Can't copy and Paste Midi parts


New Cubase user here coming from Ableton. As I am writing different parts of the song, I often want to loop a midi part. In Ableton, there is the loop button but I don’t see that in Cubase. Totally fine because I could just copy and paste, or duplicate the midi part and have it be extended. or so I thought. Every time I duplicate or copy and paste a midi part, the timing is off on it. Is this a glitch or am I doing something wrong? I work in bars so literally if I duplicate a 4 bar melody, it duplicates it to the following 4 bars, but every time it sounds out of whack. This should be very easy to do but for some reason in Cubase, it’s not. Can anybody help?

Unlike Ableton Live, when you duplicate MIDI notes or parts it will start the duplicated part straight after the previous. If the note or part does not end exactly on the bar, you will need to manually correct it.

When I duplicate anything in Cubase, I always select the part or group of notes, hold ctrl and copy them. That way you can be sure it will always line up.

There has been a feature request on here to add the range selection tool in the MIDI part editor. This will help with problems like this. You could select the range and then duplicate rather than selecting only notes.


to loop anything, select the event(s) what you want to loop and hit P to move locators to selection then ensure that loop is activated on the transport. when it is, both the loop button and area between locators at the top will turn purple.

If you are on Elements or better you may want to explore using the Arranger Track.

You can create a macro for that

Thank you so much for your response but unfortunately, it didn’t work. What’s even crazier is I put an extra note on the end like you said and tried to push it to the end of the section and it wouldn’t even let me do it. It was either slightly before or after the end AND I had snap on. I did get it manually though. But when I copied and pasted it, it was still off. Take a look at the screenshots, this is absolutely baffling. The one I copied had a note right at the beginning, the pasted one (pasted at the cursor being at the beginning of a bar) pushed it almost 2 beats to the right. I have to be honest, this is making me consider switching daws, this feature cannot be that hard.

First clip to copy|690x376

Yeah I use the arranger track to break up song sections, i.e. Chorus, verse but what I’m trying to do is if I only make a 4 bar melody and my chorus is 8 bars, I simply want to duplicate to extend it.

Good call. I’m hesitant to make a Macro just yet until I can figure out how to do it without a macro.

In your editor change the Snap setting from “Grid Relative” to just “Grid”?

Also your Ruler & Grid are in Minutes & Seconds and not Bars & Beats?

I ended up figuring it out. I switched from grid relative to grid and then I right-clicked on my purple loop bar at the top and selected bars and beats instead of seconds. and then I learned that duplicate will not work. I have make sure the midi section/container, whatever you call it is the exact size I want to loop (not the purple loop on top) and then copy it, manually drag my purple loop on top to where I want to paste it and then paste it. I gotta say, it’s weird but I know Cubase’s target audience is more film composers then loop based dance artists. I was trying to do both with the same software. Might go back to Ableton for dance/hip hop. Either way, thanks for everybody’s help on this!

Yes the trick is to have the MIDI Part the exact musical length needed. But this isn’t anything that is hard or tricky to do. Just work in Bars & Beats and not Minutes & Seconds when you want to align stuff to the song and not a stopwatch.

As long as you have the Primary Time set to Bars&Beats with Snap On then any MIDI Parts you create will be properly aligned with the Musical grid.

You can also have a secondary Ruler showing mm:ss if you want to visually see that. You can even switch back and forth by making one or the other active.

If you double+click on an Instrument/MIDI Track between the Left & Right Loop Locators it will create a MIDI Part the same length as the loop.

If you have a Part that may or may not be at the right length you can Select it in the Project Window and see its exact length on the Info Line. You can also edit it there too. Or just grab an edge with Snap on and drag it to a Bar Line (or even a Beat).

If you select a Part (of the desired length of course) you can duplicate it by

  • Select the Part and hit ctrl+d
  • Select the Part and hit ctrl+k and enter the number of times you want to repeat it
  • Hover over the Right Edge of the Part & grab the middle handle (not the bottom) and drag right

No need to move the Loop Locators at all.

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