How to effectively use instrument presets?

Some instruments don’t provide a preset capability or not a good one and rely on the host for it. Cubase can do it but it doesn’t seem to work very well. I can save presets from the instrument rack and it allows me to create folders but the folders don’t really work. When I load a preset from the rack, no folders show up and all presets are at the top level no matter how I saved them. I also have a problem knowing which instrument goes with which track since I rely on folders and don’t give every track a unique name. When I try to load the preset from the track, I don’t see any folders and I get a whole lot of presets that came with Cubase. Is there a better way of doing this?

[Edit]

I have discovered that if I make the instrument window “always on top” and select a track, the corresponding instrument is scrolled into view in the instrument window and a light is on in the lower right hand corner of the instrument display. After taking off the stay on top property this still happens. The light might have been coming on before but I am certain that the scrolling did not occur until after I made the window stay on top. I am working on a Mac so this might be Mac only. That solves the problem of finding the instrument for a track but folders still don’t work.

There’s a lot of info there, but to address one specific aspect – I’m not sure if you’ve tried this, but I might suggest assigning a key command to Edit --> Edit VST Instrument. When you press your hotkey, it will always pull up the interface for the instrument that is selected in the Project window. Then you don’t have to deal with the rack at all – you just select a track in your project, press the hotkey to open the instrument, and there it is.

I also prefer using Instrument Tracks instead of loading instruments via the rack. I’m talking about right-clicking on the track section of the Project and going Add Track – > Instrument. Then you literally never deal with the rack.

One more thing - you can also browse presets via MediaBay - if you open MediaBay and click the “Setup Window Layout” button in the lower left corner, there’s a checkbox called “Define Locations.” Once you click this, it will show you the file system where Cubase is getting all its preset info from. If you click the “VST Sound” node and select the “User Content” folder, it should expose a file tree where you can select only your presets, ignoring the Cubase factory content. If you leave this window as is and close it, the next time you open it your selection will remain intact. MediaBay is a good window to assign a key command to.

You might already know this and I might be way off base here - but worth mentioning!

Good luck -

I had never even looked at the Media Bay. I can see all those folders I was creating from the browser in the instrument rack and I see that all presets for the subtree rooted in the selected folder get displayed. Moving down in the tree reduces the number of presets being displayed. When you browse presets from the instrument rack, the folders don’t get displayed and you just see all presets in the subtree rooted in the top level. That seems to be a deficiency. I don’t create instruments in the rack either. I was just trying to find a way to load and store presets. Doing it from the track, you get all presets in an organization that is not very useful. If you do it from the instruments in the rack, the presets are limited to the instrument you are working with which is what I want but you don’t see folders. It seems the best option is to avoid folders and do it from the instrument rack. I would like to have folders, though. From the Media Bay you seem to only be able to create instrument tracks with the preset loaded.