Cubase....The Inspector...we need to talk

Does anybody else find the inspector confusing? I’m not sure if it’s just me being simple…
but Logic’s inspector is how it should be done.

Yes - our take is a redesign should include displaying region based quantization settings, or something like the inherited base region parameters Logic implements. That would save mouse clicks as you would not have to use the quantize panel or the key editor to apply Q per region. You could then recall what you already set for (different) Q values in regions of MIDI data - not recalled/visible anywhere in Cubase/Nuendo. Instead of arrow or fold down menus other DAWs just do an automatic context related switch where what is displayed in the inspector automatically changes and is visible by default depending upon what you click on in your arrangement window. But it would likely break backwards compatability with old projects, so they probably won’t do it.

Display and set quantization parameters per MIDI region (regardless of track)

Cubase has all part (=region) relevant data in the horizonzal Info Line. If there was to be part based quantization (yes, please) it needs to go to the Info Line. Thus it has nothing to do with the Inspector rework, unless they would bring back the Info Line to the, shall we call it the Left Zone (instead of Inspector).

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Yes, I have noticed that which would be fine. I made a screenshot of what that might look like if you follow the link to the other thread, but here it is. In the case where MIDI data had been manually selected and set to different values of Q, swing, catch etc, within the same region, then the lack of a common value for a parameter could be denoted with an asterisk (*) or maybe (-). I believe that is what Logic does.

Never understood the backwards compatibility thing, as a reason to not improve workflow and remove inconsistencies.

We have access to all the old versions, so there is no need, that I am able to open e.g. a Cubase 9 Project in C12. I would even recommend to open old projects in their old Cubase versions.

Of course it would be nice, but workflow is N#1 priority, so please forget about backwards compatibility ASAP Steinberg.

That’s interesting to hear. Steinberg really needs to focus on ease of use. I’m not saying dumb it down like Logic has been…but goodness…it’s a HUGE learning curve. Not saying it’s bad software….just not thought out with modern design sensibilities.


  1. What would expect to happen if you press the Q button from the project’s quantization?
  2. What would you expect to happen if you use the key command for Quantize?
  3. What would you expect to happen if you have several events selected, hover the mouse over “1/32 T” (from your screenshot mock-up) and move the mousewheel?

Isn’t it Ctrl, not Alt?

I had to open up Cubase and let my muscle memory confirm that you are indeed correct, Jeff. Ctrl it is!

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I’d think those tools would continue to work the same way as they do now. At least in Logic what you set in the region inspector are the “base parameters” you start off with. So think of a photoshop project where you have the base or the bottom layer and then you add layers on top of that to superimposes images over one-another. If you have nothing in the base layer (no image there or no quantization applet to the MIDI data) then when you use the other existing tools to apply Q it’s exactly the same same as applying Q to the original MIDI data with nothing previously quantized. But if you set your MIDI region inspector to say 50% Q at 1/16 note then that becomes the base or start value any subsequent use of quantization will be applied ontopof be it from from the Key Editor, the quantization panel, etc. Should not matter if you select all notes or just some notes and subsequently apply. different quantization to them; those tools still work the same way. I’m not sure how the devs would treat the existing use of the MIDI quantize plugin on a track. I would obsolete that in favor or the finer grain region based control, but that would certainly break backwards compatability for some people on this list.

Producer Joe Albano has a short write up about how this works (in Logic,

Does Logic also have a quantize for regions within the project?
The article talks only about events inside the regions getting quantized. Can Logic also quantize the regions themselves?
Where would I find that?

Yes you can quantize the regions themselves in Logic

Sorry, my post was not very clear. The more important question was: Where would one find that?
I try to learn about the user interaction architecture of that part of Logic.

It’s the same thing. When you click on a (MIDI) region you are selecting the events (MIDI notes) automatically. SO when you go to the inspector window and set a quantize, velocity, gain, etc. parameter it will affect all the (MIDI notes) events in the region. You can often change values by dragging the mouse up and down over a numeric value displayed for a parameter in the inspector. Often no extra mouse clicks after you select a region to see or change the parameter you want in the inspector. The state of all parameters in every region are saved and DISPLAYED RETROATIVELY, i.e., click on any region you previously worked on and see what you last set there. Cubase cannot do this for MIDI quantization. This is a huge timesaver if you have 100+ MIDI tracks with 1000+ regions. Same inspector model for a region with audio. Or the inspector is context sensitive and changes what it displays based upon the type of object you click on in the arrange window. There are other inspectors besides the region inspector. This video might make it more clear,
Logic Pro Complete Tutorial - 08 Region Inspector - YouTube
or maybe this one
Region Inspector Float in Logic Pro X - YouTube
I want to be able to recall all the work I did to 100’s of MIDI regions in an orchestral score and Cubase not recalling Quantize etc. info is an obstacle and time sink.

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I understand that Logic uses a model where quantisation is a status of a region. That status has a set of parameters attached to it.
Furthermore Logic has another layer of quantisation which can work on an event level, inside e.g. the key editor.

What I dont know yet is if there can be conflicts if you give different instructions to the two layers. E.g. you quantize two (out of several note events) in a MIDI region to a 1/32T grid. Afterwards you apply a 1/2 quantisation to that region. How does that affect the two note events?

And where could I find the quantisations of regions in the project?

The Inspector panels for Inserts and Sends should operate on a “Used Inserts/Sends + 1 blank” basis. I want to keep them open, but just one of these panels uses more than a third of the vertical real estate - it’s just not efficient and restricts the usefulness of the Inspector.

Indeed : check the post I made here about it… It’s on Steinberg “to do” list, but I remember that @Matthias_Quellmann stated somewhere in the forum that the inspector tabs behavior will NOT be improved in C12…

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learning the hotkeys and binding them so that you only need your left hand to trigger a shortcut makes things pretty easy, for example, Ctrl+Q, open/closes the fader module for me.

although Instrument Tracks are a bit annoying and convoluted.

What I dont know yet is if there can be conflicts if you give different instructions to the
two layers. E.g. you quantize two (out of several note events) in a MIDI region to a 1/32T
grid. Afterwards you apply a 1/2 quantisation to that region. How does that affect the
two note events?

Whichever of the 2 levels of quantization you apply last wins or is in effect. But the region (or main) inspector has GLOBAL scope in the region and overwrites all events of that type. That will override any LOCAL changes you did in the piano roll (or in Cubase = key editor). Say you start out with 1/16 triplet quantization via the region inspector . Then you go into the piano roll, select 3 events and set them to 1/32 + swing value. Now only those 3 events differ from the GLOBAL 1/6 triplet Q. Then you go back in the region inspector and re-select the same 1/16 triplet (or pick a different) setting. That GLOBAL change has undone all previous event quantization (no matter the value) and reset everything to what you just selected in the region inspector. The 3 events you edited to 1/32 + swing in the piano roll were set to 1/16 triplet (again).

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Thank you for taking your time to try to explain to me how quantisation works in Logic.
As I mentioned before I am looking at the architectural design of that functionality in order to be able to judge whether the UI design is good and should act as something to be copied into Cubase.

I watched several videos regarding this topic as well as reading the article that was recommended. Unfortunately none of that material covers every single usecase. I am still left with some uncertainties, I would probably have to install Logic myself. But… no Mac, so no go.

I came to the conclusion that I do like some of the ways Logic handles quantisation and Cubase could learn from that, but they have nothing to do with the actual UI design so I won’t elaborate here.
I also came to the conclusion that I think Logics Region Quantize are in the Inspector has a major flaw and should therefore not be copied 1:1 by Cubase: If the user selects a region the Region Quantize may display values which does not conform to how the (note) events inside that region actually are quantized. Unlike Cubase Logic can lead the user to think, however, what is displayed in the Inspector is actually what happens in or inside the Region.
Cubase’s Info Line (which is the horizontal pendant to the vertical Region area in Logic’s Inspector) shows the current actual status of the selected part or event. If you’d introduce the Quantize info (as per your mock-up above) you would break this design rule of Cubase.

Now, I do like the idea of having a editable quantisation data set attached to audio/MIDI parts or audio events. And yes, that is what actually happens in Logic. Not the layer system of Photoshop that you described earlier, I’m afraid, as there is no hierarchy between region quantize and key editor quantize. I just think it would need to be made accessible in Cubase in a different way.

I hope somebody from the Steinberg dev team takes a look at this part of our thread in order to think about advancing quantisation in Cubase to the next level.