Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synths?!

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Untouchable_888
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Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synths?!

Post by Untouchable_888 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:51 pm

So I will explain this the best I can and I know that it is a hard situation to help me with over a forum, but any help would place me forever indebted to whoever gives it.

Let me first start by listing the equipment that I haven't/am using:
SYNTHS: Cheetah ms6, JP-08, Volca Keys, Minibrute
AUDIO & MIDI INTERFACE: Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 & M-Audio MIDIsport 2x4 (respectively)
MIDI CONTROLLER: Novation Impulse 49
LAPTOP & DAW: Asus x551m & Cubase 5.1 (Windows 8.1)

I can sometimes get Cubase to "hear" MIDI when I play my Impulse 49, but not always. However even if I manually enter the MIDI I to a MIDI track it won't be sent to my outboard gear.

Any suggestions or advice? I'm tearing my hair out here. I just want to be able to have all my synths be able to play muon simultaneously so I can record it and be able to play live. I have a live show coming up and it is only myself, so I need Cubase to be my workhorse (I can only play one synth at a time, and only my Minibrute has a keyboard and that is going to be sold soon.

If you need more info or something I'm happy to give it. I really need help!

Thanks in advance..
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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meatballfulton
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:25 pm

Well, what are you trying to do...record backing tracks as audio, record backing tracks as MIDI, use Cubase as a MIDI router only, something totally different?

I use Cubase a bit but really don't like it as (surprise) it's needlessly complex for someone who is not running a pro recording studio or scoring movie soundtracks.

You have three MIDI interfaces in your rig...the Scarlett, the M-Audio and the Impulse all can route MIDI in and out of the computer. Hopefully you have some rational way of connecting your hardware to all the various MIDI OUTs. Maybe you want to explain it to us because you could be screwing yourself right here ;)

Routing is all done in Cubase's inspector, which is on the left side of the screen. That is where you choose the MIDI input and output ports/channels for each MIDI track. That's the next place you can screw up :shock:

To get a MIDI track to route incoming MIDI to outgoing MIDI you have to arm the track for recording. That's true even if the transport is stopped.

Armed with this secret knowledge go back to read the Cubase manuals again and watch Steinberg's Cubase tutorials on YouTube which show you how to do all of this stuff.



Then if you are still totally hosed, come back with more questions.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Untouchable_888
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:25 pm

I guess I should have included this in my original post, but I do not use the MIDI I/O on the Scarlett because it only has a MIDI In and Out. Same with the Impulse (although I do have the Impulse connected via USB). The MIDIsport has 2x In and 4x out. I have that connected to my laptop via USB as well. ...I currently have the Impulse's MIDI Out connected to the MIDIsports In 1. the ms6 is connected MIDIsport Out 1 > ms6 In. Minibrute: MIDIsport Out 2 > Minibrute In. JP-08: MIDIsport Out 3 and Volca Keys: MIDIsport Out 4.
Should I be going MIDI Out of the Scarlett into something like a MIDI solution Quadra Thru?

Also I am running Cubase 5.1. I am not sure how applicable that video would be.
I also am familiar with how to set the MIDI Out on the Inspector.

As for what I am trying to do: I want to sequence all my synths simultaneously and be able to record each track simultaneously while the synths are being sequenced.

On another note..I can kind of do what I am attempting to accomplish in Ableton Live 9 Lite, but when the Master track is "monitoring" whatever tracks are having sound being put into them, there is a delay on the audio coming out of the Master track. But the thing is (besides the delay I am experiencing with the Master track) I just prefer the format and interface of Cubase.
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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Untouchable_888
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:25 pm

p.s. - i also have been making sure that the tracks are armed.
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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meatballfulton
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:59 pm

You wrote you are unable to get MIDI playback from Cubase to reach any of the synths. Does that mean like it has never ever worked? If you're using Cubase 5 and a discontinued MIDI interface you've had this stuff lying around for a few years.

Have you properly installed configured the MIDIsport driver?

In Cubase's Device Setup menu select the MIDI port tab. Make sure the ports you want to use are active...the four outputs of MIDIsport, the input from Impulse.

Now open up four MIDI tracks and draw in some notes on each one using the step editor. Set each track to drive one of the MIDIsport outputs. Set the channel for that track's output appropriately for your synths. If each is on it's own port might as well use channel 1. Make sure the devices are in fact on channel 1! Make sure that the passive THRU feature of the MIDsport is not turned on (read the manual). Press Play in Cubase and you should be able to hear your synths playing.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Untouchable_888
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:44 pm

meatballfulton wrote:You wrote you are unable to get MIDI playback from Cubase to reach any of the synths. Does that mean like it has never ever worked? If you're using Cubase 5 and a discontinued MIDI interface you've had this stuff lying around for a few years.

Have you properly installed configured the MIDIsport driver?

In Cubase's Device Setup menu select the MIDI port tab. Make sure the ports you want to use are active...the four outputs of MIDIsport, the input from Impulse.

Now open up four MIDI tracks and draw in some notes on each one using the step editor. Set each track to drive one of the MIDIsport outputs. Set the channel for that track's output appropriately for your synths. If each is on it's own port might as well use channel 1. Make sure the devices are in fact on channel 1! Make sure that the passive THRU feature of the MIDsport is not turned on (read the manual). Press Play in Cubase and you should be able to hear your synths playing.
I will double check the driver.. It has worked before. One day. Then I came back to it after trying things out with able ton and Tracktion only to be frustrated.
I am confident that I was already doing all the steps within Cubase that you instructed, but I will start from 0 and try the steps again. I had each synth on its own channel so that when I played the keyboard on my impulse they didn't all four respond to my note on/off CCs.
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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Untouchable_888
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Moog Mother-32
Roland JP-08
Novation Circuit
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bass guitar
Band: Heart of Thorns
Location: Rutland, VT
Contact:

Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:47 pm

I will be getting more synths, so maybe I should look into a different MIDI interface. I.e. The MOTU MIDI Express..
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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Untouchable_888
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Novation Circuit
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Band: Heart of Thorns
Location: Rutland, VT
Contact:

Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:19 am

So I got playback to work. I'm not sure what the issue was because I just waited a few days and just went back to the template I had made over a week ago..
However I also cannot play notes and have them recorded, nor can I play my synths while I the same mode to play them via the key editor/sequencer in Cubase. Is this because my version is old? I double checked my VST Connections and device set up.

Also, connecting my impulse to my MIDIsport, I cannot play anything on channels 3 and up. Playback in Cubase is working through my MIDIsport on channels 1-4 (haven't tested anything above that), but not from my impulse to my synths. Like I said my cheetah is the only synth with a Thru port, or else I'd just daisy chain them together. I thought maybe my MIDIsport was broken, but I wouldn't be able to playback with Cubase on those channels, so maybe it might be the impulse? Any thoughts?
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:13 pm

Geez, it would be easier to pay me $200 to drive to Rutland and fix it for you :roll:

1. Can you play your synths from the Impulse when the computer is OFF and you have the MIDISport set to passive thru?

2. In the Device Setup screen, what MIDI inputs are shown as available?
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by cornutt » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:15 pm

I would remove that connection between the Impulse and the Midisport. It isn't doing you any good. You want the MIDI produced by the Impulse to go through Cubase and let Cubase's "soft thru" route the MIDI to the instrument you are playing at the moment. This way Cubase can see what you are playing in order to record it. If things are set up right in Cubase, then when you play back, it should send the MIDI for each track to the right instrument.

I don't know much about Cubase, but I assume that it has a way to associate certain channels of certain output ports on the Midisport with certain instruments. If it's set up right, you should be able to select the instrument on a MIDI track and Cubase will choose the right port and channel number. Then, when you choose a MIDI track to record, Cubase should set the soft thru to go to that instrument.
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Untouchable_888
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:46 am

meatballfulton wrote:Geez, it would be easier to pay me $200 to drive to Rutland and fix it for you :roll:

1. Can you play your synths from the Impulse when the computer is OFF and you have the MIDISport set to passive thru?

2. In the Device Setup screen, what MIDI inputs are shown as available?
1. Yes

2. AVAILABLE:
MIDIsport 2x4 In 1
MIDIsport 2x4 In 2
Automap MIDI
Automap Propellerhead
Automap Propellerhead Mixer
Impulse
MIDIIN2 (Impulse)
MIDIIN2 (MiniBrute)
MiniBrute
Scarlett 18i8 USB

....that's verbatim.

cornutt wrote:I would remove that connection between the Impulse and the Midisport. It isn't doing you any good. You want the MIDI produced by the Impulse to go through Cubase and let Cubase's "soft thru" route the MIDI to the instrument you are playing at the moment. This way Cubase can see what you are playing in order to record it. If things are set up right in Cubase, then when you play back, it should send the MIDI for each track to the right instrument.

I don't know much about Cubase, but I assume that it has a way to associate certain channels of certain output ports on the Midisport with certain instruments. If it's set up right, you should be able to select the instrument on a MIDI track and Cubase will choose the right port and channel number. Then, when you choose a MIDI track to record, Cubase should set the soft thru to go to that instrument.
The way to associate certain channels of certain output ports is done in the Inspector which is to the left of the lanes/tracks/channels.

I did what you said, but no changes were produced. I can't find where to see if "Soft Thru" can be checked or unchecked. Is it not called that specifically? I did see something similar and it was checked..
I am trying out Elements 8. If that works, I will buy and be using that. Hopefully having an up-to-date version will keep Cubase working consistently - because it will work during a few sessions, then stop working... Regardless of a good or bad day, I still can not play my synths "thru" Cubase. I'm trying to figure out Live 9. A different animal than Cubase. So I def have a learning curve.

Again I want to thank you two for taking the time to try to help me.
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:27 pm

You will find routing of both audio and MIDi to be stupid simple in Live compared to Cubase. I love what Cubase can do with MIDI but other than that I hate it as much as I love Live.

The weirdest part is the whole Session view. You might want to spend most of your time in Arrangment view until you get a handle on Session view.

I had spent a lot of time using early hardware sequencers and drum machines where "songs" were just chains of patterns (a way to save valuable memory). Live's Session view takes that approach to the extreme. Being able to jump between a pattern based view of things to a linear view of things is insanely powerful and it made perfect sense to me.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Untouchable_888
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Re: Need Help getting laptop/Cubase to talk back to my synth

Post by Untouchable_888 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:05 am

I will try to use that view. It is similiar to the Lanes of Cubase from Ive gathered so far?
I think my Impulse may be slightly broken. Why else would it not work to input MIDI and control my synths if it (and Automap) were working properly. Automap claims to be set-up right and connected perfectly. Cubase Elements 8 trial worked flawlessly on my non-music duocore 32 bit HP laptop. Installing it now on my Asus. It was so happy when all my VST connections lined up like the stars and I could not only play my synths live but record them while playing them in real time too!
If all goes well on the Asus (which in theory it should), it looks like my problems are solved and I have no need to frustrate myself with learning a new DAW until my current release and live project that Im working on are done.
I just have too much stuff on my to-do list to be worrying about the technical aspect of things..
A.D.I.D.A.S.
[All Day I Dream About Synths]

~NOVATION IMPULSE 49 -> Cheetah ms6, Roland JP-08, Arturia Minibrute, Kong Volca Keys, bass guitar, <-/-> M-Audio MIDIman 2x4 -> Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 etc.

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