Composing MIDI in Cubase is very confusing to me

I’m new to Cubase and a Pro Tools refugee. I love how deep the program is but I’m just not understanding the midi recording environment. I’m primarily interested in playing my parts in real time to my track, and I often stop then need to punch in and go on as I compose. I don’t use any form of loop recording, chord pads, etc. I’m old school…I actually play!

What I’m used to seeing in Pro Tools is either a replace mode or overwrite mode but Cubase’s modes are dramatically different.

New Parts creates a layer on top of existing notes but doesn’t overwrite what’s there. And what’s up with the layer? Who wants that? I can’t use this mode for anything useful.

Merge actually does what it should do, adds notes on top of existing notes, and no funky layers. So that’s good.

Replace seems like it wants to be the equivalent of Pro Tools’ replace mode, but it does two weird things that make it impractical: it erases existing notes that are playing at the point I punch in (which means I lose an entire bar of notes!) and if I play nothing, it makes no changes. So I can’t punch to erase notes.

I suspect I’m missing something, but I can’t find a deeper discussion of midi composing to help me out. Most all of the videos I see are for people who are using alternative forms of note entry (chord pads, step record) but I’m a piano player and I just want to play my stuff in without all of these road blocks! Can someone tell me what I’m missing?

I’ve had a look around and tried to do what you’re wanting.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to get Cubase to record in Replace mode without replacing the whole part up until punch out.

What might be best is to cut out and delete the part you want to re-record. Then mute the parts you want to keep, and use New Parts record mode.

This way you will have a copy of the good parts, with a newly recorded part that you can compile together.

In regards to deleting notes with recording silence, I don’t think it’s possible.