It can still be very useful for external gear.
Yes, that is my intent. I have some external hardware synths and effects units, all of which are MIDI-enabled. For quite some time, I was shopping around for a universal MIDI librarian/editor, but the one well-known product had tenuous reviews. I remain hesitant in purchasing it. My second option was to buy individual librarians/editors for each hardware unit. Unfortunately, while I own some very popular hardware synths of yore, you just cannot find support and products in this specialized area.
Enter Cubase. I was thrilled to read about its MIDI Device Panel. It provides an opportunity to work within one application (i.e., Cubase) to meet my needs, and this is a big plus for streamlining my workflow. It seems to solve the ‘editor’ part of the equation. All I need to do is map MIDI Device Panel GUI objects to each device’s specific MIDI implementation. Since I have the original manuals for the external hardware, I have the information that I need to effect proper mappings. Secondly, if acquiring a MIDI editor application for an external hardware synth is difficult, it is practically impossible to acquire one for a hardware MIDI-enabled effects unit. For example, I have a TC Electronics D-Two, a MIDI-enable digital delay device. Its user manual, too, provides a MIDI implementation chart, but good luck locating a D-Two MIDI librarian/editor application.
With respect to a MIDI librarian functionality, although I have not tried this yet, it looks like I will be able use Cubase to send/receive MIDI SysEx data to/from my external gear. In this way, I can use Cubase as a basic MIDI librarian. With some thoughtful file management, I can organize my MIDI-enabled external gear’s ‘patch’ and ‘bank’ files and create patch libraries for them over time.
Unfortunately you don’t mention what device you want to control and how?
At this stage of the game, I am not focused on actual devices and their mappings. Instead, I am interested in the front-end GUI.
I’m not sure how you got to this screen where you dragged a knob?
If by ‘screen’ you mean the image of horizontally-aligned custom knobs located at the top-left relative to the Cubase ‘Test Knob’ knob, Cubase places the image there by default after right-clicking on ‘Test Knob’ and selecting the ‘Import Bitmap…’ context-sensitive menu item.
By the way, after I dragged a Cubase ‘Knob’ object onto a Cubase ‘Panel’, I must have selected the ‘Backgrounds’ dropdown menu in the objects selection area, which is why you see ‘Backgrounds’ and not ‘Knobs’ in the objects area at the right.
I assume ‘Import Bitmap…’ is available for every Cubase object and not just for a Cubase ‘Panel’ object.