Virus Snow and Cubase 8 basics (Have I got this basic workflow right ?)

  • Installed Snow and Virus Control here using Cubase 8 and other soft synths. I create a new instrument channel and insert Access Virus. Part 1 of the Virus control GUI relates to this track. Opening another Access Virus instrument opens the GUI twice but that GUI says all Virus resources used. (So I close it down and delete the track)

    I then create 3 subsequent MIDI tracks which seem to default to parts 2, 3 and 4 of the Virus Control GUI slots. (as per selecting presets and playing them on respective MIDI channels in Cubase)

    The arp does go out of time fairly frequently and locks up to "sync" when tempo locked at some stage later, normal/acceptable for most users ?

    I use the Green button on the virus control GUI to Mute and Solo each of the 4 parts available ? (Mute and solo's seem rather unpredictable in Cubase as they seem to mute other parts playing etc.)

    Mixing the 4 parts with the Virus control volumes is a bit annoying (as channels/faders in Cubase behave oddly, with both the Instrument channel fader and 3 MIDI faders pulling down the volume of all sounds playing. (Seemingly not individually controllable using Cubase faders) Like it pulls down everything routed to USB 1... if I route to Output 1+2 or USB 2 I hear silence.

    Is there anything here that is not expected behavior ?

    Thanks for you time and responses.

  • Cubase can load the TI as an Instrument Track or Instrument Rack. The early version of Instrument Tracks didn't support multiple outs so we needed to load the TI as a Rack Instrument... Steinberg created Instrument Tracks as originally we had to load every VST in the RACK (even single channel ones) and assign a midi channel to it, this took up more space in the project window. Instrument Tracks were the answer to out prays, it combined the midi and audio into 1 track. I'm still undecided which is best for the TI, Tracks or Racks.

    The main difference is the 1st midi track wont be combined in the audio, USB1 track. Which is part of the problem you'r having with faders. For now I think I prefer the TI in RACKS.

    The reason you hear silence is because you haven't activated the other 2 outputs for the Virus in Cubase. When you do it will automatically create another 2 output channels. I send the Virus midi channel 1 out USB1, Virus midi channel 2 out USB2, Virus midi channel 3 out USB3. I use the volumes in VC (part volume too, filter page). I leave the Cubase midi channel volumes the VC volume faders correspond to set as off, with Cubase mixer set not to show midi channels. At the final mix stage any further adjustments can be done on the USB1, USB2, USB3 fader in the Cubase mixer.

    I strongly recommend you upgrade to Cubase 9, it's better.

  • Thanks for the response I will print that and try and set it up that way. I became rather confused at the existing routing plan. I will look into activating the other 2 outputs. Although I think USB3 is greyed out if I recall correctly. (A Snow thing maybe?)

    Cubase 9 is better for using VC ? Or just usual upgrade new features elsewhere. I don't seem to want for much in Cubase 8

  • When jumping between projects I used to get crashes with Cubase 8. I would need to reset my Virus to free the midi. With Cubase 9 I don't get this anymore.

    USB3 is greyed out because you need to change the Virus to the 3 output mode, I think its in the VC config tab.

  • Thanks again I will take a look, in one tab of VC it seemed like I could select only 1 of the 3 outputs.
    Very new to the Virus so it is a bit info overload at this time. I am a one track/tune at a time kind of guy.

    In order to: "activate the other 2 outputs for the Virus in Cubase"

    Is this in VST connections ? At this time I am using an old PC - PCI sound card as my main mix monitoring output.

  • I'm still undecided which is best for the TI, Tracks or Racks.

    As you explained, the Instrument tracks are meant for single part instruments, Rack + MIDI Tracks are meant for multi-part instruments. VC is a multi-part instrument. Therefore it should go into a Rack. Also, check that you use the VST3 version. IME, it's more stable than the VST2 version.

    As for volume control: You can automate the volume (any any other CC) from the Cubase MIDI track. I wonder whether the MIDI Track volume fader directly corresponds to the VC volume.

    Bass Player and Synthesist.
    Virus TI2 Darkstar | Virus TI2 Desktop | Sub 37 | Voyager RME | Machinedrum | Analog Four | Digitone | MPC Live | NI Maschine+
    Mac OS 13.5.1 (Ventura) | Cubase Pro 11.0 | Ableton Live 9.6 | Logic 10.4 | MainStage 3.4 | NI Komplete Ultimate 13 | RME Fireface UFX+

  • Yes... that was the case for a long time. However instrument tracks now support multiple outs and multiple midi sources. Try it, it works. We had a debate on the Cubase forum some time back over the differences and if there was still a need to use the Rack, even for multiple part instruments. The main difference is window/track management, how they are organised on the screen.

    Cubase midi track volume fader moves the fader in VC. I'm pretty sure at one point VC moved the midi channel fader too (if it's not off) but I remember in some instances it not working as expected. I don't use it that way anymore to be sure.

  • in one tab of VC it seemed like I could select only 1 of the 3 outputs.

    In VC click patch/utility, it switches between the patch tabs and the utility tabs. Now you will see the config and remote tab. The config tab has the input output configuration. Select a 3 output option to ungrey the 3rd USB output.


    Is this in VST connections ?

    If using the Virus the old fashioned way yes. You would set up the different inputs and output in VST connections but that's not what's needed here.

    If you load the Virus as an Instrument Track, in the inspector view (left hand side of your screen) where it says Virus TI, under All MIDI Inputs, either side of the word Virus TI there is a lil box with an arrow pointing out of it. Click the 1 on the right, now you can activate the other 2 outputs. This will automatically create the corresponding track in the mixer F3. BUT... If you're wondering where the outputs are in the project window. click the lil down arrow (show automation) in the bottom left hand corner of the track for the Virus TI. This is the advantage of using a Track VST over Rack VST, the outputs neatly pack into the main track. For other parts simply add another midi track and route it to the Virus in the inspector window mentioned above.

    If you want to load the Virus as a Rack VST, press F11 or enable the Rack (right hand side of screen), click where it says 'Rack', select Virus TI, click 'Create' when asked about MIDI track. Wait a few seconds and a new graphic will pop up in the Rack, you should see those lil boxes with arrows, click the one with the arrow pointing out, if you can't see them, extend the width of the window or click the lil down arrow after the word Virus TI, here are your input/output options.

  • This info really helped, so thanks very much. My arp goes out of time every now and then (less often with a very short USB lead) but ultimately I can live with that it corrects itself now, after a start stop. I am using a 0.5M USB2.0 lead and I think this does indeed help. Have not heard any crackles since day 1 now.

    With regards to the workflow I have the 3 outputs working, hats off for that tip in the inspector ! (essential to not go crazy when mixing and tweaking) I will still have remember the 2 sounds coming down 1 USB output though (only 4 parts). Also the automation appearing away from the MIDI tracks under a sub/sub track on the main instrument track is a little confusing but as long as I can remember that. I don't think I can be a bouncing it out to audio kind of guy unless I really need more virus in my tracks. I just tweak too much as I go.

    I think today soft synths sound good, integration is obviously bang on in a DAW and easy and most importantly helps creativity flow. We have come to have high expectations in 2017 in this regard. The Virus is a unique and good sounding synth, nothing really sound like it yet. It has some synthesis types that simply do not exist in VSTi land and I suspect why it still holds ground despite the perceived inconveniences.

    My snow seems to be playing ball now so I am pleased but can also imagine how frustrating the sync and USB issues must have been as it is a bit of a faff compared with a VSTi that integrates to perfection.

    Only 1 real disappointment so far.. I found I could not automate F-Shift and F-Spread on the Formant complex oscillators. :( Is this correct ? I just enabled the track and Virus GUI "W" write button but nothing got written.

  • I've had a look and it is there. It's also available in the Matrix, you could assign it to the mod wheel. It also works through the 'R/W, randomly twiddle the knob, then click show all automation' method, way of finding it instead hunting through the menus. The problem I did notice is if you are recording automation on an extra midi track say for channel 2, you need to activate W on the main track for the Virus TI. Hope that helps.If loading as a Rack instrument the W on the Virus TI automation Track needs to be activated not the midi track itself.

  • Yes thanks someone gave me the nod towards the matrix for the F-shift. Much obliged guys.

    I am getting on with it but it is hard work compared with VSTi soft synths, there is much more to get your head round.
    My automation for the Virus is not following MIDI parts when copied/moved. I guess because the data don't move with MIDI parts on the automation sub track which is 4-5 tracks away often hidden. Rather un-intuitive and messy workflow.

    But... oh the sound, the sound !

    I have yet to decide on a workflow that I can get used to for more reliable results. I might have to turn into
    bouncing it down to audio guy.

  • I have a short cut key set up to switch on/off automation follows part, sometimes I don't want it to follow. However, this won't help with the way the Cubase handles the controller information for that part of the Virus.

    One work around would be to do the automation via the matrix and assign it to the mod wheel. Do the automation in the CC of the actual midi track (the old way). The Virus does have parameters mapped to all the CC numbers to so many wouldn't need to be linked via the Matrix.