Using Cubase 5 in live situation

Hi, I’m an experienced Cubase user but have never used it at a live gig.

I’m running several simultaneous VST instruments on seperate channels zoned across two controller keyboards.
However, what I want to be able to do is switch between instruments quickly using a footswitch.
I can’t afford to wait for the delay of loading instruments in real time, so, all instruments will be running.

I want to be able to switch between instruments instantly so here is what I’m thinking:

For each instrument create several succesive parts, use automation to either mute/not mute the instruments on each of these parts. Then set markers to move to each succesive part therebye muting/unmuting different instruments (on different tracks).

Question 1: Is there another easier way to achieve this?

Question 2: I should be able to do this using QWERTY keyboard shortcuts BUT how can I set up a midi cotroller footswitch to do this instead?

Need more info. Are you just using Cubase to access these instruments while playing each one live on stage? Are you running any of them with Cubase’s internal clock? Do they all have separate post Cubase outputs or are they all on a stereo send? Not sure exactly what you’re trying to do.

Hi and thanks for replying. Yes I’m using Cubase as a VST host and have considered using a live oriented host application (ala Forte or Cantabile). However I also want to simultaneously play back some backing tracks as audio tracks and also all my recordings are Cubase files. The final output is just a stereo mix and I’m using the internal clock.

The crux of my problem (and question) is can keyboard shortcuts in Cubase be easily triggered by an external controller (foot pedal) and if so, how is this contrived?

Also I would be interested to hear of any Cubse users that use an alternate host (e.g. Forte 3) in live situations.
I wondered whether Steinberg have any plans to update VStack for 64 bit live scenarios

I don’t know how many instruments you’re planning to access in any particular song, but if you have one track per instrument, you can devise a system to switch the monitor button (on/off) of the instrument you want to play. If you know ahead of time which instrument you want to play in selected parts of the song, I believe that can be done by automation, especially if you’re using Cubase’s transport system. In that case, you wouldn’t have to switch anything manually. If your instrument choice is going to vary from a fixed idea, then you will have to switch manually. I then would suggest a multi-midi foot pedal that would trigger a preset midi routing to each instrument monitor button.
Does that make sense?

Can anyone explain how to do the automation ? I looked into the manual and did not find any parameter to switch to other instruments and to record this.
Even if you play live there is only one way to switch to another instrument : via the computer(mouse) or the cursor up/down…which is not feasible in live situations.
Conclusion : you can record a thousands of detailed parameters (via automation/arranger/live), but no way to change instrument.
I have very small needs to automate all these details, but changing the instrument during recording or live performances seems to me VERY important. But no way to do this, or??? Any proposal ???

If you are running the song via Cubase’s internal clock like the OP, then you have more options. I haven’t done this myself but what I would do in this scenario is automate the routing, not the instruments. Create all the instruments you need in a particular song so that they will aleady be there. (one per track) Then automate the midi routing to go to whatever instrument you need at what time you need it in the song. You should be able to find how to do this in the “midi” section of the manual.

Thanks Suprawill1,
You opened a new path which looks promissing !

I created all instruments on separate tracks already (one per track). But I cannot find how to automate the midi routing while digging into the Operation Manual. Is it in “Midi devices -general settings & patch handling” or a specific chapter ?

BTW, what is OP ?

Thanks again

Don’t know if you’re familiar with midi settings at all but each instrument should be assigned a channel and the particular patch or instrument (within that instrument) is also assignable. If the instruments that you created are are tracks 1 - 10 for example, then you can assign them channels 1 - 10. You can then access them individually by selecting channels 1 - 10 on your keyboard controller.
The other option would be to have your keyboard controller send on one of the 10 channels and automate the instrument in Cubase to select that channel when you need that instrument and to de-select when you don’t need it.
I haven’t searched any of this info in the manual so I couldn’t be sure where it is located.

OP is “original poster” as in the one who started this thread.

Thanks again for your fast reply.
Today I am using your first option : 16 tracks assigned to 16 channels. I can assign them individually by selecting the channel by means of the computer keyboard MOUSE/CURSOR UP-DOWN.
That is what I don’t like, to move with the cursor/mouse while playing.

Your second option is the automation ? Record on forehand the switch to other channels.
These occurrences are always the same and 100% predictable : time, instrument, channel, etc…
But how to do that ???

After contact with my local dealer-specialist it seems impossible to automate the switching.
He could only refer to the method I am using today : switch manually to the track with computer mouse or cursor.
Or, mute/unmute the instrument on the analog-mixing console !

Very old-fashioned if you ask me….

I understood from this experience that Cubase is not made for and not focussed on live-performances.

Since you don’t specify what controller you use, or what it can send you received few replies.

The Generic Remote can control the selected, monitor or record arm state of specific tracks.

I am using Yamaha Motif XS7 which is a good companion with Cubase. I looked into the manual, but could not find how to switch the instruments in Cubase.
Monitor/record is not the problem here, but how to change the selected track in an easy way….

I will dig into the manual of the Motif again, as I have no experience with the Remote function. I have to customize this I think… There is more detailed Remote info in an additional manual: Data List 2

I come back if I find something essential…

Thanks Steve,
You gave me an excellent hint.
The Motif Remote function gives me the possibility to select the first 8 tracks in Cubase individually via the numeric keys 9 to 16.

With the arrows up and down on the motif I can scroll as well through the track list.

Drawback : by activating the Remote Control the normal behavior of sliders & buttons is disabled !

I tried to use a small numeric keyboard connected to the computer (there are arrows up & down), but this does not work (yet ?).
I will try another wireless pad (but this can only scroll I think).

Let me know if anyone wants more details.
Thanks again

This is what I was suggesting in the first option. After assigning the different channels to the different tracks in Cubase, all the controlling would be done from your keyboard controller. Just changing what channel it sends on would access the pertinent instrument in Cubase.