Setting up midi playback Cubase LE5 via Notebook soundcard

I can’t get my Compaq Presario CQ61-423SA Notebook to play standard midi files in Cubase LE5 via it’s soundcard. I hear nothing but the metronome when I import and play them into a new Project. I can hear wav files in a Project with no problem. I’ve installed the Audio driver for ASIO, done all the routing etc but still nothing. I can play and hear std midi through Windows media Player , old Magix MM6 midi sequencer and Anvil Studio freeware on the laptop so it certainly has the capability to route and play std midi files throught the Soundcard.
Can anyone post a step by step set up procedure of things to try, questions to answer etc. It seems I am not the only person suffering from this issue and I don’t know when and If Steinburg tech support will lreply

The soundcard synths are not for use in Cubase. You need to use Halion One or other GM VSTi to playback MIDI files in Cubase. Which specific version of Cubase?

It,s Cubase 5LE. I’ve been able to get Playback of MS Wavetable but a step by step guide or preconfigured template file would be handy.

Add Instrument Track, select the desired input if using controller, select HalionOne as the output, import MIDI files to that track.

MIDI tracks in LE 4 or 5 are for triggering external kit, not VSTi’s.

I’ve downloaded the USM as you suggested on an earlier post to Stonker. I’ve got as far as putting it in a folder and pointing Cubase LE5 to it. Stonker said “Where’s the VST rack? Is that ‘devices’ ‘vst instruments’?”

You said Yes but on my LE5 the Devices menu has only a VST Connections sum menu. Where is ‘vst instruments’ sub menu?

I’ve managed to get Cubase to play midi files on the Sound card by routing the output to several VST Plugins but it is not an intuitive process, more trial and error. Very disappointed with the Documentation of this product as are a number of other DAW users I know of too - one ditched it went for Ableton. After one month Cubase Tech suppoort haven’t even replied to my original query about getting midi playback to work - that is bad customer service and puts me off upgrading Cubase or buying any other Steinberg software…

Well, start reading the manual, or go ahead, and buy something else. No one forces you to use Cubase. And since you got your version for free, you won´t lose anything…

I did read the manual (Chapter 16 MIDI realtime parameters page 155 in particular the midi inspector) and it doesn’t give clear unambiguous instructions about how to get the end result that I wanted and had to figure out for myself. And I am not the only person to make the point. I did find it OK for explaining how to use the editor for adding notes etc so I am not a total numpty.

How do you defend Steinberg tech support not bothering to reply to me?. And I bought the Alesis Interface because it came with Cubase thinking it was a well documented and proven product, I could have bought somnething less expensive without Cuibase.

Are you still having issues? Can you list them?

Hi Mashedmitten, thanks for your reply. At the moment all is fine as I have created a midi template with instrument tracks routed to the USM vst you told me about. I’ve also got a drum VST plugin which allows me to use midi to tigger drum samples in *.wav format of my choosing, e.g. snare drum, Hi Hat Toms etc. So I get really good drum sounds now .

My hope for Cubase was that I could record a mixture of live vocals, bass, Keyboards and guitars and use midi to generate say string sounds etc and have everything within a project. I didn’t want to have to send midi out to some external midi unit only to have to route it back into a project track for audio mixdown. I think I have the means to do this now.

Well, it´s a manual, it isn´t designed to give clear unambigious instructions on what you want. It is designed to explain the programm´s functions, so you can find ways to do what you want to do. Your way is not everybody´s way…

I don´t need nor want to defend anything or anyone, but since you´re asking: The official statement is:
Support for Cubase LE products is given by the manufacturer of the hardware you got Cubase LE with - not by Steinberg. And as long as it improves the support for those who actually paid money for their Cubase I think, that´s ok. Other than that I don´t defend anything or anyone

Well, you could have done that. Nevertheless, you paid for your interface, not for Cubase.
And I personally think, Cubase is a well documented and proven product, but obviously opinions are different…

I think you work for Cubase Mr Tinking cap. I have used other crippled software where the Vendor has stated that no technical support would be available. I registered with Cubase, they stated that technical support would be made available and promised to respond to my query. And there is still no reply from them. Poor support of a limited product would discourage me and many others from upgrading to the full version. How would anyone know if support for the full retail version would be any better? You seem to have a strange view of what customer service is about.
I’ve spoken to a number of people who share my view, not yours, that Cubase documentation is not as user friendly or intuitive as that of other products. One ditched Cubase and went for Ableton saying it’s documentation was far better. I have found out by trail, error and experimentation how to map cubase midi via VST plugins so maybe I am not as “thick” as you are trying to imply. A manual should explain how to confugure settings clearly as well as give an overview of functions.

The Getting Started .pdf tells you how to set everything up, step by step, both MIDI and Audio.

Thanks for your help and advice Mashedmitten, it has been genuinely helpful (unlike comments from certain other respondents), especially the suggestion of using the USM vst to get much nicer sounds than wavetable GM.

Just to update, I am for most of the time now using instrument tracks with vst’s to produce the sounds I am looking for. I do use Halion 1 and the Universal sound module in combination with instrument tracks too.