External Instrument - Different Midi tracks choose different programs

I have two midi tracks pointing to the same Dave Smith Rev 2 External Instrument, each of which have different banks selected. But, when I go between tracks, it doesn’t automatically change the program on the synth itself. How can I make it so that the active midi track should ensure the proper program on the synth is selected?

As far as I know there’s only one way of doing this. Create the program change at the beginning of each track and make sure follow events on program changes is active. There’s two way of creating the program change. The easiest is to let the Rev 2 send it while you press the increment button and let Cubase record this. But not every synth can do this. You’d have to check the settings to enable somethings called like ‘transmit buttons’. Some synths can even transmit the complete system exclusive data from a patch. But that’s not what you want here because sending this data will cause a delay. The other some what more complicated way is to open the list or key editor and create the bank and program change events with the pencil tool. But you have to know the exact bank and program number.
Either way, when you change tracks Cubase will read back to the first event it encounters and send the bank and program change to the Rev 2.

In the past before the SX series we had the Studio Module that took care of this. You could save complete banks and send it back or just the patches or the program changes. And it would do all this when opening a project so you’d have a total recall of all program changes to all synths even before pressing the play button.

Unfortunately Steinberg dropped this and left us with nothing but the track inspector boxes that will only send the values when changed in the box. It will not send it when opening a project or changing a track. That makes it totally useless from an automation point of view.

I now create a dummy bar (0) in a project to record the program/sysex changes before starting the actual play at bar 1. It works but it’s a lot more work to setup. Especially when you decide to use another program than you initially set.

This is very helpful thank you!

A related question: Is there a way to load rev 2 presets into cubase? The standard list in the inspector obviously doesn’t make any sense.

Yes there is but you need a patch names file. It’s a text file with a certain format that contains all the patch names with program change numbers, names and the relative bank numbers. Rev 2 is a relatively new instrument so it probably won’t be in the Cubase database. Steinberg didn’t develop much on this the last 10 years or so. I’m not at my studio at the moment so I can’t check. Usually the vendor can provide such a file but not all do? Maybe ask around in the Dave Smith forum? You can also create it yourself but you will have to know how to read the midi implementation of the Rev2. Especially bank/program changes. I made some myself and it’s mostly a trial and error process to get it right and the way you want it to look in the inspector. The next thing is to create a midi instrument by opening the midi device manger from the studio menu. Here you can import the txt file and route it to the correct midi output. It’s too much info to handle here but take a look in the manual on page 681 ‘Using MIDI devices’. You can find the installed patchlist files in C:\Users\Steinberg\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 9.5_64\Scripts\Patchnames\inactive. Just open a few in Notepad to see how they’re build.

I couldnt find any patch names files for the Rev 2 online, so looks like im out of luck, unfortunately

This looks interesting? Not available for Mac yet if you use that but he’s working on it: