Changing the default note duration in Step Input Mode when inputting notes with a MIDI keyboard

I’ve noticed that when I input MIDI notes in Step Input Mode using my MIDI controller keyboard, the notes always input as 16th notes (semiquavers) by default. Is there any way to change this? I know I can change the length of notes after they’ve been inputted, but that’s not very efficient. I know I can also input them with the draw tool and change the length of a note as I input it, but is there a way to change the default input length when using a MIDI keyboard in Step Input Mode? Thanks.

Yes, just select note lengths in the extended toolbar (at the top of the score page) before playing on your MIDI Keyboard.

Ok thanks, I will try that. I forgot to mention that I was using the Key Editor rather than the Score Editor, so I wonder if it’s possible to do in the Key Editor.

Kindly observe which forum you post to. I’ll move this form Score to General.

You can assign key commands in cubase for the job…tap relevant keys on your computer keyboard to quickly/easily toggle the durations and grid settings.

If you’ve got extra buttons on your keyboard you could make a generic remote device and use those to easily tap your way into a different note duration before playing the note. My MPK261 controller has programmable MPC pads that are perfect for the job, and I keep that setup as a preset in my controller so it’s quick and easy to call up when I want to work in step input mode with the key or score editor.

In addition to buttons/keys to change the note duration, I also add one to toggle the dotted note and triplet quantization on and off; plus, a pair for moving the cursor by whatever amount the grid is set for (making it easy to skip ahead, and effectively input ‘auto-rests’ in the score editor).

If you don’t have extra buttons, but your controller has keyboard split features, you could split your keyboard so it transmits over two or more channels and reserve some keys for the purpose. If your keyboard doesn’t have that feature built in, it’s possible to ‘create it’ with a global MIDI transformer in Cubase…or even with a virtual port and creative rerouting through a MIDI track that has MIDI transformer’s active. There are also options like Bome MIDI Translator and Bidule to convert a basic MIDI controller into a very advanced one.

Even more options if you have a tablet you’d like to attempt to integrate into the DAW as a supplementary controller…

Yes, the things I described my earlier post work with both editors. There are commands in the DAW for adjusting note durations and grid settings, and they work in both editors.

You can assign computer key board key-sequences to relevant commands in “Edit/Key Commands…”


I think the default Key Commands setup has most if not all of the top row (not the num pad) alt+ctrl+1-9, and alt+F-F12 keys empty for your own assignments. The Key Command builder is good about letting you know if a key sequence is already assigned to something else.

The main commands of interest for step input will be:
Set Length Quantize to (run the list from 128th notes up to whole notes)
Toggle Quantize Triplet
Toggle Quantize Dotted
Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Toggle Step Input

If you prefer, you can program a MIDI controller to trigger the commands.

Here’s a copy of my remote map for my MPK2 to use the MPC pads to control step input remotely. Of course you’d need to alter it, and/or make some changes to your controller’s programming, but it demonstrates how one can bind MIDI events coming in from a device connected to the generic remote map to control pretty much anything in Cubase.

In this case, I’ve set the MPC Pads to transmit over a specific channel through its second MIDI output…thus allowing me to ‘isolate’ these things intended to control Cubase directly (faders and pots for the Cubase Mixer, DAW switches/toggles, transport controls, step input options, etc.) from the stuff I’ll want to feed into MIDI or Instrument tracks to control instruments directly (black and white keys, mod-wheel, pitch wheel, etc).

To get this remote map into Cubase you’ll go to Studio/Studio Setup. Click the plus to add a device and choose “Generic Remote”. Cubase will then present a default mapping…unzip the attached file, and with the ‘import icon’ in the dialogue bring it into Cubase. It does nothing unless you assign a device in the MIDI input drop down up top. For it to work properly, the midi notes and the channels in use must match up with your controller (you can relearn them, change them manually in Cubase, or in many cases change them in your MIDI controller’s preset)…so you can adjust accordingly, or just examine it to get ideas on how you might do your own from scratch and get rid of it when done (just select the Remote device and tap the trash can).

The top half of this map deals with assigning faders and pots to the Cubase mixer and control room, then there are some transport controls, but if you scroll to the end, and you’ll see a bunch of “Pad” entries bound to Set Quantize values and toggles, two bound to Navigate Left, and Navigate Right commands, place markers for a few pads that I don’t have bound to anything at this time, and one bound to toggle step input on/off.

Note, Generic Remote devices are global settings. They stick with your installation of Cubase across all projects. They are NOT saved as part of your project…so they won’t carry over to a different system/installation unless you import a copy there as well.

Also note that sometimes Cubase will forget a new Map if you’ve just added it and then quit Cubase. Exporting a copy before quitting seems to make it stick, and also provides a reliable back-up…so get in a habit of exporting a copy anytime you start a new device map, or change things before quitting your Cubase session.
Brian’s MPK2 MIDI-IN-2.zip (2.08 KB)