Puzzling right zone

Just updated to 10 and am a little puzzled over the “Right zone”

In the “Right zone” you can choose between “VSTi, Media, CR and Meter”. Default is Media. Here you can find “VST instruments”. That seems to be “Track” instruments. Why is not “Rack” displayed here? To get to “Rack” you need to go to menu VSTi, but there you also have a choice to load “Track instruments”. As I am only using “Rack” I am puzzled by this.Is there a way to make “VST Instruments” to yield “Rack instruments” as default?

Further: Under “Media/Presets” there are a lot of presets, however none for the “Chord pads”. To access those you need to click a very well hidden button in the “Chord Pad” section. Why?


No, there is no way, how to force Cubase to use Instrument Racks by default. The preferred way (by Steinberg) is to use Track Instruments.

Thx! Do you know why?


I’m sorry, I don’t know.

Both “Rack” and “Track” Instruments are available from the right zone. The burning question is, why are there still TWO different systems, both with flaws? Well I know why, “Track” was added some years ago and a universal solution was never pursued.


Why are there two of them, that’s clear. There is an historical reason. In the past, there was just a Rack. Then the Instrument Track was created, but it wasn’t multi-timbral (and no multi-outs) in that time, and had some other limitations. Then Instrument Track became more closer to the Rack Instrument, and they are almost identical now. Actually (as far as I know) the only one missing part is, that you can’t add MIDI Sends to the Instrument Tracks. The 2nd thing is, there is still no mechanism, how to convert Rack Instrument to the Instrument Tracks. Because of these two missing features, the Rack Instrument is still there in current Cubase.

But why is Instrument Track the (Steinberg) preferable way, what decisions a thoughts were behind this, I don’t know.

But the original question still remains: Why do both appear under the VSTi menu but only Track instruments under Media (where there is no indication that it is the Track version)? Due to the reasons mentioned by Martin.Jirsak Steinberg cannot get rid of the Rack instrument,s so why treat it secondary?

Hi, yes I did actually answer my own question, I know it’s historical. The track instrument was introduced for a “quick fire” single sound approach. Then developed further to almost become like the multi-timbral Rack but not really. So we’ve got two systems which aren’t ideal. Ideally, MIDI and audio automation is combined onto one track, as per Track Instrument. But things get messy when Track Instrument goes multi-timbral. And Rack Instruments with separate MIDI and audio are messy from the get-go.

Also, have you noticed that a Track Instrument always has to have the same name as Outputs 1&2 when in multi-timbral mode? That’s a pain!

Anyway sorry for hijacking your thread Rumdrum. I thought you were referring to the VSTi section in the right zone.

Don’t mind if it is on or off topic as I see all answers as valuable information no matter what. However I would like to address the “unfair” treatment of Rack instruments by not having that option under the “Media” tab, and in some way try to infuence Steinberg to make room for Rack instruments under the “Media” tab. Then the “VSTi” tab would become obsolete. Or (not as good solution) to remove Track Instruments from the “Media” tab so that you would need to use the “VSTi” tab. As it is now Steinberg is “forcing” or “fooling” people to use Track instrument where they eventueally will run into some multi timbral/MIDI problems of some kind. I know that “forcing” and “fooling” is not the right term, but you get my drift.


You can also see the way, that Steinberg tries to lead you (recommend you) to the Track Instruments way. Maybe because of some plans to the future? maybe Steinberg plans to cancel Instrument Rack, without a backwards compatibility? I don’t know. maybe Steinberg knows, Track Instruments is a new and more stable code than Rack Instruments. Maybe there is a reason, why Steinberg recommends to use Instrument Tracks instead of Rack Instruments.

Track instruments are potentially better for spreading the cpu load.
Depends on how you use them.
But let’s say, 1 rack instrument using 16 multitimbral channels, can easily use up cpu resources on 1 core.
Using 16 instances as track instrument, does help spreading the load.
There are of cause other things to consider, Ram usage is one, but not really that problematic anymore with modern computers and 64Bit only plugins.
I have completely stopped using rack instruments, I would suggest,try both options and compare.

Me too. And I only use MIDI Tracks when I want to have multiple data-streams feeding an Instrument Track.

I have tried both. That is why I have landed on Racks. Due to MIDI functions. (You can use 16 instances of Racks too if you want). Same thing, but Racks has an advantage in MIDI tracks. Can’t find any way Tracks are better. Thus to me Racks are better. However, the original question was not which is better. Both ARE there and the question is why they are not treated “equally”. And also why the presets for chord pads are not accessable through the right zone.


What specifically, please? Is there anything more but the MIDI Sends, I’m missing?