Replace VST Instrument


I imported a midi song and, as you know, all tracks are now GM piano.

Right now I just add an instrument, pick my sound and drag the piano track to it to have the track play the new instrument.

Is there a way to just replace the instrument? In FL Studio, you right click on the instrument and select “replace instrument”


No unfortunately its a missing feature of Cubase.

sure, you can do this with > instrument track, it´s easy to replace an VSTi.

Use the inspector section on the extreme left and choose your preferred synth to replace the GM Piano. The only thing you should have to do is rename the midi track.

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Silhoutte, can you provide more info and steps how to do this?

I have checked every drop down in the inspector for this instrument and there is no option to replace a VST, only to open the instrument.

Perhaps some screenshots?

I am using Cubase 8.5 Artist.


Fourth line from the bottom where it says “HALion Sonic SE”

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I am attaching a screenshot. As you can see in the screenshot, there are zero options to pick any other VST.

I should note that this project consists of a MIDI import. Maybe that’s why but that would seem ridiculous.

Mart, I have a feeling you’re correct in that there is no way to do this. Astonishing…


– Cubase 8.5 Artist

Make a instrument track and drag the midi data to it

Alternatively, make a instrument track and point the midi to it and make sure the instrument track is receiving it…

Oh, you’re using a MIDI Track and not an Instrument Track. If you used an Instrument Track you’d see a list of your VSTi’s there. Using a MIDI track the list will show midi destinations. These can be either physical midi out ports or the inputs to VSTi’s which are loaded into the VST Instruments rack. See page 599 of the 8.5 manual for how the rack works. Pg. 89 describes Instrument Tracks & pg. 96 MIDI Tracks.

While the two different track types generally do the same stuff, MIDI Tracks offer some additional flexibility by separating the track from the synth (for example you’d need to use one to drive an external synth) . While Instrument Tracks offer convenience by combining the track & VSTi together.

I almost always use Instrument Tracks while others prefer MIDI Tracks.

AFAIK Cubase automatically creates MIDI tracks - not instrument tracks - when you import or drag a MIDI file into the project.

I’ve never found a way to stop it from doing this, so I’ve always had to create the instrument tracks manually and drag each MIDI part to its new track.

If you do it regularly, the only way to speed things up is to build a template with many instrument tracks already created and loaded with instruments if you tend to use the same ones in different projects.

True. I always just move the part onto an Instrument Track and delete the MIDI Track created by the import. But it would be nice if there were a preference you could set for the type of track to create.

If you drag a midi file into the project (instead of using Import) you can put it directly onto either an Instrument or MIDI Track. If the midi file has more than one midi part in it the subsequent parts will end up on the next MIDI/Instrument Track(s) below the one you dragged onto. If there aren’t enough tracks for all the parts, additional MIDI Tracks will be created. If you drag onto an empty section of the Project Window new MIDI Track(s) will be created.

The templates I use are all pre-populated with a bunch of my go-to VSTi’s on Instrument Tracks. The tracks I almost always use, at least when starting a project, are enabled (piano, drums, bass etc.). The tracks that I may or may not use are disabled in the template (like extra Kontakt & HALion instances). That way they don’t slow up the load time but are easy to enable when I want them.

You can create an instrument track and drag the midi file to this, thus having the vsti you want and not having to delete a midi track.

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My problem was that in my drop down I just g0t the instruments that Cubase seemed to think I wanted to see. Then I tried to create my folder structure in Cubase 12. I’m so thankful that in Cubase 13 this is fixed because I had a time trying to get things in the right folders. Folders kept dropping where I didn’t intend them (out of order alphabetically, but also into subfolders that had to then be straightened up). It’s fixed now, it’s very easy to drag things into exactly the right place. So glad someone listened!