Midi Routing is defeating me


I’m looking for some help in understanding midi routing within Cubase. I have a very simple setup for playing live drums. Drum module connects via USB to Cubase running a drums VSTi as a rack instrument, midi connects to an empty midi track with monitoring enabled, and the track output is routed to the VSTi. The audio output is then routed back to the module via USB, and from there to FOH. All works perfectly.

I currently have an issue with one of my drum pads hanging, and in investigating wanted to eliminate the possibility of midi coming back from Cubase conflicting within the module’s midi controller (unlikely, I know, but a simple elimination). So I disabled midi thru in Cubase, but the VSTi stopped outputting and it was not receiving midi. I can only think of two possible reasons:

  1. That VSTi’s are virtual off board instruments, relying on midi thru for triggering from midi out, and not within the Cubase shell as I had presumed.
  2. I have noticed in the past that incoming midi is on channel 10, the VSTi will only run when set to channel 1 or any. Suggests that there is some kind of conversion/mapping of channel numbers going on.

I would appreciate any information that will help me understand this. Also, any midi flow diagram/schematic would be very helpful. Thanks.

Don Shaw

  1. All you really need to do is add an Instrument track and select your drum VSti. Select your midi input from the drum module as the input source and the output goes to the VSTi. Unless you are wanting more than stereo audio then the rack is where you want to do that which is where you have it now. I think Cubase does in fact use the midi thru to the VSTi instrument when you are using a MIDI track. Ill check it here when I can.
  2. Channel 10 is the default Global Midi channel for all Drum Machines and E Drum kits. This goes back to when the Roland drum machines came default to that. You simply match the midi channel that your E drum is doing to the the midi channel input in Cubase on that track. So if the e drum is sending channel 10, just change the midi channel on the track to that. Or change your E Drum to channel 1 since the default channel is always 1 for the VSTi.

Thanks Shanabit, my setup is as you described, and you seem to have confirmed my thoughts. No doubt there will be a good reason somewhere why VSTi midi is taken from the ‘out’ side of things.

Cheers …Donny