MIDI Inputs Audio Outputs Qstn from 1st-time Cbs Pr8 User


I am new to Cubase and am working on several projects with 3rd party VST instruments (EWQL libraries like Symphonic Orchestra Platinum and Stormdrum 2, and ProjectSAM Symphobia 1). I have acquainted myself with many aspects of using Cubase, but am a little confounded on the issue of assigning appropriate MIDI inputs to their audio outputs. Please bear with me as no doubt my question is rudimentary!

My setup is such: Windows 7 64-bit, external hard drive 7200rpm (storing the larger EWQL libraries) connected through USB 3.0 to 3.0 port, 16GB RAM, Cubase 8 Pro, an 88-key MIDI controller plugged in via USB, and the VST instruments listed above.

One of my projects has the following layout:

Four instances of PLAY4 (EWQL) and one instance of Kontakt 5 (Symphobia1). Each instance I have loaded up to 16 MIDI instruments or various articulations of the same instrument. They are all loaded as Rack Instruments. I have activated all the outputs (1&2, 3&4, … 17&18), and assigned corresponding MIDI channels for each loaded instrument. I am able to correctly use the 88-key controller to send input to each instrument, depending on which is selected (with record enabled or monitor on).

So my questions are:

  1. When using the mix console, how can I adjust the output of INDIVIDUAL instruments or articulations?

  2. What output should I assign each MIDI input? If I have 16 instruments loaded in one instance of PLAY, each assigned to MIDI channel 1, 2, etc. through 16, should I assign instruments 1 and 2 to output 1&2, 3 and 4 to output 3&4, etc? This seems logical, but then what if I want to in the mixer adjust the volume of the audio output for ONLY instrument 1 and not also for instrument 2? I have read the reason the outputs are grouped in pairs is because they accept Stereo signals, but I am a little confused at this also. Does this mean that instrument 1 is going to the left speaker and instrument 2 is going to the right speaker?

  3. Would it be better to only load 9 instruments in each instance of PLAY or Kontakt 5? This way I could have one instrument assigned to each audio output I think? How do you guys normally do it? If I need to do this I will, but it will cost me many hours of work as everything I have organized so far is based on a 16-channel input per instance system.

  4. The only way I know of right now with my current setup to adjust individual instrument volume in the mixer is by adjusting the MIDI input volume in the mixer. However, I spoke with Steinberg representative Chris Dobbs yesterday (who was excellent by the way, thank you Chris) and he recommended NOT adjusting the MIDI input levels in the mixer and only adjusting the audio outs.

  5. This question is totally unrelated to the ones above, and is more of a support issue. Cubase last night crashed suddenly, and the last thing I had attempted to do was add the following VST instrument articulation: Solo Bassoon Staccato RRx3.ewi from EWSO Platinum. It failed to load, and I lost about 3 minutes of work, but then reopened the project, and added the same instrument successfully.

Thank you if you have read this, and I would really appreciate any advice and answers to my questions! I need to figure this out quickly as I am on a (quickly approaching) deadline to finish my projects. I have been searching the forums and reading manuals, but so far have been unable to find the answers to these questions.




  1. You have to options. You could adjust the volume by using the MIDI faders. Or you can route every single articulation to dedicated virtual output, and mix them by using Instrument Returns (see 2).

  2. If you are using more virtual outputs, you have to enable them in Cubase. Click to the Activate Outputs icon (on the right-side of the VSTi name, in the Inspector), and enable “All Outputs”. Virtual Returns from the Instruments are created.

  3. It’s better to use as less instruments instances, as you can. This save your CPU load.

  4. This is solved by 2. :wink:

  5. This is very often on the plug-in side. Make sure, you have the latest Play update, please.

Hi Martin,

Thank you for your reply. Since I first posted this I have spent over 20 hours fussing around with Cubase and templates, so hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two.

  1. I still haven’t really found the answer to my question for whether each PLAY instrument/articulation can be adjusted individually without using the MIDI fades (which I don’t want to do as I have been advised against it). However, I have resolved to open a max of 8 instruments in each PLAY instance, and assign each instrument/articulation to its own set of stereo outputs (1&2, 3&4, etc). This was time consuming, but now things seem to be working fine.

Interesting that in the Kontakt 5 player I can easily have 16 MIDI input channels, each with its own stereo output.

  1. I know now how to activate all necessary outputs in Cubase and assign them correctly.

  2. Related to 1) and 2) above

  3. also answered

  4. Thank you for the reminder to update PLAY 4. I am fully updated to 4.2.35 (just checked the website to confirm) which was released 5/28/15. It very well may be on the plugin side - I wouldn’t know. I did just last night have another crash when I accidentally clicked “Load Next Preset” in one of the VST Instrument Racks, and upon realizing my error, attempted to hit the “Abort” loading button, whereupon it crashed.


I’m pretty sure, you can adjust the instrument/articulation volume individually, without the MIDI fades. Load different articulations as different “instruments” in the EastWest Play. Make sure, MIDI channel (on the top-left side of Play) is different for every single instrument/articulation. And make sure, the Output (on the bottom-right side of Play) is also different for every single instrument/articulation. Then, you can adjust the velocity of every single instrument/articulation by the VSTi Return fader individully.