Cubase arranger - tips for use


I use Cubase to play backing for my band. It “works” great, but is awful to use in a live environment.

Maybe I’m using it wrong and just wondering if there is a better way?

On my arranger track, I have the compressed list view on the left hand side of the screen - but that’s awful as it is not resizeable. When playing live, that list is the only thing I want to see - and I want to see it and navigate it easily. So, I hit the “e” icon to load up the arrange screen. Now I have a nice sized view (still not sizeable!!). From my laptop I can hit space bar to start and stop - but if I want to jump to a different song, I have to use the tiny mouse icon to click on minuscule PLAY icon. It just feels like it’s not geared up to use easily in a live environment.

The latest video I could find on YouTube about how to use the arrange track was many years (and Cubase versions) old, and wasn’t that useful for a live setting.

Any tips or links to videos much appreciated :slight_smile:

It really isn’t optimized for live playing. It is very powerful for compositional uses. It just a couple features short of being a good live tool… apart from the gui enhancements you mentioned It needs assignable note triggering of arranger events with sync to next beat, bar etc…

You could look in to macros and key commands


Cubase 8.5 has Generic Remote and Key commands now for the arranger.

Also you can open the Arranger Editor window instead of using it in the inspector.

The Arranger also has ‘Jump Modes’ - beat, bar, 2 bars, 4 bars and End.

If you have a touchscreen phone or tablet then maybe the iC pro app could help? I’ve never used it much so this is just a long shot suggestion…

Another suggestion, perhaps use markers instead? By default you can use the keypad (if you have one on your laptop!) to go to the first 9 markers. Also the markers appear in a list on the left of the project window. I’m sure you could also make/change keyboard shortcuts to move around using markers as well.

Another suggestion may be to use the timeline instead. For example, select an arranger event, then use the L/R cursor keys to highlight next/previous events to the song you need, then the L key to go to the start of the event, then space-bar to play. If you show the status line then you can see the name of the arranger event you’ve got selected as well, so you can see you’re on the right song.

Personally I use MainStage on a Mac for live use. This can trigger backing tracks, host synths and also do many other live effects changes. Built for live use in other words, with options for lists of songs/patches in big writing so they can easily be seen.


You should pick another program for LIVE performance. There is one I forgot the name … that is really good

I might be missing something but what I was getting at would be the ability to select an event in the arranger track using dedicated track control… so you could press keyboard note C2 on your keyboard and it would be assigned to play “middle 8” it would work like clicking on the the arranger events in the editor where you can select none, 4 bars, two bars, end and stop. There would be a new track type, “Arrange Control Track”… In terms of gui enhancements if you were trying to see the names of the arranger events when playing live, the events in the arranger edit screen are not resized. Ideally the interface could be resized and scaled so you can see the event names from a distance. That is all that I was getting at. You could use it for jamming.

Let me try this again.

Look in the Key Commands dialog. There you will find shortcuts that you can assign to specific Arranger parts.

I see them there are 24 key commands that can be mapped to keyboard shortcuts as in what you type on… I would want to be able to assign them to note values so that they could be played by a keyboard controller… is this possible with assigning Key Commands? … sorry if this is obvious…I have been looking for this functionality and I don’t see it in the documentation or in any online articles.

To assign them to note values you would use the Generic Remote, located in the Device Setup dialog. - the same commands are available there. (see p. 660 of the (English) manual)

Thank you ! I appreciate all the replies from everybody, but ^^^ THIS is what I needed :slight_smile: