MIDI sends on instrument tracks

Possible? I ask because many of the methods I can use for bidirectional communication between remotes (TouchOSC, Lemur) require a transformer plugin on a send for a track, and I use instrument tracks mostly except for things pointed at VEPro.

It’s been asked for many times, but for some mysterious reason MIDI Sends are only available on MIDI not Instrument Tracks. Sorry for the bad news.

Best option I can think of is to make a fresh MIDI Track with a shared copy of the required parts/events on it.

Here’s how it works.

All from the Project View Window.

  1. Set your cursor at the beginning of the first part of the instrument track you’ll be cloning.
    Click the part to select it, then tap the l key.

  2. Make a new MIDI Track directly below or above the instrument track you’ll be cloning.

  3. Right click in the track controls area of the instrument track and choose select all events.

  4. Menu/Edit/Functions/Repeat… or Tap ctrl k
    A Repeat Events dialog will pop up.

  5. Set the count to 1, and tick the shared copies box.
    Cubase will make a shared copy of your selected events immediately following your last selected event on the same track. The new shared parts will be pre-selected already.

  6. Drag it all anywhere on your new MIDI track.

  7. Menu/Goto/Cursor or tap ctrl l.
    This will move your selected parts/events to the cursor while preserving any empty spaces that might exist between them.

Now you have a phantom copy of the track and can route it anywhere where you like. It also gets all of the additional benefits of a MIDI track such as MIDI AUX Sends. If you change anything in either copy of the part(s), they both get changed. You could hide/show either track at will if it clutters your project view.


That’s pretty clever using Shared Copies. I’ve always just resigned myself to using a MIDI Track instead.

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BTW, it’s possible to make shared copies in fewer steps but it takes a little practice with the mouse.

I’m more of a keyboard guy (and love building macros and logic editors for stuff I end up doing often) so I walked through the menu/key combo steps to get it done.

Here’s the mouse method:

  1. Make your new MIDI track.

  2. Set the cursor at the beginning of the first part on the instrument track.
    Select the first part, tap l.

  3. Right click the control area of the instrument track and choose select all events.

  4. Scroll to your last selected part in the project. Move the mouse pointer over the middle of the right event border so that it becomes a pointing hand symbol, hold down Shift, click and drag to the right to create a shared copy.
    You’ll have to release the mouse button and it’ll end up laying somewhere on the instrument track pre selected.

  5. Drag it all to your MIDI track and tap ctrl l to snap it to the cursor.


And a big P.S.

If it’s a ‘work in progress’ where the length of the track can change rather often, then I’d suggest using one big part (on both tracks so they match in length) rather than lots of little ones. This way all you need do is drag the size of the one part to keep on extending it as usual.

Why? If you have a lot of little parts on the track, it might or might not be a big problem, but you’ll end up having to constantly make new shared copies and drag them around.

That is very clever. But in a template with a massive number of tracks, well, the tracks almost double. I know they don’t need to be seen, but still. Not sure if this would get me where I want to go. It really should not be this hard to have a daw send a message when a track is selected.

Though if one made a folder track that contained the instrument track and a midi track that didn’t record from the controller and had the send on it, that might work. Except editing would be extra steps. And it would be cumbersome. And not as good as just having the darn MIDI send to begin with.

I agree. Instrument tracks should have an AUX MIDI send! I’d use them way more if they did.

People been asking for it since like Cubase 7 (Along with advances in the most important parts of a DAW, like for the logical editors, and the score editor). Instead we got a really basic sample track that’s a pretty big downgrade as compared to just using Groove Agent SE on an instrument track, a bunch of plugin GUI changes, and EDM patches that more than half us don’t even install. Oh, and the major ‘improvement’ (NOT), that now you can’t arm/disarm instrument tracks for recording when the transport is going without introducing audible breaks in the output.

Another other option is to take raino’s approach, load your instrument as a rack instrument (or share an already existing instrument track end-point) and use MIDI tracks from the get-go, as those CAN do AUX MIDI sends (Main connection plus Up to 4 sends I think).

The main advantage I see to Instrument tracks vs MIDI tracks is exporting MIDI Loops, and perhaps a little ‘different’ workflow on managing the outputs of instruments on the mixing console. If you won’t be doing the MIDI Loop thing, not that big of a difference in my opinion.

I use Instrument Tracks because they are single-use instruments that I enable as needed, and because as far as I know the best way to guarantee the lowest possible latency is to have no two tracks addressing the same source. When I use VEPro as a target, Cubase can’t bump the more demanding instruments on a VEPro instance to a different buffer, so everything that’s there drags. And one would have to have a great many instances of VEPro with one instrument per instance to get around that. So…MIDI sends would be cool. But there’s another thing to do: put a plug-in on the instrument track that addresses a generic remote, as MIDIKinetics’ MKRecallTrigger does. That has circled around to working again on my system. So my rig as of a few minutes ago uses TouchOSC for macros and commands and ComposerTools Pro for articulation switches and also the very cool CBrains to do some Cubase note-processing wizardry. I suppose I might use the MIDIKinetics plugin to trigger TouchOSC also, but I’m not going there yet.

Sounds like you’re finding some stuff that works for ya.

MIDI sends on the instrument tracks would be a big help, for all the reasons you’ve stated and more.

On my budget and project scale I never even maxed out one of the cores on a really old hex core Phenom II with only 16gig of DDR2 RAM. If I needed that much CPU for my sounds…given how ASIO, motherboards, audio devices (USB/Thunderbolt/etc has an inherently SERIAL nature makes it tough to multi-thread timing sensitive tasks) are currently designed…I’d probably acquire hardware from junk piles…stuff no one wants anymore, then sync it all together to generate the tones on one independent system, process them in second, and sequence them in a third.

Even in 2021, I still sometimes find it simpler/easer and more effective to go back to analogue kit, and chain up the old stand alone disk recorder (or even go analogue there too).

A massive +1 from me on midi sends on instrument tracks.

However I got fed up waiting for this so created something that works for my set up.

I use both midi tracks and instrument tracks in my template (1000+ tracks all together)

Multiple articulations and complex voicing etc are in VEPro and controlled with a midi track and those with a simpler voicing set or single stereo out are instrument tracks.

I tell you this because I have a touch screen controller that uses OSC and I can populate the buttons on it from the Cubase Expression maps I have set up.

Initially I could only do this with the midi tracks but I can now update the screen on selection of Instrument tracks as well. OSC allows for custom JavaScript modules to be created which I have used to interpret and send the cc values - much like you have described above but it can distinguish between a midi track and instrument track and therefore runs a slightly different script depending on the track type.

That sounds amazing. I’d love to see that in action.