How to record instruments including vst synths as sound files right away?

ok, I’m completely overwhelmed by Cubase, and need to get down to the basics. The only recording device I have used earlier is a Tascam four track. I would like to keep away from the midi tracks alltogether, even with vst synths, and apparently it’s possible, the problem is that the only YT video I found was for Cubase Artist and an older version, and I have Cubase Pro 12 (I should probably have stuck with Cubase Artist 9)

I just want to record something

Pretend Cubase is a 4track.

  1. Create 4 empty audio tracks for starters. Route them to your Cubase stereo out.

  2. Click the record arm for one of the tracks. Be sure the track is set to receive input from your bass guitar…or whatever you have connected to your interface.

  3. Adjust level, hit transport record and go.

I appreciate your reply

It’s not about the number of tracks though, my problem is that if I record a track with a vst synth I get a midi track, if I record a guitar with a vst amp sim I get a clean audio track with no vst amp. I watched a video until I realised it was for a different DAW, which had the option to transfer it into a sound track from a drop down meny, that would be too simple and easy though

More info needed. How would you like to trigger an internal vst synth? With an external midi keyboard?

You didn’t specify.

If your plan is indeed to play notes/chords from a midi keyboard, triggering an internal daw vst rhodes piano etc, yes, there are easy ways to do that and imnediately capture on an audio track.

Yes, I use an external midi keyboard to play an internal vst synth. I get sound, the click track has stopped working, so that’s an issue now as well. I can record the vst synth as a midi track. It’s the same with guitars, I get a recording, it’s a recording of the guitar with no effects though as the vst amp is internal as well, and I plug my guitar directly into the interface

Insert the amp/fx on the input channel. Although dry recording is more flexible.

I think this is what the OP is asking - what are these ways?

Just like with analog hardware, the specifics of how your audio is routed will determine what gets recorded. If your amp-simulator/FX are on the signal path before the point where the audio gets recorded, they will get printed. If not, they won’t. So a key skill is to be able to follow the internal audio routing.

Unlike some other popular DAWs, Cubase’s GUI is modeled on an old-school recording studio. So if you knew how to route audio in a 90’s era studio, you know how it’s done in Cubase.

Routing really is a topic where a picture is often worth way more than a thousand words. When folks make an error in their routing they almost never describe the error, but it often is apparent from a quick glance.

FWIW, in Cubase 13 some features were added that makes it much easier to do what you want as it lets you directly assign the Audio Output of a VSTi as the input of an Audio Track.

How do I route the signal path?

Start over with a re-look at your routing. Here’s the way to do your keyboard question from a blank slate…

  1. Create, say, four empty stereo audio tracks, routed to your daw stereo out. Don’t worry about their input settings yet. Why create stereo tracks instead of mono? I’ll tell you in a minute.

  2. Create a singular “instrument track”, assign its vst to, say, a rhodes piano. Name the track INCOMING KBD(or something). No midi track will appear during any of this.

From that track’s inspector, assign incoming trigger to be your external keyboard…pound on the kbd a moment to verify vst sees your midi triggers…we don’t care about hearing a sound…just confirming visually that your kbd triggers are successfully making it in to the vst…assign audio output of the track to NO BUS…that’s NO BUS :slight_smile:

  1. Go to one of your empty stereo tracks and name it RHODES…open inspector…select input to “incoming kbd”.

  2. Arm Rhodes track…your plunking on the kbd now appears on the about-to-be-recorded track.

  3. Record.

The setup now is that you can use that singular incoming inst track to overdub any vst sound that you want…simply routing to a new audio track each time…and changing at will to saxophones or drums or vst bass guitars…whatever you want for each new overdub track.

Why create empty stereo tracks instead of mono?

Because most vsti are stereo…a very irritating point but it is what it is.

If you were to create a mono audio track…it wouldn’t let you grab signal from the “incoming kbd”…because …the vst assigned is likely stereo.

There are ways around that as well …but this should get you started.

Most importantly…zero midi tracks appear anywhere in the steps I outlined.

You also seem to have a secondary request for recording your Marshall amp sims to audio with your stratocaster …that’s a slightly different step.


Is you prefer to have the amp sim printed to track right away, place the plug-in on the appropriate Input Channel.

Hi, when you open a record track and insert a vst amp click on the red record button on the track not on the transport bar, it will light up as well as the little speaker icon next to it, can you hear the VST sim, if not go to studio setup and select your audio card, look in the right hand window, is there a tick in a box called Direct monitoring, if there is take the tick off and you should hear the Amp sim, and then just start recording.
As far as recording the keyboard using a VST synth the easiest way is, open a VST instrument track and play the keyboard, can you hear the synth if so start recording and you will see the midi information being created, once you have finished recording click on the part that you have just recorded and then go to the edit tab at the top of the page, scroll down until you see RENDER IN PLACE, click on that and another menu will open up (but don’t worry about the choices until you get used to trying them out) click on render and it will create an audio file just below the midi information.
Look under the transport tab at the top of the page and click on metronome setup and choose your click options, if you still can’t hear the click go to the studio tab at the top of the page and select AUDIO CONNECTIONS and then select CONTROL ROOM, below the insert tab there is a button to the left of the large e, click on that and it will open up your monitors, click where it says not connected and you should see your soundcard information, click on the soundcard name and make sure that you connect both left and right channels by clicking on the small arrow to the left of where it says monitor 1. I’ve tried to make it easy by not using the correct technical terms as it will be easier to understand. Hope this helps

Wether you have an Instrument track or a plain midi track you’re getting the same basic data - MIDI. there is no way to record a vsti synth straight to audio. But after you record your midi you can, with a key stroke, render that midi to audio. See “Render in Place”. From there you get an audio track of your performance.

Yes, there is. Did you read my post? And by the way, a repeat…no midi track is created or used. We’re talking playing a vst directly to an armed track that’s recording audio of the vst…one step…no midi track.

Ah, of course! Yes, didn’t read your post thoroughly- sorry! - and didn’t remember this! I’ve never ever used it this way, and personally don’t see the point, really, but of course your approach is perfectly valid and spot on for the op’s intentions. If I remember correctly, there were no instrument tracks in SX, or even up to Cubase 7?…, so this wouldn’t be possible then. At that point I never thought about it again.

Thanks! This does exactly what I was looking for as far as vst synths go, I have to look at the rest later