rack instrument vs track instrument

I’m confused on why there are two different options to add VST instruments? I understand that one creates a folder with a midi track but what I don’t get is why this folder is different than the one I can create manually using the track instrument option instead. I also don’t understand why does Cubase separate the track instruments from the rack instruments in the instrument rack. I’m confused on which way is suppose to be the optimal way to load VST’s. I would imagine each way would be the same but Cubase seems to separate the two enough that it’s a bit confusing. Can someone help me understand why there are two options and why Cubase creates one, one way and the other another way?


There is a historical background. In the past, there was just an Instrument Rack. This was the placeholder for all your VSTis in the project. And you had to add an MIDI track, and route it to the VSTi.

Later on, Steinberg came with the new Instrument Track, which was simplified. This was for the use case, where you don’t use multi-timbral (i.e. multiple MIDI Channels) in the instrument, and also you don’t use multiple outputs (so only the Stereo Out in the most cases).

Since Cubase 7.5 (or 8, I’m not sure, now), the Instrument Track was improved, so you can use it as a multi-timbral and also multi-output instrument. So it’s the same as an Instrument Rack at this moment. The Instrument Rack has been kept in Cubase because of backward projects compatibility.

I hope, I answered your question.

Thank you. That puts everything in perspective for me. I started using Cubase at version 7. Maybe this lesson should find it’s way into the manual lol.

I find the rack much tidier to work with.