External Instruments, make it so they can share an input from the Inputs rather than steal

One of the reasons I use traditional MIDI tracks in and out, instead of External Instruments… is, External Instruments steal their assigned audio inputs from the Inputs section.

I only have 16 ad/das and they are fluid in what they are assigned to. ie, sometimes it’s recording 16 channel drum session.

The way I think this should be visualized, is, in the Connections window, and Input that is forwarded to something else, say an External Instrument… the colour of the text for that input changes to Orange, or something.

The same really goes for Inputs and External FX, there needs to be a way to just share inputs and let the user decided/use discretion how this is managed to avoid unintentionally sending the wrong signal to the wrong place.

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This would allow setting up an external multi-timbral synth as multiple devices, one device per channel/part, and using it on multiple instrument tracks.


I have to disagree. If an A/D pair is used for external inst, you don’t want to connect it to input and vice versa. Same for external FX, that is all to avoid receiving the wrong signals to wrong inputs and the current implementation around the audio setup is working.

What’s the point of having multiple returns when there is only one stereo A/D connected as a shared return? And/or the synth only has 1 stereo output?
Having that in multiple tracks on a project window doesn’t improve anything yet will only make troubles?

More flexibility in setting up routing and connections.

For instance, one could have an external synth set up as 16 MIDI devices, each receiving over a different MIDI channel and sharing the same pair of returns. One could then create 16 instrument tracks in the project and switch between them with the added convenience of rendering MIDI parts to audio in place, also keeping automation in place.

It will break PDC, that’s the primary reason for the function.

How would the setup I’ve just described break PDC? The PDC value would be the same for all the MIDI devices and the shared external instrument they’re associated with.

What if you inserted a big buffered plugin on one of the 16 instruments?

Because many multi-timbral synths have less audio outs than internal MIDI Channels, including those made by Yamaha (MODX, MOXF etc.).

The advantage in sharing the same output is that it makes the process of rendering to audio much easier. Otherwise you have to manually render to a single audio track and then drag that down for each of the 16 channels.

Studio One, you can select all 16 MIDI tracks and bounce. And it will give you 16 audio stems as it solos each track and real-time bounces.

OK, I understood the benefit. Then I think it is better to have the ability to set MIDI tracks going to external inst as targets of render in place, instead of having shared inputs. You should only listen to one of the shared returns at a time anyway because all the shared returns carry the same audio signal. And think about what happens when you insert a big buffered plugin on only one of them, PDC will be impossible in that case.

I really think the priority is to have a solid PDC, the current implementation is great in this regard including multiple outs from devices and the MIDI clock sent to external insts.
And if you want to compare with S1, the daw cannot align the timing of external sequencers but cubase can when used as external instruments, you can even insert big plugins to a separate out of a drum machine driven by MIDI clock and the timing will still be rock solid.

You can do multiple exports by hand, yes it’s sometimes painful, but doing latency compensation including MIDI clock by hand is impossible, it’s not just ‘hard’ but impossible in a lot of cases.

I just select 16 MIDI tracks and press ctrl+b in Studio One, and it’s done. No fuss, no workarounds - it renders out 16 audio tracks using the single output on my Yamaha synths.

With what you’ve written above there would only be the one return track - which would be the external inst target, So I can’t see that it would leave you with 16 separate audio tracks?

And therein lays the issue.

DPC is not even a consideration as it’s one MIDI port with a single audio return. The audio return would not be subject to different real-time inserts or such like.

For playback, you’d set the latency parameter in the external instrument plug-in. For recording, in addition to the latency parameter, you’d adjust the position of the recorded file manually.

I also brought up automation. Currently, automation for all the channels of an external multi-timbral instrument resides under the instrument track. One cannot automate under the MIDI track one’s working on. One has to reach for the instrument track instead. It’s quite a hassle in a busy project.

The purpose for my suggestion, was simply, so that I can use External Instruments Inputs without having to lose my regular inputs and always switch them back and forth.

I think PDC could still work as it currently does doesn’t it? why wouldn’t it?

-External Instrument Track → Out to Hardware Synth
-Input 1(a) Normal (goes to audio tracks)
:arrow_up: Thruput carries to :arrow_down:
-Input 1(b) Ext.Inst Return

The user would just need to use discretion and avoid “crosstalk” or unintended summing.

I agree!
Concerning the Yamaha Instruments: THe Yamaha driver allows multiple audio channels to be transferred to Cubase at once. THe problem here is that in cubase we cannot use more than one asio device at the same time. I would consider it extremely helpful to either allow EASY switching of audio-Interface in an open Cubase project (note: it would not be necessary to allow multiple asio drives at the same time, but only easily switchable in the same open project!) or - this would be the minimum: Have a total preset for ALL audio connections (and not only separate ones for input, output, control room, etc.).


I don’t totally understand what you guys are talking about, but if there are multiple needs for this FR then great!