Annual Request: Copying/Inserting Sections Should Be Intelligent And WAAAY Simpler

For reasons that escape me, there has never been a one-button affair for copying an entire section of music and then inserting it somewhere else.

Eg. Let’s say you have a typical ABC song. You want to create a new ‘A’. This should be as simple as copying a paragraph in a word processor. But it’s not. And the reason it’s not is because the Range tool is too complicated AND because it’s a dumb tool.

In a word processor, a ‘paragraph’ is a smart thing. It has space before and after. It has many overall characteristics. And when you copy the paragraph and insert it somewhere else -all- that formatting goes along for the ride. GOOD.

In Cubase, when you copy/paste a ‘Range’, it’s like using a chainsaw. None of the musical information (like key switches at the beginning or if the parts are ‘real’ or ghost parts) are copied.

And you have to do a surprising amount of fiddling to make sure you copy all the tracks vertically -and- get all the automation. AND if you have the Divide List open, it doesn’t work.

After all these decades, the fact that there isn’t an -intelligent- way to quickly move around whole -sections- of music is ridiculous. Especially now that CPRs will often have hundreds of tracks.

Just split the events at each new section. Then it’s as simple as selecting the events and do a copy/paste.

The problem is not all events start at beat 1. Some audio regions have pick up data or some midi notes start just before beat one like a strummed piano chord etc which got cut and you have to resize again on the copied section. Arrangement track markers should include pickups and tails.

Well then you obviously have to either split the events before the first note happens or, if using the range selection tool, expand the selected range to include the first note. How else would Cubase know that you wanna include these notes? That’s just how copy/paste works, it copies whatever you have selected.
Besides that, most vsti i have came across all have a small build in detection delay/latency so that you can put your key switches at beat 1 instead of prior to beat 1, and will still detect and play it correctly.

This can already be done and a number of ways, with additional customization via macro/ple.

It’s not clear what this FR is about, it’s mostly a complaint or? If something isn’t copying properly, then make a list of those things, be specific, instead of just complaining “all these years”.

Are you not using ‘Global Copy’? this works by copying everything in the range of the locators.


so select events you want to copy, use ‘Locators to Selected Events’, then ‘Global Copy’ and paste it where you want.


The other way is to use the modifier on the selection tool that selects everything vertical

Same here, doesn’t really understand this FR.
Seems like OP is asking that when you select an event or a range to copy, that Cubase will somehow magically know to include some notes/content outside the selection that needs to be copied as well :unamused:
To stay in the analogy with a word processor, it would be the same as selecting a word you wanna copy and then expect the word processor to magically know that it should also copy the word before the word you have selected :open_mouth:

I dunno about you, but I have a keycommand to select everything inbetween the locators…
So it’s one key command…
Then Copy
Then Paste where I want…
Can’t get much easier.

Any regions that spill over to the outside of the locators (before or after) will also be copied unlike using the region tool which is a hard cut from where you select.

Exactly. This is part of what I mean by ‘intelligence’. When you copy a paragraph or section in a word processing or desktop publishing it ‘knows’ about things like ‘widows’ and ‘orphans’ and how headings should be formatted (sorry for the references to publishing but it’s a great analog to how things -should- work.) So when you copy/paste all that stuff goes -with- the paste… but -without- affecting the surrounding content.

(I’ll use a classical music reference—the little turns that are so common in Baroque music are notated with beat one, but they actually occur -before- the beat. In this case, the player -knows- that the turn goes with the phrase.)

In Cubase, the Range is stupid. It doesn’t necessarily capture the ‘pickup’ information and when you paste the content, it may not maintain all the surrounding information (automation).

Yes, you can learn how to work around this. But that requires a lot of practice, expertise.

MANY of my requests are about ease of use and simplicity. IMO, Cubase has, like WL, grown into this swiss army knife of functionality. But the ease of use and consistency has been largely ignored. Over at WL, Philippe has worked his arse off to re-work the UI to make the program easier to use… and to simplify many processes. I wish Cubase would undertake something similar rather than to keep pouring new features into the same UI. Ease of use, simplicity and shortening the learning curve matter a LOT to me.


IMO, this is such a fundamental part of music making that it should have been built into the product years ago as a ‘one-button’ feature.

It really doesn’t.

A one button feature to do what?

You are describing magic without being more specific. Create a walk through graphic with pictures, or a point form order of steps that would accomplish point A to point B.


Range tool probably isn’t the correct tool for this, but you could use ‘Snap to Events’. There is also a macro to turn your Object Selected Events, into a Range Selection.


but why not use Global Copy and Paste Relative to Cursor?

And Cubase does the exact same. It copies a note or a section, that you selected without affecting the other content and also includes data tied to the selected note or section the same way your word processor includes formatting data tied to the word or sentence you have selected.
Again, you copy what is selected, nothing more and nothing less.
Thats how copy/paste works in every single program. And no program can magically know how, what and when to include stuff you haven’t selected and it shouldnt work in any other way.

At the risk of creating even more trolling, the whole Locator thing is about 10 years out of date. The Locators are to real music what a paper cutter is to a score. This paradigm is fine for four on the floor rawk or EDM, but -terrible- for orchestral music (well, past about 1800 anyhoo,)

What y’all simply refuse to acknowledge are the words ‘intelligent’ and ‘simpler’. I can imagine a UI a bit like RX where one simply lassos areas of music and the software ‘sees’ the objects–a verse or even a phrase and then you’d simply issue a ‘repeat this thing’ command and everything would -intelligently- move with it.

Moving around -ideas- should NOT, NOT, NOT be about ‘Locators’ and ‘Ranges’… which again are -scissors-. A truly -musician-friendly software would not have crap like ‘Ranges’ because music is not a horizontal ‘range’. It’s a whole set of phrases, motives, verses, choruses, etc. that often don’t fall along a neat vertical divide.

I can also imagine this working -vertically- where one copy copy a section from a trumpet down to a bassoon and Cubase would -ask- you: “I see you just doubled the trumpet. Do you want to move the notes down 2 octaves to a more appropriate range or keep them as written?”

That’s the thinking Cubase should be heading towards: object oriented. Not Locator based.

In fact, the single most important request I’ve ever made is a “Lock Locators” command. I -hate- Locators. And I know that the reason that request hasn’t be done is because the whole mindset of Cubase is ‘Locators’.


For some pretty basic stuff, Cubase is too hard. It was always about ‘power users’. There was always a machismo associated with ‘experts’… just like analog studio guys would scoff at people who hadn’t suffered to learn how to work on ‘real’ hardware. Updating Cubase doesn’t mean dumbing it down… it just means making it work like a for realz orchestrator does with pen and paper and not based on 'locators.

I’m pretty sure that other developers (including Daniel and Philippe) get what I’m on about. And I only hope that we get there before I’m too old to take advantage of it.

+1000
All DAWs are still too dumb :laughing:

This sounds a bit crazy to me, and unnecessarily complicated… Like this is totally an idea I would think of… after 3 days of sleep deprivation and smoking a hash weed mixed joint to re-energize the candyflip I did hours earlier… In another universe where aliens are doing telepathic bio-code that isn’t ‘artificial’ intelligence, but 4d-Intelligence. This can also be described as autism.

In all serious though, this does sound unnecessarily complicated… Like the program would have to be able to discern every single users personal needs and be able to discern between a users sloppy actions, and their exact actions, and their intentionally sloppy actions.

I don’t really get how locators aren’t useful across every genre? Music aren’t ranges but phrases? are the phrases not ranges? Are you talking about phrases that cascade?

I can also imagine this working -vertically- where one copy copy a section from a trumpet down to a bassoon and Cubase would -ask- you: “I see you just doubled the trumpet. Do you want to move the notes down 2 octaves to a more appropriate range or keep them as written?”

I can already do this, but I wouldn’t want Cubase to ask me a question, that would be annoying. I already know what I want to do, and or, am doing the action as an experiment to leave my options open as to what I’m going to do later on. I don’t need the program to interfere here, that is more of a burden than not.

That’s the thinking Cubase should be heading towards: object oriented. Not Locator based.

In fact, the single most important request I’ve ever made is a “Lock Locators” command. I -hate- Locators. And I know that the reason that request hasn’t be done is because the whole mindset of Cubase is ‘Locators’.

Cubase is both object and locator oriented… I would say evenly. But there’s important reasons for working with locators, that translates across all genres including any era of classical. It’s just another editing tool of many. I don’t really get the disdain. Why do you hate locators? The locators aren’t a confinement - I’m not sure how you are using them?

it just means making it work like a for realz orchestrator does with pen and paper and not based on 'locators.

I see this as sort of contradictory to what you want… Isn’t a sheet of paper sort of a ‘range’ and ‘locator’.

Is it that you want to be able to work with chunks of audio in a sheet music format, where the audio is time stretched to work within the material on the sheet?

I don’t get it, sounds totally confusing.

Really??? What Suntower is saying makes an awful lot of sense to composers, but should also be obvious to any engineer/editor worth their salt. This drives me nuts on a daily basis as well and wastes tons of my time.

This wouldn’t require AI or anything of a telepathic nature - just the ability to include the beginning and end of parts that fall just outside the range of the locators!

It’s the sort of function that could possibly be done using macros, but would be so helpful that it really should be an included variation of the copy paste functions available when using the locators.

Yes really. it’s confusing, because not everyone wants those parts outside the locators / you can adjust the start/end trim of those events after the fact.

Secondly, just select those parts and just set the locators to those parts by pressing ‘P’.

It’s confusing because there’s an expectation that the program is going to know on a per-user basis and per-instance basis what the user is wanting.

it doesn’t make sense.

or just set the snap point of the events that overlap the bar starting point. it’s not hard.

It would be a choice!!! Statistically, trimming the start / end points can be 49.99% - do you get that? Do you understand how tedious this can be? Do you get that music doesn’t always start on the downbeat, or that sometimes the drummer rushes and plays a bit early, or that a chord is played spread…
Come on - this is basic music understanding.

Doesn’t help in the slightest - you’re really not getting this.

It can make perfect sense when you ask it to take into consideration part boundaries - it’s then a very simple concept. If all this version of the function did was to take into account the start and end of parts up to one bar either side of the locators, it would be an extremely simple, useful and time saving improvement.

You must have a lot of time on your hands and love of the tedious and repetitive. I don’t. And it still doesn’t really help!

What is the choice? I don’t get it? You already have multiple choices to deal with this - ‘Paste Relative to Cursor’ and ‘Set Snap Point’, or snap mode ‘Snap to Events’, ‘Global Copy’, etc, etc.

None of this is more repetitive or tedious than other typical editing work, in fact, it’s very easy and thoughtless.

I’m not getting this, because neither of you are doing a good job of/explaining it, or making a picture.

I guarantee you musical understanding is probably more vast than the people in this thread combined, I’m classically trained from 6 on Cello and play everything from guitar, to drum kit, to piano, sing, percussion. I record both in free time, and to grid… Classical, Jazz, pop, rock, reggae, and everything in between. I don’t see what this has to do with what we’re talking about?

The hater(s) suffer from the blind spot of all power users: they are so used to the current paradigm they don’t understand two things:

  1. How hard it really is to use.

  2. How it actually -constrains- one’s thinking. If one is -truly- honest, programs like Cubase lead one to compose in a certain fashion–just as MIDI does. Really creative people ‘got’ that almost immediately and started using sequencers to their strength: to make -mechanical- and -repetitive- content. And that’s at least partly why music today is so fucking mechanical and repetitive. The machine guides one in that direction.

The people who really get this are the notation software companies. They are (finally) starting to understand that, while you definitely -can- do most engraving in Sibelius it is so painful that it leads one towards poor practice.

Cubase is like Sibelius—you can do almost anything with it, but it takes ages to get there. It’s very inefficient. But if you’ve spent 10,000 hours working in it you don’t realise how slow it really is to do truly expressive (non-repetitive) writing.

The best softwares I’ve seen in a while are StaffPad and RX. They are object-oriented and that’s the direction ‘sequencers’ need to go.

I am not trying to be patronising… but if you’ve spent yer life with Locators, it can be tough to recognise their weaknesses.