Focus On MIDI For Next Build Cycle

I usually -hate- vague, ‘Make it better’ posts, but…

I think it’s fair to say that the overall focus on Cubase development has been towards -audio-, with MIDI getting less and less attention since ‘Expression’. Almost all the money features have been MixConsole related.

Apparently, I am one of a dying breed of ‘composers’ who rely on MIDI and notation to make a living. In the past, I didn’t grouse much because, frankly, Cubase was miles ahead on MIDI and the audio needed work to even compete with P/T, let alone stop people from moving away.

OK, can we agree that now, MixConsole is basically feature complete? Yes, the UI is an inconsistent fruit cake, but with Direct Routing and VCA faders, it basically now does -everything- a reasonable engineer needs.

So… PLEASE give some much needed attention to MIDI. You’re now starting to lag.

  1. Easy (not ‘easier’, I mean -easy-) drawing of CC automation.

  2. Easier simultaneous editing of multiple events. The current system makes it too darned hard to work on subtle stuff, like instrumental doublings… it’s literally hard to see notes on top of notes.

  3. Improve the LE… Loops, true scripts. And this means Key Commands and Macros. The issues are well-known.

  4. Much better ‘Instrument Tracks’… and by that I don’t mean ‘Instrument Tracks’ per se, but the ability to edit, at a glance, both the audio -and- MIDI… there should be a way to ‘see’ the audio automation in the same window as the Key Editor.

  5. For the love of Brahms, partner with VSL or Spitfire and make Note Expression a -reality-. It is MADDENING that you’ve had this great technology for like 5 years and NO ONE can use it! It’s worse than an electric car with nowhere to plug in.

  6. MUCH better click… the issues are well-known.

  7. Mute as well as solo buttons for Lanes.

  8. Stupid, simple stuff like a LOCK LOCATORS command.

I haven’t mentioned notation, because clearly that’s headed south.

I’m not interested in this ‘list’ per se. Please don’t post … ‘And also…’ The features have all been talked to death. My real point is that MIDI needs to be reconsidered for the first time in many years.


Oh yes +1. Midi was eclipsed by audio many years back, and now its way behind even though its role is now vitally important for running VSTi’s!

  1. Create a Pitch Bend automation lane please

  2. Make the CC lane use lines and points like automation not just points that jump their values

  3. Thoroughly fix the midi chasing - Cubase still gets confused after a long period of use and needs to be restarted to work correctly

  4. Fix the note feedback - I still get notes sounding one semitone out when I drag them in the piano roll window!

  5. Speed up the scanning of midi devices/ports in the splash screen. Mine takes about a minute and I’ve only got 1 midi interface running and 2 USB keyboards, now that’s not a lot…

  6. Bring the midi channel back into the midi Device setup… I have many keyboards which operate on a single midi channel and in VST5 the channel number was stored with the midi device, e.g. switch to Juno and it knows its on midi 7 say.

  7. Allow us a preference to control which midi CCs are always reset on stop and which aren’t. I have a keyboard which doesn’t like Cubase to reset Expression because the keyboard adjusts the same Volume parameter irrespective of whether it receives Volume or Expression (and I can’t change this, it’s the Korg 01W!). So, if I automate volume then the Expression chasing causes chaos with the volume. (right now I filter this out by using midiox!).

  8. Fix the problem where midi windows when opened don’t automatically centre on the cursor even when Follow mode is on. Thread here

  9. Rescan midi ports without having to restart Cubase!!! (only applicable to Windows)


+1, more sophistication, efficiency. And please identify the culprit behind mouse cursor glitch/sudden crash after a few hours of speed work.

I agree that MIDI could do with an overhaul. But I don’t think it’s been that neglected in recent releases. There were more composer-oriented features this time — circle of fifths, chord pads and so on. And MIDI improvements to the GA SE4 (MIDI output to follow soon apparently). Nor do I think it fair to say audio engineers have all they need. Believe me… I could write a very long list :wink:

I have literally never used a chord pad, chord track or any of that one-finger junk. I don’t mean that to sound quite so harsh, but frankly, that’s what music lessons were for. I agree SB has (apparently) expended a certain amount of effort on that stuff, but it has little to do with what I need because it seems like these are gizmos to help people -avoid- working with notes.

Basically, what -I- need are tools to make working with a lot of notes easier to do.

Like… being able to split, clone and bounce MIDI parts WHILE INSIDE THE KEY EDITOR.


And please don’t forget MIDI sends for instrument tracks.

Not harsh at all — I didn’t say I can’t ‘do’ chords. (Though FWIW, I do find the chord pads kinda handy when out with a laptop and no input device. Bit of a time saver when jotting down ideas.) I was merely pointing out that there’s been work on the MIDI side of things, even if not on the bits you want. (I could say the same on the audio side of things!) Whether it be on tools/toys like the chord pads, or more in-depth things like note expression. Still plenty of room for improvement, though, as you say.

OMG this thread is a life saver. I’ve actually come across people in the same boat as me.

Simultaneous MIDI interaction is impossible, and this is the biggest frustration as every other DAW can do it.

Add MIDI quick learn to as many parameters in Cubase as possible.

Remove CC messages on VST’s by default and then using MIDI quick learn we csn choose to interact with the instrument however we like at a later date.

I hope everyone realises that by implementing a MIDI quick learn feature and scrapping the VST quick tracks etc. tbis will reel in more non-Cubase owners. I used Logic Pro 9 in university just for ease of being able to work effectively work with MIDI with my colleagues, without having to worry about messing around with the MIDI settings in Cubase. Logic Pro 9 just worked out the box from a clean slate; any MIDI controller connected would do anything unless you a MIDI link using the MIDI quick learn feature.

I was brought up using Cubase as my first DAW in the days of Cubase SX 3. Looking at the workflow I get with Cubase, it blows the other DAW’s out of the water, and this is why I don’t want to move to any other DAW for studio music production. Now when I try and go back to Logic Pro 9 it actually stresses me out when something doesn’t do as I expect.

If you look at Ableton Live as a good example, MIDI integration is unlinked by default. To control something you simply click the blue box in the top right side if the screen and a box appears on the left. This is an embedded window that allows you add, delete and modify the MIDI learnt links with the hardware.

This is exactly what Cubase needs, a simple and effective way to control parameters of the DAW and its VSTI’s using MIDI learn with dedicated button and keyboard shortcut. This means we can totally getting rid of VST Quick Controls and Track Quick Controls.

Aloha S,

Nice points. I agree with them all (especially #2).

After reading thru this thread this statement struck me the most:

I too am in that boat with you mon ami (music director at my church) but sadly I believe the boat’s
direction is starting to point south.

Dan Spreadbury and crew might be coming out with something but
even that will not make it into Cubase; at least for a while.

About a year ago I finally put away Finalé and Sebelius and started using C7.5 for all my
notation use. I have no intent on going back but some growth in the ‘Score /Notation’
arena would be nice and reassuring to us ‘old’ users.

Good Luck!

+1 for midi learn on each button/knob please.


This is a post I made about the frustrations I was having with Cubase that affects my workflow in relation to MIDI integration…

Please give it a read because I would like to know if this affects anyone else. Cheers.


+1 …

I would say that your fears about notation may be unfounded to a certain degree. We have yet to see the fruits from the Sibelius guys. I’m skeptical, but that stupid optimist in me clings to hope that the scoring in Cubase will go from something only vic_france can use to something that I can use. I don’t know why something I can do in Sibelius in 5 minutes takes me over an hour to do in Cubase. The process just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like it always wants you to do the opposite of what would make sense to do.

sorry man, but chord track is not junk and you music lessons wont go to waste, either.

the uses for it is exceptional especially for mixing and automation, if your projects are syncd to grid… great to send midi anywhere with although they need to impove when it comes to sending chords to many tracks. havent tried v 8 though.

You said it, I didn’t. :smiley:

It’s ridiculous to think that any -external- program will provide a smoother workflow than an integrated solution. Just look at all the missed opportunities: Wavelab, Halion. The track record is the best predictor of the future.

If SB could’ve integrated WL and Hal into the -core- of Cubase, imagine how much faster life would be for professional composers. SB has great talent, but lousy strategic thinking. So notation, regardless of its quality, will not make my life better.

It -is- possible to get -playable- notation from Score. Note that I did not say -ideal-, but good enough that players can deal. Is it pretty? Is it the easiest to sight read? HELL NO. But it’s -livable- if one puts in the time. And I do. Why? (He said, rhetorically) One simple reason:

I realised that it takes me LONGER overall to go through all the exports/imports to accommodate a better notation program (and make the players happier). So I decided, a long time ago, to basically make -my- needs more important than the players. I need to do LOTS of edits and redos. That’s -me-. I rarely get it right the first time. We play and then I gulp and I fix. So -my- workflow is based on making it as fast as possible to make edits and get players new versions. And I’d rather give them a B- part -fast- than an A+ part, but take so long that no one has time for another run-through.

Unless MIDI receives the same effort that MixConsole seems to get nowadays… When Score is retired, I would have no compelling reason to stick with Cubase… except for backward compatibility. I’ve done a bit of homework and P/T is now pretty much competitive in terms of MIDI.

It’s still far faster for me to dump to Sibelius to create lead sheets than to try and muck about in Cubase notation. Even when banging around for hours, the notation I get in Cubase is a joke wad of notes and idiotic slurs and staff markers that make no sense whatever. Importing the same MIDI tracks into Sibelius almost instantly creates a useable lead sheet. The Cubase Notation thing is crazy powerful, but like a lot of the program you have to click 90000 times to fix one note, then click another 90000 times to fix the next note. Anyhow, I’m totally with you on the desire to see some attention to MIDI functionality. I use an ass ton of external gear … it’s funny that VST/32 was better at that in many many ways than C8 is.

Yes, MIDI in PT is coming along very well… But I still prefer Cubase at the mo. If I need scores then I always export to PT9 and just use the default settings, very suitable for sight-reading, miles better.


What, you mean you don’t like tied 64ths? :smiley:

I stick with Score because I want the MIDI to resemble the notation. What I’ve noticed with people who do elaborate faux-orchestra things (like VSL, etc.) can get uncanny results BUT then they have to do a -separate- version for notation. All the junk and tricks they have to put into the MIDI to get it to -sound- good has nothing to do with -notes-. (Call me quaint, but I still think in terms of ‘notes’.)

What I want is for the MIDI to be a -performance- that looks like notation. That is why it is CRITICAL for me that Note Expression be furthered. It’s the ONLY way to make it possible to write a MIDI track that generates decent notation.

I am just amazed that, after all these years, you can’t write a simple violin part, with normal divisis and so forth that can be notated.

I would like to see more love for Midi and devices. I have the Maschine MK2 to work on a gaming sound track.
Cubase 8 Pro will not record midi in or out. I have been working with Cubase support and I have upgraded my Studio PC from 32 bit to 64bit. I have 32 GB RAM and SD 240 GB, 6 core AMD 4.1 GHz
I still have same issue with midi.

Midi Keyboard DX7 works with all other programs.

for midi editor, midi editing, and midi in general improvements and enhancements. (i too cant find use for Chord track, pad track etc )