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New Features
The following list informs you about the most important improvements in Cubase and provides links to the corresponding descriptions.
This is the Operation Manual for Steinberg’s Cubase. Here you will find detailed information about all the features and functions in the program.
Platform-Independent Documentation
The documentation applies to the operating systems Windows and macOS.
PDF Documents and Online Documentation
Documentation Structure
In our documentation, we divide information into three different types of topics, according to their content.
Conventions
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.
To use Cubase, you must set up your audio, and if required, your MIDI system.
Studio Setup Dialog
The Studio Setup dialog allows you to set up your connected audio, MIDI, and remote control devices.
Setting up Audio
You must set up your audio equipment before you can use it in Cubase.
Setting up MIDI
You must set up your MIDI equipment before you can use it in Cubase.
Synchronizers
When using Cubase with external tape transports, you must probably add a synchronizer to your system.
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 you to transfer projects between different computers and setups.
Adding Input and Output Busses
You must add input and output busses to establish the connection between your audio hardware and Cubase.
Presets for Input and Output Busses
For input and output bus configurations, you can use different kinds of presets.
Monitoring Bus
The default output bus (Main Mix) is used for monitoring. You can adjust the monitoring level in the MixConsole.
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.
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 Media rack.
Keyboard Focus in the Project Window
The different zones in the Project window can be controlled by key commands. For this to work, you must set the keyboard focus to the zone that you want to control by key commands.
Zooming in the Project Window
To zoom in the Project window, use 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.
Snap Grid
In the Project window, and in some of the editors, you can have events, parts, and ranges snap to the grid.
Cross-Hair Cursor
The cross-hair cursor is displayed when working in the Project window and in the editors, facilitating navigation and editing, especially for large projects.
Edit History Dialog
The Edit History dialog contains a list of all your edits. This allows you to undo any actions in the Project window as well as in the editors.
Color Handling
You can colorize events and tracks in Cubase. This contributes to an easier overview in the Project window.
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.
Hub
Hub keeps you up to date with the latest information and assists you with organizing your projects.
Project Assistant Dialog
The Project Assistant dialog assists you with organizing your projects.
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.
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
The Project Setup dialog allows you to make general settings for your project.
Opening Project Files
You can open 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 made.
Choosing a Project Location
You can specify a project location for saving projects in the Hub and in the Project Assistant.
Self-Contained Projects
To share your work or to 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 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 Dialog
The Track Inspector Settings dialog allows you to configure the visibility settings of the individual Inspector sections for each track type. You can also specify the order of the sections.
Track Controls Settings Dialog
The Track Controls Settings dialog allows you to configure which track controls are displayed 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.
Add Track Dialog
The Add Track dialog allows you to set up and add tracks.
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.
Group Channel Tracks
You can use group channel tracks to create a submix of several audio channels and to 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.
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 an FX channel folder. Each FX channel has a corresponding channel in the MixConsole. An FX channel track can have any number of automation tracks.
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 from rulers and position displays in other windows.
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.
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.
Video Tracks
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.
Marker Track
You can use the marker track to add and edit markers that help you to locate certain positions quickly.
Tracks are the building blocks of your project. In Cubase, events and parts are placed on tracks.
Adding Tracks via the Add Track Dialog
You can add tracks via the Add Track dialog.
Adding Tracks Using Track Presets
You can add tracks based on track presets. Track presets contain sound and channel settings.
Adding Tracks by Dragging Files from the MediaBay
You can add tracks by dragging files from the MediaBay.
Exporting MIDI Tracks as Standard MIDI Files
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 Selected Tracks
You can remove selected tracks from the track list.
Removing Empty Tracks
You can remove 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
You can rename tracks.
Automatically Assigning Colors to New Tracks/Channels
You can automatically assign colors to newly added tracks or channels.
Showing Track Pictures
You can add pictures to tracks to recognize your tracks. 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
You can select one or multiple tracks in the track list.
Deselecting Tracks
You can deselect tracks that are selected in the track list.
Duplicating Tracks
You can duplicate a track with all of its contents and channel settings.
Freezing Multiple Tracks
You can freeze multiple selected audio or instrument tracks.
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, only the one that is in the front is played back. You can, however, select the event/region that you want to play back.
Events Display 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 are the basic building blocks in Cubase.
Events
In Cubase, you can view and edit most event types on their specific tracks in the Project window.
Parts
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.
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.
Creating a Selection Range
Editing Selection Ranges
You can edit selection ranges, that is, adjust their size, move or duplicate them, split them, etc.
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.
Transport Bar
The Transport Bar 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, the Transport Bar, and the Transport Controls in the Project window toolbar are closed or hidden.
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 as reference positions in the Project window and in the editors.
Setting the Project Cursor
You can set the project cursor to the position where you click, or to markers or other predefined positions.
Auto-Scroll Settings Menu
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 of recordings. The punch in position determines the record start position and 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.
Chase
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.
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.
Recording MIDI With the On-Screen Keyboard
You can use the On-Screen Keyboard to record MIDI in Cubase.
On-Screen Keyboard Options
The On-Screen Keyboard offers different display modes as well as other options.
In Cubase, you can record audio and MIDI.
Basic Recording Methods
The basic recording methods apply to audio and MIDI recordings.
Monitoring
In Cubase, monitoring means listening to the input signal while preparing to record or while recording.
Audio Recording Specifics
Specific preparations and settings are required for audio recording.
MIDI Recording Specifics
Specific preparations and settings are required for MIDI recordings.
Remaining Record Time
The Max. Record Time displays the time that is left for recording.
Lock Record
The Lock Record function prevents you from accidentally deactivating record mode.
You can add audio and MIDI files to your project by importing them.
Audio File Import
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.
MIDI File Import
Cubase can import standard MIDI files. This allows you to transfer MIDI material to and from virtually any MIDI application, on any platform.
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 and Quantize sections of the Project window toolbar and the Sample Editor toolbar.
Quantizing MIDI Event Starts
You can quantize the MIDI event start positions.
Quantizing MIDI Event Lengths
You can quantize the MIDI event lengths.
Quantizing MIDI Event Ends
You can quantize the MIDI event end positions.
Quantizing Audio Event Starts
You can quantize the audio event start positions.
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 allow you to gradually increase or decrease the volume at the start or at the 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 receive the same fades.
Crossfades
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 either globally or 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.
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.
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.
Cubase comes with a number of included effect plug-ins that you can use to process audio, group, and instrument 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.
VST Effect Selector
The VST effect selector allows you to select VST effects from the active collection.
Send Effects
Send effects are outside the signal path of an audio channel. The audio data to be processed must be sent to the effect.
Effect Control Panel
The effect control panel allows you to set up the effect parameters. The contents, design, and layout of the control panel depend on the selected effect.
Effect Presets
Effect presets store the parameter settings of an effect. The included effects feature a number of presets that you can load, adjust, and save.
System Component Information Window
The System Component Information window lists all available audio-codec plug-ins, program plug-ins, project import-export plug-ins, and the virtual file system plug-ins.
Direct Offline Processing allows you to instantly add audio processes to the selected audio events, clips, or ranges, without destroying 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.
Key Commands for Direct Offline Processing
You can apply offline processing by using key commands.
In Cubase, time stretching algorithms are used for operations like the Time Stretch offline process, or in the Sample Editor.
Standard
The Standard algorithm is optimized for CPU-efficient realtime processing.
Limitations
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.
Cubase offers particular functions for analyzing the audio in your project.
Detect Silence Dialog
The Detect Silence dialog allows you to search for silent sections in events. You can split events and remove the silent parts from the project, or create regions corresponding to the non-silent sections.
Spectrum Analyzer Window
The Spectrum Analyzer window displays the audio spectrum of an event, clip, or selection range as a two-dimensional graph, with frequency range on the x-axis and level distribution on the y-axis.
Statistics Window
The Statistics function analyzes the selected audio events, clips, or selection ranges.
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, as well as by processing audio. Editing is non-destructive so that you can undo modifications at any time.
Sample Editor Toolbar
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.
Ruler
The ruler shows the timeline and the 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 can automatically detect hitpoints.
Locating to Hitpoints in the Project Window
You can navigate through the hitpoints of an audio event in the Project window.
Slices
You can create slices from hitpoints, where each slice ideally represents an individual sound or beat of the audio.
Creating a Groove Quantize Preset
You can use hitpoints to create a groove quantize preset.
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 create MIDI notes from hitpoints. This allows you to double, replace, or enrich drum hits by triggering sounds of a VST instrument.
Cubase offers several functions that allow you to match the tempo of the audio in your project.
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.
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.
Audio Part Editor Toolbar
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, the end, the length, or the time stretch algorithm.
Ruler
The ruler shows the timeline and the display format of the project.
Lanes
Lanes can make it easier to work with several audio events in a part. Moving some of the events to another lane can facilitate selecting and editing.
Operations
You can perform all operations in the Audio Part Editor window and in the lower zone editor.
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
You can manage media files on your computer as well as presets from multiple sources from within the MediaBay or the Media rack.
Media Rack in Right Zone
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 Volume Databases
Cubase saves all media file information used in the MediaBay, such as paths and attributes, in a local database file on your computer. However, in some cases, it is necessary to browse and manage this kind of metadata on an external volume.
MediaBay Settings
In essence, automation refers to recording 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 affecting parameter values over time are represented by 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 indicated by a dotted horizontal line, the static value line, in the event display. 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.
Writing Automation Data
You can create automation curves manually or automatically.
Editing Automation Events
Automation events can be edited in the same manner as other events.
Automation Tracks
Most of the tracks in your project have automation tracks, one for each automated parameter.
VST instruments are software synthesizers or other sound sources that are included with Cubase. They are played internally via MIDI. You can add effects or EQ to VST instruments.
VST Instrument Control Panel
The VST instrument control panel allows you to set up the parameters of the selected instrument. The contents, the design, and the layout of the control panel depend on the selected instrument.
Creating Instrument Tracks
You can create instrument tracks that contain dedicated VST instruments.
Presets for Instruments
You can load and save presets for instruments. Presets 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.
Latency
Latency stands for the time it takes for the instrument to produce a sound after you press a key on your MIDI controller. It can be an issue when using VST instruments in real time. Latency depends on your audio hardware and its ASIO driver.
Import and Export Options
Cubase supports the VST 2 and VST 3 plug-in standards. You can install effects and instruments that comply with these formats.
Plug-ins and Collections
The VST Plug-in Manager shows the VST effects and VST instruments that are installed on your computer.
Adding New Plug-in Collections
You can add new collections of VST effects or VST instruments.
Hiding Plug-ins
You can hide plug-ins from all collections. This is useful if you have installed plug-ins on your computer that you do not want to use in Cubase.
Reactivating Plug-ins from the Blocklist
You can reactivate 64-bit plug-ins that are on the blocklist.
Cubase allows you to set up 8 different track parameters or settings as Track Quick Controls for quick access.
Parameter Assignment
You can assign track, effect, and instrument parameters to Quick Controls.
Controlling Automatable Parameters
You can use Quick Controls to control all automatable parameters. This allows you to control parameters on other tracks using Quick Controls.
MIDI Remote allows you to integrate and use third party MIDI controllers in Cubase.
MIDI Remote Tab
The MIDI Remote tab in the lower zone of the Project window allows you to load scripts for MIDI controllers. It shows the layout of your controller and its control mappings to Cubase parameters. All operations that you perform on the connected MIDI controller are displayed on the MIDI Remote tab.
Using Supported MIDI Controllers with MIDI Remote
The layout and the functions of supported MIDI controllers, that is, controllers with a script, are shown on the MIDI Remote tab in the lower zone of the Project window.
Other MIDI Controllers and MIDI Remote
You can also use MIDI controllers that do not have a ready-to-use script. For this purpose, you must create a custom controller surface.
Add MIDI Controller Surface Dialog
The Add MIDI Controller Surface dialog allows you to add a surface that corresponds to the layout of your MIDI controller.
MIDI Controller Settings Pane
The MIDI Controller Settings pane allows you to access the most important controller settings.
MIDI Remote Mapping Assistant
The MIDI Remote Mapping Assistant allows you to map the controls of your MIDI controller to functions in Cubase.
MIDI Remote Manager Window
The MIDI Remote Manager window displays information about the connected MIDI controllers and the installed scripts.
MIDI Remote Script Console
The MIDI Remote Console displays script messages.
MIDI Remote API
The application programming interface MIDI Remote API allows you to develop a script, that is, a device driver for dedicated MIDI controllers.
You can control Cubase with a connected MIDI device via MIDI.
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 device when you record MIDI, remove the remote input from All MIDI Inputs.
Setting up Remote Devices
Remote Devices and Automation
You can write automation via remote devices.
Assigning Commands to Remote Devices
You can assign any Cubase command to which a key command can be assigned to remote devices.
Track Quick Controls
VST Quick Controls
Generic Remote Page (Legacy)
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 via the MIDI remote device.
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 in playback.
The MIDI Device Manager allows you to work with MIDI devices, that is, representations of external MIDI hardware.
Program Change Messages and Bank Select Messages
To select a patch, that is, a sound in your MIDI device you must send a program change message to that device.
Patch Banks
The Patch Banks list can have two or more main banks, depending on the selected device.
MIDI Device Manager
The MIDI Device Manager allows you to install preset MIDI devices or define new ones.
MIDI functions allow you to permanently edit MIDI events or MIDI parts in the Project window or from within a MIDI editor.
Transpose Setup Dialog
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 Dialog
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 Note Insert Velocity value.
Rendering Sustain Pedal Data to Note Lengths
You can render sustain pedal data to 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 if 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.
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 selected part 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 inaccuracies if the note-off position of a note has not been quantized.
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.
Controller Display
The area at the bottom of the Key Editor and the Drum Editor is the controller display.
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 basic Score Editor shows MIDI notes as a musical score. This offers basic score editing and printing options.
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.
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 allow you to 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
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.
Creating 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 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 Zone
The chord pads in the lower zone of the Project window hold all functions that you need to work with chord pads.
Functions Menu
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.
Chord Assignment
Some chords are preassigned to the chord pads. But you can also assign your own chords.
Swapping Chord Assignments
You can swap the chord assignments of 2 pads.
Copying Chord Assignments
You can copy the chord assignment of one pad and paste it on another pad.
Playing Back and Recording Chords
You can play back and record chords that are assigned to chord pads using MIDI or instrument tracks.
Player Setup
The Player Setup allows you to select a player and a voicing setting that is typical for that kind of player, and determine if the notes of a chord are played as plain chords or as a pattern.
Chord Pads Setup Dialog
The Chord Pads Setup dialog allows you to change the remote key assignments and the layout of the chord pads.
Chord Pads Presets
Chord Pads Presets are templates that can be applied to newly created or to existing chord pads.
Creating Chord Events from Chord Pads
You can use the chords assigned to the chord pads to create chord events in the Project window.
Creating MIDI Parts from Chord Pads
You can use the chords assigned to the chord pads to create MIDI parts in the Project window.
You can set up a tempo and time signature for your project. By default, the tempo is set to 120 bpm, and the time signature to 4/4.
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.
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 Dialog
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.
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.
Export Audio Mixdown Dialog
The Export Audio Mixdown dialog allows you to set up how audio is mixed down and exported.
Mixing Down to Audio Files
You can mix selected channels down to audio files.
File Formats
The File Type pop-up menu in the File Format section allows you to select a format and make additional settings for the mixdown file.
Synchronization is the process of getting 2 or more devices to play back together at the same speed, position, and phase. These devices can range from audio and video tape machines to digital audio workstations, MIDI sequencers, synchronization controllers, and digital video devices.
Master and Slave
Calling one device the master and another one the slave can lead to confusion. Therefore, the timecode relationship and the machine control relationship must be differentiated in this regard.
Timecode Formats
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
Project Synchronization Setup Dialog
The Project Synchronization Setup dialog provides a central place to configure a complex synchronized system. In addition to settings for timecode sources, basic transport controls are available for testing the system.
External Synchronization
VST System Link is a digital audio network system that allows you to link several computers using digital audio hardware and cables.
Cubase allows you to work with video content.
Video File Compatibility
When working on a project involving a video file, you must make sure that the video file type works on your Cubase 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.
Extracting Audio from Video
You can extract the audio stream of a video file on import.
Key commands are assigned to most main menus and functions in Cubase. They are stored as Preferences that are used for all your projects.
Key Commands Dialog
The Key Commands dialog allows you to view and edit key commands for the main menus and functions in Cubase.
Assigning Key Commands
You can add key commands in the Key Commands dialog.
Searching for Key Commands
You can search for Cubase functions in the Key Commands dialog. This is useful if you want to know which key command is assigned to a specific function.
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.
Resetting Key Commands
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 alternative function when using a tool.
In Cubase you can set up the appearance of specific elements.
Setup Options
You can customize the appearance of the following elements:
Windows Dialog
The Windows dialog allows you to manage open windows in Cubase.
Where are the Settings Stored?
Safe Mode Dialog
The Safe Mode dialog contains troubleshooting options.
To get the most out of your Cubase system, performance-wise, you can optimize specific settings.
Performance Aspects
Settings That Affect Performance
Audio Performance Window
The Audio Performance window shows the audio processing load and the hard disk transfer rate. This allows you to verify that you do not run into performance problems when adding effects or plug-ins, for example.
ASIO-Guard
The ASIO-Guard allows you to shift as much processing as possible from the ASIO real time path to the ASIO-Guard processing path. This results in a more stable system.
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.
Editing
Editors
Event Display
The Event Display section contains several settings for customizing the display in the Project window.
General
The General page contains general settings that affect the program user interface. Set these according to your preferred work methods.
MIDI
This page contains settings that affect MIDI recording and playback.
MediaBay
Metering
Record
This page contains settings related to audio and MIDI recording.
Transport
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.
VST
This page contains settings for the VST audio engine.
Video