Automation in Cubase is a mess

Convoluted sh*t.
So many advanced functions on Cubase are a deathtrap of cobwebs. Routing, expression maps, drum maps, macros, remotes, channel configurations, and yes, automation.

For starters, the read/write system is dumb. Just make “automation tracks” like the rest of the track types and use a record arm function.
Make part and events just like MIDI. Make it drag and drop so that if effects any track you put it beneath.

Next, there should be a separate editor available with multiple lanes available like editing MIDI CCs.

Third, no matter what mode I’m in for recording audio, whenever I stop the transport it creates a new value at the playhead that was neither my initial value, or the value I stopped on. No. Bad Cubase!

Fourth, why can I not type in values for each data point? I have to drag that stupid point to general vicinity of the value I want?

Fifth, group editing please. Computers are mostly useful in how they shrink/eliminate redundant tasks. Trying to copy automation from track to track is a big waste of time here. If I have a dozen inserts I would like to automate identically from a drawn curve, I have to go push the button to open up a new automation lane, then select a parameter from that tedious little list of inserts, then grab the info from my 1rst track? Drag and drop copy pasta wholesale the automation tracks! C’mon!


This doesn’t cover all options/states, you have available with the Read/Write buttons.

You can Expand multiple Automation tracks in the Project window. Why would you need a separate editor?

Not in the Touch Mode. In the Touch Mode, it writes the last Automation node at the position, you release the fader. If you have any other automation data behind, it will jump to the value of the very 1st Automation node after the release point. Nuendo doesn’t do this, because different use case for automation is expected.

Use Info Line, please.

You can show all used automation on the track instead.

What’s wrong with the size? It’s common menu or dialog.

I feel the same as vv but on a different point. I’ve been recording for the last 20 years on a Roland VS-2480, and in many ways the automation on that ancient unit is far more flexible than Cubase:

Automation on the 2480 is recorded as separate points, not the beginning/end of a “ramp”. If I enter -3 db on bar 1 and 0 db on bar 10 then the fader will stay static at -3 db from bar 1-10, then jump to 0db at bar 10. On Cubase I need to enter 2 more data points of -3 db just before bar 10 and then 0 db later so that the next automation value does not change the bar 10 value. If I don’t, then all my faders will be slowly increasing/decreasing their values. Is there any way to turn off this “gradiation” and keep the values static?


Hmmm… After searching around in the manual, I did find this:

This may be what I’m looking for. I’ll try it out and report back.


I feel your pain. I’ve actually found that the extensive feature list makes it hard to move away from at this point. I’m still trying to embrace the “quirks”.

Something that really messed me up was the idea of the “global automation mode” option. Maybe this helps. It changes how automation data recorded to a track behaves when there is existing automation data.
I’m still struggling with the best way to deal with recording MIDI part CC data vs. an automation track. It’s complex stuff, and it looks like there’s generally an “expected workflow” for this stuff in Cubase. I’d be curious to understand the problem you describe here more.

Martin solved this one (thanks!). I was wondering this myself. There’s that “info line” that is wayyyy up at the top, that might not even be visible! It seems that allows for direct entry of values and other properties for the current selection.
It seems that the default shortcut to show/hide it is “Control-I”.

Same. There does appear to be a group editing feature in Cubase, although it’s not intuitive. It’s also buggy.
This has saved me enormous amounts of time when comping drum tracks. Putting them all in a folder with this turned on allows for comping and picking parts across multiple takes. With that said, there are some quirks:

  • All take lanes need to be expanded for the tracks in the group for the changes to properly sync

This really works best when dealing with multiple tracks recorded at once. Maybe it could help in this case?
I agree… better support for group editing is needed… especially when you want to group edit stuff that wasn’t originally recorded at the same time. I recently explored Reapers group editing… and WOW!. It’s AMAZING. Super flexible in so many ways. (
… Steinberg should take a hint here. :slight_smile: