Force piano roll to reflect scale and enter chords/arpeggios

It has been requested before, but it is still not here(after many years) so I will take it up again.

It would be very handy to set the scale for the piano roll/midi editor. Options could be:

  • Colorcode in scale (Notes in scale show green both on the piano roll and when entered)
  • Colorcode out of scale (Notes out of scale are marked red both on the piano roll and when entered)
  • Allow out of scale (if it possible to enter notes out of scale, but they will be marked as above)
  • Disable out of scale notes (Notes out of the selected scale are greyed out and can not be entered)
  • Quantise up (If you click on notes out of scale they are moved to the closest note up)
  • Quantise down (If you click on notes out of scale they are moved to the closest note down)

It would also be cool to have a “chord wand”. A ward with more or less the same options as in the chord track (3 maj, 3 min, 3 dim, 4note, 5 note, root and inversion" and when you click a note in the piano roll you enter a chord.

Heck while I am at it, why not add an arp wand too? Select pattern (op, down, up/down, “clipboard = copy a part”", 4, 8, 16, 32 notes, Select scale) and when you click a note it draws an arpeggio that starts from that note and forward as long as you draw the “note”.

Please add this, it makes work a lot faster for some of us.

Explore these functions with “Chord Track” selected in the Event Colors drop down in the key editor, and chord and/or scale events on the Chord Track and you will see much of this already is there.

Explore the Chord Editing tab in the inspector and you will discover other existing functions in your request.

I like the chord inspector as much as the other man, but no it is not the same to have things quantised AFTER they are entered and getting tools to aid you entering notes according to scale BEFORE.

And also there is an advantage of having the tools in the piano editor and not having to swap lanes to do things. I also find the chord track pretty clumsy. You add chords too it, but you can’t change velocities inside a chord och timing of individual notes, it is even hard to edit the length of the chord.

So an option for get the inserted notes to stick to scale and also have you scale visually reflected in the pianoroll would be nice. It will also make the SINE, SQUARE and parabola tools useful for entering notes to form arpeggios.

Cubase is huge and filled with neat functions, it is only small things like this that make it a bit clumsy. So to me your argument sounds like “we have banjo, we don’t need a bass guitar, you can play the same with a banjo”.

Not really. Steve is suggesting that there are existing capabilities you might find useful. Keep in mind that any feature requested in the best case won’t get implemented for at least 2 years (e.g. it won’t be in C9 as that feature set was finalized long ago). Also remember that the Steinberg developers have a list with literally thousands of user feature requests, many (most?) of which won’t ever be implemented. So given that you’ll get that bass guitar sometime between 2 years and never, it might be fun to explore the banjo while you wait. :wink:

What Rodger said…
Also, with the chord editor tab I was actually referring to

You can also set up a logical editor preset to do stuff like that, but yeah, I do understand you want to click.

Yes, and as I mentioned also it is not only about the click it is about bringing basic functions together. The parabola tool and others are pretty useless for composing now, they are more or less only useful for editing curves of velocities and CCs. Pre-entry Scale settings will give you instant visual feedback about how your “sequence” will turn out as you drag it. Now it is a hit and miss thing, and a lot of redraws to get what you want it to be.

Basicly I just want to work a bit faster with it. I am tired of a setup of clicking in one track, having a chord track to transpose it and recording it to see the end result.

I know and it is nice of you to try and suggest other tools, but I am in Cubase and I am using the transpose, record and get lucky or not method now. And I find it clumsy, that’s it. I have do redo things over and over to get what I intended and I must zoom in and out in the lanes to be able to see what notes I want to enter or click, miss and then move them in place in the lane when they get transposed in a way I did not intend.

You may be right about it will takes many years for Steinberg to implement these things since most of it is already in the code and used in other parts of the program. I hope not, if that is the case me and my likeminded “arpeggio brothers” will leave the platform and use other software or hardware sequencers.

Depending on the specifics of what you are trying to accomplish (which isn’t all that clear) Cubase might not be the best tool for you to use, and a different DAW is your best choice - they all have different strengths & weaknesses. You might also find that the addition of a couple of 3rd-party plug-ins provides the capabilities you need, or that an alternative approach works better than you anticipate.

Ableton Live has a midi device that transposes midi input to a customizable scale post-piano roll but pre-VSTi. As a last ditch effort, perhaps you could get a Live Intro license just for the midi devices, and rewire into Live. It’s inelegant, but it accomplishes what you want. Studio One has these features I believe, but tbh I don’t recommend it. The workflow is great but ever since version 3.2 it seems like every time a major bug is fixed another one pops up. Like whack-a-mole. Hence, I bought a Cubase license.

OP- You asked for a bajillion things, but it sounds like you mainly want to have notes limited to a scale upon entry in real time. In Cubase that’s done using the Input Transformer.

Upper pane
Type equal Note

Lower pane
value 1 Transpose to scale

Make sure you activate the Module.

Not sure & can’t test at the moment - but will that work hand entering notes in the Key Editor? I’m pretty sure that’s what the OP wants, and I don’t think it will. If it does, that opens a whole new realm of the Input Transformer to explore.

That was a complex and creative solution, but it did not seem to work. Either I failed to activate it or it does not affect the draw pen and sine tools in the edit pane. Did I set up work?

If it can work the input transformer icon could be added in the top above the piano roll.

Thank you but I have paid more than enough upgrades and licences for Cubase to be entitled to request a feature of basic nature so I would rather not buy into another platform.

I tried and failed, but you are right if this can work it opens up the playing field and if it does not that could be another way to go with the feature request, make the input transformes and transpose settings in the midi-piano-roll apply to the pen and draw tools.

Still I would like a “draw chords” tool as well cause that is something different that would make my string composing a whole lot faster. I am am not done with my “bazillion” features wish list :wink:

Sorry, I should have said “MIDI entry” rather than just real time. :blush: I made an incorrect assumption about whether you were acquainted with the Input Transformer’s function and scope.

So the problem still remains, there are a lot of transpose tools, but none can be applied to the pianoroll and wand tools. Pick any you can get to work Steinberg, implement it and I will be happy.

You do know that you can draw in chords in the Key Editor, or do you mean something else?