Fastest Way to Add VSTs

I work a lot on both Cubase and Ableton. I know both DAWs very well but I find that I work much faster in Ableton (at least to start songs) because I have the browser panel on the left always open where I can simply drag any instrument, effect or sample onto a track or even automatically create a new track by just double clicking or dragging an instrument into an empty space.

I really love Cubase but one of the things that annoys me is the process to add instruments or effects. It just feels like too many clicks and windows and that it hinders my creative momentum, especially when I want to get my ideas down fast.

What is the fastest way to create instruments (not track presets) or add effects onto tracks that you guys know of?

Well… one way to shorten the process is to add a key command for Add Track - Instrument.
A window will pop up asking you which instrument to add, then you’ll have to browse through sub categories from there.
I don’t think there’s any way around this unless developers add a browser panel like Ableton.
But I think there’s room for improvement since we can add items to the inspector window.

Playing around I think I came up with a workaround. I created a track preset with each of the instruments I use the most and added a shortcut to the track presets location in the mediabay. The only thing is I have to open the mediabay every time I want to add it. I don’t really like the rack on the right side. I guess I’m used to having it on the right like Ableton. But at least it’s faster than creating a new instrument track from scratch.

It would be GREAT to be able to rearrange position and size of all panels like Adobe does with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

1.Shortcut: “Add Track - Instrument”.
2.Click to open the dropdown menu.
3.Type a few letters.

  • Using “incremental search” is often much faster than any other way.
  • For example, “n 5” matches only “HALion 5”.
    4.Enter, Enter (or A).
    3.Click the plugin’s name.
    4.A (or Enter).

With AutoHotKey (to open the dropdown menu automatically)
Shortcut, Type a few letters, Enter, Enter. (Mouseless)

The part of the AutoHotKey script is like this.
;Add Instrument Track
;F10 is “Add Track - Instrument” shortcut
SendInput, {F10}
Sleep, 80
SendInput, {Click LEFT 300 65}

For effects (usually so many plugins)
Typing the folder name (category) is useful to narrow down the list.

You can use MediaBays, too.
Cubase has five MediaBays. MediaBay, Loop Browser, Sound Browser, Mini Browser and Project Window’s Racks.
Each can have different settings.
I leave three MediaBays opened. (3440x1440, 1920x1080)

“Double Click” or “Drag & Drop” are available.
I’ve assigned a shortcut key to “Media - Insert into Project at Cursor”.
Selected sample is inserted at Cursor position on the selected track.