Set track channel to ANY, or it gets channel mapped before going to the connected instrument. This setting is considered a real-time ‘MIDI Modifier’.
Note, when recording, the parts store exactly what came in, and their original channels (even if the insert channel is something different). A track’s channel setting forces a real-time transformation. If a track is ‘frozen’ using MIDI Edit features, it will force track inspector settings/modifiers, and in some cases the MIDI inserts (toggled preference) to be etched permanently into the track.
I.E. If you record into a track while your keyboard is transmitting on channel 2, and the insert channel setting is 1, it is real-time transformed to channel 1. Open the part into a MIDI editor, and you’ll see that Cubase still knows when it recorded the event, it came in over channel 2.
If you do MIDI/Freeze MIDI Modifiers, then look at the part again in the MIDI Editor, you’ll see most of the settings in that track inspector are now ‘frozen’ permanently into the track. Including the MIDI channel.
At some point, you might wish to do something like, split your keyboard into zones, and have the left zone (channel 1) control one track, and the right zone (channel 2) control another.
To do this, you’ll use Local or Insert MIDI Transformers.
These would allow you to build a filter for each track to ignore/delete anything coming in that the track should ignore.
Example: This track should reject anything that is not on channel 1.
Note that in this case (splitting a keyboard into zones that each send over a different MIDI channel), you could still use each track inspector’s channel setting to reroute the track endpoints to any instrument/channel you like.
Study transformers and practice a bit.
You can build a global one (up to 4 in series) that can be snapped to tracks at any time. This comes in handy for a configuration you wish to reuse often.
Each track can also have its own local transformer (again, up to 4 in a series). Use this if a track requires a unique set of transformers. It can be ‘different’ for each track.
If you need more than 4 transformers for a given situation, an additional 4 transformers can be added as MIDI Inserts.
Why would you need so many? Well, you can also do things like layer velocity mapping across different tracks.
I.E. Say you’ve made 3 sample tracks, and drug in three different snare drum samples to each sample track.
You could build logic to:
Strike a key gently, and a snare brush scraping across a head happens on track track 1. Strike it harder, and you get a brush ‘tap’ instead. Tap it even harder, and you get a brush ‘splat’ on yet another track. Etc.
It can also be used for things like making a pedal work backwards. Correcting that one flaky key on a MIDI keyboard that always wants to fire at max velocity, no matter how gently you touch it (something needs cleaning or replacing…good fix until you can get around to it).
Maybe you want to force a single pedal on your controller to do more things at once.
Say it sends CC64, but you want it to instead play a kick drum and a high hat crunch at the same time.
Convert the CC64 event to the two note on events you want for triggering those sounds, randomize the velocity a bit, and give them a duration of say, 1 beat each.
So…it’s worth it to study and practice with Transformers, and Logic Editors in Cubase!