EWQLSO Gold & Cubase Artist

Hello everybody,

I’m new to Cubase Artist 6 and I’m using EastWest EWQLSO Gold.
Which is the best way to manage the workflow in order to work easily ?
Which is the best way to deal with articulations (keyswitches, midi channels, elements, other…) ?

Is it best to use instrument tracks (one Play instance by track) or Midi Tracks connected to a VST in the Device Rack ?
(in the last case I guess that I loose the ability to control the individual volumes in the mixer, am I wrong ?)

Thanks for your answers and your kind help.


The best way to work with EWQLSO (or similar libraries) in Cubase, in my opinion of course, is by way of Instrument Tracks for each instrument in the orchestra, orginized by family with Track Folders, and triggering articulations via MIDI Channel commands using Expression Maps. Unfortunately, Cubase Artist doesn’t support Expression Maps, but there is another way to achieve the same (though not as elegant). You would have to use the VST Instrument Rack to load each PLAY instance, together with the List Editor to assign each note the corresponding MIDI channel based on the needed articulation.

This works well, but it has certain annoyances like 1) the fact that one cannot rename the synths loaded in the VST Instrument Rack. Every PLAY instances will have the same exact name, which can make it hard to identify which one is which once you start moving MIDI tracks around. Speaking of which, another annoyance is 2) not being able to change the order of the synths in the VST Instrument Rack. That means that if you want to insert another woodwind instrument (assuming you organize your project the same way as you see them in a score) then you will have to place the new instance at the bottom of the rack. Not a big deal since you CAN move MIDI tracks around, but an annoyance nonetheless. If you’re a neat freak like me, 3) you’d also want to hide tracks to make the project more tidy (not necessary with Instrument Tracks) since you’ll end up with two tracks per instrument (1 Audio and 1 MIDI). This actually answers your last question (yes, you will have control over volume for each track with both methods).

The good news is that you’ll at least have a more manageable project with fewer tracks (assuming you hide unnecessary ones), from both views (Track and Console) as opposed to the one MIDI track per articulation method. However, nothing beats Instrument Tracks, in combination with VST Expression Maps, for it’s simplicity and flexibility. I find it to be the best workflow for this type of work.


Thanks a lot Jose.
It’s a bit complicated for me :frowning:
(specially having different audio and midi tracks)
(I didn’t understand the way I could manage separately the volumes…)
So I think the best thing for me is to upgrade in order to get Expression maps.
But do these maps exist for SO ?

It’s been so long since I used Gold that I no longer remember certain things about it, like: Does it have Master Patches? ( In other words, lots of articulations on one MIDI channel, changed by keyswitches.)

I use 7 or 8 intances of Platinum Play loaded mostly with Master Patches of the main sections of the orchestra. Play 1, for example, includes Master Patches of Violins 1, Vioins 2, Violas, Celli, and String Basses. Play 2, master patches for all of the brass family etc etc.Then I assign different Play outputs which show up in the mixer, then I name them in the mixer.

It’s really all about setting up a few templates and saving them as such. Though this is time consuming, when it’s done, you can just load the correct template for the sort of piece you want to write, and Bob’s yer uncle.


It’s really not complicated, I just don’t like the clutter that inserting a VSTi instrument via the VST Instrument Rack makes. Like I said though, you CAN hide tracks to make things neater. But I prefer to see everything that goes on in my projects, and Instrument Tracks provides that for me.

Just so you see what I mean, open an empty project in Cubase and press F11 to bring up the VST Instrument Rack. Click on the black box that says “no instrument” to select PLAY. Based on your preferences, you may get asked to create a MIDI Track, select “Create” if so. Once you do this you’ll get a folder called “VST Instruments” containing a nested folder for PLAY with a few tracks in it, plus the MIDI track that was created. That’s just for one instance of the PLAY, imagine +30 tracks (which is what I use in my Orchestral Template). Now insert an Instrument Track by right-clicking the Track List and notice the difference. Only one track is created! If you press F3 to bring up the Mixer you’ll see where you are able to control the volumes for each PLAY instance that you’ve inserted so far. This is also possible in the Project View as well (via the Track Inspector, first Tab), but I like using the Console View to control volumes as it gives me a birds-eye view of all the levels in my project.

Now, the problem with Instrument Tracks is that they only respond to MIDI Channel 1, and thus one is not able to trigger different articulations in this manner (only the one loaded into channel 1). This is where VST Expression Maps come to the rescue by letting us trigger aritulations in different ways, including MIDI channel messages. There are a few VST Expression Maps made for EWQLSO, but I encourage you to create your own as they are very easy to do. However, seeing how other people created them is a good way to see what’s possible, so I encourage you to check them out. Here’s a forum post with a few of them that you can download: http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/showthread.php?t=18766&highlight=vst+expression+cubase+5

Let me know if you have more questions. Hopefully I’ve answered the ones who’ve had so far.

Good Luck!

NYC Composer,

It used to be different in the Kompakt days, but ever since PLAY came out, the different versions of EWQLSO have pretty much the same exact articulations (with a few exceptions, but I can’t remember either). And, yes, the Gold version also has Master Keyswitches for all instruments. I personally don’t like using these because then you’re loading articulations you don’t need in a particular project, which in turn takes away RAM space. Not a big deal if you have enough RAM, I guess, but it does make loading projects a longer process.

On the other hand, if you program your VST Expression Maps to trigger articulations through MIDI Channel data instead of Note data (as is the case with Keyswitches), then you’re essentially creating your own custom keyswitches. Now you’re only using what you need for each project. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.

so you know the keyswitches “by heart” ?

I can’t see any Play output in the mixer :frowning:

The PLAY output assignment is located right below the Master Fader, above where it says “OUTPUT” on the PLAY interface. It’ll default to “1 - 2” but, if you click on those numbers, you should see more output options that you can assign each articulation to. In order to see these in Cubase, you’ll have to load PLAY from the VST Instrument Rack and then click on the small arrow that’s found next to the Edit Instrument button on the Rack. Once you click there, select the “Activate All Outputs” option, Cubase will automatically create the needed audio tracks. You can also uncheck any unused outputs to deactivate them and Cubase will automatically delete these tracks, leaving only the ones that remain checked.

I personally leave it at the default (1 - 2) since I use one instance of PLAY per orchestral instrument. However, if you’re using a PLAY instance for several orchestral instruments, then this would be the way to output them into different audio tracks instead of having everything coming out the same outputs (and thus limiting your mixing capabilities). It all depends on your workflow. But as you can see, there is more than one way to get the job done.


Oh, and very important-if you put Play into the Instrument Rack, you need to enable multiple outputs. There’s a little button on the left of the instrument listing in the rack, next to the edit button, that when pressed, allows you to use as many outputs as the instrument has. When you enable them, they show up in the mixer.

Edit-oops, I see Jose took care of this. Cheers. :smiley:

It all makes sense, but I have 18 gig of RAM, and it takes only 4 minutes to load a pretty big template, so I’m all good. The fact that articulations are not the same on each instrument is a bit of a bummer, but I go with it ( to answer your question, Axel.)

NYC Composer:

In Symphonic Orchestra you are able to load a Keyswitch file and then remove the articulations not needed, hence freeing up the RAM.

I probably wasn’t clear.

I have 18 gig of RAM. I use 13 for my orchestral template. I don’t NEED to free up RAM, but thanks for your thoughts.