Annual Request: It's still too hard to move sections around

It is still -really- hard to move sections of music around in an ad hoc fashion.

The Arranger is terrible UNLESS you are doing dance music or some other genre with easily defined groups of 8 bars or whatever.

But if you compose scores (as do I) you play freely and then want to grab bits from one area and then paste them over into another area, with everything to the right moving over to make room. And you want to be able to do this SUPER easy.

WHY? Because unlike EDM or other pop styles, when yer composing, YOU DON’T KNOW HOW LONG THE BITS WILL BE AHEAD OF TIME! So it’s impossible to easily predict where the ‘paragraphs’ or ‘sentences’ will be. You need to be able to just rip them out and cut/copy paste them as needed as PART OF THE COMPOSITIONAL PROCESS. Think of a sonata, where a theme is developed. The germ is repeated over and over, modulating, expanding, contracting. You want to be able to INTELLIGENTLY copy/mutate that idea all over the place, but Cubase is only -really- easy if yer doing rote copy/paste (as in dance music) with fixed length structures.

Now the whole ‘range’ thing is -way- too fiddly. It takes too many steps, and too much can go wrong.

Plus, the range is STUPID… it doesn’t ‘sense’ (as it should) the controller and automation info from immediately before (or after) the range one is cutting or pasting. It should INTELLIGENTLY figure out all the controller info from the area yer cutting/copying/pasting so that details like bowing or other articulations are properly copied/pasted. And PICK UP NOTES (ruffs, flams, etc.) should ALSO be carried over with the copying/pasting even though they may be technically outside the boundary.

IN SHORT, you should be able to do like the Insert Bars window…

  1. Hit a key
  2. Enter a start bar and end bar from the source
  3. Enter a destination bar.
  4. Hit OK.
  5. OPTIONAL: Select individual tracks. (But the default should be all tracks.)

…then magically, EVERYTHING gets copied/pasted along with pickup notes and automation/controller stuff. And it should be somehow intelligently ‘melded’ with the destination so that automation and controller stuff works as a human would expect.


(Well, after Lock Locators. :smiley: )

Been waiting 16 years.


You might also agree with my Zoom settings get lost in Workspaces post. That was the only thing we had for your problem. That now sucks too. Good luck


Also the only way to move sections AND keep the tempo track intact is to use the Arranger Track. Otherwise you have to copy and paste temp changes separately. Hopefully you will remember to do this! I wonder why the Tempo Track does not behave like audio and midi parts, also I am very unhappy that I can only have one tempo track in a “song.” I do complex music not simple EDM and these restrictions seem stupid to me. I propose that each part have a tempo track within it.

its possible to copy section with all info including tempo, by using the "range"function in the edit menu menu(with Key shortcuts its faster)
also with this approach but its not always working well

+1 for the OP

PLEASE try to keep on topic. One thing I learned the hard way from marriage counseling is that ‘everything becomes about everything’. I get that there are a LOT of inter-related issues with Cubase that need improvement but my request is SIMPLE:

I just wanna be able to EASILY and INTELLIGENTLY move/copy/cut/paste material—like a WORD PROCESSOR.

If you think about it, the ‘Range’ tool is more like PhotoShop than Word. When you cut/copy/paste in PhotoShop yer moving =pixels= around, which is STUPID for music. It’s like trying to cut a person out of a photo. It always is super tedious (and usually fakey looking).

What Cubase needs to be more like is Illustrator… where objects are -intelligent-. When you move stuff around in Illustrator, it ‘knows’ that various items are connected with one another and resizes/colours them appropriately.

I use following macros. Left and Right Locators specify the target section.

Global Cut

  • Edit - Global Copy
  • Edit - Delete Time

Global Copy

  • Edit - Global Copy

Global Paste

  • Edit - Paste Time

Global Duplicate

  • Edit - Global Copy
  • Transport - To Right Locator
  • Edit - Paste Time

With all due respect, this is exactly what I do NOT want to have to do anymore.

I don’t want to screw with Ranges or Locators. I want to just use the mouse, swipe the source area (or use a window to specify the bar start/end) and then drag (or use a window to specify the destination.) Easy peasy.

And above all, I don’t want to have to worry about pickup notes, modulation, controllers. I want Cubase to KNOW what needs to be copied/moved over.

The analogy that comes to mind is an organ transplant (no pun intended). The surgeon doesn’t just chop out an organ, then jam in another. That’s the ‘Photoshop’ way. That’s how Cubase works today.

The good surgeon KNOWS which veins/nerves/muscles go where and INTELLIGENTLY re-wires everything so that the new organ fits where the old one was and the system -functions-. So, when one copies/pastes, Cubase (like the good surgeon) needs to be able to re-wire all the controllers/modulations/pick up notes/releases to properly fit the new target.


It’s not just a timesaver. It’s an ERROR saver.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve ‘cut n pasted’ a section of music with a full string section. It seems to play fine. But then to my horror, I go back later and find that some key switches or controller data got cut off (because the new articulation is a few ticks BEFORE the bar line as one does.) I then spend HOURS trying to figure out exactly -where- the problem is.

This is very common with libs like VSL where you might have Exp. Vol. Key switches and 4-5 -other- controllers all working at the same time. And that’s not even mentioning audio controller automation.

The computer should KNOW that the articulations/automation/et al. a few ticks before the bar line ‘go’ with the section to be cut/copied/pasted.

It’s like Lock Locators. Most of the time I’m OK because I don’t think about how STUPID it is that this hasn’t been addressed after 16 years. But then I focus on it and I go a little NUTS. The PTSD returns.