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MIDI Inserts and Sends in Cubase

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Inserts and Sends

MIDI effects are similar to MIDI modifiers in that hey modify the MIDI in real time. 

One thing to remember is that these effects are not affecting the audio output, but the MIDI information itself. This ensures a cleaner, and less processor intensive, effect that helps to achieve the desired ouput.

MIDI effects can be used to change the level of the MIDI notes or to add or delete notes. The effects can be used to create interesting effects to your song.

There's essentially two ways to add MIDI effects to a MIDI track. Either insert them on the MIDI track or send the track to its output.

When you add an effect on the Insert of the MIDI track, the MIDI data will first be sent to the effect processor and then will be send to the track’s output. 

When you add an effect on the Send of a MIDI track, the output from both the MIDI track and the effect present to the track’s output.

MIDI Inserts

The MIDI Insert section in the Inspector of the MIDI track allows you to add up to four MIDI Insert effects.

This section has the following options that help you to adjust the settings:

  • Preset Management System: Use this menu to create presets that can be later used in various projects. You have the option to create, remove or to rename the presets that you've created. You can also select a preset from the Track Preset option available
  • Bypass: This temporarily removes all the effect plugins that have been used on the track. By bypassing the effects, you'll be able to easily understand the effect that the plugins have on the track. Click on the button again to bring the plugins back online
  • Indicator: This indicator will be blue if there are active inserts on the MIDI track
  • Effects pop-up: This list contains all the effects that are available for the selected track. Choose the one required and the settings of that effect will be displayed in a nearby window. You can adjust the settings in this window and it will be reflected in the track. Some effects might not have a separate window, for example Compressor, the settings of these effects are displayed in the Inspector itself
  • Power button: This button lets you enable or disable an effect. Each plugin has its own power button so you can control them individually
  • Plugin Settings (Edit): This button displays the settings that are available for the particular effect. If the plugin has got a separate window with the configurable options, it will be displayed in a separate window, else it will be displayed right below the effect’s name. Sometimes if you want the settings in another window rather than on the Inspector, you can Alt-Click this button and it will be displayed in another window. If you feel like you need to hide the effect settings, click on this button again and it will be hidden

MIDI Sends

MIDI Sends are similar to Audio Sends. You can add up to four Sends for a MIDI track. It has the following options:

  • Bypass: This button temporarily disables the effect sends on the track. Use this button to listen to the differences between the wet and dry signal
  • Indicator: This indicates if any sends are being activated on that specific track. The indicator will light up blue if it is active and back to its default color if it is not active
  • Effect Selection Pop-up: Like the previous options that were available for the Inserts, you can choose between the various effects that are available in your system for the selected track. Once you select the required effect, the available settings will be displayed in another window. Some effects which do not display its settings in another window can be viewed in another separate window using the Alt-Click key combination
  • Power button: This button turns the effect on and off. You can use this button to individually control an effect. If you feel like you need to temporarily remove one effect and keep the rest, use this button to disable that effect
  • Pre/Post Button: If this button is enabled, the MIDI effects will be first sent to the send effects and then to the rest of the processors like MIDI modifiers and MIDI Inserts
  • Edit Button: This brings up the available settings for each effect. Click on it again to hide the settings. Some effect controls will be available directly below the effect; if you want it to be on another window, Alt-Click on this button and it will be opened in another window
  • Output Menu: This determines the output that the processed MIDI effects should be sent to
  • Output Channel: This allows you to choose the MIDI channel that the output should be routed to

Managing Plugins

Manage the installed plugins in the machine by clicking on the Plugin Information from the Devices menu. 

Click on the MIDI Plugins tab to see all the plugins that are available. If you want to deactivate any plugin, just uncheck the checkbox for the plugin and it will not appear in the plugins list in the MIDI track. 

The second column shows the number of times that the plugin is being used in the current project. The next two columns show other details of the plugin that helps you in identifying the plugin.

How to Add an Effect

To add an effect on a MIDI track, click on the Inspector of the MIDI track. Select the Inserts tab and click on an empty field and select the required effect plugin. The settings window will appear. 

Adjust the settings to your liking and play back the track to the see the changes. If you want to compare the wet and dry signal, just click on the Bypass button or the Power button to understand the difference between them.


MIDI effects are a great way to create interesting sounds and to change the overall feel of your song. Next time when you're working on a MIDI track, try these various MIDI Inserts and Sends and feel the difference in the track output.

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