Ghost Notes Issue

Hi, I’ve been lurking searching the forums about the whole ghost notes issue with cubase. I plan on purchasing a new DAW and I was thinking about going with cubase. The only thing that’s really stopping me from pulling the trigger was the issue with the ghost notes.

What I mean by ghost notes is say if you highlight 4 mid tracks (3 with midi data and one blank) and enter the piano roll, it will show all the midi information of all 3 tracks within the piano roll all of which will be ghost notes. Then lets say if I wanted to write midi data in the blank midi track on top of the ghost notes so that way I know I am still in key, etc… basically what FL studio has:

From what I read in multiple older threads, cubase would activate the midi track if you click on one of the ghost notes. I just wanted to know if steinberg address this issue?

Hi and welcome,

I cannot see the issue here. Yes, Cubase activate the MIDI Part of the event, you clicked to. But you can activate any MIDI Part (even an empty one) from the drop-down menu, which is in the task-bar. So all Parts are accessible.

Thanks for the response,

What i’m talking about is let’s say I want to write some new midi data like shown in the image link in the OP. The fact that cubase activates the midi section when the notes are clicked, it makes it impossible to write new midi data that’s within the same key without cubase activating another midi section.

Is there a way in the new version of cubase to disable the switching of midi portions when clicking on a midi ghost note?

Yes. Next to the drop-down that lets you select the active part, on the left is a button that restricts your editing to only the active part. It looks like a stack of 3 squares (fyi this feature has been in Cubase forever).

@raino Are you talking about this:

No. It’s in the toolbar of the Key Editor not the Project Window.


I think there is a way to get what you are looking for, might not be as easy from a visual perspective though… But you’re going to run into things like this when switching DAWs, you’ll need to weigh what’s really important to your workflow first. Some functions will appear easier/quicker/slicker in one DAW, but that same DAW could be painfully archaic in other areas.

Cubase offer’s few different way’s to edit MIDI data, the one that looks closest to your FL Studio pic would be the MIDI “Key Editor”. And yes, what you want to do is not going to work there (as stated in earlier comments). But the MIDI “List Editor” in Cubase does allow you to select multiple MIDI Tracks/Parts and edit them individually.

The two screen shots I’ve included shows the exact same three MIDI tracks selected (They are color coded by MIDI Channel). The “Key Editor” is linear and uses what MIDI file you have in focus as your workable file and for empty note areas, edit a blank area and it will end up on the selected file. But if you try to edit area that has data on another track it’s switches focus to that file.

The “List Editor” is only linear on the time line (or Bars/Beats), it stacks each note event then lists it’s attributes (Type, Channel, Value, etc…). This allows you to add/change note data to any file without switching focus. Your guide is the List Data (columns on the left side). A quicker way to identify what file your editing is to use color codes (like the channel colors I mentioned earlier).

Now, I will say that the List Editor more of a surgical tool, it can get very busy looking because it allows you to see/edit just about everything. So if your have a bunch of automation and CC value data on a track it’s going to show up in the list. The longer the list, the more you’ll have to scroll.
Key Editor:
List Editor:

Sorry, but that isn’t totally correct. If Edit Active Part Only is not activated then the focus will switch like you describe. But if it is activated then the focus will not change. Basically it is a switch that turns the focus changing behavior on & off. The OP can do exactly what they want using the Key Editor.

Raino, thanks for the correction. Good tip, I didn’t know about the Edit Active Part Only function.

There’s so many options and features that it’s easy to miss things. I’ve been using Cubase for ages and still stumble on new (to me) useful things 3 or 4 times a year.

There seems to be some confusion as to what “Edit Active Part Only” actually does :wink: (and it doesn’t solve the original poster’s question)…
Let’s say you have two MIDI tracks, with two consecutive MIDI Parts on each of them (and several notes in each Part), and you open them simultaneously in the Key Editor…
One of the Parts will be active, by default.
Make a selection, say with the “rubber band”, which will probably include some of those “ghost” notes, and drag the selection. Yes indeed, only the notes belonging to the currently-active Part will move.
If, while in the currently-active Part, you click on a “ghost” note, you are then activating the Part to which it belongs.
The O.P. is correct, there is no way to “lock” the currently-active Part.

Vic I tried this yesterday before posting just to verify (not at DAW now), and it did not switch the active Part. Perhaps the behavior is tool dependent? I was using the Pencil Tool to draw notes over notes that existed in a non-active Part. I’ll explore it a bit more when I get to DAW-land.


I verified that this is tool dependent. If you are using the Arrow Tool (aka Object Selection) and click on a note in a non-active Part that Part will become active. This only occurs when the Arrow Tool is selected. So if you are using the Pencil Tool and click where there is a note in a non-active Part the currently active Part remains active and a note is written in it. The same applies for tools like Mute, Split, etc. - the active Part does not change.

Using the Alt modifier with the Arrow Tool can also change which Part is active. Alt-Arrow used anywhere where there isn’t a note in a non-active Part behaves just like the Pencil Tool and does not change which Part is active. However if you hover Alt-Arrow over a note in a non-active Part it changes to a Split Tool and clicking on the note will both change which Part is active and split the note in this newly activated Part.

Hi Raino,
Thanks for the info :slight_smile:… it had never occurred to me that it might be tool-dependant! (It’s exactly like you were saying about discovering new things, just two posts up :wink: )

Me neither, until I read your post. I figured if Vic thinks it works one way (and you are almost always correct) & I literally saw it working differently what could account for the discrepancy? The only thing I could think of was to be tool dependent. In retrospect it even makes sense. The Arrow isn’t editing anything, it’s selecting. And if you select something in a different Part the focus should shift to that Part - the selection should work the same independent of the state of “Edit Active Part Only.” There is still a need to be able to change which Part is active.

Thanks, I tested this with a friends version of cubase and it seems to do exactly what I was looking for :smiley:

How u did it?