Getting started....PLEASE HELP!

Hello, I am new to the technical world of recording. I used to use Audacity but wanted better quality so I recently purchased Cubase Artist 7. It’s very complicated and overwhelming. All I am wanting to do is upload a pre-recorded musical track and lay down my vocals, add effects to the vocals etc. Can someone please explaine a simple way to do this? It would really be appreciated!!!

Hello, Quincy!

Your best friend for basics is going to be YouTube. Searching for “cubase recording tutorial” will give you several hits. Like,

It’s worth watching the videos for previous versions of Cubase, although the interface will look different.

Your question is very broad and difficult to put into words – books have been written on the topic! :wink: Maybe dive into the videos and see how it goes. You’ll probably have more specific questions coming out of that. And then we can provide more focused answers.

Good luck!

Ok thanks you, I will check it out. I have looked at a lot of videos on youtube already but they all seem to be so complicated. This is the basics of what I want to do. I am only a vocalist, I normally record cover songs. When I used audacity I imported the muscic track and then was able to record my vocals and background vocals to the track. I caint even figure out how to get the music uploaded onto Cubase. I think I may be out of my league with this one. Do I need an amp in order to record?

File/Import/Audio… navigate, select and import your files. Done. That should get you started but there is much more. Be sure to set up your audio card correctly eg.

You might want to investigate the tempos and such. Cubase is capable of creating “Tempo Maps” if necessary, for which you will easily find a youtube lesson.

Good luck.

sigh…looks like I am out of my league here, I don’t even know what an audio card is!

Do I need an audio interface?

If you haven’t got a dedicated audio interface you can get by with your on board audio but you will, generally, get better results if you use an ASIO driver.

So if you are using on board audio, I recommend ASIO4ALL…

It’s free. Download and install it and then, in Cubase: Devices/Device Set up/VST Audio System. Select ASIO4ALL from the drop down list, top right. That should give you better latency.

Although, I don’t know what your system is. Maybe it already has an ASIO driver. If so try that.

Don’t fret about being over your head. We all had to start some where. Be patient :wink:

I wouldn’t say you’re in over your head. If you figured out how to get what you want out of Audacity you’ll likely figure this out too. Note, however, that simply recording into Cubase instead of Audacity is not going to improve anything really. So, ask yourself what you think is lacking in your Audacity workflow. Maybe for what you’re trying to accomplish you’ve already settled into a simple solution. Cubase has more capabilities, but do you need those? And to get those capabilities is it worth the investment in time and energy?

[Sheesh! I sound like I’m discouraging you! Not at all. Just trying to get you to think about the end product and where you think it needs improvement, if at all. Horses for courses.]

Have you checked out this forum?

Might be helpful for things outside the realm of Cubase proper.

P.S. – Your soundcard is your audio interface right now. I wouldn’t think you’d need to buy an audio interface just yet. Once you’ve nailed down the basics you’ll probably want one. For anything more than what you’re already doing a dedicated audio interface will become key.

Like the guys have said above, there are some great resources on YouTube. I know these aren’t Cubase, but if you’re looking for the basics of working with a DAW, (Digital Audio Workstation), I’d recommend Joe Gilder’s blog at and Graham Cochrane’s as two good sites that are packed with resources - Graham’s YouTube channel in particular is rich pickings, as he’s posted over 90 videos in his “5 Minutes To A Better Mix” series over the last 3 years - it may be ProTools, but the principles are the same. Right now, Joe Gilder is posting 2 short videos a day looking at the basics of home recording.

On how to add effects in Cubase 7, may I modestly suggest you drop by, as I’ve been posting videos covering how to use the racks system in Cubase over the last few weeks, including sends, (for reverbs etc.) & inserts, (for spot effects).

Finally, you’re in a good place here - once you’re up to speed with the basics, loads of helpful people on this forum who will help you get going. It’s a steep learning curve from Audacity to Cubase, but once you get going, you’ll never look back.

Regards, (and good luck!),


You’ll get there! Have you got a friend who knows Cubase who can take you through some basics? There’s nothing like a bit of hands-on!

Be aware that using Cubase rather than Audacity won’t add any “quality”. It will just give you a different set of tools.

Hello Quincy,

1st… have fun learning your new Cubase software. FYI, if you want to mixdown your music to the mp3 format, that option is not included in Cubase Artist. You will need to purchase the Cubase mp3 converter patch from Steinberg or find a free mp3 converter on the internet. Just be aware that a free patch will not work seamlessly with Cubase.

The quality of the sound you record is a function of your audio interface. Not so much the software (Cubase or Audacity) that lets you mix/produce your final product. With that said, most any audio interface will record sounds much better than the sound card included on a typical computer.

Check out the “homerecording” link 'kelp" listed in his post for some very useful information about the different audio interfaces available.

Hi Quincy!

I’m new to Cubase since late june and bought “Cubase Elements 7” just around 2 weeks ago.

Well, to fastly get up and running I suggest using a recording template from the Project assistant window, directly after you started Cubase. Then when you have the project open, first have a look in the Device Setup so that you pick your Audio card + correct ASIO and give it a decent buffer size + also chek the input/output busses in “Connections”. Then import the audio file into Cubase that youre going to sing to and use your vocal track to start singing/recording to the audio file. Of course you first need to hook up all the hardware to the audio card; the microphone, etc. In Cubase, you start/stop recording using the Transporter (press F2 on the keyboard = for Windows users, dont know what it is for Mac users = check the pdf-file that came with Cubase).

But I’m taking it rather alow and steady, to learn the basics + more interesting stuff like the Mixer Console and how to use Strip channels, etc. I’m also watching a lot of videos on YouTube, very good ones out there + reading the pdf filethat came with Cubase.


Hi Quincy,

Just as kelp had said, you should get out of your head that you are over your head. I have been new to Cubase since 2004. However, I have had very little time to get some good things out of it. Now it is nine years later and I have more time to dedicate to my recording technique. Having used computers for over 30 years I have been fortunate that most of the software had been quite intuitive. This has also been a downfall as I am accustomed to just sitting down and using almost anything. Not being an engineer for recording clearly proved this to me.

In my case, it was very important to read the manual, maybe the second one I’ve read in 10 years. So I started this process about eight weeks ago. The book is quite large but I have compiled more information in the last eight weeks then in the last eight years. I have utilized many of the great features of Cubase and what it offers in all of my own tracks. It has made my own playing as a guitarist, somewhat more creative. And I will agree, YouTube has much to offer between the Steinberg videos and club Cubase. Within 30 days I’m sure you will agree that you have come a very long way. You can always look up something here or pop in and ask a question.

Quincy, go sign up for this free Introduction to Music Production online course that covers all the basics. While it officially started July 19, you can enroll after it starts.