I own, use, and love SD3, but the mentioned feature only helps for that application and doesn’t represent a solution to the posted problem. SD3 is designed to work smoothly with external digital kits and, by default, really needs to be able to send back to those kits for full integration with those types of setups. It’s fantastic that it does that internally and kudos to Toontrack for implementing that feature; although their standalone product would have far less adoption without it.
What I, and I suspect others, would like is to be able to control and view the control changes of additional parameters within any VST, both during recording and after a part has been recorded, using an external controller that takes cues and feedback from the recorded data WITHOUT having to add an additional MIDI track and build a send/return just for that data. Physical, external interfaces that need to respond in real-time to automation data just aren’t as useful if they can’t mirror that data.
I’ve been through a long line of DAWs in my time. The most recent was Reaper. While that DAW has definite issues with its implementation of MIDI (my most recent experience was with Reaper 5) its method of sending and receiving MIDI for individual tracks showed me a better world that will most likely be realized in Cubase. I’m just longing for the day when I don’t have to set up a separate track just to record and externally view additional MIDI data into what is already essentially a MIDI track in the form of an “instrument” track in a DAW that I want to use as exclusively as possible.
A step further, I’d love to see audio tracks in Cubase be able to directly accept and edit MIDI data in time with audio data WITHOUT having a second MIDI data track, but I’ll wait until the first bridge is crossed. An example of where this would be useful - Using an external controller to make real-time changes to a guitar VST strapped across an audio input. Yes, I can do this with the current workaround at the top of the thread, but it also means that 1/3 to 1/2 of the tracks in my mixes are just MIDI send/receive busses to control external automation. It feels like an unnecessary slowdown to the process.