Beginner’s guide to preferences and MIDI in Steinberg Cubase
One of the greatest aspects of Steinberg Cubase is the ability to fine-tune the preferences to suit your exact needs.
For beginners to the Steinberg Cubase platform, a lot of the preferences and setup options can be daunting, the fear of potentially messing something up by not knowing what each of the options is doing.
There are a ton of preferences that can speed up workflow, we’re going to go through some of my favourites today.
In a previous update, Cubase changed the way it handles right-clicking, it no longer pops up the drop-down menu and gives you a quick-toolbar instead.
You can right-click to get the drop-down menu, however, I find it a bit quicker to use the older method. You can change the setting in Preferences – Editing – Tools – “Pop-up Toolbox on Right-Click”.
Another incredibly handy preference that will save a lot of time in editing sessions can be found under Preferences – Transport – “Return to Start Position on Stop”. This puts your project’s locator back to the start position when you stop the play-head. This is particularly handy for fine-tuning elements, by speeding up the time when you repeatedly audition the sound.
Cubase’s MIDI capabilities…
Steinberg Cubase’s MIDI editing capabilities are vast, however, there are some key aspects that I think can speed up any Cubase user’s workflow.
For creating drum patterns and other complex sequences for a single VST instrument, using the MIDI track lanes can be particularly handy. It allows you to break apart a single MIDI track into several lanes, allowing you to program individual keys or parts separately – great for applying swing or various other parameters only to certain elements. I generally program my percussive channels this way, then use Cubase’s “Merge MIDI in Loop” function to print all the lanes to a single clip.
Cubase’s MIDI inserts is another relatively unsung hero in the DAW, there are several plugins you can load here like sequencers, modulation generators – however my most used MIDI insert is the MIDI modifiers plugin.
It allows you to quickly transpose the channel, snap it to a scale and even generate random modulation to assign to MIDI messages and send to the plugin.
This week’s tutorial is broken up into two videos, each one features some more tips and tricks – so be sure to check those out here: