It has always ‘worked’ fine for me. The issue is that on Windows, a good 95% or more of ALL WDM USB<>MIDI drivers are NOT able to be used by multiple clients at the same time, no matter what hosts are involved (Cubase, Ableton, REaper, Sibelius, Finale, etc). This is a Windows/Driver level thing. In fact, USB<>MIDI drivers that somehow could be used by multiple clients were ‘breaking’ Microsoft rules in building drivers. When drivers follow the MS ‘rules’, the input side of the driver goes into ‘exclusive mode’ and the first app to grab it, locks it down, and owns it. Nothing else can connect.
So ‘my issue’ was…I need to run Two or three hosts at the same time on my system. I.E. A scoring APP, a tracking DAW, and maybe even an instance of Band in a Box. I don’t want to need 3 different controllers plugged in to do this!
There has also been quite a lot of hardware released over the years that doesn’t include RT drivers, so it’s single client WDM or nothing.
As for the RT thing, those have always worked for me too. Thing is, WINDOWS gave those ports slightly different names from the WDM drivers I had been using for near a decade. I was too lazy (and embarrassed when it happened in front of clients) to fix that every time I revisited an old project. If one more random client who uses a system maybe 4 hours a month for realtime multi-media gave me the “This wouldn’t happen if you’d switch to a Mac” speech I feared I might toss cookies on the console.
Cubase does do some things ‘differently’. I use several apps with a Plogue engine under the hood, and it’s obvious Plogue and Steinberg have taken different approaches to some things. I haven’t used Reaper in years, but no surprise they take even a different approach.
I suspect Steinberg have valid reasons for designing it the way they have. It has a unique way of grabbing all the ports on a system and offering the ‘ALL MIDI IN’ option with filters. Other apps I have used aren’t quite as intuitive and efficient in that regard. While they ‘can’ deal with complex setups involving multiple controllers and apps, they typically cannot do it ‘out of the box’ after the first installation. Users must go deep into settings and set it all up. In contrast, Steinberg hosts just ‘do it’ right out of the box. For 98% or more of the customer base, it ‘just works’ as intended.
Still, for my own personal reasons, I’ve chosen to bypass Stienberg on that first level when it comes to MIDI controller . I still rely on the Stienberg MIDI engine for nearly everything else .
It’s possible to merely install a virtual MIDI port, and use empty cubase MIDI tracks to process things the way I’m doing in bidule, forward MIDI to other apps this way, and so forth. Cubase MIDI tracks are pretty powerful in their own right. Still, for me, a third party utility like Bidule or Bome is well worth the ‘trouble’. If it were only a band-aid to fix a small issue I’d be more upset. Ultimately, I’m thrilled that the ‘problem’ led to the realization that I could have a MUCH better set of options and workflows.
I have no clue what the deep issue is with your system. No idea who if anyone is at ‘fault’ and responsible for ‘fixing’ it.
In my experience, every single DAW out there has ‘sensitive’ areas. The ‘older’, bigger, and more bloated a DAW is, the more likely it is that some things can go wrong and might never really get properly fixed. I suppose the logic is…“Out of tens of thousands of customers that run this, only 2 have an issue. A workaround exists, so we’ll give them that and move on rather than having the team spend time/money on this one.” Really, I don’t know…and I’m not about to say that is ethical or proper, but I do believe that it happens often in the software world.
What I’ve offered is a ‘possible’ solution. In my case, hooking MIDI controllers directly to the Steinberg engine ‘works’ fine, but it’s crippled when compared to the Bidule setup I’ve been using. I get features and abilities of $3,000+ controllers using sub $500 gear. Bidule was not ‘free’ to register, but it turns out to be the most used plugin in my arsenal for a load of reasons beyond snooping/routing/manipulating MIDI. The small expense, and minimal ‘trouble’ has paid for itself thousands of times over given everything it brings to the table.