Cubase Track Presets 3 – Cubase Limitations

8th November 2019

I’m trying to save time with Cubase Track Presets, but I’m starting to hit limitations in what they can do… I’ve already posted about gotchas from tricky virtual instruments (EG Native Instruments Reaktor), but there are limits on Cubase’s side, too. I’ll try and dip into this post and update when I discover new issues, workarounds and other approaches.

Can’t include GROUP tracks

Cubase looks like it lets you save a track preset based on a single group track… or a bunch of tracks including one or more groups… but if you then try to Add Track using Track Preset… no group tracks are added.

That slightly annoys me because sometimes I like to route the individual outputs of EG Kontakt or a drum machine plugin to a group with specific inserts. But Cubase doesn’t let you bundle group tracks together with instrument and MIDI tracks in a track preset.

Meaning that you can use a track preset to add your instrument and MIDI tracks in one move, but you’ll need to set up grouping afterwards, which involves creating a group track then routing the separate outputs of your instrument into the group.

…But Quick Link helps with routing!

Q-Link button is towards top-right

So I’m left with 8 or 9 instrument output tracks, which have inserts set up from the track preset.

I add a new group track and call it GP TR909. And I want to route all those instrument outputs to my new group track.

Here’s a painless way to do it:

  • F3 displays Cubase’s Mixer window (if it’s not open already)
  • Highlight/select all the instrument’s output tracks
  • Hit the Q-Link button at the top of the Mixer window. This “quick links” selected tracks together, meaning that anything you do to one track will be done to the others as well.
  • In the mixer’s Routing rack, choose the relevant group track (GP TR909 in this example)
  • Cubase routes all selected instrument outputs to the relevant group track.

Can’t include VCA or Folder tracks

VCA and Folder tracks don’t make it into track presets either.

Sometimes I like setting a VCA on some of the outputs of a drum machine. For instance, I might want to mix non-kick outputs of a drum machine vs the kick output, without affecting the level at which the kick hits group tracks further downstream, or messing up the relative levels of the highs vs the snares. A VCA track’s handy for doing exactly that… it’s a minor annoyance that I can’t package a VCA into a track preset… although it’s not many moves in the Mixer window to create one.

Folders… similarly… sometimes when I add a multi-output instrument, it’s fine to work in a single MIDI track. Sometimes it’s better to have individual MIDI tracks for each voice of the instrument (each drum in the drum machine). In my track preset I’d quite like to be able to store the extra MIDI tracks in a folder… but now I’m spinning down into personal screen real-estate/anxiety management foibles.