The documentation covers the following Steinberg products: Cubase Elements, Cubase AI, and Cubase LE.
Platform-Independent Documentation
The documentation applies to the operating systems Windows and macOS.
About the Documentation
In our documentation, we use typographical and markup elements to structure information.
Key Commands
Many of the default key commands, also known as keyboard shortcuts, use modifier keys, some of which are different depending on the operating system.
Setting Up Your System
To use Cubase, you must set up your audio, and if required, your MIDI system.
Setting Up Audio
Setting Up MIDI
Connecting a Synchronizer
When using Cubase with external tape transports, you most likely must add a synchronizer to your system.
Audio Connections
To play back and record in Cubase, you must set up input and output busses in the Audio Connections window.
Audio Connections Window
The Audio Connections window allows you to set up input and output busses.
Renaming the Hardware Inputs and Outputs
Before you set up busses, you should rename the default inputs and outputs of your audio hardware. This allows transferring projects between different computers and setups.
Adding Input and Output Busses
Presets for Input and Output Busses
For input and output bus configurations, you can use different kinds of presets.
About Monitoring
The default output bus (Main Mix) is used for monitoring. You can adjust the monitoring level in the MixConsole.
Editing the Bus Configurations
After you have set up all the required busses for a project you can edit the names and change port assignments. The bus configuration is saved with the project.
Project Window
The Project window provides an overview of the project, and allows you to navigate and perform large scale editing.
Showing/Hiding Zones
You can show/hide the zones in the Project window according to your needs.
Project Zone
The project zone is the heart of the Project window and cannot be hidden.
Left Zone
The left zone of the Project window allows you to display the Inspector.
Lower Zone
The lower zone of the Project window allows you to display specific windows and editors in an integrated and fixed zone of the Project window. This is useful if you work on single screen systems and notebooks, for example.
Right Zone
The right zone of the Project window allows you to display the VSTi rack and the Media rack (not in Cubase LE).
Keyboard Focus in the Project Window
The different zones in the Project window can be controlled by using key commands. To make sure that a key command has effect on a specific zone, you must make sure that this zone has the keyboard focus.
Zooming in the Project Window
You can zoom in the Project window according to the standard zoom techniques.
Snap Function
The Snap function helps you to find exact positions when editing in the Project window. It does this by restricting horizontal movement and positioning to certain positions. Operations affected by Snap include moving, copying, drawing, sizing, splitting, range selection, etc.
Cross-Hair Cursor
The cross-hair cursor is displayed when working in the Project window and in the editors, facilitating navigation and editing, especially when arranging large projects.
Edit History Dialog
The Edit History dialog contains a list of all your edits. This allows you to undo all actions in the Project window as well as in the editors.
Project Handling
In Cubase, projects are the central documents. You must create and set up a project to work with the program.
Creating New Projects
You can create empty projects or projects that are based on a template.
When you start Cubase or create new projects using the File menu, the Hub opens. The Hub keeps you up to date with the latest information and assists you with organizing your projects. It consists of the News and Tutorials section and the Projects section.
Project Assistant
When you deactivate the Hub and create new projects, the Project Assistant dialog opens. This dialog offers the same functions as the Projects section in the Hub.
About Project Files
A project file (extension *.cpr) is the central document in Cubase. A project file contains references to media data that can be saved in the project folder.
About Template Files
Templates can be a good starting point for new projects. Templates are projects where you can save all settings that you regularly use, such as bus configurations, sample rates, record formats, basic track layouts, VSTi setups, drum map setups, etc.
Project Setup Dialog
You can perform general settings for your project in the Project Setup dialog.
Opening Project Files
You can open one or several saved project files at the same time.
Saving Project Files
You can save the active project as a project file. To keep your projects as manageable as possible, make sure that you save project files and all related files in the respective project folders.
Reverting to the Last Saved Version
You can return to the last saved version and discard all changes that have been introduced.
Choosing a Project Location
In the Hub and in the Project Assistant, you can specify where to save a project.
Creating Self-Contained Projects
If you want to share your work or transfer it to another computer, your project must be self-contained.
Tracks are the building blocks of your project. They allow you to import, add, record, and edit data (parts and events). Tracks are listed from top to bottom in the Track list and extend horizontally across the Project window. Each track is assigned to a particular channel strip in the MixConsole.
Track Inspector Settings
For each track type you can configure which Inspector sections are shown. You can also specify the order of the sections.
Track Control Settings
For each track type you can configure which track controls are shown in the track list. You can also specify the order of controls and group controls so that they are always shown adjacent to each other.
Audio Tracks
You can use audio tracks for recording and playing back audio events and audio parts. Each audio track has a corresponding audio channel in the MixConsole. An audio track can have any number of automation tracks for automating channel parameters, effect settings, etc.
Instrument Tracks
You can use instrument tracks for dedicated VST instruments. Each instrument track has a corresponding instrument channel in the MixConsole. An instrument track can have any number of automation tracks.
MIDI Tracks
You can use MIDI tracks for recording and playing back MIDI parts. Each MIDI track has a corresponding MIDI channel in the MixConsole. A MIDI track can have any number of automation tracks.
Sampler Tracks (Cubase Elements only)
You can use sampler tracks for controlling the playback of audio samples via MIDI. Each sampler track has a corresponding channel in the MixConsole. A sampler track can have any number of automation tracks.
Arranger Track
You can use the arranger track for arranging your project by marking out sections and determining in which order they are to be played back.
Chord Track
You can use the chord track for adding chord and scale events to your project. These can transform the pitches of other events.
FX Channel Tracks
You can use FX channel tracks for adding send effects. Each FX channel can contain up to eight effect processors. By routing sends from an audio channel to an FX channel, you send audio from the audio channel to the effects on the FX channel. You can place FX channel tracks in a special FX channel folder, or in the track list, outside a FX channel folder. Each FX channel has a corresponding channel in the MixConsole. An FX channel track can have any number of automation tracks.
Folder Tracks
Folder tracks function as containers for other tracks, making it easier to organize and manage the track structure. They also allow you to edit several tracks at the same time.
Group Channel Tracks
You can use group channel tracks to create a submix of several audio channels and apply the same effects to them. A group channel track contains no events as such, but displays settings and automation for the corresponding group channel.
Marker Track
You can use the marker track to add and edit markers that help you to locate certain positions quickly.
Ruler Track
You can use ruler tracks to show several rulers with different display formats for the timeline. This is completely independent from the main ruler, as well as rulers and position displays in other windows.
Video Track
You can use the video track to play back video events. Video files are displayed as events/clips on the video track, with thumbnails representing the frames in the film.
Adding Tracks
You can add tracks via the Project menu, the context menu, or by dragging files from the MediaBay. Tracks can be added with or without track presets.
Exporting MIDI Tracks as Standard MIDI File
You can export MIDI tracks as standard MIDI files. This allows you to transfer MIDI material to virtually any MIDI application on any platform.
Removing Tracks
You can remove selected or empty tracks from the track list.
Moving Tracks in the Track List
You can move tracks up or down in the track list.
Renaming Tracks
Coloring Tracks
All new tracks are automatically assigned a color according to the Auto Track Color Mode settings. However, you can change the track color manually.
Showing Track Pictures
You can add pictures to tracks to recognize your tracks easily. Track pictures are available for audio, instrument, MIDI, FX channel and group channel tracks.
Setting the Track Height
You can enlarge the track height to show the events on the track in detail, or you can decrease the height of several tracks to get a better overview of your project.
Selecting Tracks
Duplicating Tracks
You can duplicate a track with all contents and channel settings.
Disabling Tracks (Cubase Elements only)
You can disable audio, instrument, MIDI, and sampler tracks that you do not want to play back or process at the moment. Disabling a track zeroes its output volume and shuts down all disk activity and processing for the track.
Organizing Tracks in Folder Tracks
You can organize your tracks in folders by moving tracks into folder tracks. This allows you to perform editing on several tracks as one entity. Folder tracks can contain any type of track including other folder tracks.
Handling Overlapping Audio
The basic rule for audio tracks is that each track can only play back a single audio event at a time. If two or more events overlap, you will only hear one of them: the one that is actually visible.
How Events are Displayed on Folder Tracks
Closed folder tracks can display data of the contained audio, MIDI, and instrument tracks as data blocks or as events.
Modifying Event Display on Folder Tracks
You can modify the event display on folder tracks.
Track Presets
Track presets are templates that can be applied to newly created or existing tracks of the same type.
Parts and Events
Parts and events are the basic building blocks in Cubase.
In Cubase, most event types can be viewed and edited on their specific tracks in the Project window.
Parts are containers for MIDI or audio events, and for tracks.
Editing Techniques for Parts and Events
This section describes techniques for editing in the Project window. If not explicitly stated, all descriptions apply to both events and parts, even though we use the term event for convenience.
Range Editing
Editing in the Project window is not restricted to handling whole events and parts. You can also work with selection ranges, which are independent from the event/part and track boundaries.
Playback and Transport
Cubase offers multiple methods and functions to control playback and transport.
Transport Panel
The Transport panel contains the main transport functions as well as many other options related to playback and recording.
Transport Menu
The Transport menu contains several transport functions as well as many other options related to playback and recording.
The Transport contains all transport functions in an integrated and fixed zone of the Project window.
Transport Pop-Up Window
The Transport pop-up window allows you to access specific transport commands if the Transport panel and the Transport are closed.
Time Display Window
The Time Display window allows you to view the current time position in a separate window. You can adjust its size and specify the time format that you want to display.
Left and Right Locators
The left and right locators are a pair of markers that you can use to set up cycle boundaries, and to specify punch in and punch out positions. Left and right locators are available in the Project window as well as in the editors.
Setting the Project Cursor Position
You have several possibilities to set the project cursor position, that is, to locate to specific time positions in the Project window.
Auto-Scroll allows you to keep the project cursor visible in the window during playback.
Time Formats
You can set up different time formats.
Pre-Roll and Post-Roll
You can activate pre-roll and post-roll with the corresponding buttons in the Pre-roll & Post-roll section on the Transport panel or by selecting Transport > Pre-roll & Post-roll > Use Pre-roll/Use Post-roll.
Punch In and Punch Out
The punch in and the punch out points are a pair of markers that you can use for punch in and punch out recordings. The punch in position determines the record start position whereas the punch out position determines the record stop position.
Metronome Click
You can use the metronome click as a timing reference for playing along and recording. The two parameters that govern the timing of the metronome are project tempo and the time signature that you can set up in the Transport panel.
Chase is a function that makes sure your MIDI instruments sound as they should when you locate to a new position and start playback. This is accomplished by the program transmitting a number of MIDI messages to your instruments each time that you move to a new position in the project, making sure all MIDI devices are set up correctly with regard to program change, controller messages (such as MIDI Volume), etc.
On-Screen Keyboard
The On-Screen Keyboard allows you to play and record MIDI notes by using your computer keyboard or mouse. This is useful if you have no external MIDI instrument at hand and you do not want to draw in notes with the Draw tool.
In Cubase, you can record audio and MIDI.
Basic Recording Methods
The basic recording methods apply to audio and MIDI recordings.
In Cubase, monitoring means listening to the input signal while preparing to record or while recording.
Audio Recording Specifics
MIDI Recording Specifics
Remaining Record Time
The Max. Record Time display lets you see how much time you have left for recording.
Lock Record
The Lock Record function prevents you from accidentally deactivating the record mode.
Importing Audio and MIDI Files
You can add audio and MIDI files to your project by importing them.
Importing Audio Files
You can import compressed and uncompressed audio files in a variety of different formats. You can also import audio from audio CDs or extract the audio of video files.
Importing MIDI Files
Cubase can import standard MIDI files. This allows you to transfer MIDI material to and from virtually any MIDI application on any platform.
Quantizing MIDI and Audio
Quantizing means moving recorded audio or MIDI and positioning it on the nearest grid position that is musically relevant. Quantizing is designed to correct errors, but you can also use it in a creative way.
Quantize Functions
The quantize functions are available in the Edit menu and in the Snap/Quantize section of the Project window toolbar.
Quantizing MIDI Event Starts
Quantizing MIDI Event Lengths
Quantizing MIDI Event Ends
Quantizing Audio Event Starts
Quantize Panel
The Quantize Panel allows you to define how to quantize audio or MIDI to the grid or to a groove. Depending on what method you choose, different parameters are shown.
Fades and Crossfades
Fades allow you to gradually increase or decrease the volume at the start or end of audio events or audio clips, and to create smooth transitions.
Event-Based Fades
You can create event-based fade ins and fade outs. These are calculated in real time when you play back audio events. You can create different fade curves for several events, even if they refer to the same audio clip.
Creating Clip-Based Fades
You can create and edit clip-based fade ins and fade outs using Direct Offline Processing. These fades are applied to the audio clip. Events that refer to the same clip get the same fades.
Crossfades allow you to create smooth transitions for consecutive audio events on the same track. Crossfades are always event-based.
Auto Fades and Crossfades
Cubase features an Auto Fade function that can be set both globally and separately for each audio track. Auto fades allow you to create smoother transitions between events by applying fade ins and fade outs with a length between 1 and 500 ms.
Arranger Track (Cubase Elements only)
The arranger functions in Cubase allow you to work in a non-linear fashion. Using an arranger track allows you to specify how and when specific sections are played back, even in live performances. This way, you do not need to move, copy, and paste events in the Project window.
Adding Arranger Events on the Arranger Track
On the arranger track, you can add arranger events that define specific sections of the project.
Arranger Editor
The Arranger Editor allows you to set up arranger chains.
Setting up an Arranger Chain and Adding Events
In the Arranger Editor you can set up arranger chains and add events to them.
Jump Mode
If you have set up an arranger track and play it back, you have live access to the playback order. This way, you can loop your arranger events with more flexibility regarding the length of the playback.
Arranging Music to Video
When you compose music for video, you can use arranger events to fill a specific video section with music. Here comes an example on how you could do that.
Markers are used to locate certain positions quickly. There are two types of markers: position markers and cycle markers.
Position Markers
Position markers allow you to save a specific position.
Cycle Markers
By creating cycle markers you can save any number of left and right locator positions as start and end positions of a range and recall them by double-clicking on the corresponding marker.
Markers Window
In the Markers window, you can view and edit markers. The markers on the marker track are displayed in the marker list in the order in which they occur in the project.
Marker Track
A marker track is used for adding and editing markers.
Importing and Exporting Markers
Markers and marker tracks can be imported and exported.
The MixConsole provides a common environment for producing mixes in stereo. It allows you to control level, pan, solo/mute status, etc. for audio and MIDI channels. Furthermore, you can set up the input and output routing for multiple tracks or channels at the same time.
MixConsole in Lower Zone
You can show a MixConsole in the lower zone of the Project window. This is useful if you want to access the most important MixConsole functions from within a fixed zone of the Project window. The MixConsole in the lower zone of the Project window is a separate MixConsole that does not follow any visibility changes you perform in the MixConsole window.
MixConsole Window
You can open the MixConsole in a separate window.
Audio Effects
Cubase comes with a number included of effect plug-ins that you can use to process audio, group, instrument, and ReWire (not in Cubase LE) channels.
Insert Effects and Send Effects
You can apply effects to audio channels by using insert effects or send effects.
Insert Effects
Insert effects can be inserted in the signal chain of an audio channel. This way, the whole channel signal passes through the effect.
Send Effects
Send effects are outside the signal path of an audio channel. The audio data that is to be processed must be sent to the effect.
Dither Effects (Cubase Elements only)
Dither effects allow you to control the noise that is produced by quantization errors that can occur when you mix down to a lower bit depth.
Effect Control Panel
The effect control panel allows you to set up the parameters of the selected effect. The contents, design, and layout of the control panel depend on the selected effect.
Effect Presets
Effects presets store the parameter settings of an effect. The included effects come with a number of presets that you can load, adjust, and save.
System Component Information Window
The System Component Information window lists all the available audio-codec plug-ins, program plug-ins, project import-export plug-ins, and the virtual file system plug-ins.
Direct Offline Processing
Direct Offline Processing allows you to instantly add audio processes to the selected audio events, clips, or ranges, without destructing the original audio.
Direct Offline Processing Workflow
You can perform offline processing operations in the Direct Offline Processing window. The window always shows the processing of the selected audio.
Direct Offline Processing Window
The Direct Offline Processing window allows you to add, modify, or delete audio processing instantly for one or multiple events, clips, or selection ranges in one window. Furthermore, you can undo any audio processing.
Built-In Audio Processes
Cubase provides several built-in audio processes that can be used for Direct Offline Processing.
Applying Direct Offline Processing Using Key Commands
You can apply offline processing by using key commands.
Time Stretch Algorithms
In Cubase, time stretching algorithms are used for operations like for the Time Stretch offline process, or in the Sample Editor.
The Standard algorithm is optimized for CPU-efficient realtime processing.
Applying time stretching to audio material can lead to a degradation in audio quality and to audible artifacts. The result depends on the source material, the particular stretch operations applied, and the selected audio algorithm preset.
Audio Functions
Cubase offers particular functions for analyzing the audio in your project.
Detect Silence
Detect Silence allows you to search for silent sections in events.
Spectrum Analyzer
The Spectrum Analyzer analyzes the selected audio, computes the average spectrum, and displays it in a two-dimensional graph, with frequency range on the x-axis and level distribution on the y-axis.
The Statistics function analyzes the selected audio events, clips, or selection ranges.
Sample Editor
The Sample Editor provides an overview of the selected audio event. It allows you to view and edit audio by cutting and pasting, removing, or drawing audio data, and by processing audio. Editing is non-destructive so that you can undo modifications at any time.
The toolbar contains tools for selecting, editing, and playing back audio.
Info Line
The info line shows information about the audio clip, such as the audio format and the selection range.
Overview Line
The overview line displays the whole clip, and indicates which part of the clip is shown in the waveform display.
Sample Editor Inspector
The Inspector shows controls and parameters that allow you to edit the audio event that is opened in the Sample Editor.
The ruler shows the timeline and display format of the project, the project tempo grid.
Waveform Display
The waveform display shows the waveform image of the edited audio clip.
Range Editing
In the Sample Editor you can edit selection ranges. This is useful if you want to quickly edit a specific section in the audio waveform, or if you want to create a new event or clip.
Regions List
Regions are sections within an audio clip that allow you to mark important sections in the audio. You can add and edit regions for the selected audio clip in the regions zone.
Snap Point
The snap point is a marker within an audio event that can be used as a reference position.
Hitpoints mark musically relevant positions in audio files. Cubase can detect these positions and create hitpoints automatically by analyzing onsets and melodic changes of the audio.
Calculating Hitpoints
When you add an audio file to your project by recording or by importing, Cubase automatically detects hitpoints.
Locating to Hitpoints in the Project Window
You can navigate through the hitpoints of an audio event in the Project window.
You can create slices from hitpoints, where each slice ideally represents an individual sound or beat of the audio.
Creating a Groove Quantize Map
You can use hitpoints to create a groove quantize map.
Creating Markers
You can create markers at hitpoint positions. This allows you to snap to hitpoint positions.
Creating Regions
You can create regions at hitpoint positions. This allows you to isolate recorded sounds.
Creating Events
You can create events at hitpoint positions.
Creating MIDI Notes
You can export hitpoints to a MIDI part containing a MIDI note for each hitpoint. This allows you to double, replace, or enrich drum hits by triggering sounds of a VST instrument.
Tempo Matching Audio
You can tempo match audio to adapt its tempo to the project tempo, for example.
Algorithm Presets
You can select an algorithm preset that is applied for realtime playback and time stretching.
Stretching Audio Events to the Project Tempo
You can stretch audio loops to the project tempo.
Musical Mode
The Musical Mode allows you to tempo-match audio loops to the project tempo.
Audio Part Editor
The Audio Part Editor provides an overview of the selected audio parts. It allows you to view, audition and edit parts by cutting and pasting, crossfading, drawing level curves, or by processing parts. Editing is non-destructive so that you can undo modifications at any time.
The toolbar contains tools for selecting, editing, and playing back audio parts.
Info Line
The info line shows information about the audio part, such as the start, end, length, or the time stretch algorithm.
The Ruler
The ruler shows the timeline and the display format of the project.
About Lanes
Lanes can make it easier to work with several audio events in a part. Moving some of the events to another lane can make selecting and editing much easier.
All operations can be performed in the Audio Part Editor window and in the lower zone editor.
Controlling Sample Playback with Sampler Tracks (Cubase Elements only)
The sampler track features allow you to chromatically play back any audio from your audio sample library via MIDI. You can create and edit new sounds based on specific samples, and integrate them into an existing project.
Loading Audio Samples into Sampler Control
You can load audio samples into Sampler Control by dragging.
Loading MIDI Parts into Sampler Control
You can load MIDI parts from instrument tracks or MIDI tracks, into Sampler Control by dragging.
Creating Sampler Tracks
Sampler Control
If the sampler track is selected, Sampler Control is available in the lower zone of the Project window. Sampler Control allows you to view, edit, and play back samples or specific sections of the samples.
Sample Editing and Playback Functions
All sample editing in Sampler Control is non destructive.
Transferring Samples from Sampler Control to VST Instruments
You can transfer audio samples with all settings that you have made in Sampler Control to specific Steinberg VST instruments.
Every time that you record on an audio track, a file is created on your hard disk. A reference to this file, a clip, is added to the Pool.
Pool Window
The Pool window allows you to manage the media files of the active project.
Working with the Pool
The MediaBay allows you to manage all your media files and presets from multiple sources.
Media Rack in Right Zone (not in Cubase LE)
The Media rack in the right zone of the Project window allows you to access the MediaBay functions from within a fixed zone of the Project window.
MediaBay Window
Working with MediaBay-Related Windows
The MediaBay concept can be found throughout the program, for example, when you add new tracks or when you choose presets for VST instruments or effects. The workflow in all MediaBay-related windows is the same as in the MediaBay.
Working with Volume Databases
Cubase saves all media file information that is used in the MediaBay, such as paths and attributes, in a local database file on your computer. However, in some cases, it might be necessary to browse and manage this kind of metadata on an external volume.
MediaBay Settings
MediaBay Key Commands
You can display the available MediaBay key commands from within the MediaBay window. This is useful if you want to get a quick overview over the assigned and the available MediaBay key commands.
In essence, automation means recording the values for a particular MixConsole or effect parameter. When you create your final mix, Cubase can adjust this particular parameter control.
Recording your Actions
If the settings in your current project are crucial, you may not want to experiment with automation until you know more about how it all fits together. If so, you can create a new project for the following example. The project does not have to contain any audio events, just a few audio tracks.
Automation Curves
Within a Cubase project, the changes in a parameter value over time are reflected as curves on automation tracks.
Static Value Line
When you open an automation track for the first time, it does not contain any automation events. This is reflected in the event display as a dotted horizontal line, the static value line. This line represents the current parameter setting.
Write/Read Automation
You can automation-enable tracks and MixConsole channels by activating their automation write W and read R buttons.
MIDI Part Data vs. Track Automation
You can enter or record MIDI controller data as automation data on an automation track or as part data in the MIDI part.
Writing Automation Data
You can create automation curves manually or automatically.
Editing Automation Events
Automation events can be edited much like other events.
Automation Tracks
Most of the tracks in your project have automation tracks, one for each automated parameter.
VST Instruments
VST instruments are software synthesizers or other sound sources that are contained within Cubase. They are played internally via MIDI. You can add effects or EQ to VST instruments.
Adding VST Instruments (not in Cubase LE)
Creating Instrument Tracks
You can create instrument tracks that hold dedicated VST instruments.
VST Instruments in the Right Zone (not in Cubase LE)
The VST Instruments in the right zone of the Project window allow you to add VST instruments for MIDI and instrument tracks.
VST Instruments Window (not in Cubase LE)
The VST Instruments window allows you to add VST instruments for MIDI and instrument tracks.
VST Instruments Toolbar (not in Cubase LE)
The VST instruments toolbar contains controls that allow you to add and set up VST instruments and VST quick controls.
VST Instrument Controls (not in Cubase LE)
The VST instrument controls allow you to make settings for a loaded VST instrument.
Presets for Instruments
You can load and save presets for instruments. These contain all the settings that are required for the sound that you want.
Playing Back VST Instruments
After you have added a VST instrument and selected a sound, you can play back the VST instrument using the instrument or MIDI track in your project.
The term latency stands for the time it takes for the instrument to produce a sound when you press a key on your MIDI controller. It can be an issue when using VST instruments in realtime. Latency depends on your audio hardware and its ASIO driver.
Import and Export Options
VST Quick Controls (not in Cubase LE)
VST Quick Controls allow you to remote-control a VST instrument from within the VST Instruments window.
Installing VST Plug-Ins
Cubase supports the VST 2 and VST 3 plug-in standards. You can install effects and instruments that comply with these formats.
VST Plug-In Manager
The VST Plug-in Manager provides lists of the effects and VST instruments that are installed on your computer. These lists are used in the selectors for VST instruments and effects.
Compiling a New Effects Collection
You can create a new collection of effects or VST instruments for use in the plug-in selectors.
Remote Controlling Cubase
You can control Cubase via MIDI with a connected MIDI device.
Connecting Remote Devices
You can connect your remote device via USB or via MIDI.
Removing the Remote Input from All MIDI Inputs
To avoid that you accidentally record data from the remote unit when you record MIDI, you must remove the remote input from ‘All MIDI Inputs’.
Setting Up Remote Devices
Remote Devices and Automation
You can write automation using remote devices.
Assigning Commands to Remote Devices
You can assign any Cubase command to which a key command can be assigned to remote devices.
Generic Remote
You can use a generic MIDI controller to remote control almost any function in Cubase. After setting up the Generic Remote device, you can control the specified parameters from the MIDI remote device.
The Remote Control Editor (Cubase Elements only)
The Remote Control Editor allows you to define your own mapping of VST plug-in parameters to the controls of the supported hardware controllers. This is useful if you think that the automatic mapping of plug-in parameters to remote control devices is not too intuitive.
Apple Remote (macOS only)
Many Apple computers come with an Apple Remote, a small hand-held device that allows you to remotely control specific features in Cubase.
VST Quick Controls (not in Cubase LE)
MIDI Realtime Parameters
MIDI realtime means that you can change or transform MIDI events on MIDI or instrument tracks before they are sent to the MIDI outputs. This allows you to change the way MIDI data is played back.
MIDI Track Parameters
The MIDI track parameters are located in the topmost Inspector section for MIDI and instrument tracks.
MIDI Modifiers
MIDI modifiers allow you to modify MIDI events during playback.
Transpose and Velocity on the Info Line
You can edit the transposition and the velocity for selected MIDI parts on the info line. This only affects the notes on playback.
MIDI devices – general settings and patch handling
On the following pages, we will describe how to install and set up preset MIDI devices, and how to select patches by name from within Cubase.
MIDI Functions
MIDI functions allow you to permanently edit MIDI events or MIDI parts in the Project window or from within a MIDI editor.
Transpose Setup
The Transpose Setup dialog contains settings for transposing the selected events.
Merging MIDI Events into a New Part
You can merge all MIDI events into a new part, apply MIDI modifiers and generate a new part.
Dissolve Part
You can separate MIDI events in a part according to channels or pitches and dissolve the part to different tracks or lanes.
Repeating MIDI Events of Independent Track Loops
You can repeat the MIDI events inside an independent track loop to fill up a MIDI part. This is useful, if you want to convert the events of an independent track loop to actual MIDI events.
Extending MIDI Notes
You can extend MIDI notes so that they reach the next notes.
Fixing MIDI Note Lengths
You can set the length of selected MIDI notes to the Length Quantize value.
Fixing MIDI Note Velocities
You can set the velocity of selected MIDI notes to the Insert Velocity value.
Rendering Sustain Pedal Data to Note Lengths
You can render sustain pedal data to into note lengths. This is useful, if you recorded MIDI data with a MIDI keyboard and a sustain pedal, and you want to extend the actual MIDI notes for as long as you held the pedal, in order to edit the notes later.
Deleting Overlaps
You can delete overlaps of notes that have the same or different pitches. This is useful, if your MIDI instruments cannot handle overlapping events.
Editing Velocity
You can manipulate the velocity of notes.
Deleting Double Notes
You can delete double notes of the same pitch on the exact same position from selected MIDI parts. Double notes can occur when recording in cycle mode, after quantizing, for example.
Deleting Controller Data
You can delete controller data from selected MIDI parts.
Deleting Continuous Controller Data
You can delete continuous controller data from selected MIDI parts.
Restricting Polyphonic Voices
You can restrict polyphonic voices in selected MIDI notes or parts. This is useful when you have an instrument with limited polyphony and want to make sure all notes are played.
Thinning Out Controller Data
You can thin out controller data in selected MIDI parts. Use this to ease the load on your external MIDI devices if you have recorded very dense controller curves, etc.
Extracting MIDI Automation
You can convert continuous controllers of your recorded MIDI parts into MIDI track automation data, so that you can edit them in the Project window.
Reversing the Playback Order of MIDI Events
You can invert the order of the selected events or of all events in a selected parts rhythmically. This causes the MIDI to play backwards. However, this is different from reversing an audio recording. The individual MIDI notes still play as usual, but the playback order changes.
Inverting the Order of Selected MIDI Events
This function inverts the order of the selected events (or of all events in the selected parts) graphically. Technically, this function turns a Note On message into a Note Off message and vice versa which can lead to rhythmic inaccurancies if the Note Off position of a note has not been quantized.
MIDI Editors
There are several ways to edit MIDI in Cubase. You can use the tools and functions in the Project window for large-scale editing or the functions on the MIDI menu to process MIDI parts in various ways. To manually edit your MIDI data on a graphical interface, you can use the MIDI editors.
Common MIDI Editor Functions
You can use the tools and functions within the MIDI editors to process MIDI parts in various ways.
Key Editor
The Key Editor is the default MIDI editor. It displays notes graphically in a piano roll-style grid. The Key Editor allows for detailed editing of notes and non-note events, such as MIDI controllers.
Key Editor Operations
This section describes the principal editing operations within the Key Editor.
Score Editor
The Score Editor shows MIDI notes as a musical score.
Score Editor Operations
This section describes the principal editing operations within the Score Editor.
Drum Editor
The Drum Editor is the editor to use when you are editing drum or percussion parts.
Drum Editor Operations
This section describes the general editing operations within the Drum Editor.
Drum Maps
A drum kit in a MIDI instrument is most often a set of different drum sounds with each sound placed on a separate key. For example, the different sounds are assigned to different MIDI note numbers. One key plays a bass drum sound, another a snare, and so on.
Chord Functions
The chord functions provide you with many possibilities for working with chords.
Chord Track
The chord track allows you to add chord events and scale events.
Chord Events
Chord events are representations of chords that control or transpose playback on MIDI and instrument tracks.
Scale Events
Scale events inform you which chord events fit in a specific sequence of notes that belong to a specific root note.
Voicings determine how chord events are set up. They define the vertical spacing and order of the pitches in a chord, but also the instrumentation and genre of a musical piece.
Converting Chord Events to MIDI
You can convert chord events to MIDI for further editing or for printing a lead sheet in the Score Editor.
Controlling MIDI Playback Using the Chord Track
You can use the chord track to control MIDI playback.
Assigning Voices to Notes
You can transpose MIDI notes to match the voices of a selected voicing library.
Extracting Chord Events from MIDI
You can extract chords from MIDI notes, parts, or tracks. This is useful if you have a MIDI file and want to show its harmonic structure, and use this file as starting point for further experimenting.
Recording Chord Events with a MIDI Keyboard
You can use a MIDI keyboard to record chord events on the chord track.
Chord Pads
Chord pads allow you to play with chords, and to change their voicings and tensions. In terms of harmonies and rhythms, they allow for a more playful and spontaneous approach to composition than the chord track functions.
Chord Pads
The chord pads in the lower zone of the Project window hold all functions that you need to work with chord pads.
Functions Menu
Before you can start working with the chord pads, you must add a MIDI or an instrument track with an instrument loaded, and open the chord pads.
Chord Assistant
The Chord Assistant allows you to use a chord as a starting point for suggestions for the next chord. It assists you in finding the right chords for creating a chord progression for your song.
Assigning Chords to Chord Pads
Some chords are preassigned to the chord pads. But you can also assign your own chords.
Moving and Copying Chord Pads
You can swap the chord assignments between 2 pads or copy a specific chord and its settings from one pad to another.
Playing Back and Recording Chords
Chord Pad Settings – Remote Control
On the Remote Control tab in the chord pad Settings, you can change the remote key assignments.
Chord Pad Settings – Players
On the Players tab in the chord pad Settings, you can change the voicing that is used for the chord pads. You can select different players with specific voicing settings that are typical for that kind of player. By default, the Piano Player option is active. By selecting Plain Chords or Pattern, you can determine how the notes of a chord are played.
Chord Pad Settings – Pad Layout
The Pad Layout tab in the chord pad Settings allows you to change the layout that is used for the chord pads. By default, the keyboard layout is active, but you can change to a grid layout if you prefer that. After changing the pad layout you may need to adjust the remote setup.
Chord Pads Presets
Chord pads presets are templates that can be applied to newly created or to existing chord pads.
Creating Events from Chord Pads
You can use the chords assigned to the chord pads to create chord events or MIDI parts in the Project window.
Project Tempo Modes
For every project you can set a tempo mode, depending on whether your music has a fixed tempo or if it changes throughout the project.
Tempo Track Editor
The Tempo Track Editor provides an overview of the project tempo settings. It allows you to add and edit tempo events.
Setting up Tempo Changes for Projects
If the tempo track is activated, you can set up tempo changes for your project.
Setting up a Fixed Project Tempo
If your music does not contain tempo changes, and the tempo track is deactivated, you can set up a fixed tempo for your project.
Beat Calculator
The Beat Calculator is a tool for calculating the tempo of freely recorded audio or MIDI material. It also allows you to set the tempo by tapping.
Set Definition From Tempo
The Set Definition from Tempo dialog allows you to set up freely recorded audio material to follow a specific tempo.
Time Signature Events
You can set up one or more time signatures for a project.
Export Audio Mixdown
The Export Audio Mixdown function allows you to mix down and export all audio that is contained between the left and right locators of a project.
Mixing Down to Audio Files
Available Channels for Export
The Channel Selection section of the Export Audio Mixdown dialog contains a list of channels that you can export as an audio mixdown.
File Location
The File Location section allows you to specify a name and path for the mixdown file.
File Format
The File Format section allows you to select a format and make additional settings for the mixdown file.
Audio Engine Output
The Audio Engine Output section contains all the settings related to the output of the Cubase audio engine.
Import Into Project
This section offers several options for importing the resulting mixdown files back into the existing or into a new project.
Post Process
In this section, you can select a process that you want to run after mixing down your audio file.
Timecode (positional references)
The position of any device is most often described using timecode. Timecode represents time using hours, minutes, seconds, and frames to provide a location for each device. Each frame represents a visual film or video frame.
Clock sources (speed references)
The Project Synchronization Setup dialog
Cubase’s Project Synchronization Setup dialog provides a central place to configure a complex synchronized system. In addition to settings for timecode sources, project setup parameters are available along with basic transport controls for testing the system.
Synchronized operation
Once you have connected all the devices that will be synchronized, it is important to understand how Cubase operates in Sync mode.
Working with VST System Link
VST System Link is a network system for digital audio that allows you to have several computers working together in one large system. Unlike conventional networks it does not require Ethernet cards, hubs, or CAT-5 cables; instead it uses the kind of digital audio hardware and cables you probably already possess in your studio.
Activating VST System Link
Cubase supports the integration of video files in your project.
Video File Compatibility
When working on a project involving a video file, you must make sure that the video file type works on your system.
Frame Rates
Cubase supports different video and film frame rates.
Video Output Devices
Cubase supports several video output devices.
Preparations for Creating Video Projects
Before you can start working with video in Cubase, some basic preparations must be made.
Preparations for Video Playback
You can play back imported video files from within Cubase by using the transport controls.
Editing Video
Video events are created automatically when you import a video file.
ReWire is a special protocol for streaming audio between two computer applications.
Enabling ReWire Applications
To use the available ReWire applications on your computer in your project, you must enable them in the ReWire Setup dialog.
Launching and quitting
When using ReWire, the order in which you launch and quit the two programs is very important.
Activating ReWire channels
ReWire supports streaming of up to 48 separate audio channels. The exact number of available ReWire channels depends on the synthesizer application. The ReWire device panels in Cubase, allow you to activate the channels you that want to use.
Using the transport and tempo controls
How the ReWire channels are handled
When you activate ReWire channels in the ReWire device panels, they will become available as channels in the MixConsole.
Routing MIDI via ReWire
Considerations and limitations
Key Commands
Key commands are assigned to most of main menus and functions in Cubase. They are stored as global Cubase preferences that are used for all your projects.
Adding Key Commands
You can add key commands in the Key Commands dialog.
Searching for Key Commands
You can search for key commands. This is useful, if you want to know which key command is assigned to a certain function in Cubase.
Removing Key Commands
Saving Key Commands Presets
You can save key commands settings as presets.
Loading Key Command Presets
You can load key commands presets.
Importing Key Command Settings
You can import key commands settings that you saved with an earlier program version.
Resetting Key Commands
The Default Key Commands
The default key commands are arranged in categories.
Setting Up Tool Modifier Keys
You can set up tool modifier keys that allow you to get an alternate function when using a tool.
In Cubase you can organize windows and dialogs in workspaces, set up the appearance of specific elements, customize the colors, and save program settings as profiles.
Using the Setup Options
You can customize the appearance of the following elements:
Customizing the Meter Colors
You can customize the meter colors in Cubase. This helps you to keep an overview of what levels are being reached.
Customizing the User Interface Colors
You can change the color of the Cubase desktop, the track types, the Project window, and the Editor elements.
Color Selector Pane
Coloring Tracks, Parts, or Events Manually
You can apply colors to individual tracks and events/parts for an easier overview in the Project window.
Auto Track Color Mode
The Auto Track Color Mode offers you several options for automatically assigning colors to tracks that are added to the project.
Colorizing Track Controls
You can apply the track color to the track controls. By default, only the left part of the track in the track list is colorized.
Project Colors Dialog
The Project Colors dialog allows you to set up a different set of colors for the tracks, events or parts.
Where are the Settings Stored?
Optimizing Audio Performance
This section gives you some hints and tips on how to get the most out of your Cubase system, performance-wise.
The Preferences dialog provides options and settings that control the global behavior of the program.
Preferences Dialog
The Preferences dialog is divided into a navigation list and a settings page. Clicking one of the entries in the navigation list opens a settings page.
Event Display
The Event Display section contains several settings for customizing the display in the Project window.
The General page contains general settings that affect the program user interface. Set these according to your preferred work methods.
This page contains settings that affect MIDI recording and playback.
This page contains settings related to audio and MIDI recording. Select one of the available entries.
This page contains options related to playback, recording and positioning.
User Interface
This page contains options that allow you to adjust the default user interface colors.
This page contains settings for the VST audio engine.