Newbie to Cubase confused by MIDI to VSTi routing


I’m a longtime Sonar user (since 5) and a new Cubase 8 user. I was sent Cubase by my songwriting partner who lives in Texas… he spent about $500 on it so I would like to make it be a useful tool for us.

First off, I should say that I installed Cubase on the the same drive as Sonar X3 and it killed Sonar. I ended up partitioning my drive, installing another OS, and putting Cubase in that bootable partition. But that’s another issue.

The real issue is that my partner sent me a file to work on that is mostly MIDI tracks from Toontrack. I don’t have all the same plugins that he does, but I do have EZDrummer (original) and one of the tracks is a MIDI drum track that he originally created with EZDrummer 2.

I have installed EZDrummer into the partition and Cubase “sees” it. I have set the input settings for the MIDI track to my Trigger IO unit and the output is set for my EZDrummer installation. I have discovered the scrub tool (small speaker icon) by right clicking on the MIDI track, and when I scrub the MIDI track, the EZDrummer kit plays the part. However, it will NOT play the part when I play the project.

Sorry to to ask what may be a very elementary question but this is an extremely simple operation in Sonar and I cannot get it to work in Cubase.

If you can help with this, thanks in advance!


I don’t know about EZdrummer, but some VSTi instruments, you need to assign the output from the instrument to a real output of cubase, or to a bus you’ve set up that goes to a real output. Otherwise it is “unassigned” and you can’t hear it. That you can hear when you tap or use keyboard is different, I think, something to do with either midi through or focus on the instrument when you are playing it.

This is from a relative beginner, too … hope it leads you to find the issue!


please have a look at your General Routing: where do the EZ-Drummer Audio-channels go to? Which Output bus?

Do you work with the control room?

Regards, Ernst