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Steinberg Cubase 5 : Use External Hardware As A VST Plug-in

January 1, 2010

OBJECTIVE: Add hardware processing to Cubase’s virtual environment.
BACKGROUND: You’re not restricted to using virtual plug-ins within Cubase; you can also integrate external hardware devices, like rack and “lunchbox” processors. However, note that your audio interface needs enough I/O to dedicate an output to send signals to the external effect, as well as dedicate an input to receive signals from the external effect.


0.0001_vstconnections1. Go Devices > VST Connections (or type F4).







0.0002_addextfx2. Click on the External FX tab, click on Add External FX, name the external effect, choose the send/return configuration (e.g., mono, stereo, surround, etc.), click on Associate MIDI Device (see Tips), then click on OK.






0.0003_specifyIO3. In the VST Connections window, under Audio Device choose the audio interface that connects to the external effect. Under Device Port, select the interface ports over which you will send and receive external signals. Then, close the window.





0.0004_insertFX4. Call up the VST Audio Channel Settings for the track where you want to insert the external effect. Under available plug-ins, choose External Plug-Ins (name of external plug-in you entered in Step 2).








0.0005_delay-compensate5. Click on the channel insert’s Edit button. In the window that appears, click on the “pulse” button; Cubase then measures any delay through the effect so it can add appropriate compensation. Done!


¦ In Step 2, if there is no MIDI device associated with the external effect, create a MIDI device as this is necessary for automatic delay compensation through the effect (Cubase compensates automatically for any interface latency).
¦ In Step 3, note the fields toward the right for adjusting delay, send gain, and return gain. Use the gain controls to trim the signal as needed. You can do delay compensation in this window by right-clicking on the Delay field and selecting “Check User Delay.” These controls are also visible in Step 5, and may be adjusted there.
¦ If you want to freeze the track, it must be done in real-time as audio needs to pass through the effect in real time.

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