Creating music in Cubase

Just curious as to if most people create music inside Cubase, or from external sources and then just mix into Cubase after tracking. For me I do the latter, but it seems to make much more sense to make music within the DAW… Coming from the MPC, and now the Maschine its a workflow shock inside Cubase… I gotta bury myself in some youtube vids

I do it all in Cubase, Compose, Perform, Mix and Master. Although I normally have different projects for each of those stages

The sequencing and arranging features inside Cubase are second to none. I can’t even imagine wanting to use anything else now. Cubase is really incredible for that stuff. I still record external sources (bass, guitar, vocals, synths, orchestral instruments, etc), and I use some external hardware, but Cubase integrates external equipment very well. When I create music, my stuff usually ends up as a blend of software synths, hardware synths, mostly software FX or plugins, with some hardware FX, etc. Sometimes songs are more internal, sometimes a bit more external… Cubase is amazing either way.

Yep - there is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s not too bad honestly. Once you get the hang of it, I bet you will never want to go back to your old way of working… I sure wouldn’t want to. :slight_smile:

I sketch stuff out in Ableton before I import to Cubase, as the Session View is a perfect fit for me for arranging. After that though, it’s Cubase all the way.

All Cubase. Sketching, recording (using real + virtual instruments), mixing, mastering.

Cubase all the way…tracking, mixing, fx, mastering!

Wow… I think I know what my Saturday is gonna look like… Making In Cubase 101…
Its all new to me, arranging, editing, but i know it will make things a lot of easier as you can mix as you go along sorta speak… Thanks for the replies

I live inside of Cubase.

Record, produce and mix in cubase - master in Ozone 6.

Same here, but I will try Cubase and Ozone 5 and Presonus 2 Professional when it comes time to Master for variety, experience and curiosity sakes, which I’m not at that stage yet.

QUESTION…SO I started producing within Cubase.

8 bar loop with instrument tracks that came out kinda dope…How do you create a new pattern with what you got thus far?
Maybe I wanna mute the hi hats, drop the base, add a fill…How can this be accomplished …Am I suppose to duplicate what I have already and go forward like that. Construct song from left to right? Is this how this works?

Aloha guys,

Nice discussion.

From my POV.
Since I am ‘very old school’, all my personal work always start with Score/notation.

In the old days I used Finalé to get started then turned that work into a MIDI file
and then imported that MIDI file into Cubase.

In later years I started using Sebelius for that same purpose.

About two years ago (with the help of a couple of kind users on this board)
I was finally able to learn to do it all in Cubase.

As for clients projects, (which is mostly just audio recording/editing) all done in Cubase.

As for mastering, those (client) works get sent out to 3rd party houses.

Good Luck!

You’ve got options…lots of them really.

For straight up linear sequencing, simply select a part, hit ctrl+c to copy it, select the track and place the cursor where you want it to go, then hit ctrl-v to paste it there. At that point you can do your variation(s) on the new copy.

The ‘arranger’ track(s) will let you work in an old school ‘pattern based style’ if you like. The arranger track lets you define where to play a loop, if and how many times it should be repeated, etc.

Get familiar with all the key based methods to move those cycle points around. I.E. Clicking a part and tapping P will move the cycle/loop points to the beginning and end of that part. There are similar key commands for moving the cursor around, and where there aren’t key combos to get it done, you can build your own :slight_smile: Some practice with this already puts you in a position to possibly use CuBase more like a ‘live DJ’, where you can start all sorts of thing playing at once, and bring them up instantly. If this style of composing interests you, then also take a close look at ‘marker tracks’…as you can store a bunch of them and call them up through the transport controls (or even assign them to keys and stuff).

If you’re wanting to work more like a live DJ, where you can start up a loop and punch stuff in and out via mutes and crossfades, and make a whole new track with each cycle…then you might like keeping each instrument in the kit (MPC pad) on its own individual track. To me this is more of a ‘live’ mode…but it’s uber fun, and a great way to build up some ideas for dropping into future mixes. I think of this method as being similar to a DJ with multiple turn tables/drum machines/etc. all going at once…where he can pull in what ever elements he likes at will.

You’ve got several different record-cycle modes to choose from under ‘transport controls’. Hitting F2 pulls up the transport bar, and through that you can get access to several different record modes. I.E. Start a new track on the next cycle…make a new lane, record a new part on the same lane/track, merge or replace with existing parts, etc…

With the diamond drum editor, it’s easy to split a kit so each piece is on a separate track, or vice verse (merge several tracks down to one). When you give all the kit pieces a track of his own, it makes it really easy to assign some remote button to punch daw tracks on and off (mute/unmute), or lay out a group of faders to do crossfades.

It’s also possible to loop all this back into a fully merged fresh track while you’re making loads of fun improvisational loops.

Once you’re done with that basic groove, and ready to move on to a new one, just move your cycle/loop points and go to town.

Also, if you happen to have Groove Agent 4, you can load up loops and trigger them with MPC pads, and they’ll lock up to your song tempo and such.

Don’t overlook the logic editors! It’s well worth it to read up on them, and practice manipulating tracks in bulk. The logic editors are essentially just tiny scripts that you can build on the fly, and they will save you all kinds of time. I.E. Grab the high-hat on every 3rd and 4th beat, move that to the ride cymbal dome and add 20 to the velocity. This is something that could take hours to do manually by hand, but with a Logic editor, you can build the script in 30 seconds, and run it in 0.2, then save that script as a preset for next time you need it.

Don’t be afraid of the logic editor…it might not make much sense at first, but study the included example presets, practice some simple things with it, and before you know it it’ll be a power tool of choice. The logic is really simple…if/and/or logic.
Example of the kind of logic you can do (and far more):
If note = C2 and, it falls close to beat 2 on any bar between the cycle points, and it has a velocity less than 20, then change the velocity to a random value between 70 and 90 and add a CC10-1 event just before the note to pan it hard left, then at note end add CC10-45 to pan it back.

Also remember that much of what you can do with a Logic Editor in edit mode, you can also do to a MIDI stream in REAL TIME. MIDI Transformers can be added as inserts, sends, and also as pre-track global or local options on the track inspector.

Take advantage of VST presets for calling up tracks all ready to go with your favorite kits on the fly. If you’re working from an improvisational frame of mind, in real time, it’s nice to be able to tap a key or two and pull up kits in real time while you’re still laying grooves.

Take advantage of macros. Macros can allow you to open presets, and string together any DAW function, along with project and midi logic editors to do amazing real time processes with a single key combo, or MIDI remote message. Just as an example…you could build a macro that lets you click on a part, then tap a remote key or key combo that would automatically move an 8 bar loop cycle to the end of that part and never stop the DAW.

Spend a little time looking at the Generic MIDI remote control features of CuBase. That unleashes the power to trigger almost ANYTHING in Cubase with your favorite MIDI controller (buttons, pads, wheels, sliders, knobs, etc.)


thanks brian this is (dehromie) couldnt remember password for account, using my other one.

It sounds like you’re on the right track (no pun intended). Learn about duplicating tracks and sections. You can work “additively” or “subtractivly” For example, get a nice eight bar loop happening and duplicate it a bunch times, then go back and remove things. That way, over time, the track builds as new parts are added in.

Have fun!

… and if that rocks your boat you should probably learn about the Arranger Track as well.

+1 Arranger Track
+1 Marker Track