Midi Automation - Making it respond to specific channel


I’m using Play (Vst) for loading East West symphony instruments. Recently discovered that it is
more resource effective to load more instruments into the same instance of Play and tracking them to
different Midi channels, than to have one instance of Play for every instrument loaded.

I have an instance of Play where routing is something like this:

Midi Channel 1: Violas
Midi Channel 2: 2nd Violins
Midi Channel 3: 1st Violins

I use Midi learn while playing back the song and adjust the settings (knob) for envelope attack on the 2nd violins.
Thing is that when this automation of the envelope attack has been recorded, then it does not send the automation info to the 2nd violins which is where I did the knob turning. Instead the automation affects the Violas (Midi Channel 1) which are in the same instance of Play, but not the same Midi channel as the 2nd Violins.

Any way to adjust this? Seems that the automation is only sent to the first instrument that is loaded within Play. (See screenshot)
Envelope Attack Automation Question.jpg


If you open the list of all parameters you can automate, in the track, can you see multiple Envelop Attack parameters here?

Could you try to enable Write automation in the track, then hit Play, then by mouse change the value of the automation, change the MIDI Channel, and change the value again? Is it written as two parameters or as one?

I see only one option for the Envelop attack, and it seems to affect ONLY the instrument that is connected to Midi Channel 1. I’m using Midi tracks and not Instrument tracks.

If I enable write automation for the Midi Channel 2 instrument and change the value of the automation, then the automation recorded affects the Midi Channel 1 instrument and NOT midi channel 2, where the automation was being done.

Haven’t found a way to get around this as of now…

Can you use standardized MIDI CC Numbers?

  • 73: Attack Time
  • 80: Decay
  • 72: Release Time

Thanks, I tried that, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the instruments at all…

I have no more idea. Could you ask on EastWest forum, or EastWest support?

Sure, I have contacted them already.

My suspicion is that Cubase isn’t set up to treat different Midi Channels as different tracks!?

Seems that if I have a Midi track where Channel 1 is set to Tambourine and Channel 2 is set to Cymbal, then I can not individually EQ the Tambourine. The EQ will be applied to ALL the Midi Channels within the same Midi track. There just doesn’t seem to be any option for EQ’ing or doing any automation to separate Midi Channels within the same Midi track…?

Added a screenshot for better explanation. Maybe this could be in the suggestions for upcoming features in Cubase?
Automation Isse - Ins vs. Midi Track - Cubase - June 2017.png

You can eq them diifferently because that surely is sound based rather than midi. Just send to a different output ( I assume play does this in a similar way to Kontakt). Or is this a limitation of Play?


You cannot apply EQ to the MIDI track. You have to apply it to the Audio Return Channel of the Instrument. If you want to apply any EQ to the dedicated sound (patch), you have to enable the multi-outs in Cubase, and also send the signal to the dedicated Audio Return in the Play (instrument).

Thanks for the help, guys and sorry for the late reply. I’ve figured out how to EQ the Midi tracks by setting different outputs to the different instruments within the Midi Channels in a Play instance.

Still the automation issue remains, that it always sends recorded automation to Midi Channel 1 instead of the Midi Channel where I did the knob turning. But at least I learned about how to set up different outputs for the Midi Channels and treat them as individual audio channels. Thanks for the tips! :slight_smile:


In any case, you cannot apply EQ to the MIDI Track. You apply it to the Audio Return Channel of the Instrument.

So you use Cubase internal EQ? Could you describe step by step, how do you write the automation, please?

Yes, applying EQ works anyway, my explanations don’t :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll try to go through the process.

  1. Create instance of Play that’s connected to Midi Track
  2. Set up 2 Midi Channels that each have their instrument loaded within Play
    Midi Channel 1: Violin
    Midi Channel 2: Cello
  3. Enable Write & Read automation in Play
  4. Push Spacebar to play the track.
  5. While track is playing I turn the attack automation within Play for Midi Channel 2 (Cello)
  6. When Playing back the Automation recorded affects Midi Channel 1 (Violin) - It is supposed to affect Midi Channel 2 (Cello). Nothing is happening with the automation of envelope attack in Midi Channel 2 (Cello).
  7. Despairing and moaning :slight_smile:

Regardless of which Midi Channel I am recording automation with, the recorded automation only affects Midi Channel 1 when played back. When messing with knobs in Channel 7,8,9, while recording automation, everything seems to work. But when automation is played back ONLY channel 1 responds to recorded automation…


OK, so you are not talking about EQ (like plug-in on the Return Audio Channel), but still about ADSR envelope of the instrument.

Actually myself I think, this is a bug (or concept issue) in the EastWest Play. I’m afraid, this ADSR envelope is actually really sending data just to the 1st MIDI Channel, not to the selected one (which you select in the left-upper part). Sorry, I have no EastWest Play anymore, so I cannot verify this on my side. Could you ask on the EastWest user forum?

The workaround is to write the automation to the 1st MIDI Channel, and then copy the data to the 2nd (or other) Channel.

I figured out the EQ for the Return Audio Channel part. It’s the Env. Attack. automation that’s bugging me still.
Might be a Play issue, yes. But as I’ve tried to illustrate in the screenshot I see no option for adding Env Attack to the specific Midi Channel, only for the Play instance/Midi track as a whole (Might have another name than Midi Track). This only sends to Channel 1. So not sure how to copy over the info to Midi Channel 2,3,4 or whatever when the option for Env Attack is not present within the individual Midi Channels (See screenshots)
Env Attack for different Midi Channels 2.png
Env Attack for different Midi Channels.png

The option should be on the in the list of Instrument Track automation parameters, not in the Audio Return.

You are going to automate a parameter of the Instrument, not of the output channel.

Ok, is there any way to make this Instrument Track automation respond to anything other than Midi Channel 1?
Env Attack - Instrument Track 2.png
Env Attack - Instrument Track 2.png

Next try…

Open the automation line of the Instrument Track, or if you are using Rack Instrument, then click to the Instrument name. Not Audio Return Channel, not MIDI Track.

Here, in the list of parameters, you see all possibilities of the instrument.

If you are using Rack Instruments, open the VST Instruments folder, in your project. Here you can see Play subfolder. Open it. The 1st item is Play track. Open automation lines of this track, and click to More… (automation parameters).

Thanks, I tried this, but the env. att. automation I find here seems to only affect Midi Channel 1, within the play instance.
Aut. Explanation.png

Then it’s feature request for East West.