Guide to setting up Yamaha synths in Cubase using Studio Connections - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 04-30-10, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Guide to setting up Yamaha synths in Cubase using Studio Connections

The main synth in my studio is a Yamaha S90 ES, which I've hooked into Cubase 4 via Studio Connections. The integration is great, but I had a bit of a head-scratching time making it all work since the concept/implementation doesn't seem to be explained in full in any one place; rather, the system consists of several components, each of which gives a brief overview of the concept and then helpfully tells you to "look in the other manual for further details". Now that I've got everything working together, I thought I'd post a brief guide to help anyone who thinks to search for advice on this.

This mini-guide adresses setting up a Yamaha S90 ES which is connected to your audio interface through its analogue outputs, and to a USB port for MIDI. The procedure for setting up with mLAN (Yamaha's proprietary protocol for streaming multi-channel audio and MIDI down a single Firewire cable) may be somewhat different; I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it. Things will likely also be broadly similar for the following Yamaha synths - Motif ES and MO6/MO8 (possibly MM6/8 as well - maybe someone who knows can confirm?). Motif XS implementation may be slightly different. I'm also still running Cubase 4.5.2, so I can't confirm that the system is identical under Cubase 5 - it should be pretty similar though.

Firstly, the concept; the idea behind the whole Studio Connections thing is to allow you to use a hardware synth within a computer/sequencer enviroment as if it were a soft syth, with all the editing/recall flexibility that this entails. To realise this idea, the Studio Manager program was created; this is a host that enables you to load editing enviroments for each individual synth that you have connected. Yamaha and Steinberg (makers of Cubase and Nuendo, as well as other things) have taken this idea a step further and integrated Studio Manager into the External Instruments section of Cubase, which means that your synth's parameters will be saved within your project file itself, allowing for (drumroll) Total Recall of all settings every time you load the song file.

In order to achieve this happy state of affairs, you need to do the following:

1. Download and install the latest USB MIDI driver from Yamaha here:

2. Download and install the latest version of Studio Manager here:

(You can also find more information regarding Studio Connections at this site)

3. On the same page, you will find links to the individual Editors for various synths including the S90 ES - download and install these. Here's a direct link for the S90 ES:

Note that there are two separate Editors, the Voice Editor and the Multi Editor. The Voice Editor is used for editing all the parameters of an individual Voice, whereas the Multi Editor appears to be an editor for Multis, allowing you control over the higher-level aspects of a Multi. I haven't really gone into the Multi Editor much yet, but my understanding is that it's something like a virtual mixer allowing you to combine several different Voices through the synth's outputs (in multitrack using mLAN) - if my understanding is correct, you will still need the Voice Editor to edit individual Voices within the Multi patch.

4. Follow instructions in the manual to set up all required MIDI connections within Studio Manager. I think the manual is included under the Help menu, otherwise you can download it from here: (the document is called "Using Studio Connection Recall", in the S90ES Power User Documents section).

5. Fire up Cubase, and go to the External Instruments tab in the VST Connections dialog. Add the S90ES as an instrument as per the normal procedure for adding any external synth. Then, under the MIDI Device column, click on where it says No Link. This opens up a drop-down menu, one of the available links in which is to Studio Manager. This will initially only point to an option to open Studio Manager; do this. You will then need to set up MIDI ports once again in each Editor individually.
When you have done this, click on No Link again. Now, in addition to the option of opening Studio Manager (under the Studio Manager link), you will see direct options to link to each Editor you have connected. Click on the one you wish to use.

6. Now, upon opening the VST Instruments dialog, you can select the S90ES as a VSTi. When a MIDI track is routed to the synth, there is a dedicated Device Panel button in the Inspector for the MIDI track, which will open whichever Editor you have selected, enabling you to use your synth within Cubase in the same way as a VSTi.

Have fun!
spacedout is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-30-10, 12:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Re: Guide to setting up Yamaha synths in Cubase using Studio Connections

Thanks Simon, that's helpful

I think I got half way through step 5 last time, before I had to give up to go back to what I was supposed to be doing Will try that next time I'm at that studio....
jonathanm is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 04-30-10, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 192
Re: Guide to setting up Yamaha synths in Cubase using Studio Connections

No worries

The feedback that I've had since originally writing this suggests that the last two steps are where most peeps come unstuck. It's a great system - shame it hasn't been better documented by the manufacturers...
spacedout is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 04-30-10, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 63
Re: Guide to setting up Yamaha synths in Cubase using Studio Connections

Thanks, very useful info. I have an S90 and a Motif-Rack ES, both of which can be integrated like this with Cubase. I just haven't got around to it yet
gswan is offline  


connections , cubase , guide , setting , studio , synths , yamaha

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