Color sets management quirks

Hi, all

It’s getting irritating, as I already stumbled on it long ago (10.0.x days) and forgot how convoluted the thing is : I just lost again all my project color settings, thanks to the marvelous Project Colors Setup… window :roll_eyes:. How on earth is this one supposed to work ?

I have recently customized several colors (actually, 11 among the 16 at disposal), and stupidly thought about saving them, you know, just in case. Bad move…
First, I went in the Presets pane (seems logical, as I wanted to save what was the still existing color set). Then, carefully doing a RTFM, I read this (Project window/Color handling section, p.95) :

The New Color Set section displays the current colors of the new color set.

First question : I didn’t want a ‘New Color Set’, I wanted to save the existing one. The so-called ‘New Color Set’ actually look strangely as a factory default one.

The Missing Current Project Colors section shows which missing colors will be replaced. Move
the mouse pointer over the color field of a color that is missing to highlight the color that is used
to replace it in the New Color Set section.

  • Second question : why do the 11 ones that I have customized appear as ‘Missing’ ? :face_with_monocle:
  • Third question : What is the point to highlight the missing colors if they can’t be retrieved in any way (drag & drop does nothing, double clicking neither, right click customize the toolbar) ?

At this point, I was getting nervous, as in this so-called ‘Presets’ pane (yes, in the plural), there is no simple Save-Store/Load-Retrieve buttons of any kind. So, I looked in the Option pane (I should have hit cancel instead…) and saw this :


So, and again carefully reading, in p.96 :

Store Color Set as Default
Saves the current set of colors as default.

Great, here it is ! I click on this option, then on Apply, and I get this, in the project window, as color set :


Which is EXACTLY what I tried to avoid : all the colors have been reset to what seems to be the factory ones. And, of course, all the previous colors that were existing are now lost…

From which, I am wondering what is actually the use of this window : as counter-intuitive as can be and completely misleading for an average user, IMO, but I probably have an IQ with only two digits. At the end, though, how are we supposed to safely backup a current colors set ? :thinking:

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Indeed it is not intuitiv…

You’ve to save your colours to the default settings, then you can recall them in other projects.
But you have to recall them in existing projects, otherwise nothing changes…

Some room for improvement…

Hi, st10ss

Yep, but precisely : as the Project colors setup… window don’t allow me to do this in a reliable way, how to save the chosen colors as default ones ? And how to recall them ?

I’ve been thinking of making a template just for this, with sixteen tracks, each of them having a chosen tint, to be sure to retrieve all the RGB values involved when needed, but well, it’s far from efficient. So, I resolved on using to make a kind of ‘toolbar’ with 16 squares, each of them having the choosed tints that I use in 90% of cases : I haven’t found something more reliable. A kind of pre-Windows 95 process…

Seriously, we are in 2021, after nearly countless Cubase versions : this should now be manageable in a more efficient way… :angry:

I quite agree that the colour system though improved over past versions is exceptionally unintuitive. It really took me ages to get my Dawlab colours back. Quite a lot of faffing about! However once I twigged that saving the default did the job I was ok, but that was not what I thought default was.

Perhaps like the Workspaces function you should be able to assign your new colour set as a preset. I just assumed that default was the basic version provided by Steinberg. All the Steinberg colours seem a little cold and uninteresting to me.

Just wanted to support this thread. Colour management is atrocious in Cubase nd always has been, it’s as though the coders just don’t understand the concept. What I would like is to be able to create, edit, store and retrieve a number of colour sets for different types of music.

It would suit me to have 6 tints per colour, but Cubase always displays a matrix 8 boxes wide for each track, even though it looks as though you can adjust it in Color Sets > Options

Another bug not mentioned above is that the waveform/MIDI note display in events doesn’t take account of the background colour, so MIDI notes are black even against dark colours, unless you highlight the event, in which case they are difficult to see against light backgrounds.

Hi, vyvyanhs, and thank for ‘bumping’ this thread, as I’m still expecting that someone will chime in show me the way to RELIABLY save different color sets.

Another thing to add to the list : how comes that, even when there is a 32 colors / 2 tints matrix shown in the Project colors setup>Presets pane, only 16 are available in the arrangement window ? The whole thing is a mess. Result : I don’t even try to touch it again.

The only useful thing I retain is this, but maybe I’m still wrong : once the colors available in the Project colors setup>Color set pane are defined, it becomes the default. From which, we should never try to save it in any way, as it is saved somewhere in the preferences (I usually make a backup of them each time I change something - will have to do so in case I would like to change the colors…). Additionaly, I made an image file with the 16 colors I use the most, just in case… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

THis is more or less manageable in the Edit>Preferences>Event display section but yes, when the event/part background is truely dark, things become complicated, as there is no independent events/waveforms color settings…

I don’t think that’s actually possible. (It would be pretty neat though! Recall different color presets at any time from a list of saved presets. I like it!)

Rather, each project has its own color set.

If you wish, you can at any time Store the Color Set as Default. (1st option below) What happens then is that any new projects will use that color set.

You can also use the 2nd option (Reset Color Set to Default) to “enforce” this color set that you’ve saved as default (see above) to other projects. Older ones, with no colors, or colored differently etc etc… You must press “Apply” though, just clicking on “Reset Color Set to Default” won’t do.

It’s the third button you don’t want to press. That Reset Color Set to Factory Settings, I suspect I don’t want to know what it does, because I’ve already setup a set of 128 colors and I don’t want to lose them. :rofl:


Indeed, maybe a feature request to do. But beside this, I’m still wondering why the second pane of the project color setup window is called ‘Presets’ (in the plural…), then.

It’s precisely when using this first option that I lost all my color settings, trying to save them as Default (see my first post). From which, my irritated inquiry…

Yep, I guess that everything will be lost… Sincerely, the whole thing is absolutly not reliable : I should never have lost all my color settings when precisely trying to save them…

But haven’t those colors that you lost survived in the project that you were working on? (Or the previous one?) Then it would be a matter of going in THAT project and pressing Save as Default there.

It’s far from intuitive, I absolutely agree.


I don’t have the faintest idea. From what I gather, that middle tab only serves to “prepare” the color set that you will be working on in the first tab. You tell it “Make me a 16x4 color set.” It lays the colors in the first tab, where you tweak them and name them. And then, you can save them as Default for later projects.

“Presets” doesn’t tell me anything, it could be “Format”, “Palette generation”, “Missing Colors” or anything else and I’d still wouldn’t understand much more.

Good to have some discussion about this. As I have previously said I have used the Dawlab colour set. I liked it because the colours were a lot less brassy. I find the C11 Colour set to be rather too hard. However when I first start using C11 I was starting a number of new projects and had to get my head around the new system and was a little annoyed at how I could not access my Dawlab colours. I then loaded a project that I knew had the colour set from 10.5. Luckily it was there and I made this the default and touch wood, it has been available to me ever since.

I do think that it ought to be something that you can save like the Workspaces options.

Actually the Dawlabs Colour had a strange method of installing into cubase. It was loaded like a project and each colour was a different track. You saved the project and then save the colours as default.

I have just loaded a friends new C11 project and this now show the basic 16 colour matrix. I was able to go into the Project Colours Setup and change back to the Default.

Lets have a way of naming presets for colours.

Yes, the colors of tracks used in the project were still there, but most of them were no longer available in the Select color drop-down tool. Consequently, how to save a set of colors that no longer exists ?

At the end, we’re on the same track : it’s absolutly unintuitive and needs a serious overhaul…

I feel like a completely dumb user, but… Where is the Dawlab color set ?
Beside this, I precisely lost all the colors I was using when trying to save them. And yes, we should be able to save a given colors set as presets. It shouldn’t be rocket science to implement this…

This is a good example of things that puzzled me since longtime: why only 16 colors, and why can’t we simply right-click on a color to edit it ? (and the editing auto-magically saved with the project ?)

This is the second thing I suggest for a next update: 32 colors (or at least 24 mini) + direct editing with the right-click + auto-saved with the project.

Plus, please add the possibility to really personalize a project, with a background image + customized interface colors (but only for a project, these colors settings would not be saved in the general settings, but with the project).

It could be very cool for teachers, promotion, or whatever usage you could imagine. Know that sometimes, (fixed) images can inspire music and excite imagination, and could help to really develop a project beyond expectations!

What I would like above everything is consistency : if there is a grid of 64 colors/tints displayed in the Project colors setup>Presets pane, these should be all available when using the related tool in the arrange window. And if there are only 16, then only 16 should be available.

This, beside the name of this pane : ‘Presets’ is absolutly misleading, as there is no Save/Load functionality. The present implementation seems to have been done to confuse the user as much as possible : the exact example of what a software used in an artistic context shouldn’t be.

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Colors available in Cubase 11


Yep. Neither do I… Maybe ‘New default color set’ would be more relevent… :upside_down_face:

The issue is not about how many colors are available. It’s about how to save and retrieve them in a reliable way…

I wouldn’t worry as Dawlabs seemed to have closed down, which was why I was worried. This is a link to someone who has modified the set:

It was a while ago.

You have to set a folder for the Colour Project. When it has loaded up you will see a lot of purple. Go to the inspector and select the Colour arrow and you will see the entire colour set of 170 colours. You can save this as default if you like it.

Thanks, silhouette. Just downloaded the project : I’ll look at it more closely and see how things go. :slightly_smiling_face:

And here is the catch. The colors used in a project could potentially not be those in the selector.

Let me give an example. I make a project. I go over to presets, and create a 1 color palette. (Let’s keep it simple.)

I go over to the first tab, tweak the color to black. I name the color black. I go to the third tab, save as default preset and apply. I save the project. I then create a new project, press the color selector. Black. That’s what I’ve got. Then I open a project a friend sent me. It’s got all kinds of colors in it though. I press the color selector, black.

If I decide this project has nice colors, I can save those as defaults and replace my black. But I will lose my black then, you say. That’s exactly it, if I ever miss my black, I’ll have to dig up the project that contained it, and save THAT project’s color set as a default. If I remember in which project I created that Color Set.

So, logic dictates that our favorite color set should be baked into a template, so that we have better chances to find it. Eh. We could have presets instead. Save as… Very reds. Much blues. So blacks. Etc…

Here’s to hoping!