New Cubase User Re: Cubase 7 and VSL VE Standard MIDI Ports


Just this week I was finally able to make the change from Sonar to Cubase, something I have wanted to do for awhile. There are several reasons for my interest in Cubase, in fact a whole bunch.

I work exclusively with orchestral MIDI, and my primary library is VSL Special Edition Vol. 1 using VE Standard and VI Pro 2. Previously in Sonar I have always worked with multiple instances of VE Standard, one for each main category of orchestral instruments, and each instrument in a category having its own MIDI channel. If the instrument count exceeded 16 I would create a new instance VE Standard.

But as I am working on my initial Cubase orchestral template, I began to explore VE’s multiple MIDI port feature. It took some advice on the VSL forum, but now I have learned how to set them up. What I haven’t been able to figure out is how to set the output of a Cubase MIDI track to route to different MIDI ports. All I can see in the MIDI output selection list are the instances of VE Standard. I see Vienna Ensemble 1, Vienna Ensemble 2, etc., but no reference to different ports within each instance.

Can someone instruct me on what I need to do in Cubase 7 to make the different ports visible to the selection list in my MIDI tracks? Or am I taking a wrong approach? Any help is appreciated.

Try enabling those connections in Devices (F4). That might make things mellowrooney.

Thanks Draconis Systems, I looked at that but couldn’t figure out any way to even approach doing so. I’m using VE Standard as a plug-in, not VE Pro which is standalone and external as I understand it (could be wrong on that, though).

If I do it there, I figure it would be on the External Instruments tab. But the only MIDI device shown is my MIDI keyboard. I don’t know, do I need to create and define MIDI device for each port? I’ve never done that, perhaps that’s what I’m missing. I’m happy to proceed with that as long as I know that’s the right thing to do.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure those ports need to be created before Cubase starts, so it probably won’t work with the plug-in version.

Seems like it. My initial question, which I posed on VSL forum, was whether or not only the Pro version Vienna Ensemble support multiple MIDI ports. But someone pointed out to me that the non-pro manual definitely describes separate MIDI port functionality, and I can assign different ports in VE Standard. That brought me here with the question of how to get Cubase to recognize the port assignments and make them available for selection. If anyone can give me a somewhat definitive answer to this I’d appreciate it.

I have found a discussion of the VE MIDI ports and Cubase in an old thread from the Cubendo forum. Starting with post number 54, Daryl is pursuing the same problem I am except that he is talking about VE Pro not VE Standard. You have to pick through the thread to follow his dogged pursuit of his answer. I’ll have to do some work to digest it, because I believe the answers I am looking for are in that thread.

If I get what you are saying, then Cubase only sees 16 channels per instance. It is that way in Kontakt and Aria player, even though they have multiple banks.

I think I read that Cubase can see more midi ports in VST 3 plugins, but I’m not sure where or what thread.

If you have Finale by chance, you can see it working. Finale has multiple ports available and can see whatever your instrument software is presenting, within a certain limit.

I think you do get what I’m saying for the most part, but more specifically I’m saying that Cubase only sees each instance of VE as a single entity and is only addressable as a single entity. What I’m trying to figure out is if there is a way for Cubase to present me with MIDI track output options of “1 - Vienna Ensemble, Port 1”, “1 - Vienna Ensemble, Port 2”, etc. rather than just “1 - Vienna Ensemble.”

I’m not sure if this is a separate matter from the VST2 limitation of 16 channels per VE instance or if it’s a separate MIDI port matter. VE Standard is definitely capable of assigning multiple MIDI ports within an instance. The question in my mind turns on whether the VST3 support version of VE, which is VE Pro, is required for Cubase to be able to address it properly.

I will probably be into next week before I am able to devote more time to figuring it out. Right now I’m just trying to stir up information and options to consider, and thanks for your help in doing that.

If you have Finale by chance, you can see it working. Finale has multiple ports available and can see whatever your instrument software is presenting, within a certain limit.

Don’t have Finale, but I do have Notion, and my previous DAW Sonar had MIDI ports I think but I never used them. I just don’t understand them well enough. I get the concept, just not the execution.

Definitely yes, that is a VST 3 feature.

Thanks, and even as I read that, I realize my statement that VE Pro is “the VST3 support version of VE” is not completely accurate. I mean to say that I’m thinking VE Pro is able to support the VST3 aspect of addressing more than 16 MIDI channels per instance. Other aspects of VST3 (articulation switching for example) are not directly affected by VE Pro vs VE Standard. Standard supports them just fine.


On the VSL forum two outstanding citizens helped me figure out that this whole problem was the result of my confusion because of the naming conventions for the two versions of Vienna Ensemble (Standard) that are installed along with Vienna Instruments (Standard).

When selecting a new VE (Standard) instance for insertion into the Cubase VST rack, I was presented with two possible versions, “Vienna Ensemble x64” and “Vienna Ensemble”. I presumed those names represented, respectively, the 64-bit version and the 32-bit version. It appears (I now know) that the one named “Vienna Ensemble” is the version that supports multiple MIDI ports (although one could not possibly know that from the name. Because I had no need for a 32-bit instance of VE, I had ignored this version option, and in so doing had missed it’s true capability.

As soon as I selected “Vienna Ensemble” for insertion, any MIDI track outputs gave me the option of selecting the discrete ports that come with that instance of VE, “(instance number) Vienna Ensemble (port number)”.

Clearly we see what we expect to see, and often that is different from what is. Anyway, I thought I’d pass this on here in case someone else runs into the same confusion. Thanks for the help offered here as well. Onward and upward with Cubase.