The documentation covers the following Steinberg products: Cubase Pro.
Platform-Independent Documentation
The documentation applies to the operating systems Windows and macOS.
PDF Documents and Online 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.
About this chapter
Opening the Score Editor
The project cursor
Playing back and recording
You can play back and record MIDI in the Score Editor using the standard transport commands, just like in the other MIDI editors.
Page Mode
When you are preparing a score for printout, you should set the Score Editor to Page Mode. This is done by selecting Page Mode from the Scores menu. If Page Mode is activated, a checkmark appears next to this menu option.
Changing the zoom factor
There are two ways to change the zoom in Page Mode: by setting a zoom factor on the zoom pop-up menu or by using the Zoom tool.
The active staff
Only one staff at a time can be active, and it is indicated by a rectangle to the left of the clef symbol.
Making page setup settings
Before preparing the score for printout, you have to make some page settings for your project. This does not have to be the first thing you do, but it is a good working habit, because it also affects the on-screen display of the score.
Designing your work space
You can design your work space according to your needs by showing/hiding different areas using the Window Layout function and by showing/hiding different options of these areas using the Setup options dialogs. Which areas and options to show or hide depends on what kind of project you are working on, how large your monitor is, and so on.
About the Score Editor context menus
Many functions and settings of the Score Editor can be accessed via context menus, opened by right-clicking on certain elements of the score. For example, if you choose a note, the note context menu opens, listing note-related functions.
About dialogs in the Score Editor
Setting clef, key, and time signature
When preparing to enter notes into a score, you probably want to start out by setting the desired clef, key, and time signature for the staff. The text below assumes you are working on one track only. If you have multiple staves, you either make this setting independently for each staff or for all staves at once.
Transposing instruments
Scores for some instruments, for example a lot of brass instruments, are written transposed. Therefore, the Score Editor provides a Display Transpose function. With this function notes are transposed in the score without affecting the way they are played back. This allows you to record and play back a multi-staff arrangement, and still score each instrument according to its own transposition.
Printing from the Score Editor
When you have made all necessary changes to the score display and you are satisfied with the result, you can print your score.
Exporting pages as image files
Working order
When you prepare a score, we suggest you do things in the following order, since this minimizes the time needed if you make a mistake somewhere and need to redo a step.
Force update
About this chapter
About transcription
Getting the parts ready
Preparing parts for score printout
Staff settings
The first thing to do after opening the Score Editor is to make initial staff settings. This is done in the Score Settings dialog, on the Staff page.
Situations which require additional techniques
The notes may not always appear in the score as you expect them to, initially. This is because there are a number of situations which require special techniques and settings.
Inserting Display Quantize changes
Some situations may require different staff settings on different sections of the track. The staff settings are valid for the entire track, but you can insert changes wherever you like:
The Explode function
This function allows you to “split” the notes on a staff into separate tracks. It is also possible to use this function to convert a polyphonic staff into polyphonic voices.
Using "Scores Notes To MIDI"
For very complicated scores, there may be situations where you have tweaked the parameters for Display Quantize and Interpretation as best you can, and you still cannot get the score exactly as you want it. Perhaps one setting works fine in one section of the track and another is needed for another section.
About this chapter
Score settings
Before you start entering notes, you need to make some initial staff settings.
Note values and positions
Adding and editing notes
Selecting notes
Moving notes
Duplicating notes
To duplicate notes in the score, proceed as follows:
Cut, copy, and paste
Editing pitches of individual notes
Changing the length of notes
Splitting a note in two
Working with the Display Quantize tool
There are instances when you want different staff settings for different sections of the track. The settings on the Staff page of the Score Settings dialog are valid for the entire track, but by using the Display Quantize tool you are able to insert changes and exceptions wherever you like.
Split (piano) staves
Strategies: Multiple staves
When you have parts on several tracks selected in the Project window, these are put on one staff each, when you open the Score Editor. This allows you to work on several staves in parallel.
Inserting and editing clefs, keys, or time signatures
It is possible to insert a change of clef, key, or time signature anywhere in the score.
Deleting notes
About this chapter
Background: Polyphonic voicing
Setting up the voices
To set up your score for polyphonic voicing, proceed as follows:
Strategies: How many voices do I need?
Entering notes into voices
When you add new notes, you need to decide which voice they go into:
Checking which voice a note belongs to
Moving notes between voices
Handling rests
With polyphonic voices, you often get more rest symbols than desired.
Voices and Display Quantize
When you insert Display Quantize changes, you can either apply the settings to all voices (by Alt-clicking with the tool) or to the current voice only.
Creating crossed voicings
Often, for example in vocal scoring, you have crossed voicings on one system. You can of course move notes manually into voices to get the stem direction and other note properties right, but there is a quicker way. Let’s explain how to do this by example. Without using polyphonic voicing, you have entered this:
Automatic polyphonic voicing – Merge All Staves
If you have already created some tracks which look and play back as they should, and you want to combine these into one track with polyphonic voices, there is a special function on the Scores menu for this:
Converting voices to tracks – Extract Voices
This function does the opposite of “Merge All Staves” – it extracts polyphonic voices from an existing track and creates new tracks, one for each voice.
About this chapter
Background: Note stems
Setting stem direction
Stem length
Accidentals and enharmonic shift
Changing the note head shape
Other note details
Each note has a number of settings in the Set Note Info dialog.
Coloring notes
You can assign colors to notes using the Event Colors pop-up menu on the toolbar.
Copying settings between notes
If you have made various settings in the Set Note Info dialog for a note, and want to use these settings for other notes as well, there is an easy way to do this:
Handling beaming
About tied notes
Graphic moving of notes
Cue notes
Grace notes
About this chapter
Adding and editing text symbols
Different types of text
You can add various types of text to the different layers of the score. The selected layer specifies which type of text is available.
Text functions
In addition to the text symbols that you can add to the different layers, you have other text functions at your disposal that support you while working on the score. These are described in the following sections.
About this chapter
Background: Layouts
Creating a layout
Layouts are created automatically when you open a new combination of tracks for editing.
Opening a layout
The “Open Layout” command on the Scores menu opens a dialog listing all available layouts for the Project.
Layout operations
Using layouts – an example
The following text outlines the basic steps for extracting a musical part from a full score.
Marker Track to Form
If you have created markers in the Project window which denote the start of each new “section” in your music (verse, bridge, chorus, etc.), you can automatically transfer these markers into the current layout.
Importing and exporting MusicXML files
Cubase can import and export MusicXML files, which makes it possible to transfer musical scores to and from applications that support this file format. However, there are some restrictions concerning the parameters supported by Cubase.
About this chapter
Layout settings
Staff size
Hiding/showing objects
Coloring notes
Multiple rests
Multiple consecutive rests can be automatically displayed as multi-rests.
Editing existing barlines
For each barline, you can choose whether you want a regular, single barline, a double barline, a repeat sign, etc.:
Creating upbeats
Setting the number of bars across the page
Moving barlines
Dragging staves
Adding brackets and braces
Brackets and braces are added on the Layout page of the Score Settings dialog. The settings you make are specific for the current layout, that is, you can have different brackets or braces set up for different track configurations.
Displaying the Chord Symbols from the Chord Track
You can display the chord symbols from the chord track. Chord symbols can be viewed, edited, and printed out in Page Mode.
Auto Layout
Reset Layout
This function allows you to delete invisible layout elements, which in effect restores the score to default settings.
Breaking barlines
Sometimes you may not want a barline to stretch all the way across a grand staff. If this is the case, you have the possibility to “break it”.
About this chapter
Background: Drum maps in the Score Editor
Setting up the drum map
To set up the drum map, proceed as follows:
Setting up a staff for drum scoring
Entering and editing notes
Using “Single Line Drum Staff”
If this option is activated on the Options tab of the Staff page in the Score Settings dialog, there is only one line in the system. Furthermore, notes can only appear below the line, on the line and above the line.
About this chapter
In this chapter you will learn:
Creating tablature automatically
This assumes you have a regular score on screen already. We also suggest you perform basic editing like quantizing to make the score as legible as possible as regular notes before converting into tablature.
Creating tablature manually
To set up an empty system for inputting tablature, proceed as follows:
Tablature number appearance
In the Score Settings dialog on the Project–Font Settings subpage, you can find settings for the tablature numbers. In the “Font For” pop-up menu, select “Tablatures” and then select the desired font, size, and style for the number note heads.
Tablature can be edited like any other score. You can move notes, handle beaming, stem direction, etc.
Note head shape
If you only want to enter a fret number for your notes (Tablature mode off), you can use the Set Note Info dialog on regular notes.
Rhythmic Notation
In Cubase you can display your score in rhythmic notation. This is useful if you want to focus on rhythmic information only. Rhythmic notation can also help you to create lead sheets.
About this Chapter
In this chapter you will learn:
Showing Rhythmic Notation
You can show regular notation as rhythmic notation.
Rhythm Bar Indicators
Rhythm bar indicators display markers in the score where rhythmic notation is shown instead of regular notation.
Showing Regular Notation
You can suspend rhythmic notation and show the regular notation again.
Clearing Bars
You can clear one or more bars so that notes and rests are hidden. This allows you to focus on specific parts of your score, without deleting these bars that you do not want to show.
Showing Repeat Bar Signs
You can show a repeat bar sign that replaces the regular or the rhythmic notation in one or more bars.
Notation Style
The Notation Style page in the Score Settings dialog contains options that allow you to change the appearance of the rhythmic notation.
About this chapter
Scores and the Arranger mode
Repeats (barlines) appear in all layouts, as well as Project symbols like Segnos, Codas, Da Capo, endings, etc. To have the playback in Cubase follow these directions, proceed as follows:
Working with mapped dynamics
Useful editing techniques
Frequently asked questions
In this section, you can find some answers to questions concerning adding and editing of notes as well as the handling of symbols and layouts.
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