External Instruments and VST Plugins

I like to use vst plugins for my external Hardware.

I like to use my inputs on the soundcard to insert Vst plugins on my hardware - mainly EQ’s and Dynamics. I have heard there’s a way Cubase 6 is going to compensate automatically for latency issues. The how is what i like to find out.

I have:

DAW - 2,8GHz 4 Core i7 PC, 12GB RAM, 2x RME Multiface II
Mixer - Tascam 2600 MK II
External Instruments: EMU Emax SE, AKAI S950, Roland Juno 106

I like to use internal Vst Instruments all mixed together on Channels 1 & 2
The Samplers and Synth go to Input 3-16 and out on the same Channels

I yet don’t know how to set up external instruments, since i haven’t found out how to specify midi channels for them.
I imagine it must work like this: Cubase controls all the midi outs, so, to make up for latency it simply sends the notes for the external hardware earlier than the notes for Vst instruments, depending on the delay my Vst plugins on the inserts generate. I have heard cubase can send out a test tone to measure this latency and then compenstae for this autmatically.

Am i correct? Can anyone guide or a t least point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance!

Hi, Lunatic

here is the steps needed to set your external instruments as VSTis.

  1. ‘Devices/MIDI Device Manager’

Here you have to load (or create) the devices definition files that will be used by Cubase to set them as VSTis. If you already have definitions XML files for them, fine, otherwise you’ll have to manually create a definition XML file for each of them. It’s a tedious work but it’s worth it, especially if you don’t change a lot the presets configuration of your instruments. Use the ‘Open device’ button of this window and configure it so as the presets list here should reflect what’s in your device (use the ‘Patch bank’ option in the menu of the [device] window). These patches will then appear as a list in the ‘Program selector’ field of the inspector afterwards. Be sure to configure the device to the correct MIDI output port. Once done :

  1. ‘Devices/VST Connection’

Here, choose the ‘External instrument’ tab, and create as much busses as you have instruments to use in Cubase this, with choosing the appropriate ‘MIDI Device’ for each of them.

  1. ‘Devices/VST instruments’

You now have to create a MIDI+VST Instrument’ tracks combination. Your external instruments should be available in the ‘External plug-ins’ sub-menu.

  1. At this stage you should have a MIDI track and a VST instrument track for each of your external instruments with their presets available in the ‘Program selector’ firld of the MIDI track inspector.

Tedious, indeed, but it’s working reliably here. You can then specify the appropriate MIDI channel for each instrument for your setup in a template project. I set them to 11 for the TX-802, 13 for the D-110 and 15 for the 05R/W as an example. As each instrument appears in the project as a MIDI+VST instrument, you can use all the necessary outputs by choosing them in the ‘VST instruments’ window, providing that you created the necessaey busses in the previous one (‘VST Connections’).

Hope this will help.

VST Instruments.jpg
VST Connections.jpg
MID DeviceManager.jpg

Hi Lunatic 77

This post below touches on the issue of plug-in delay compensation and external instruments. It might be of some help to you.


Unlike ‘External Effects’ that have a ‘ping’ adjustment process to sync with the final plug-in delay compensation of the project, there are adjustments in the VST Connection External Instruments on an instrument by instrument basis … but no ‘road map’ of how to calculate the values.

I concluded that while you can properly calculate a value from simultaneous recordings of audio and midi tracks, if you latter alter your plug-ins in the project such that your end latency is either reduced or increased, the values will then be off and you’ll have to recalculate them.

I asked in another post if Cubase reported the total plug-in delay compensation value in the project, but no one responded. If you knew this value from the project it would be an easy fix to adjust your original setup … provided of course you knew that value from the project when you did your syncing.