Cubase Artist 10.5.20

New Features
Cubase comes with many new features. The following list informs you about the most important improvements 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 and the Visibility tab.
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.
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.
Color Handling
You can colorize events and tracks in Cubase. This allows for an easier overview in the Project window.
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.
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 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
You can specify a project location for saving projects in the Hub and in the Project Assistant.
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 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 for each track type which Inspector sections are shown. 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 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.
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.
Sampler Tracks
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.
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 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 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.
More Tracks
Some track types can only be added once.
Track Handling
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 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
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 contents and channel settings.
Disabling Tracks
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, only the one that is in front is played back. You can, however, select the event/region that you want to play back.
Track Folding Menu
You can show, hide, or invert tracks that are displayed in the Project window event display. This allows you to divide the project into several parts by creating several folder tracks for the different project elements and showing/hiding their contents by selecting a menu function or using a key command. You can also fold in automation tracks this way.
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.
Lanes, Takes and Overlapping Events
In the following, we focus on cycle recordings with takes. However, you can also apply lane operations and comping methods on overlapping events or parts that you assemble on one track.
Defining the Track Time Base
The time base of a track determines if the events on a track are positioned to bars and beats (musical time base) or to the timeline (linear time base). Changing the playback tempo affects only the time position of events on tracks with a musical time base.
Track Versions
Track versions allow you to create and manage multiple versions of events and parts on the same track.
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.
Creating a Selection Range
Editing Selection Ranges
You can edit selection ranges, that is, adjust their size, move or duplicate them, split them, etc.
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.
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 theTransport 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 that you can set up on 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.
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.
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 display lets you see how much time you have left for recording.
Lock Record
The Lock Record function prevents you from accidentally deactivating record mode.
Importing Audio and MIDI Files
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 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 and Quantize sections of the Project window 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.
Quantizing Audio Event Lengths (AudioWarp Quantizing)
You can quantize an audio event or an audio selection range by applying time stretch to the content of the audio event.
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, Crossfades, and Envelopes
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.
Event Envelopes
Event envelopes are volume curves for audio events. They allow you to create volume changes within the event, not only at the start or end.
Arranger Track
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. The following is an example on how you could do that.
Transpose Functions
The transpose functions for audio and MIDI in Cubase allow you to change the pitches of audio and MIDI for playback without changing the actual MIDI notes or the audio.
Project Root Key
The Project Root Key allows you to transpose your project. Audio or MIDI events in your project use it as a reference.
Transpose Track
The transpose track allows you to transpose the entire project or sections of it. This function is useful if you want to create harmonic variations.
Keep Transpose in Octave Range
Keep Transpose in Octave Range on the transpose track keeps the transposition in the octave range.
Transpose on the Info Line
In the Project window info line, you can change the transpose value for individual parts or events.
Excluding Individual Parts or Events from Global Transpose
If you add global transposition, for example, by changing the root key or by creating transpose events, you can exclude specific events from being transposed. This is useful for drum and percussion loops or special effects (FX) loops.
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 or surround. 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. You can undo/redo MixConsole parameter changes for an open project at any 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 of included effect plug-ins that you can use to process audio, group, instrument, and ReWire 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 of the active collection.
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.
Side-Chain Input
Many VST 3 effects feature a side-chain input. Side-chaining allows you to use the output of one track to control the action of an effect on another track.
Dither Effects
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
Effect 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 available MIDI plug-ins, 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.
Key Commands for Direct Offline Processing
You can apply offline processing by using key commands.
Time Stretch and Pitch Shift Algorithms
In Cubase, time-stretching and pitch-shifting algorithms are used for offline processes, in the Sample Editor, or for the Flattening Realtime Processing function. Depending on the feature, élastique, MPEX, or Standard algorithm presets are available.
The élastique algorithm is suited for polyphonic and monophonic material.
MPEX is an alternative high-quality algorithm.
The Standard algorithm is optimized for CPU-efficient realtime processing.
Applying time stretching or pitch shifting 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 and pitch operations applied, and the selected audio algorithm preset.
Audio Functions
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.
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.
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.
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 option is useful if you want to quickly edit or process 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 Warp Markers
You can create warp markers at hitpoint positions. This allows you to quantize audio based on 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.
Tempo Matching Audio
Cubase offers several functions that allow you to match the tempo of 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.
Auto Adjust
The Auto Adjust function is useful if you do not know the tempo of your audio file, or if the beat is not straight. It allows you to extract a definition grid from your audio. After that, you can tempo match the file to the project tempo with the Musical Mode.
Manual Adjust
The Manual Adjust function is useful if you need to manually modify the grid and tempo of your audio file. This is the case if the extraction of a definition grid with the Auto Adjust function did not bring satisfying results, for example.
Free Warp
The Free Warp tool allows you to correct the timing of individual positions in the audio material.
Flattening Realtime Processing
You can flatten warp modifications. This is useful if you want to reduce the CPU load, optimize the sound quality of the processing, or apply any offline processing.
Flatten Realtime Processing Dialog
The Flatten Realtime Processing dialog allows you to select an algorithm.
Unstretching Audio Files
You can remove realtime time stretching from audio events.
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.
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, end, length, or the time stretch algorithm.
The ruler shows the timeline and the display format of the project.
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.
Sampler Tracks
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
MediaBay and Media Rack
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 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
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.
MIDI Controller Automation
When working with Cubase, it is possible to record automation data for MIDI controllers as MIDI part data and as data on an automation track.
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
VST Instrument Control Panel
The VST instrument control panel allows you to set up the parameters of the selected instrument. The contents, design, and layout of the control panel depend on the selected instrument.
VST Instrument Selector
The VST instrument selector allows you to select VST instruments of the active collection.
Creating Instrument Tracks
You can create instrument tracks that hold dedicated VST instruments.
VST Instruments in the Right Zone
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
The VST Instruments window allows you to add VST instruments for MIDI and instrument tracks.
VST Instruments Window Toolbar
The VST Instruments window toolbar contains controls that allow you to add and set up VST instruments and VST Quick Controls.
VST Instrument Controls
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 real time. Latency depends on your audio hardware and its ASIO driver.
Import and Export Options
VST Quick Controls
VST Quick Controls allow you to remote-control a VST instrument from within the VST Instruments window.
Side-Chain Input for VST Instruments
You can send audio into VST 3 instruments that feature a side-chain input. Side-chaining allows you to use the output of one track to control the action of an instrument on another track.
Installing and Managing 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.
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 plug-ins installed 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.
Track Quick Controls
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.
Connecting Track Quick Controls with Remote Controllers
Track Quick Controls become powerful if you use them together with a remote controller.
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 Page
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.
Remote Control Editor
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.
You can use a joystick to remote-control panning operations in Cubase. This can be useful, for example, for creating smooth automation curves.
Track Quick Controls
VST Quick Controls
MIDI Realtime Parameters and MIDI Effects
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.
MIDI Effects
MIDI effects allow you to transform the MIDI data played back from the track in real time.
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.
Using MIDI Devices
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
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, apply MIDI modifiers and effects, 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.
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.
Controller Display
The area at the bottom of the Key Editor, the Drum Editor and the In-Place 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.
List Editor
The List Editor shows all events in the selected MIDI parts as a list, allowing you to view and edit their properties numerically. It also allows you to edit SysEx messages.
List Editor Operations
This section describes the principal editing operations within the List Editor.
In-Place Editor
The In-Place Editor allows you to edit MIDI notes and controllers directly in the Project window, for quick and efficient editing in context with other tracks.
Note Expression
Note expression allows you to edit MIDI notes and their expressions as one unit.
VST Note Expressions
VST note expressions are note-specific. They are suitable for polyphonic contexts, as they allow you to edit the expression of each individual note in a chord.
MIDI Controllers
MIDI controllers are channel-specific, with the exception of poly pressure messages. They affect the entire voice, regardless of whether they are inserted for a part or a note.
Note Expression Inspector Section
The Note Expression Inspector section features most of the functions that you need to work with note expression.
Note Expression Tools
The note expression tools are available on the Key Editor toolbar.
Controller Mapping
Before you can record VST note expression events with external keyboards, you must map or assign specific MIDI controller messages, or pitchbend and aftertouch, or input movements to expressions.
You can record note expression data together with MIDI notes, or you can record note expression data for existing notes.
Note Expression Event Editor
The note expression event editor offers various modes for editing and adding note expression events.
Trimming Note Expression Data
You can trim note expression data to automatically match the note length.
Removing All Note Expression Data
You can delete all note expression data from the selected MIDI note or part.
Note Expression MIDI Setup Dialog
The Note Expression MIDI Setup dialog allows you to specify exactly which MIDI messages are used every time you record MIDI control change messages as note expression data or you convert them.
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 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, as a pattern, or as sections.
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.
The Transformer is a powerful tool for search and replace functions on MIDI data.
Window Overview
The Transformer allows you to combine filter conditions, functions, and actions to perform very powerful MIDI processing.
Filter Conditions
The upper list is where you set up the filter conditions, determining which elements to find. The list can contain one or several conditions, each on a separate line.
Selecting a Function
The pop-up menu at the bottom of the Transformer is where you select the function, that is, the basic type of editing to be performed.
Specifying Actions
You can specify actions, that is, changes that are made to the found elements, in the lower list of the Transformer. Actions are relevant for all function types except Delete.
You can load Logical Presets.
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.
Track Time Base
The time base of a track determines if a track can follow the tempo changes of a project that is set to tempo track mode.
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 Track
You can use the tempo track to create tempo changes within a project.
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.
Rendering Audio and MIDI
You can render existing material to new audio material.
Render Tracks Dialog
The Render Tracks dialog allows you to customize the track render settings.
Render Selection Dialog
You can render selections of audio events and/or MIDI parts with default settings or with customized settings. The Render Selection dialog allows you to customize the selection render settings.
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.
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
File Formats
The File Type pop-up menu in the Export 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 and machine control settings, basic transport controls are available for testing the system.
External Synchronization
VST System Link
VST System Link is a digital audio network system that allows you to link several computers using digital audio hardware and cables.
Setting up VST System Link
To be able to work with VST System Link, you must first set up the network, configure the audio hardware, and set up the digital audio connections.
Activating VST System Link
You must activate VST System Link on all network computers to be able to work with VST System Link.
Application Examples
VST System Link allows you to split different tasks between 2 or more computers. The following application examples should give you an idea of what is possible.
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.
Export Video
You can export a video file from your project. This allows you, for example, to share sections of intermediate results or finished videos with clients or other users.
Extracting Audio from Video
You can extract the audio stream of a video file on import.
AAF Files
The Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) is a multimedia file format that allows you to exchange digital media and metadata between different systems and applications across multiple platforms. Metadata include fades, automation, and processing information.
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 128 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 that you 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 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
Setting up Macros
You can set up a combination of several functions or commands to be performed in one go as a macro.
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
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 organize windows and dialogs in workspaces, and set up the appearance of specific elements.
Workspaces in Cubase allow you to organize windows and specific dialogs for your common work routines.
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.
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.
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.