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Setting up Osmose in Cubase

This article explains how to set up Osmose within Cubase 12. The first chapter deals with using Osmose as an MPE controller, and the second chapter shows how to integrate it as an external instrument, recording performances as MIDI messages and playing them back into Osmose's EaganMatrix.

 

Using Osmose as an MPE controller in Cubase

When controlling external instruments inside your DAW, use USB MIDI Port 1 (Play port) of Osmose exclusively, see: Connect Osmose to your computer. On your Windows PC, Port 1 will simply be called "Osmose". Take this into account for all the following instructions:

Choose MPE configuration for Osmose's External MIDI Mode

On Osmose, enter the config menu of External MIDI mode and select the "mpe" configuration.

This will make Osmose send MIDI messages according to the MPE specification on Port 1.

Enabling MPE input from Osmose in your DAW

In Cubase, from the “Studio” menu, click the “Studio Setup” option. Then, create a new Note Expression Input Device by clicking on “Add Device” > “Note Expression Input Device”.

For the newly created Note Expression Input Device, set "Osmose Port 1" as 'MIDI Input'. The rest can be left in its default setting.

Creating an instrument track with Osmose as the input device

Create a new Instrument track: “Project” menu > “Add Track” > “Instrument” and select an MPE-compatible instrument plugin. In the Track Inspector, select “Note Expression Input Device” for the track's MIDI input and the MIDI channel selection to "Any".

Further down in the Inspector, in the section 'Note Expression', activate 'Record MIDI as Note Exp.'

Configure MPE interpretation in the plugin

Be aware that for some MPE-compatible plugins, MPE functionality must also be activated from within the plugin. Check your plugin’s manual to learn about its MPE workflow. When MPE is activated in the plugin, 'Pressure' will be controlled by Osmose Initial Pressure axis and 'CC74 (MPE Timbre/Slide)' is controlled by Osmose's Aftertouch axis. For more details, see config menu.
In many MPE synths, the maximum MPE note pitch bend range (Axe X) is set to 48 semitones by default. This is useful for MPE controllers that allow gliding across multiple notes but will be too much for note bend gestures on Osmose in most cases. Adjust the ‘bending range’ fraction on Osmose (Ext Midi mode > sensitivity menu > bending tab) for a more playable range. Example: When the maximum pitch bend range in your external synth is set to 48 semitones, set the fraction in Osmose to 1/48 to end up with a +/-1 semitone range for note bend gestures.

Integrating Osmose as an external instrument in Cubase

When you plan to record performances on your Osmose as MIDI messages inside your DAW and play them back into Osmose, use USB MIDI Port 2 (Haken port) of Osmose exclusively, see: Connect Osmose to your computer. On your PC, Port 2 will be called "MIDIIN2 Osmose" (or "MIDIOUT2 Osmose"). Take this into account for all the following instructions:

Select the suiting midi i/o settings on Osmose for integration into a DAW setup

Head to Osmose's midi i/o tab. Set 'usb haken mode' to "1/3 note only" to ensure Osmose sends MPE+ messages on Port 2. Set 'haken local control' to "off" to route your playing through your DAW before triggering the instrument. Attention: With 'haken local control' set to "off", Osmose will only sound when its track in your DAW is armed.

It's the classic workflow of listening to your performance ‘as recorded on tape’ instead of monitoring the source directly. It will make sure that your performance sounds identical during recording and playback.

Enabling MPE+ input from Osmose in your DAW

In Cubase, from the “Studio” menu, click the “Studio Setup” option. Then, create a new Note Expression Input Device by clicking on “Add Device” > “Note Expression Input Device”. This has to be a Note Expression Input Device that is different from the one created in the chapter above (the one you use to control your plugins).

For the newly created Note Expression Input Device, set "Osmose Port 2" as 'MIDI Input'. You can reduce the 'Used Channels' in the MIDI Channels section to "11", because EaganMatrix MPE+ messages are only sent on channels 2 to 12 anyway.

Create Osmose as an external instrument in your DAW

Go to Studio -> Audio Connections and open the 'External Instruments' tab. Click on 'Add External Instrument', enter "Osmose" as name and click on Associate MIDI Device -> MIDI Devices -> Create Device.

Include channels 1 to 12 as 'identical channels' for the new Osmose MIDI Device. The rest of the settings doesn't need to be changed.

MIDI Device Manager will show after clicking OK. Select "Osmose Port 2" as Output for the Osmose device.

Once the 'External Instrument' and its link to the new Osmose MIDI Device is created, you can set the Device Port of its Return Bus so it matches the audio input of your audio interface that Osmose is hooked up to.

Creating an Osmose instrument track

Create a new Instrument track: “Project” menu > “Add Track” > “Instrument”. Select "Osmose" that will now show up as "External Plug-in":

In the Track Inspector, select the Note Expression Input Device we had created earlier. It must be the one that has "Osmose Port 2" chosen for its MIDI input. In the screenshot below, it's called "Note Expression Input Device 2", because we had created another a first one in chapter one of this article when using Osmose as an MPE controller. Set the MIDI channel selection to "Any". The MIDI device "Osmose" should already be selected for the output destination.

Further down in the Inspector, in the section 'Note Expression', activate 'Record MIDI as Note Exp.'

Arm the instrument track, and you are ready to record, edit, and playback Osmose performances in Cubase. Thanks to having created Osmose as an External Instrument in the Audio Connections, you will also see a metering of the audio coming from Osmose directly in the track.

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  • 26-Sep-2023
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