Correct me if I’m missing some setting or use case, but I think the way instrument tracks handle instruments with multiple outputs (i.e. more than one stereo output) does not make sense.
Let’s take a drum VSTi as an example. Let’s say it has an output for each kick, snare and toms, in that order. (We ignore the rest here.) Obviously, I would want to name the instrument track Drums.
The instrument sub-tracks for the snare and toms audio, respectively, can be named Snare and Toms, which is just fine. However, the name of the sub-track for the kick audio is Drums, and this cannot be changed without also changing the name of the instrument track.
When adjusting volume, pan etc. of the instrument track (e.g. in top of the inspector), I would expect to make these adjustments for an implicit group track that combines the sub-tracks. However, the adjustments apply to just the kick track.
I think these shortcomings defeat the purpose of using a multiple-output instrument track at all, so I rather stick to using a rack instrument in this case.
Designing instrument tracks as described above would be an elegant solution, I think.
It’s quite normal to create a group track and have all those sub tracks go into the group track - and that’s used for overall control of pan/volume, and any other global inserts etc.
But it’s still not elegant as it sits seperate to the sub-tracks, what we really need are summing folders, so the parent item is treated as an audio capable group track for all the sub-tracks, and then when you expand it you can modify the subtracks individually.
Coming from Logic that was always a good feature of their track stacks functionality.
But now I’m more experienced with Cubase - it’s a little cumbersome, but at the same time, Cubase does allow you to lock (group) channels to either sides of the mixer using ‘zones’, so i create a group channel, set all the subs to output to that group, and using the zones list place the drum group (parent) on the right.
Other people create a folder track and drag the group channel and sub channels in there, and then name the folder track - which is the only real workaround to the problem of wanting to name channel 1 ‘kick’ without losing naming of what the actual instrument is - but that still leaves the mixer looking disorganised as folders not replicated on there, other than the visibility section.
Summing stacks/folders have been discussed many times in the past, but they just don’t seem to get the support or backing to make it a reality. But i agree, it would make Cubase so much better for multi-instruments.