Initial Cubase Setup with External Devices

Hello all, while I’m not new to DAWs, I am new to Cubase and I have a number of questions about how to set up external hardware (synths, controllers and FX) within Cubase 12 Pro.

On the hardware synth side, I have a Kurzweil K2700, Hydrasynth Desktop and Moog Sub37 that I’d like to get set up as VST style instruments and also leverage the various controllers, pads, knobs, etc. on those devices.

For controllers, I have a Behringer X-Touch and BCR2000, as well as an Akai MPK mini I’d like to integrate.

Finally, I also have a Lexicon MX400 multi-effects unit that I have connected via both analog and S/PDIF connections to my Focusrite 18i8 interface and ADAT-connected Scarlett OctoPre preamp.

Any and all comments, pointers, suggestions, videos, previous posts, etc. that you can point me to on how to get all this gear connected within and optimized for use in Cubase would be greatly appreciated!


You got the whole range, ey? :slight_smile:

Let me start with the external synthesizers. There are different ways to integrate them.

  1. The easy way
    If every synth is connected via its own midi port go to Studio → Studio Setup → MIDI → MIDI Port Setup.
    Click the entries in the column “Show As” and change the names to what ever suits you.

    Then use MIDI tracks in Cubase to send data to your synths (not Instrument tracks)

  2. Create a MIDI Device
    Studio → More Options → MIDI Device Manager…
    The general concept is that a MIDI Device gets assigned to a MIDI output. It can contain a bank/patch list, which then lets you chose those patches from Cubase’s inspector program change section. Furthermore it can contain Control Panels. Those are remote control panels and can look something like this
    However, for your equipment I think there are no ready made devices so you would have to do this yourself from scratch, which takes quite a bit of time.

  3. External Instrument
    It requires to setup at least a most basic MIDI Device but allows you to use Instrument Tracks in Cubase to address your hardware synths, which might make handling a bit easier when it comes to the audio portion of Cubase. Kindly search this forum for this topic, there have been several threads created already.

Your Lexicon effect device most probably should be integrated as an “External Effect” in Studio → Audio Connections…
Please search the manual and this forum accordingly.

As for the MIDI Remote Controllers: That’s a topic I personally stay away from, so hopefully others can help you here.

Thanks Johnny, much obliged. I’ve started working through some of these things, but still have more to do. As it turns out these are all USB-capable synths, so the connections are all via USB.

Any suggestions on where to find pre-built XML files for patch/bank lists (and possibly control panels?)

Also, I know for example that the K2700 has a VST plug-in, but not sure where that fits in.

Well, then each piece of equipment should be listed in the MIDI Port Setup already

That would be a question for Kurzweil. I took a brief look at the K2700 and saw that it comes with its own audio interface. Please note that in Cubase you can assign only one audio interface to be used. That would probably be the Focusrite in your case.
Audio from your synths therefore must go into the Focusrite via conventional audio cables.

Web page, forums from the respective company. However, most people don’t seem to be using this kind of stuff anymore so you might not find any. Please note that the smallest form of a MIDI Device can consist only as the name and a designated MIDI output. That’s the bare minimum and can be created in a minute.