MIDI signal ONLY up until hitting record

Cubase 9.5.21
I"m using the Komplete Kontrol S25 as a MIDI controller with it’s USB MIdI cable. So when selecting any instrument (HOLion sonic SE, or any other added plugin) in a instrument track, I can browse, and play the instrument (of course when the monitor icon is switched on). but when I press the record button there is no sound from the instrument and no midi notes are being written. but there is clearly a midi signal since the MIDI activity window on the bottom right has flashing lights that there’s a signal. the only difference I noticed was that when not recording, there’s a stereo signal in the MIDI activity window and when pressing record there’s only a mono signal.

Can someone help?