Chord Track - Redesign this please!


I have a midi event. 4 bars of arpeggios. When I drag a G-Maj chord from the Chord Track over the existing event… it creates a new event on top of my existing midi event with a G-Maj chord. I find this very unintuitive. I would have expected this to simply update the existing arpeggio to G-Maj. When I found out I had to open the editor and manually adjust each chord I was disappointed. Especially when I realized I can’t highlight all 4 measures and update it to the various chords on the chord track. You can only highlight one ‘chord’s worth’ at a time. Editing multiple measures at once is an obvious need. But I’m really begging for changing the behavior in the project sequencer. It makes far more sense to update my existing measure instead of simply dropping a solid chord into a new event (especially as it currently drops it right on top of existing data). Please change this! :slight_smile:

While I’m being needy, demanding, and a pain… :wink: I really do love Cubase. It’s brilliant and unbeatable. But if less clicks can do the same job, less clicks should! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


I started drawing up a list of bugs that I came across on chords, and I stopped. There are many features of chords that are documented in the Operation Manual, but that don’t work in practice…The chords concept is great, but this new feature of Cubase should have been tested more thoroughly, and documentation should have been proof-read.

Wouldn’t surprise me. It is a brilliant concept. It just doesn’t behave the way I expect it should as a user and the way it does work is very very tedious. If my request is added, I can even imagine Chord Track (C.T.) going a step further. I don’t composer by looking at a chord and picking it. I compose in my head. I “hear it”. To be self-absorbed in opinion, I’ll say that’s the right way to write music… with your ears. Whether you can in your head or you need to audition things at a piano doesn’t matter. You should be listening. No?

If the Chord Track would let you update your existing data as I am requesting, that would rock. Although I can see an ‘audition chords’ feature being useful for people wanting to hear it before making a decision. If I were prototyping this feature from the ground up, that would have crossed my mind. A lot of things would have. In short, I’m wondering if Chord Track is buggy or a feature that just isn’t very mature yet, or both. Design and testing takes time and always fall short on the first run. So I’m not complaining. I just really hope they see the problems and do something about it.

Have a good look at EZ Keys. It comes with it’s own set of issues, but has many of the aforementioned capabilities.


Thanks for the suggestion. EZ Keys does support drag-and-drop to alter existing measures. But considering that no rational person would prefer to do it the current way, I have a hard time with this. It translates to “Because Cubase won’t do it, you can pay $200 to improve Cubase instead”. That’s a hard purchase to justify. I love Cubase and know that designs in v1.0 are never perfect. But purchasing software to make up for that is a bad model for users to follow for a lot of reasons.

How Cubase currently works:

  1. Edit the chord on the chord track then
  2. Open the event editor
  3. Select a single measure
  4. Match event notes to chord track
    5-100) Repeat steps 1-4 for every chord track change you’ve entered

The same thing with far less effort:

  1. Edit the chord on the chord track then
  2. Drag chord to a midi event

Matching ‘the same measure to chord’ this way eliminates a ton of work for users; which makes it more useful. I’m not asking for a massive overhaul. I’m asking to replace steps 4 steps with 1 to do the same job. Given how much benefit that has and how little development I’m asking for, that’s an improvement that I hope Steinberg would welcome. :question:


The idea behind chords in Cubase 8 is great. It just requires: an overhaul, more testing on the developers’end, and correcting the 2 chapters on chords in the operation manual.

Also, as a side note, being able to set the length of each chord in a chord track, is of utmost importance! Til then, I’ll stick to MIDI & Instrument types of tracks for my chords.


I hate to sound like a prune, but I disagree. That’s not really any better than the tools users already have given that a midi controller can input a chord at whatever length you need. You certainly don’t need piano skills to play a chord so I don’t see how anyone can’t just use that option.

The primary function of the Chord Track is first to input chord movement on a track and use that to manipulate the music we write. Whether we keep the result or simply audition it, the purpose is to write music. Inputting a single chord can be done with a controller. That’s where it should be done. But the chord track should actually change the chords of the music. It is a writing tool, not an input tool.

There are plenty of ways to input a chord. There is only one chord track. I’m suggesting to do away with this “chord input” option altogether and have it manipulate existing data. That or you can input chords and if there is an existing midi event, Cubase would know to simply manipulate it. But if this was an ultimatum, I have to insist that this is much more of a writing tool than an input tool. :ugeek: