Channel for MIDI Step Input

Apologies if this is asked elsewhere, “channel” is stripped from my search attempts.

Is there a way to specify a MIDI channel for step entry? For piano pieces I’ll typically throw everything into one track and separate the voices by channel. However, when entering notes via step entry, the channel defaults to 1. I can change the channel of selected notes, but it would be more efficient if I could set the channel before entry. Am I missing something obvious?


Welcome to the forums. What version of Cubase are you using? Are you new to MIDI?

In general, the MIDI channel you set for a track is the one that will be used for playback, unless you change it. Use Step Entry for your main part and then copy the part to other MIDI tracks to be played by other instruments. There’s lots of ways to do things in Cubase depending in which version you have and which MIDI instruments you are working with. Good luck. :slight_smile:

I’m using 9 Pro. I’m not new to MIDI.

In my case there is only one instrument, piano. Hence my interest in keeping it in one track. I should have mentioned that I use the score view feature to separate voicings by channel. 1&2 in the treble clef and 3&4 in the bass. It would be nice if, when entering the left hand, I could set a channel input of 3, rather than entering the part, selecting the part, then changing the channel of the selected notes to 3.

There may be no way to do this, but it just seems so obviously useful to me that I figure I’m just missing something.

I don’t think this is possible in Cubase but you can achieve that by changing the midi channel on your midi keyboard.

How easy or difficult it is depends on particular midi keyboard you are using… On some of them it’s very easy to do on the fly, on some you need to go through different menus and settings.

I’ve not looked at this aspect of Score Editor so can’t really help with that. If you have HSSE you could assign the same voice to two slots and then restrict (if necessary) the range of active keys on both parts, upper keys, right hand (HSSE slot 1, MIDI channel 1), lower keys, left hand (HSSE slot 2, MIDI channel 2). Create Two Midi Tracks – 1) right hand, 2) left hand. Make sure that editing in multiple tracks at once is not disabled. Go into the Editor and Enable Step Entry and the notes entered should conform to the channels. I’d use the Key Editor for this and not the score editor.

Not at my DAW to confirm, but when you enter notes they should be assigned to whatever channel is set in the Track’s Inspector. So set it to channel 1 & enter your right hand. Then change it to channel 3 for the left hand.

Alternatively set the channel in the Inspector to “Any” and set your MIDI controller to channel 3 when entering the left.

Not in CB at the moment, the only way I can think of achieving this is to use a multi-timbral instrument (like HALion or HALion SE) and use multiple instrument slots. You can put the same instrument (in your case a Piano) in each slot and split up the key ranges for each slot (ex: Slot1 C1-B1, Slot 2 C2-B2, Slot3 C3-B3, etc…), then assign each to separate MIDI channels. The downside to this would be multiple midi tracks not the single track you are looking for.

There may be some options in the key editor, I would need to look the next time I have a session up.

No reason to make it so complex. In a single MIDI Part assign the various notes to channels 1-4 based on which musical voice they should correspond to in your score. This will cause the notes to be properly displayed on the Polyphonic Staff in the Score Editor. FYI, for most piano stuff I just use channels 1 & 3 for the right and left hands.

Then in the Track’s Inspector set the channel to 1. During playback this will cause all the notes in the Part to be sent to the VSTi on channel 1 independent of what channel the notes in the Part use. This means you only need to have a single instance of the Instrument, but it will still play all the notes regardless of the note’s channel.


  1. The channel assigned to each specific note determines how it is displayed in the score.
  2. The channel set in the Inspector determines what channel will play the note.
  3. If the Inspector channel is set to “Any” notes will pass through without having their channel # modified.

Yes, this is what I’m doing. My question is about input, rather than output. And now that I think about it this way, the MIDI data must be coming in on ch 01. If I sent it on another channel (e.g. 3) then the notes would probably appear where I want automatically. Unfortunately, due to a firmware incident and the general crappiness of my controller, I don’t seem to be able to control the channel coming in.

Ah well. Thanks!

Yeah setting the controller to transmit on channel 3 would do what you want. Perfect excuse to buy a spiffy new one. :smiley:

But while you are saving up for a new keyboard you can use the Input Transformer to convert the channel 1 notes from your controller to channel 3 as they are being recorded.

Nice! I didn’t know about that. That improves things a bit. Thanks!