Cubase MIDI Sends from a MIDI Track Never Engage Drum Map

UPDATE SIMPLIFIED: It appears impossible to apply a drum map to an aux midi send from a midi track. If you send midi from a midi track to an instrument with a drum map attached to it, it doesn’t do anything. The midi comes in dry.

When I send midi from a midi track with an attached drum map, it resets all the midi channels to 1 on every note, even though my drum map has different channels assigned to each note. Everything is set to ‘ANY’ on all applicable tracks and sends, but it still just reverts everything to channel 1.

You can test this yourself by creating a drum map on a midi track and changing the midi channel for certain notes, then add a midi send from that midi track and monitor it, all of the channels will be reset to 1 even if it’s on ‘ANY.’

If anyone can help with this I will be endlessly grateful!

How did you monitor it? Because, if you insert the Cubase MIDI Monitor plugin in the channel as a MIDI Insert, it will always show channel 1, what is the internal channel. Whereas if you detect the MIDI output channel from Cubase with an external MIDI Monitor, it will show the correct channel numbers:

Eventually, these channels are relevant, if you want to trigger an external device (e.g. drum machine). Of course, the same also applies when you trigger virtual instruments within Cubase (map output setting “Track”).

Thanks for the reply!

I’m not sure how what you’re describing applies to the midi sends. To be clear, I’m talking about the aux midi sends in the inspector in cubase, not the destination path within the drum map. When I say midi send I’m talking about this:


I’m not trying to use anything external, the drum map is all set to ‘track.’ I believe you’ll see what I mean if you try putting a midi monitor on either the aux midi send itself or on the destination. They will both show channel 1 when left on ‘ANY’ and will show channel # if you select a number. In either case, the per-note channel info is gone! This seems wrong, but it may just be a design flaw. I can’t find info on this after lots of searching.

Basically, the drum map channel info is passed to the device that is assigned the output of the midi track, but not to the midi sends.

Perhaps this only applies to to the per-note midi channel info from the drum maps? In either case it does not seem like intended behavior as why would the aux midi sends, if left dry, not be sending the exact same info as the direct midi output? That’s what really seems buggy/unintended to me.

Sorry for the multiple edits! If anyone can shed further light on this it would be very much welcome! I just want the aux midi sends to include per-note channel info from the drum map.

Ok, I understand what you mean by “aux midi sends”, these are the MIDI Sends in the channel strip of a MIDI track. However, these are before the drum map, so the MIDI events branched off there still have the stored channel and not yet the one set in the drum map, which is assigned later.

When I connect the MIDI Monitor plugin into a MIDI Send and play, it shows me exactly the MIDI channels saved per note, regardless of the channel and output setting of the send. The per-note channel info therefore is fully retained:

This seems to me to be a contradiction in terms, as a note can either have the channel stored with it or the channel set in the drum map, but not both at the same time.

Generally, I find the behavior logical and understandable if you consider the signal flow in the channel strip.

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Edit: update, looks like adding a drum map to the destination instrument doesn’t work, lol - the midi send appears to go straight to the instrument and doesn’t even hit the drum map. I don’t know if I’m missing something else, but for the life of me I can’t get one midi track to control two instruments with the same drum map at the same time using MIDI send while retaining the per-note channel info. It’s vexing. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Ah, I see what you mean. Because I was looking at where the drum map was attached in the midi track inspector, I thought that the drum map was being applied to the midi track itself, but it looks like the drum maps are attached to the instruments instead.

Apologies! I wasn’t sure what you meant at first but your replies make perfect sense knowing that now.

It looks like all I need to do is add the drum map to both the initial instrument as well as the destination instrument. Duh! I should have thought of that earlier, a fresh pair of eyes did the trick, I appreciate it. =)

Thanks a lot for the replies, much obliged for the help!

It looks like I was right the first time and I actually was applying the drum map to the midi track and not the instrument, but it looks like the midi sends don’t even hit the drum maps on destination instruments either. There may not be a way to do this after all.

One can approach it two ways, and neither work:

  1. You can have one midi track whose output is connected to INST A, and put the drum map on the midi track, then send midi from that midi track to INST B, but the channel info is not sent with it. In this case putting a drum map on INST B doesn’t work, the midi send does not hit the drum map.

  2. You can leave the drum map off the midi track and put it on the instruments instead, but then ONLY if you connect an instrument directly to the midi track will it use the drum map data, anything connected via midi send from that midi track will not.

I’m stumped. It basically looks like midi sends go directly to the instrument which prevents you from going MIDI TRACK MIDI SEND > DRUM MAP > INSTRUMENT. As far as I can tell, if you’re using a midi send, it’s not going to use the drum map from the midi track, and it will skip the drum map on the destination instrument. It will always go MIDI SEND > INSTRUMENT, and ignore the map.

I might be still missing something, but you can test this for yourself by creating 1 midi track, then pointing its output to an instrument with a drum map, then creating a midi send and pointing that to another instrument with the same drum map. The 2nd instrument will never use the drum map if it’s connected via send, whether the drum map is attached to the 2nd instrument, or to the midi track.

Agree in principle, with one exception:
You suppose that a drum map is assigned to an instrument, but actually drum maps are exclusively attached to a track (of type MIDI or Instrument). Within the channel strip of a track the drum map processing lies at its end, just before the output to a MIDI output or instrument. Therefore, notes which are branched before the drum map (i.e. at the MIDI Sends) are not processed by it.

My suggestion:

  • Forget about the MIDI sends
  • Use 2 separate Instrument tracks, one for each instrument
  • Use 1 drum map (factory or created), attach this map to both the tracks
    If you edit the map, changes made will apply to both tracks automatically
  • Create parts on the first track and shared copies on the second track
    If you edit one track, changes apply to the other one automatically

Unfortunately duplicating the midi track doesn’t solve my issue, I’m trying to control multiple instruments with one midi track, which has always been like pulling teeth in Cubase. The reasoning is that I want to be able to compose my drum patterns on ONE midi track, I really don’t want to have to use separate events for kick, snare, etc., just so that I can trigger an aux instrument with the snare note, or the kick note.

I appreciate the suggestions, I’m starting to think it’s just impossible (with the drum map that is). Ironically the entire reason I’m using the drum map is to get around the limitation of having only 4 midi sends (using KVElement to split midi into diff channels so I have the ability to route any midi anywhere, something that really should be native to the daw, but never seems to be addressed).

Thankfully I’m able to just put literally everything in KVElement and it works just fine, but at this point I’m creating a separate daw within cubase just to be able to trigger more than 5 things with one midi signal, which isn’t ideal. I need more like 10-20.

Thanks again for the replies! At this point it looks like using a drum map with a midi send is impossible.

Well then, how about that:

  • Put your several Instrument Plugins into the Cubase VST Rack (not track)
  • Create one MIDI track, containing all your drum events
  • Create a drum map and attach it to the track
  • In the map, assign each note (drum type) to the corresponding Instrument

Unfortunately I’m triggering like 10+ different fx/instruments with each note, most of which are LFOtool for envelope shaping, and also triggering things like noise layers and synthetic drum layers that trigger at the same time as addictive drums or superior drummer. So it’s not just limited to one instrument per note.

Thanks for that suggestion though! If it was limited to one device per note that would work great.

Bitwig seems to be the only daw that makes this extremely easy to do with their midi repeater device. I just can’t stand bitwig’s other foibles.

KVElement is pretty awesome in this regard though, when it’s all working with all the noise and synth layers being enveloped and triggered along with the midi it is freaking SWEET.

If you’re wondering ‘why would someone want to trigger that much stuff all at once along with a snare’ just to clarify, a lot of these are taken up by envelopes on things like overhead mics, room mics, direct mics, etc., those all add up really quickly. On the break I’m working on right now I’m triggering/sidechaining 12 different things with the snare midi note.

Sorry for the multiple replies, my editing limit was reached lol.

Lastly, if anyone’s wondering ‘why the hell doesn’t he just use groups and sidechaining’ These are all things that cannot be triggered by audio sidechaining, they all need a midi on/off, and I need that midi to all come from the same midi track. It’s obviously a niche case. For now KVElement will do the trick, hopefully someday Cubase adds more sends or allows repeating! Cheers

Well, good luck then, bro, smells like work… :beers:

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I know it sounds that way but it really isn’t, the payoff to work-required ratio is astronomical. Having precise control over the envelopes on multiple layers is integral for the type of competitive processed breaks I’m going for. Thanks again for the help man!