How to use General MIDI sounds in Cubase?

Hello! I was wondering if there’s a way to utilize the standard General MIDI sounds in Cubase. I mean the very basic, oldschool MIDI sounds that every Windows version has built-in, not those “[GM] Fingered Bass” kind of augmented counterparts that you can find inside Halion. Any way to do this? I can import midi tracks fine, but they always automatically assume their Halion counterpart instruments.

Edit: Just to be clear, I’m primarily looking for a way to just route everything correctly so that I could use General MIDI sounds directly, instead of downloading and installing any soundfonts or having to render GM sounds into .wav samples etc.

Open the Preferences window, go to MIDI File, then change Destination from “Halion Sonic SE multi-timbral” to “MIDI tracks”.

Import a MIDI file, then highlight all MIDI tracks and change the MIDI output to Microsoft GS while holding Alt+Shift. This will change the output of all tracks at once.

The Microsoft GS Wavetable Synthesizer wasn’t designed for DAW use, and will behave erratically and lag quite horribly. If you’re making General MIDI music, it might be a good idea to compose it using Halion Sonic SE, export the MIDI when you’re done, import it back into Cubase and then mix it using the Microsoft GS sounds.

That sounds good, I’ll give it a try when I get back to my desk. Thanks!

better use Halion Sonic Se with the GM soundbank…

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No. Like I said, that’s not the sound I’m after.

Got it working, I just created a midi track. But question: The track always uses a piano sound, so is there any way to change that without importing external midi files?

Hi there
There’s a preference in the Halion SE options tab I think, not at home atm so not sure but it says use gmsounds or something like that

Best Regards, Dave

Yeah, under Program Changes there’s “Off” and “GM Mode” but GM Mode just loads up 15 GM001 Acoustic Grand Pianos and one GM129 Stereo GM Kit drumkit into the multi, from Halion itself. They aren’t those old General Midi sounds.

When you import your midi files Halion Sonic SE gonna change the sound to match your midi files (Program change inside your midi files)

Use this field in the Inspector to easily change the instrument:

You can also use the List Editor or the controller lane in the Key Editor to insert Program Change events at specific points.

Great, thank you very much! That solved it!

Hmm, except…

The sound from the midi tracks doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t register in the Master buss. If I export the song, it ends up empty. (The sound actually bypasses Cubase somehow, because if I change Windows’ own volume, the midi channels are affected but others aren’t.) I also can’t use Render-in-place, nothing happens if I try. Anything I could try to correct this?