Clean Up Lanes for Parts?

Is there a ‘Clean Up Lanes’ function I’m missing in Audio Parts?

It is SUPER annoying how you get all these takes down on like Lane 20 and 21… with the upper Lanes completely empty. Surely there must be a way to condense them as in the Project Window, right?


Would a simple Macro suffice?


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Works great with a few caveats… which gave me a clearer understanding of how ‘Lanes’ work… and also a bit of confusion.

So if you have a Part on a lane with other lanes above it, this macro won’t work… simply because the Part doesn’t have it’s own independent lanes… the ‘virtual lanes’ on the Part are really the same lane numbers from the -Track-.

What doesn’t make sense then is why the in-built Clean Up Lanes command doesn’t work with Parts. It seems as though the lane positions are frozen in place if you use Parts. Since the lanes in a Part are simply the lanes in the Track, then it seems to me that the Clean Up Lanes should work regardless.


‘Parts’ are something you do, after, you’ve done your tidying.

Yes, the macro wouldn’t work with lanes that each have multi-lane parts. If that’s what you have in most of your cases, I don’t have a ready solution for you other than moving the part from a lane to a temporary audio track, then running the macro and then moving the cleaned up part back to it’s original track. That’s what big time composers use assistants for. :smiley:

I have no idea what Cubase code looks like inside - so the code for part lanes and track lanes may not be the same and/or they may or may not be the same object at all. Cubase code has slowly evolved over decades - just like an old large mansion that keeps getting small and medium renovations. One kitchen may have been built in a different decade than the other. Both have stoves. One kitchen may have a nice new stainless steel electric stove - and the other one still has a coal powered stove. One can be set to start cooking automatically at a precise temperature - the other one not so much. :smiley:

I’m just a longtime Cubase user and an even longer time computer user, so I’ve come to the realization that work-arounds often get me to where I want to go faster than waiting for software developers to see my priorities as theirs. :smiley:

p.s. I’ve also worked in software development for decades in my distant past, so I also understand why a software company’s priorities may not always line up perfectly with my own priorities, since I’m just another average, small revenue and not very famous customer. :nerd_face:

Maybe for your workflow and mine - but that doesn’t preclude somebody coming up with another funky workflow idea involving parts.

It just means as innovator they may have to put up with their workflow not being entirely smooth. Just like any explorer, who goes into less charted territory. Or someone who takes a family sedan four-wheeling. :smiley:

Thanks… Almost the first thing I do after recording a number of takes is to create a Part. And this has worked fine for me (and everyone else I’ve seen work Cubase in person) for years. I can’t imagine comping a track any other way.

As a former software developer myself, I understand completely how Cubase has ‘grown’.


Is it fair to assume then, that you adopted that workflow before Cubase had Track Lanes? - If my memory serves me correctly, I thought Steinberg added Track Lanes to Cubase specifically as a comping workflow and totally marketed it that way.

And I’m honestly curious, if there’s anything of significance advantageous in using Parts for comping (compared to Lanes), other than the Parts workflow being practically a motor skill for you now? I hadn’t done any stacked style comping for my musical activities until after Lanes showed up, so I don’t have that historical reference point.

I honestly can’t remember when Parts showed up. They are convenient in many ways and I think of them as akin to the Key Editor vs. the in-line editing w MIDI.

I got in the habit of using Parts almost like a Track Version. You do a few passes of a vocal, then immediately convert to a Part. OK, now if I want to create another version of that ‘comp’ I simply duplicate the Part, mute the 1st and work on the new ‘version’.

But the -main- benefit is REAL ESTATE. It’s just so much nicer to open the Part Editor and focus -solely- on that ‘comp’. By editing in the Lanes, I’m always distracted by the rest of the Project. There’s less screen space. The navigation is clunkier. The -only- annoying thing is this issue of ‘clean-up’. Since the Part follows the ‘real’ lanes, you often get 10 empty lanes above where the action is. But on most Parts… where I only need 2-3 takes… it’s not a prob,

Frankly, I’m surprised people -don’t- do it this way. In fact, if I were designing Cubase today, I’d make it so that when you click on a Part it opened in the Lower Zone… because, again, I see it as being like the Key Editor.

It does for me (Cubase 11 Pro on Win10 (1809) - I think it’s a Preference setting

I’m sure it does. LOL. I almost never use the Lower Zone because it seems -extremely- inconsistent in its behaviour.

I’ll liken it to the ‘Follow’ button. People like me -swear- that it never turns itself on and off ‘by itself’… whilst other swear it does -not-. The problem, I think, is that the whole ‘Follow’ thing was never made as user-friendly as it ought to have been FROM THE BEGINNING and now I guess SB is locked into a scheme that drives many of us nuts. I think the LZ is like that. In theory it’s a great idea, but it’s -just- annoying enough that I never use it… much preferring to stick with my old ‘child windows’. Cheers.

The whole history of this thing was based around Cubase not having an equivalent to Protools playlists.

The old workflow for stacking multitrack recordings people had to contend with in Cubase way back when was putting all your record tracks into a folder track and then duplicating the Foldered tracks for each take.


Using Audio ‘Parts’

Most people I know, opted for the FolderTrack duplication when working with something that is live band recording, or drum takes… Because ‘Parts’ can only show and edit one track at a time which is only useful for solo-source editing like lead vocals.

The secondary function of ‘Parts’ is to have finished comps/edits/arrangements/beats in which you maybe don’t want to bounce the edits, and or, have event-muted variations at hand that you can duplicate/copy around the project and create ‘Shared Copies’.

This has now become the primary function of audio ‘Parts’ with the introduction of Track Lanes, which is the more logical and efficient way to work in conjunction with TrackVersions. There really wouldn’t be a reason to still be doing editing in parts, unless you’ve ‘Shared Copied’ a bunch of multi-take rough material/loops you need to edit… But honestly, even then, I’d probably break it out of the ‘Part’ and edit in TrackLanes and then re-shared-copy it to what it was before.

Do it how you want, but if you were working for me, you’d be doing your primary editing on TrackLanes. Completed edits of musical material that consists of multiple broken events (like a drum beat) or musical lead ins like fills that aren’t a full bar, would become parts.