Getting Cubase to route a Program Change "live" to another USB MIdi device?

Hi everyone. I’m trying to get an USB drum pad controller (BopPad) to accept a Program Change “live” (i.e. not recorded on a track) coming from my mid controller (Akai MPK225).

Cubase is accepting the Program Change Command (I can record it) BUT the command is not being seen by the drum pad. There is no specific setting in the drum pad hardware… it’s always “listening” for the command as I understand it.

I 've been searching the net and going through every darn MIDI setting and Studio setting I can find in Cubase, looking for “Midi thru” settings and whatnot, but I have zero idea what’s going on. I’ve tried creating external controller devices, but can’t find anything there either.

Have tried sending/receiving on different MIDI channels and all of them.

When I look at the MIDI settings in the Audio System panel, all the blue “Windows MIDI out” listings are inactive and there’s not checkbox to activate them. (The yellow inputs are all active, however.) I have no idea if this is related and if so, how to change.

This should be a universal thing… i.e. not bound to any specific MIDI track.

Any ideas on where I should be looking?


It’s nearly impossible to understand what’s going on based on just a text description. Some screenshots showing your configuration would be very useful. If the forum won’t let you post pics, read a few threads & that should increase your Trust Level so you can post.

Hi again and thanks for the response. Uploading a diagram that I hope will help make it clear.

Breaking it down:

  • I need to send Program Change commands to my Drum Pad via (USB) MIDI, so that I can change modes on the Drum Pad for recording different drum sets.
  • My Midi keyboard can do this and Cubase registers the command when I send it.
  • I can’t find a way to get Cubase to pass through, forward (or “export”) the Command Change to the Drum Pad.
  • I don’t want to record the Program Change to a track, only to send it to the Drum Pad when I send the command. I need to get Cubase to “MIDI THRU” the message “live”, as it happens, not when a track is playing back. I’m using the Midi Keyboard as a remote control, essentially.

Both MIDI units are seen by Cubase and I’m able to use them to record MIDI data. Essentially, I want to “MIDI THRU” pass the Program Change via Cubase (or the PC in general) to the Drum Pad.

Don’t know if these help.

First, just to be sure I tried a 3rd party tool to make sure that the Program Change command IS coming into Windows. (I knew that already, since Cubase could see it.)

Here is a screen showing my MIDI devices in Cubase. I don’t understand if the blue fields with Windows MIDI Out have anything to do with this. They are showing as “inactive” but I don’t see any way to make them “active”.

Do I need to maybe set up some kind of universal generic remote to get this to work?


You can write the Program Change data to a MIDI Track. Then set the wanted Output of the MIDI Track.

Make sure the Program Change had not been filtered out in the Preferences > MIDI > MIDI Filter, please.

Hi and many thanks fort the tip, but unfortunately, that won’t work for me. I need the command to happen INSTANTLY… “live”, not when I pay back a track. I’m essentially using the Akai to “remote control” the BopPad.

I managed to get it to work using this :MIDI Tools | Mountain Utilities

I routed the outgoing signal from the Akai, directly to the BopPad. HOWEVER, the problem remains, because Windows does not allow Cubase access to MIDI while that miditools app is running. (Exiting and reloading Cubase every time I change is not an option.)

Program Change has not been filtered. Checked and double-checked.

I just checked that the ability to pass thru MIDI Program Change messages is still in Cubase.
On my setup it works just fine. Cubase Pro 12.0.60 on Win10. Generic remote or any such thing is not needed for this.

Just to make absolutely sure - this is my MIDI Filter section:

…and of course you need to have a MIDI track in the project

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Hi and thanks for chiming in!

After Martin’s suggestion above I went into Cubase and tinkered a little and you’re right- just adding that midi track does allow routing to work, without having to write any data to the track. (Feels a little weird that it needs an actual track to do it, but as long as it works!)

It doesn’t seem to want to work while a recording is in progress, however, but that doesn’t matter as I really only need to switch between takes. I got the BopPad because the pads on the Akai are so small and don’t really allow intuitive drumming. The downside with the BoP is that there’s no fast way to switch between “banks” without that Program Change command.

OK… problem is tentatively solved! THANK YOU ALL for the help! This has been driving me nuts, as I’m not a MIDI guru.

The track is the connector between a physical midi input and a physical midi output. Cubase will not just forward any midi data it receives, that would actually a bad concept in many ways.
The midi track tells Cubase where to send the midi data to.


By default the SysEx filter is disabled for both the Record and and Thru.