Hardware Interfaces to Cubase - need some help

Hi Folks,

I need some help/advise on what gear to use for the following:

I use Cubase 6 for audio recording - where I have a Tyros 3 and a Motif XF connected to Cubase using the UR28M as audio interface to Cubase. That works perfectly. Now I would like to use one or both keyboards and record midi tracks on Cubase using the voices that come with Cubase.

My understanding is that I could simply use the USB ports on the keyboards and connect them to my computer. Cubase would then recognize them and I can start recording midi tracks. But then what is the benefit of a midi interface like the Motu Micro Express for example?

Ideally - I would have 1 interface where I can plug in audio and midi and then just have 1 USB connection to my PC. But since I already have the UR28M - I was thinking of just adding midi to my set-up somehow.

So if you could help me wrapping my head around the midi interface part, that would be great. My next step after that I guess would be looking into hardware controllers so I can ditch the mouse and use real faders. I don’t need a solution for that right now - but I am mentioning it in case it has an impact on the choice of midi interfacing.

Thanks much for some advise. Cheers, Roland

Your quickest and easiest solution would be to use the USB direct from the keyboard. This will set up a virtual MIDI port. Check out the specs and you might find that one keyboard over USB will allow you to use standard midi cables connected to its midi connectors to allow connecting the other Keyboard.

If you’re considering hardware controllers, something like the Behringer BCF2000 fader controller includes midi ports!
I use a BCF2000 running in Mackie emulation mode and have my keyboard and E-Drums wired to it’s MIDI ports.

Hi Brian,

Thanks much for the feedback - very much appreciated. And “Grüezi in’s Turbenthal” :smiley: I used to buy my music gear from Andy’s music shop in Uster back in the 80ies :slight_smile:

So in other words - there would be no additional benefit by using a midi interface between the keyboards and the computer other than having a cleaner set-up and the option of adding hardware faders / control using the Behringer for example that you had suggested? Would I be getting less latency with a midi controller - would maybe that be a reason?

Sorry for the stupid questions - I am new to the midi side of things.

Thanks much and have a super day, Roland

Good information there from Steve.

Hi Roland,
With minimal cash outlay, your easiest or perhaps best intermediate solution would be to use the USB to Host from each keyboard over a USB Hub (if use of a hub is not specifically excluded).

Another solution would be to connect one keyboard to the other via MIDI cables, and the other keyboard to the computer via USB, You’d have to verify this as a valid solution however from the manuals.

You mentioned that you might want to go for a controller later. I mentioned the BCF2000 (there are others) as a potential solution as it incorporates a MIDI IN, OUT-A, & Thru/OUT-B and does function over a powered USB Hub. You may however, wish to use some other controller which has no MIDI port per se. Based on the experience you have from the Direct USB solution, you can better decide if a dedicated MIDI Port interface is really required.

You already have a UR28M which is an extremely good audio interface - a shame to dump just to replace it for something just because of MIDI ports. (I had a similar dilemma - years ago I used an Audigy 2 audio midi interface which gave me two in/out ports, which in combination with the BCF2000 gave me a total of three. - now I just have the one). If you can forsee that you might want to add other MIDI devices later, then you might be wiser to invest in a MIDI router as Steve mentioned.

Are you still in Switzerland? I’m not familiar with Andy’s, I’m pretty much Winterthur oriented and usually get my gear from Backstage, or Strings.

Hello Steve and Brian,

Thank you both very much for your advise - much appreciated ! I have a better overview now - and since my keyboards all support midi through USB (and even if I were to buy a drum machine later I would make sure it has a USB Midi output/input/through) - I guess my best bet is to just use USB for now (no Midi interface) and save the money to get a nice controller for Cubase - maybe even the CMS ones by Steinberg. Thanks Steve for the hint :slight_smile:.

And good idea Brian about using a USB hub - that makes sense and it’s easy to check if that is supported by each device. And you’re absolutely right in my view - the UR28M is great into every detail - even things like pushing the power button at startup takes just a short press, while turning it off I need to hold it a bit longer - so it’s not hit by accident while running; they guys thought of everything! Thanks much this helped.

I moved to Canada back in 1996 but I am seriously thinking of moving back to Switzerland. Back then I missed the wide open spaces, and now with age I miss modern public transportation, better quality stuff and the diverse culture of Europe. It’s a tough one :frowning: Winterthur is where I used to get my 8-track AMPEX tapes from :slight_smile:.

Thank you both very much again and all the best ! Cheers, Roland