A cubase/hardware combination inquiry : looking for a magical mouse…

I have a workflow problem : often, I have a guitar on my knees and need to reach both the keyboard AND the mouse to use some Cubase commands : two hands needed. For any guitarist (whatever her/his skills…) things can become complicated in this kind of situation…
Typical uses cases : the use of key modifiers (Ctrl, Shift, Alt or combinations of them) to fold/unfold sections of the track inspector, tracks selection and height adjustement, events moving, shared copies, etc…

Actually, my inquiry is this one : do any of you use a ‘gamer’ mouse for this, as many of them have added buttons that are supposed to be programmable ? If one could allow me to program these buttons as Ctlr, Shift and Alt, and eventually combinations of these, allowing me to avoid the keyboard use in several contexts, I think it would be a true enhancement for me, workflow related.

So, if any of you has any experience working with such a device, this, with recent Cubase versions (under Windows 10). Budget : up to 100 €.

Thanks for any suggestions… :slightly_smiling_face:

Logitech G 600 ~80€ (if you can find it)

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Full endorsement of the G-600 here. I have three of them. And I only have two hands!


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Not as many buttons as the G-600, and not a gamer mouse, but I use the Logitech MX Master 3. It’s wireless and USB C rechargeable and lasts for a few months between charges. All of its 5 buttons can be programmed (per application) via the Options software. So I have different button setups for my most used functions in Cubase, Wavelab and any other programs. Around 95 euros on Amazon.

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I’ve been using a Kensington Expert Mouse trackball, it has four buttons. I guess trackball use is an acquired taste, but for those who like them, this is the best, imo.

I use this for a driver X-Mouse Button Control , which works quite well, and can do chording- meaning that one can assign a combination of buttons, pressed together, to send whatever command, for a total of, I think, 16 possible actions.

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Not sure if it would cover your needs but I have had great success with Metagrid.
If it can be accessed through a keyboard shortcut or macro or from something built in the PLE then it can be run with a single click on Metagrid.
The downside is that you need an iPad to run it but it doesn’t have to be a new one. I use a very old one (not good for anything else) the $30 for the Metagrid App was well worth it. Not only can it accomplish often run tasks with a single click it can also be used as a remote for when you’re the other side of the room and want to record or go to a different marker, or turn cycle off or select different tracks for recording…etc, etc.

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Ah yes, another very useful approach. On Android, there’s Touch Portal, that is roughly equivalent. It just can’t do midi yet.

I use both. If you can spare a microphone stand and a tablet holder (and the tablet of course), you can set it up near where you play, and control the whole application. (With touch portal, you have to spend some time and design the pages. I mostly use the tablet for visibility settings and DOP presets, and the mouse for zoom, play, next marker, next event etc etc…)

The G600 has 12 programmable buttons. Wheel left-right can also be reprogrammed. There is an extra mouse button on the far right, g-shift, that acts as a temporary second layer. This means that you get 24 shortcuts on the side buttons. And there are 3 banks in total, so you can have up to 72 commands crammed into the mouse, provided that you can remember them all.:laughing:

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Thank you all for chiming in.

Will look at all this more closely when I’ll get the time, as it seems that there are several and quite different options available. All is noted : thanks again. :slightly_smiling_face:

And don’t forget the mouse wheel click. That’s my “fill with room tone” macro button.

The G600 is almost a control surface in and of itself. It’s sort of the “Griswold’s station wagon” of mice. (National Lampoon’s Vacation reference). I only have the first layer of the 12 buttons programmed, plus the left/right and click wheel… and have all of them as reflexes now, but am about to venture into the g-shift zone. If I can remember. :wink:


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I finally had a little more time to look at all this. Rather confusing, as it seems, from what I have read here and there, that the software editions from different brands, which allow the setting of the added buttons are rather clumsy and badly documented. Additionaly, some seem to take a lot of CPU resources in the background, which isn’t really the best thing when using Cubase with several demanding VSTis…

Thanks to @steve and @planarchist for their suggestions, but I’d rather keep a simple mouse, with added buttons. So, I’m going to keep the G-600 or an equivalent as main idea, the former seeming a bit overkill for what I need, though.

I’m about to drop the idea, I admit… :slightly_frowning_face:

Obviously you must go the way that seems best for you and we all have different work-flow demands but I don’t recognise Metagrid from the statement above (but maybe you’re talking about something else?). Having made some poor buys in the past myself I know how hard this can be and just because it works for me doesn’t mean it will for you!
I’ve used Metagrid on three separate PC’s including one which is 8 years old until recently, never had any problem setting up or of it stealing CPU resources. I was wary before I used it the first time as the documentation isn’t brilliant but having just set it up a new PC (something I’ve not done for 4-5 years) it was really almost plug and play.
I would stress that I wouldn’t be using it if I had to add in the cost of an iPad as it’s not something I otherwise use, luckily my wife had an old one useless for just about everything else!

I like the idea of a multi-buttoned mouse but fear I wouldn’t use it often enough to get to the automatic stage. The advantage of Metagrid is I can make the “buttons” as big as I like and label them with something that makes sense to me.

FWIW I also have a Nektar controller keyboard which has various sliders, knobs and buttons and it never caught my imagination at all…sometimes these things click and sometimes they don’t!

Good luck!

Hi again, @planarchist

In the quote you did, I wasn’t writing about Metagrid : it’s a comment summing what I have seen here and there, both in several reports and after looking for related documentations of several gamer mouse models. The problem I have with Metagrid is different : first, I don’t have an iPad and second, it’s probably perfect as an alternative to MIDI controllers but I actually use already two of them with their generic remote definitions that work also well, endless knobs included for scrolling, zooming, etc. So indeed, we have different needs. Thanks for chiming in, though… :slightly_smiling_face:

As I said in my first post with use cases, what I need is a mouse that would allow me, while clicking, also to trigger either <ctrl>, <shift> or <Alt> and, if possible, the different possible combinations of the three (so, 7 buttons over the existing ones on a “basic” mouse). In Cubase, there are a lot of contexts/commands that require the use of these added keys while using the mouse - the Preferences>Editing>Tool modifiers pane shows it rather clearly. So again, I would like to be able to use these with just one hand.

Doh! I half thought this must be the case after reading your words a few times. I certainly wouldn’t be using Metagrid if I’d had to buy a iPad either…even if I had one, it’s kind of best to be able to leave it attached to the PC for when I need it so totally get where you’re coming from. I have the Steinberg CC121 for fader duties and find this and Metagrid work well together. But I can see the advantage of a mouse too if you can remember the clicks and indeed on what you’re trying to simplify…I suspect I don’t do what you want to do very often so not an issue (maybe I should, shall go and investigate now!).

Good luck!

Years ago, I “borrowed” my wife’s old iPad (version 3 or 4 I think) for the sole purpose of running Metagrid. Last year, I finally purchased a new iPad and use it exclusively for Metagrid…nothing else. I did notice some Metagrid improvements with the new one. Yes, I like it that much because it’s improved and streamlined my workflow…much more than DAW controllers that users continually complain about. Fwiw, I really dislike Mac too.

I take advantage of the 3 mix consoles and use 3 ultra-wide displays. For myself, I can’t imagine working without Metagrid.

Also, I would say calling Metagrid a “midi controller” is absolutely wrong. At least the way I perceive midi controllers.

G600 easily does this and much more. Programming the mouse is easy as pie. The mouse itself has onboard memory to which you can write your assignments, so you don’t need the application running in the background if you don’t want to. I could PM you screenshots of the whole application, assignments, and even more details if you want. Don’t hesitate for a moment if you do.

There are other gaming mice that offer similar functionality, but G600 doesn’t look like an alien spaceship on your desk. (A big deal for me, I can’t stand extreme design.) It IS a tad bigger than regular mice, but it fits my hands ok, and I don’t have big palms by any means. Oh, and it’s a corded mouse. I don’t know if that’s a dealbreaker or a dealmaker.

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Thanks for the offer ! I didn’t know that the G600 could work without a background application running. So yes, check your PMs in the days to come… :slightly_smiling_face:

Beside this, I actually prefer corded mice (too much used to them, and no battery hassles…)

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