Better Step Sequencer

Hi. I am a big fan of the software that is Cubase, however, there is one thing I hate and it frustrates me. It is the lack of a step sequencer in the software. Why hasn’t anyone from Steinberg come up with the idea of adding such an option to the program? There are supposedly alternatives such as the normal use of the Sampler and MIDI Tracks or Drum Tracks, but I would like to someday be able to conveniently arrange Trap drums and the like in the program in the same convenient way as it is in the competitor’s software with the familiar and resonant name of fruit and loops.

Thank you for listening and best regards!

Hello and welcome.

Just asking: have you evaluated the StepDesigner midi plugin already?

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Hello, I just checked. While StepDesigner is hardly what I’m looking for, Beat Designer, on the other hand, looks like something that might meet my expectations. Right now I won’t be able to evaluate this plugin in battle, however I will try to take a look at it later. Thank you for your suggestion, in fact I didn’t even notice that such a plug-in is in the program. Best regards.


The step designer/beat designer inserts needs a biiiiiigggg update. That thing doesn’t look like it’s had any TLC in years. That and the whole midi insert section.


I agree with you. The Midi inserts need a complete overhaul. Most of them can only do around 50% of what I want them to do. They lack basic features, they lack creative features and they aren’t flexible enough. Comparing them to the majority of alternative DAW’s midi tools they are a joke. As a result I typically don’t end up using them at all, and when I do use them the workflow is quite painful.


hi @Borsook,

just in case… perhaps one of the following five free step sequencer VST plug-ins might be worth taking a closer look at?

They’re all somewhat different regarding their concepts, and also might need some extra time for thorough exploration (can’t help you on how to use them, though).
All five are currently available as VST2 and / or VST3, and also in x64.

Just checked (installed and loaded) them: all can be loaded as VST instruments or effects (Stochas) in Cubase (Pro) 13.0.30, and should be able to get MIDI routed internally to any sound generating VST instrument (like HALion 7):

B-Step Sequencer 2 (seems like a commercial VST, abandoned around 2015)

Stochas (Open Source, in ongoing development)

Surge Synth Team - Stochas | FREE VST PLUGINS

Hypercylic (mostly a slightly more unusual arpeggiator)

mucoder hypercyclic

CCStepper (by CodeFN42)

Download Free CC step sequencer plugin: CCStepper by CodeFN42

BlueArp (by Oleg Mikheev aka Graywolf)

BlueARP by Oleg Mikheev aka Graywolf - Pattern Arpeggiator Plugin VST VST3 Audio Unit
Downloads –

Best wishes,
[ edit: extended, readability ]

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Have a look at what pro tools have just done with midi inserts and 3rd party dev integration. Very impressive.
Hell even logic kills Cubey in this dept.
Barely even use them anymore sadly. Could be one of the best parts of Cubase but unfortunately it seems to just be a afterthought for the sake of sakes being

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Hello again. I am very pleased that a large proportion of you are expressing a similar opinion. I did not expect such a good reception to the whole thing. Apropos of one thing. @Markus_Leuthel has given quite a few plugins here that can replace the step sequencer. However, I don’t think it can replace the native solution implemented by the developers. I think Cubase is really great software, I’ve never used anything more convenient (and I’ve used a lot of DAWs), but this lack of a step sequencer really puts me off. And considering that I, a person who has spent every day in Cubase for a year, notice and feel the lack of this feature,the lack of it is not likely to attract new users either. So I further request you to take both my and other people’s opinion on this and implement this functionality. This really could be a breakthrough.

Thanks again in advance for your consideration and best regards.

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I’d just like to add that Cubase’s Drum Editor is actually some sort of step editor, too, when it comes to placing notes. It just looks slightly different what most people are used to.


Hi again Łukasz / @Borsook,

thanks for reading my “elaborate”.

However, a possible replacement of Cubase’s integrated StepDesigner (-Ref. 1-) and Beat Designer (-Ref. 2-) wasn’t really my point, but rather the possible extension of Cubase’s current functionality by optionally using some nicely thought-out (and readily accessible) VST plug-ins, as additional creative tools.

In addition, any readers of this thread who currently might only have access to Cubase Elements, but not to Cubase Pro or Artist, couldn’t use either one of these two integrated step sequencers anyway - but they can make use of third party VST step sequencers.

One older integrated sequencer (for slicing + re-assembling audio material within a beat-related grid) that used to come with (up to) Cubase Artist / Pro / Nuendo 11 was the brilliant virtual instrument LoopMash 2.0. Sadly, this one became discontinued upon release of Cubase Artist / Pro / Nuendo 12. Only LoopMash FX are still part of Cubase Artist / Pro / Nuendo 12 and 13.
(-Ref. 3-)

I’d even like to add the (not really necessary) side note that Cubase’s main MIDI sequencer, the Key Editor (+ some practical / relevant note resolution choices + snap grid) could always also serve as an almost limitless and highly flexible step sequencer (although it’s so much more than just “some” step sequencer). (-Ref. 4-)

Then also @Johnny_Moneto has made his very good point by mentioning the very capable Drum Editor. (-Ref. 5-)

Finally, the full version of GrooveAgent 5 contains the quite useful Pattern Editor, which has obvious similarities to a (drum / percussion) step sequencer. (-Ref. 6-)
And for those who have access to either the HALion Sonic 7 Collection, or to HALion 7 (full version), or to the Absolute Collection 6, there’s another step sequencing environment, a *.vstsound sub-instrument named B-Box. (-Ref. 7-)

The amazing thing with Cubase - at least as I can see it - is its often organic connections between all functional sections including the main VST instruments, so that a creative task can often be tackled from different perspectives.

Of course Steinberg could give their Cubase Artist / Pro / Nuendo integrated Beat Designer at least some functional overhaul, but then I guess that any serious inquiry should at least take into consideration all of the already existing step sequencing options, features and concepts.

Best wishes,



(-1-) Cubase Artist / Pro 13 only

(-2-) Cubase Artist / Pro 13 only
Beat Designer

(-3-) LoopMash 2.0 (discontinued after Cubase Artist / Pro / Nuendo 11)
Nuendo 12 Bring back LoopMash VST Instrument not just LoopMash FX - #4 by MixMike
Cubase 11 - Version features comparison (Aug 26, 2021, archived)
Compare the versions of Cubase | Steinberg

(-4-) Cubase Elements / Artist / Pro 13
Key Editor

(-5-) Cubase Elements / Artist / Pro 13
Drum Editor

(-6-) GrooveAgent 5.x (full version only) / Acoustic Agent
Pattern Editor

(-7-) B-Box - HALion 7 (full), HALion Sonic 7 Collection, Absolute Collection 6
Pattern Page

[ edit: typos, addendum, readability ]