Cubase Notation Editor

Hi guys,

I would like to invite you to share your opinion and experience here with the Notation Editor in Cubase Pro.
I am actually using Cubase 9 Elements and thinking to switch to Artist and maybe someday to Pro, but mostly for the Notation Editor.
So I wanted to know if the Notation Editor in Cubase Pro worth it?
Do you use it, are you satisfied with it, what are the positives/negatives?
For my part, as a Reaper user too, I use the Reaper Notation Editor which I think is great, especially for the price (meaning free), with frequently updates.

Thanks for your contribution.

For those who are interested in musical notation please take a look at my oher topic about Key displayed ( and support this request for future features if you like it!

Thank you all!!

Personally I love it. I use it for wind/marching band and choir compositions/arrangements, so It’s definitely in my top 5 reasons for why Cubase is my DAW of choice. I like to compose in Cubase where I can get great sounding mock-ups, and later import my scores into other software when I need more control over engraving and page layout.


  1. Easy to enter scores from a traditional notation perspective. Whether you prefer using the mouse, computer keyboard, or a MIDI controller, you’ve got all sorts of options on how to get notes into your scores/parts.

  2. Can build remote controls for note entry to suit your tastes and preferences. I personally use an inexpensive AKAI MPK2 controller, and I’ve made a remote control map where I can step input entire scores and never need to touch the mouse or PC’s keyboard.

  3. Tools for decent score translation/playback.

  4. Legible and professional looking scores/parts.

  5. Good xml import/export support.

  6. Note Expression is something pretty exclusive to Cubase and Halion at this time. It allows you to attach controller events directly to notes instead of storing them as independent ‘channel’ events. In short, this means if you’ve added some special expressive playback qualities to a note and you move that note around in time, or copy/paste it, etc…then those expressions go with it.

  7. Excellent tools for getting live-MIDI-performance data to display properly as notation.

  8. Mature support for things like chord symbols, guitar tab, fingering charts, and more.

  9. Superb integration with other types of Cubase editors (Key, Diamond Drum, List). You can open and use several editors at once.

  10. When it comes to building percussion section or drum-set score maps, this is hands down the easiest to use of anything I own. Doing drum breaks and stuff for marching and concert band where percussion stuff can be rather expansive and elaborate is more of a JOY in Cubase…where I pull out every last hair working with such stuff in Sibelius or Finale. Unless I have a client that demands Sibelius or Finale scores/parts for all percussion features…I just do it ALL in Cubase and never look back. For my own percussion exclusive groups…it’s Cubase all the way.

Weaknesses: (As compared to full blown high end Score apps like Finale, Sibelius, or Dorico).

  1. While engraving is pretty good in Cubase Score, it’s not nearly as flexible as a dedicated Scoring app. Getting a nice legible printout (or digital copy) of scores and parts is no problem; however, you don’t get the flexibility to control every minute page layout option or engraving detail. It’s more than adequate to give to a musician to play. If you’re looking for ‘publishing’ feature sets, it’s going to fall short.

  2. You will have to set up your instruments and tracks manually to get started. This is a pretty sharp contrast to something like Sibelius where playback options are more or less automated when using the included soundsets or general MIDI profiles. Over time you’ll create reusable templates that’ll make life much quicker/easier, but your initial setup stages on early projects will take a while (and come with some learning curves).

Wishes for Cubase Scoring:

  1. I wish it would bring in the dynamics translation when importing an xml file. As it stands, you must either go through the score and replace them with Cubase specific dynamics tags; or, enter dynamics on controller lanes, or use an expression map that’ll only work for the terraced dynamics (f, ff, p, pp, etc.).

  2. I wish the Cubase MIDI Logic editor had the ability to deal directly with score events. I.E. Converting symbols or text patterns into other types events. An example might be changing all the f dynamic tags in a given range to mf, or deleting all sfz tags.

  3. Improvements to XML importing/exporting. While it’s not bad at this time…of course I’d like to have more control over how this works, and see more passion from towards further support/implementation of the always growing music XML specification. With every Cubase update/upgrade, we should see some new things added in terms of XML support.

Thanks for the feedback, it is really appreciate.
For what I see, it seems to be a good notation editor.

Has anybody used the Notation Editor from Reaper and could give a comparison?
Except MuseScore 2 which is independant, it is the only Notation Editor within a Daw I’ve used.

Thank you, Brian Roland! Excellent explanation :slight_smile:

I’m waiting for my USB-licenser to start using purchased Cubase Artist version. Also notation is important for me. Yet used Elements version is not good enought for notation.

Sorry but I’m pretty sure that the Cubase Artist notation editor is very similar to the one in Elements. It was Cubase Pro that had the full score editor.

If you buy/activate the Cubase Pro upgrade in November or December I believe that you’ll get Cubase Pro 9.5 for free once it’s released.

Hmm, strange. I’ve seen a video where someone works with Cubase Artist and notation editor there was much more serious.
Of course I bought Artist version not only for notation, but a special update offer with 40% discount hits me :slight_smile: It’s a half step to Pro version.


To get an idea of what Pro adds, and how it all works one can browse the CuBase Pro Online User Manual. There is quite a bit more, so check out the differences in support for chord entry (including guitar tabs and fingering grids), percussion mapping and handling of ‘expression maps’ (for auto translation of entered symbols/articulations).

Okay. Thank you.
This will strengthen my belief to upgrade to Pro as soon as possible.

Searching manual Artist seems to have the Pro score editor - but ExpressionMaps and MusicXML are not supported in Artist.

Manual has remark “Cubase Pro only” where Pro is required.

Lie this:
“Cubase Pro only: You can also play back articulations in the Score using the Expression Map
and Note Expression functions.”

This is incorrect. Artists lacks Page View.