Does SB Understand Customers' Needs for VSTi MIDI Sends?

I was going to post this in the Feature Requests Forum, but it’s locked. The subject line may sound snarky but this is a legitimate question.

I see that version 8 still does not offer MIDI sends on instrument tracks. In looking at the documentation, I have to wonder if Steinberg has a notion of why some of us consider these not only valuable but indispensable. In the manual, MIDI inserts and MIDI sends are covered in the same section, as if they are just the MIDI variant of audio insert and send effects. Maybe some customers use MIDI sends that way, but I’d be willing to bet money that the majority of us do not.

I have zero interest in using MIDI send effects. But I have a considerable interest in sending MIDI to audio effects. I have a growing list of go-to plug-ins (Fab Filter Timeless 2, Volcano and Saturn, and NI’s Absynth used as an effect to name my favorites). With the Fab Filter plug-ins, I can create marvelous setups in which I can trigger envelopes with MIDI note-on. In Absynth, MIDI note-on is necessary to open the gate so sound is emitted – the thing won’t work without it, period.

I also prefer using MIDI sends for synth layering. I realize one can use cloned, linked tracks to accomplish the same thing, but sends are simpler, cleaner and easier to manage.

OK, why is this a big deal? Why not just continue to use MIDI tracks and not instrument tracks? Well, now there’s a punitive element. Version 8 gives us the much requested render-in-place capability. Halleluiah! But according to the documentation, this is only available for instrument tracks, and those don’t have MIDI sends. So we must chose – give up render-in-place or give up MIDI sends.

Please give us MIDI sends for instrument tracks. I would so much prefer to use them instead of MIDI tracks and rack instruments. I’m pretty confident that I’m not alone in this.


Well articulated.

I am thinking out loud here…
But I think the point may be irrelevant. Once you have rendered the track in place and are now using the audio track, where is the MIDI coming from? It is an audio track now and there is no MIDI to send. In other words, if you have the track sending MIDI to other places, you CAN’T render it or it will stop sending the MIDI. Am I missing something?

(The Cubase 7 Features Requests forum is locked because C8 is out, so I moved your request to the C8 FR forum) C7 is done, except for the last bug fix release.

(+ 1 from me btw)

Reasonable question. However, my main point was not about render in place for MIDI tracks but rather about the absence of MIDI sends in instrument tracks. Instrument tracks are desirable for reasons other than the ability to render in place - notably single tracks are tidier than multiple tracks that collaborate to do just one thing. Instrument tracks should have MIDI sends because MIDI sends are of considerable utility in some circumstance - that was my main point.

However, to answer your concern, I think one great value of render in place (might be wrong since it’s a new feature in Cubase) is that it makes it really easy to capture audio before archiving a project. It is prudent to do that because who knows what a new version of the synth would end up doing if you recreate the project a year later? The render would happen long after the effect chain is set up and finalized, which is when we can take advantage of MIDI sends. So it’s all about project life cycle, IMO. MIDI sends are of use early in the process; render is of use near the end (or maybe instead, when the CPU needs some relief because too much real-time processing is happening).


OK, it appears (and happily so) that one can render-in-place MIDI parts in MIDI tracks, not just MIDI parts of instrument tracks as is stated in the documentation. This is demonstrated in an SB video (thanks, Mr. Ondo) here:

That’ll teach me to read (and believe) the documentation!

That said, there’s still a compelling case to be made for MIDI sends in instrument tracks.

+1 to VST MIDI sends, again.

Holy smokes, somehow I missed the new “Disable Track” feature and the fact it’s an option in Render In-Place. That is awesome!