External instruments - Over complicated or not?

Why does it have to be so complicated to set up an external midi instrument in Cubase?

Don’t get me wrong, moving from Lottie to Cubase Support. Been a complete change of workflow for the better, but this seems really slow and complicated. It also seems to have quite a few bugs or and least odd behaviour.

Logic pro on the other hand simply has a External Plug-in , you simply at the end for audio out audio and your computers midi IO done

My answer is: Yes it is complicated.
My thoughts: But it allows for quite complex interactions between the instrument and the DAW. At the same time it is a bit an ‘old fashioned’ way of working.


Could you be more specific, please? What do you find complicated? Do you need a help? Is there anything what doesn’t work for you?

I was wondering what the benefits could be ?

I have many problems as I use a Laptop

  1. You can’t use a laptop because is you disconnect your USB interface all connections are lost and there is no simple way to reconnect , you have to delete each Ext Inst 1 by 1 and re add … every time!
  1. Seems to be a bug , if I add an External Instruments from Favourites its not showing up in my Plug-in list , until I add a new External Instrument.
    Cubase Ext inst - YouTube

Add a new Ext inst in Logic -

Add a new Ext inst in Cubase -

if you change IO in Logic -

Not sure that I got exactly what you are trying to achieve, but for me, things are rather simple and I use them because :

  • They have allowed me to create my own patches list for each of the three external instruments I have.
  • Using MIDI tracks is more logical for me than using instrument tracks for them, especially when they are multitimbral, which is the case for all the ones I own.

And no, I do NOT use them with instrument tracks. Basically :

  1. I have created a MIDI device for each of them and created the necessary banks/patches for them. I save/retrieve them with the Export Setup and Import Setup options. They are saved as simple .xml files.

  1. I added each external instrument in the Studio > Audio Connections > External Instruments panel, associating it with the relevent MIDI device previously created.

  1. In the VSTi panel of the Arrangement right zone, and using the Instrument rack menu, I choose the Add rack instrument option and select in the list the involved external instrument which appears as this, in the Steinberg > External Plug-ins category :


Adding an instrument rack allows you to directly create an associated MIDI track connected to it. After this, I can activate as much busses (and eventually create the corresponding MIDI tracks) as outputs available on your external instrument, using this option :


Overall, I use the external instruments feature since Cubase 4 : been rock stable here, since more than 15 years…

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Thanks. Never thought of that. I mean to use it as a Rack instrument.