composing and key editor

I am using Cubase Essential 5.1.1 for composing. To me, the most intuitive way of using CE for this purpose seems to to open a single key roll with all of the tracks (select all + Enter in the project window). Then, I simply record directly into the key roll, switching between active tracks by clicking some part of the track. This works quite nicely, but there remains a few things I would like to do, or know, to make it even better.

(1) Presently, the grid of the roll expands to the right a long with the recording. It would, however, feel more natural to have the grid as a steady background, on which notes may be added. I suppose this could be done by recording “empty space” on each of the tracks, but is there some better way?

(2) When recording in the key editor, is there any difference between how the recording is set in the transport panel (“normal”, “merge”, “replace”).

(3) Is it possible to move parts in ordinary word processing, as when for instance inserting a new word between two already written words?

  1. Not entirely sure what you mean, you want the locator to remain still and the notes you’re recording scrolling off to the left? That’s not possible I think.

  2. Not that I know of, the behaviour is the same if I’m not mistaken.

  3. Don’t know if you can directly insert parts, but you can insert silence and then move the required part into the silence.

  1. Look into Stationary Cursors.

  2. The modes on the Transport that affact MIDI recording say MIDI after them.

  1. No, I want the roll to lay expanded from the outset, like an empty music paper where the notes are filled in. Now it expands with the filling in, if you see what I mean. (This also means that notes of the inactive tracks may fall outside of the roll, when I switch active tracks)

Set the Locators to the desired length of the part and double click on the track to create an empty part. You can also use the Pencil Tool. Click and hold at the desired starting point and drag to the right.

Thank you, that seems to work well if I create new tracks. The problem is that I presently want to extend an already existing track. Following your instructions, I do manage to create a new, empty part of the track. This, however, also means that the already existing recording disappears from the piano roll (in the project window the earlier part of the track is also “hidden” by a gray area).

But eventually I did find a way of doing what I want. I simply have to point the cursor at the ruler at the end of the recorded part until I see a hand with a pointed finger, and drag the roll towards the right. Then I activate another of the tracks and repeat the action, and so on.

You can Shift-click to select multiple parts and dragging one will enlarge them all.