(Film Scoring Question) Finding the Real Length of My Cue

Hi there,
So i’m fairly new to Cubase, but I have gotten acquainted pretty well with it over the last few weeks.
I’m scoring a feature-length film in Cubase, and after having set up all my various cues, and setting them up to share a common Video File (and a common Cache)… I’m having this issue:

After setting up cues (projects) to at various different timecodes (other than 0:00:00:00), i realized that while everything was in sync, and working correctly, I could not view the exact length, in minutes and seconds, of each Cue (project) i had open.

Instead of giving me the absolute length of the cue from bar 1 to wherever I was in the my sequence, it would display the absolute time from the start of the whole movie clip up till then. So for example, in my second cue, the time it displays at Bar 1 already has 2 minutes (of real time) elapsed.

Once again, everything else works like a charm, and smpte lines up perfectly for each cue, i have the correct offset, etc.

Am I missing something? like is there a way to make it display an absolute length, in mins and secs, while maintaining smpte lock, etc etc?

Thanks. I know for one that other DAWs can do this. So any help would be appreciated! :slight_smile:

Hello JonOngMusic,

Did you tried the “Ruler Track” in Cubase ? You can insert several ruler tracks in a project with different setups.



Hi Chris,
Thanks for the reply.
Yes i tried that, but I’m afraid that’s not exactly what I meant.
Please take a look at the attachment below:
As you can see, I am at bar/measure 1 of my sequence. Timecode is set to picture at Bar 1 at 1:02:04:19 (on the transport),
and i added the Ruler as you suggested, which displays Minutes and Seconds so that you can see what I mean.

As you can see, at Bar 1, the Ruler/Minutes and Seconds reads: 1:02:08:516.

Im guessing it is affected by the timecode offset at the beginning of the sequence.

Because of this, there is no way for me to tell what the real length of my sequence is (unless i’m a computer myself, lol). There is no Real time displayed now.

So my question is… is there a way for Cubase to display Real time despite having a smpte time offset because of picture?

Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!
Jon Ong
Cubase Screenshot1.png

There is no “simple” way to do that, unfortunately, but you can at least (temporarily) change the SMPTE display offset (in the Project Setup dialog), without changing the actual SMPTE sync. (just place the Project Cursor at the desired position, and set that offset to “minus” whatever is currently displayed, so that it now shows “0” there).

But, this is a good time to re-iterate the Feature Request that each Ruler Track should have its own Display Offset.

This may be over simplistic but what I do if I need to know the length of a section or a cue embedded in a larger sequence is to create an empty track, create an empty Part on that track which is the exact length of my cue, then copy it to the front of the sequence and measure it.


Another “not so perfect” answer might be to download the programme at the bottom of this site.


Thanks guys!! appreciate the responses.
Yeah, I guess there isn’t really a real workaround huh…
I really hope they implement this in the next update…

Chris, any chance that you could pass this along? I think it’ll be a pretty simple fix and a good feature to have for all us film composers out there



I asked this question a long, long time ago and got another work around from Fredo which helped me:

Press “1” a couple times on your qwerty keyboard to go into range selection mode. Select the beginning to end of your cue. Now the length is displayed at the top info bar. (You may have to press “.” on your qwerty keyboard to change to minutes/seconds to have it display correctly if you have your alternate set to bars)

Wish there was a way to set the cycle markers to display minutes/seconds. That would give you a rough estimate at least.

Unless I’m missing something then changing the display offset (as mentioned earlier) should make the time at the start become zero and independent of the actual SMPTE time.

Another thing is that the info line gives length of parts, and the units are controlled by the main time display in the transport. I see you have the type set to bars, but if you changed this to time then had a part or cycle marker of the whole cue length then you’d see the length in time in the info line.

Any help?


It is easier if you “set timecode at cursor” at the beginning of your piece to 0:00:00:00. Then you can measure what you need to. When you’re done you can go to the beginning of your project or wherever and reset the timecode back to where you had it. Don’t forget to tell the function to leave your parts in place. It is such an easy function, especially if you hot key it.

Hmmmm. Well, the first thing I noticed is that you are comparing two completely different timebases. Timecodeis subgrouped in frames (23.98, 30, whatever). nad seconds are a standard universal unit of measurement. So I don’t think the two will ever match up, regardless of your offset. What I would do if you are trying to find the length of a cue is simply add a midi region that starts when your cue does, and stops when the cue does. Switch your timebase at the top of the sequence to seconds. Select the midi region you have created and it will tell you the length in the info bar up top.

Hey everyone,
thank you all for the replies. I have been thoroughly impressed with this forum and its users so far. I seem to find an answer for just about anything I post on here. I’ve gotten well acquainted with Cubase really quickly thanks to you guys! :slight_smile:

Yup, so all the responses helped me. What i ended up doing was to

This was the easiest for me and didn’t involve any adding or removing of tracks, or messing with the SMPTE.

I hope that the Steinberg team reads this and implements this feature in the next patch… we really shouldn’t need to use workarounds for something like this… be it adding an extra track to see the length, or to select the range and switch modes to see the duration.

Yes, that does indeed seem to be the best solution… even worth making a little macro for it :wink:

That would indeed be faster. I tried this and am not getting any length in my info bar. How are you seeing the locator range length? Thanks…

Right-click the Info Bar and make sure “Length” is ticked.


All I am seeing is record time, record format, etc. No “length”.

You are looking in the wrong place…
With an object selected, right-click on an empty space in the Project window’s Info line.

Ah, which is why I am confused. Sunshy’s solution suggested to me that there was a way to view the length of the locator range. I am already viewing length of events in the info pane.

Use the Range Tool.