How to set up a HW drum machine which uses different sounds per midi channel?

Hi there, I recently picked up an Elektron Syntakt drum machine / sequencer / synth. It has a pretty awesome internal sequencer in its own right, however I’d like to use Cubase to sequence it via midi regions.
It has 12 available “tracks” which are each assigned to a separate midi channel (1-12). So if I simply load it up in cubase and play with my keyboard (set to the default ch1) it will only play the first track/sound on the machine. In order to hear the other tracks, I have to manually switch midi channels.
I was able to successfully sequence a beat by manually entering notes into the key editor, and then selecting each note and adjusting its midi channel respectively in the bar above the piano roll. Sounds great! However, this isn’t very fun to play due to the fact that I can’t use my keyboard to play different channels, and instead have to manually program the beat note by note, channel by channel.
What I think would be cool is to be able to split my keyboard up so that I could play each track together in real time.
I tried playing around with creating a drum map and this seemed to be moving in the right direction, but it was very tedious to setup for simply 12 sounds, and also it would place each sound in the wrong pitch range respectively, if that makes any sense (in other words, I’d like to cue most of them probably around C2 or C3 in terms of pitch, but the drum map seems I’d be stuck to having wildly different pitch ranges).
Hope this all makes sense - happy to share some screen grabs if that helps. I’ve just never had to split up midi channels on a single track before so no idea where to start!
P.S. Also bonus question, is there a way to change the midi channel of a selected note up or down using a keyboard shortcut? I tried searching the shortcut menu but couldn’t find anything on that. Would be a nice to be able to quickly switch between and audition sounds on the machine using the same notes.
Thank you!

Some things just have to be done and require some user action. There is not always a shortcut for a shortcut for a shortcut…

So, create 12 midi channels and set the midi channel manually to 1-12. You will then be able to play the sound of whichever track you select.

Sorry, if this is too old school.

Nothing too old school for me haha. Whatever works.
“Require some user action” I assume you meant that in reference to the fact I wasn’t sure about editing a whole drum map from scratch? I just didn’t want to go down that path note by note if it’s the wrong approach entirely, only to find out after. If a custom drum map is ideal, than I’ll put in the time – it just didn’t seem clear to me if I could even adjust where the pitch of each would range would fall. For example if my kicks fall in a key range too high, or hi-hats on a key range too low, their pitches will be way out of useable range from a sonic standpoint. But like I said, I’ve never made a drum map before so not sure if that’s something which can be adjusted (so all sounds play at their correct pitch, respectively).

In the meantime I’ll try this midi approach. Thanks!

Do as Johnny_Moneto said.
Insert a Logical Editor Midi Plug In in every of the 12 channels.
Or: Use Logical input module.

Set the note number (for example your kick) to 36 (or whatever
is within the kicks range in your drum machine) in the condition field.
Set the corresponding midi channel (eg: 1) in the result field.

Specify your keyboard as input device for all 12 channels,
and your Syntakt as output device.
Every channel will now output your notes seperately .

You may even create zones or odd keyboard keyboard maps
by playing around with different conditions.

Hope that helps.

Hi, yeah I tried @Johnny_Moneto’s method but it pretty much puts me back at square one in the sense that I am then stuck with playing each drum separately, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve in my original post (playing all together like a normal drum machine). Of course I can arm all midi tracks simultaenously but the result will be playing all channels at once too. I do think, however, it’s a good start to build off of, combining with your logical setup ideas.

However forgive me, I’m pretty new to Cubase, having previously come from Logic. I was digging around in the Logical editors and wow, it’s so deep. Much to learn here!

But I wasn’t able to exactly find any midi plugin called logical editor (I saw it in the midi menu, for selected notes in a region, but not as a midi effect). I also didn’t see anything called a Logical input module (I googled around as well).

I did click about in the midi insert section and found this one plugin called “transformer” which appears to offer logical operations. I played around a bit and kinda figured out how to create a condition/range of notes and then fix it to the channel. However it’s not really helping me here, because I can’t figure out how to tell it to then not play outside that range. Otherwise I’ll hear the other channels at the same time. Anyway here’s a screengrab as far as I could take that - let me know if I’m in the correct window or on the right track or not. Thanks!

You can create 4 modules per track with the Track Input Transformer.
To filter everything but a certain key range set up a filter (bottom right corner, change Transform to Filter) like this:

You’d have to do that for each of the 12 tracks.

In order to hear all drum sounds, activate the Monitor icon on each track. Put them in a folder and use the Speaker icon on the folder track to switch all tracks to listen to their midi input ports:

If you also want to record on all tracks, arm them all with the red record icon left of the monitor icon.

The Drum Map would be a great idea as well as it lets you chose, which incoming midi note should be transformed to which output note, including channel and midi port. Unfortunately the editor is not an accelerator when it comes to workflow, quite the contrary. It is fine to use it on maps that don’t change too often.
The resulting drum map files are XML files. So in theory somebody could program a nicer editor even as a web page.

You are right, it`s the transformer plug in. Sreenshot (sorry,german) for
my former example.


Since Cubase 13 you can use the Channel Input.

Channel Input

Instead of Any, set the dediated MIDI Channel for the given MIDI/Instrument Track, you want to listen to.