Cubase – How to export midi and VST instruments as audio files
Cubase from Steinberg is one of our favourite Digital Audio Workstations. It’s at the centre of many of today’s audio productions. In this tutorial we are going to learn how to save or export a midi track as an audio file.
A midi track requires another music instrument software or VST, which works as a sound module, to provide the sound. One thing to make clear is that midi tracks don’t record audio, just binary data. It’s easy to understand if you consider the idea of signal flow, as you do in audio tracks. In this particular case, midi would be the input channel.
Now we need an output channel; currently, VSTs are the sound modules of midi tracks. Examples: Kontakt, Massive, Sylenth, Omnisphere, among many, many others. All you have to do is set the desired VST as the output of your midi channel.
Why should you want to export a midi track as an audio file? Here are some reasons:
– You want to be able to open your project in any DAW, not just yours.
– You need to use audio processors in your tracks, such as reverbs, delays, compressors, expanders, gates, etc.
– You want to mix your midi tracks with audio tracks, as vocals and guitars, for example;
– You want your project to play in any playback device.
So, let’s see how to export a midi track as an audio file in Cubase:
1) Let’s assume that your midi track is recorded and ready to export;
2) First, you need to set Cubase’s left and right locators – they will indicate the beginning and the end of your midi track. The locators are those two white triangles in the time bar:
3) Solo the midi track you want to export:
4) Click on ‘File’ and then ‘Export’:
5) Notice several options in this tab. Let’s choose ‘Audio Mixdown’:
6) Another box will open. In ‘Channel Selection’, choose ‘Stereo Out’:
7) In ‘File Location’, it’s possible to set a name for your track. Do it on ‘File Name’; in ‘Path’, choose or create a directory in your computer to save the new audio file:
8) In File Format you can choose from several audio types. Let’s now choose ‘Wave File’ (but remember, there are other audio types available, such as AIFF and mp3):
9) In ‘Audio Engine Output’, you can choose the audio sample rate, the bit depth and also if you want to save the audio as mono or stereo. Let’s set for now 44.100 kHz, 16 Bit. To export a stereo audio file, just uncheck the Mono Export option:
10) Click ‘Export’:
Cubase5 will save the wave file in the designated folder. Do it to all the midi tracks you want to export. Then you can create a new Cubase6 project opening all audio files in different tracks and process each one as you prefer.