your point here:

A Sysex dump will accomplish this. It’s easy and quick. That’s why I used to do it this way (on loads of songs for several years with six different exteranl MIDI units).
You just dump the all the settings of the external unit onto a MIDI track. Then when you want to re-instate the settings back o the unit you just play back the track. If you’ve tried this and it doesn’t work then you need to look elsewhere but it really should be simple and WILL accomplish what you want (unless you want more than that which I quoted above).

How exactly would I

“Then send a patch select CC to the device.”

and also

“You just dump the all the settings of the external unit onto a MIDI track.”

Say I want to dump from the pcm 91.

On pg 157

Would I send “CurrentPgm*” for “send a patch select CC to the device.” And “Setup C” for “dump the all the settings of the external unit onto a MIDI track”

Patch changing via CC is covered in section 5.5 to 5.6 of the manual you’ve linked to. As JMCecil said then use a Quick Controller in Cubase to change patches on an automation lane in Cubase. But this will just switch patches, not change parameters.

On the Sysex dumping front, I see that as section 5.7 through to 5.8 but yes I’d start with those. The manuals are rarely intuitive unfortunately so you may need some experimentation.
I’d just test sending the single patch to a MIDI channel first, then change the patch on the PCM91 and try sending the change back. Section 5.6 tells you how to allow the PCM91 to receive Sysex data (make sure to turn it off again afterwards).