External Instrument combined with External FX - quicker way to achieve this?

I’m still somewhat new to Cubase (coming from Logic Pro), trying to route my hardware synths and outboard gear which is all coming into 32 I/O interface. It took me awhile to figure out how to add an external instrument but now that I’ve set up a few synths connected over midi and audio, it’s really great to just be able to add it as an instrument and play it immediately.

However, one thing I like to do sometimes in the hardware realm is patch in something after the synth, whether that’s an outboard compressor, EQ, guitar pedals, or rack effects units, especially for dry mono synths which do not have any effects built in.

Anyway in Logic when I have an external instrument, you can change the inputs on the fly. So let’s say I have a synth coming in on channel 1, but then patch it through an effects unit which is on channel 12, I will then switch my input to monitor/record from channel 12 instead. This makes it really convenient to try things in hardware and change my mind quickly.

However as far as I can tell in Cubase, you’d have to go to the external instrument pane and re-route it that way which is a bit tedious. I’ve noticed this creates issues where Cubase doesn’t like to share routing (you can only use it one time), but also if I close this session and open a different one, or start a new one, I believe that instrument will only have the modified routing (and not the original direct routing from the synth).

I hope all that makes sense, I know it’s a bit convoluted. Just trying to figure out the best workaround. I reckon I could add the outboard as a separate insert using the External FX, but the downside to me here is the added latency (synth > computer/Cubase > external effect as an insert into outboard > computer/Cubase again). So going in and out of the computer twice will definitely add some latency I’m sure. Not to mention unnecessary AD/DA conversion where I could just patch it all analog.

Let me know if there’s a way to make this work that I’m not realizing. Thank you!

Go to Studio → VST Plug-In Manager. Chose to display the VST Effects.
Search for your External Effect and add it to the collection on the right hand side (drag’n’drop).
Now you will be able to see your External Effect as it would be a VST plugin and can use it as an insert directly on the track of the External Instrument or create an Effects track and use it as a Send.

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