Hands-free looping in Cubase 11 Pro

I’m using a MIDI foot controller to trigger macros and/or key commands in Cubase 11 Pro, and I’m hoping to use this for live multi-instrument looping. A way I’ve potentially found to do this is to use cycle markers to define the loops. Helpfully, there are key commands to activate cycle marker 1, cycle marker 2, etc., which set the left and right locators to the start and end of their corresponding cycle. Mapping these to the foot controller is straightforward using the generic controller.

This approach works fine if I’m going through each loop in sequence. Say I define the follwing two cycle loops: cycle 1 from bar 1 to bar 5; and cycle 2 from bar 5 to bar 9. Transitioning between cycle 1 and cycle 2 is straightforward as activating cycle 2 while I’m in cycle 1 sets the left and right locators to the correct new postions, and when the cursor reachers bar 5 it naturally progresses into cycle 2 and loops correctly. However, I can’t find an obvious way to move from cycle 2 to cycle 1, as this requires the right locator to remain at the end of bar 9 until the final iteration of cycle 2 is complete (to allow playback to smoothly transition from the end of bar 9 to the start of bar 1), but then move the right locator to the end of bar 5 to allow the cycle to be defined properly.

Any thoughts on how to automate this (with a macro, or any other way)? I would be happy to have two macros - the first that is activated during the final iteration cycle 2 and which sets the left locator to the start of cycle 1, and a second that is triggered duirng the first iteration of cycle 1, and sets the right locator to the end of cycle 1. But I can’t find an obvious way of doing that with the available key commands… It could also become unusably complex if I had more than two cycles (for example, I would need a macro for transitioning from cycle 2 to 1, cycle 3 to 2, cycle 3 to 1, etc.)

Is there another way of doing this that I haven’t thought of? If only there was a scripting API available in Cubase…

[One possibility might be to activate cycle 1 during the final iteration of cycle 2, then trigger the ‘go to left locator’ key command right at the end of the iteration; but that would require some expert timing and minimal lag in the MIDI controller (which doesn’t seem to be the case for me!)]

Have a look at what the arranger track offers:-

You can map to sections of the song via MIDI messages, it’s quite powerful - how suitable it is for your setup I don’t know. There’s quite a few mappings available in there for specific section numbers and/or prev/next chain controls.

But it’s good fun, as you can set the ‘jump mode’ to be 1 bar, or whatever and the current section will play until that measure has been reached. Can’t remember if I’ve tried it externally controlled, but presuming the ‘jump mode’ is obeyed there also.

From memory i was getting slight audio glitches with it when swapping events, so ended up not using it so much. So it’s use as a live tool may be limited from that perspective(?). :frowning:

Many thanks for this. I had a play with the arranger track, and it’s so very close to what I need, but with one big limitation: recording automatically stops when the cursor moves into a new part in the chain, or when the current part is looped. If this didn’t happen (and instead I could record in place or into a new lane), it would be perfect for my application. It seems that several others on the forum have noticed the same issue, so perhaps this will be remedied in future releases…?

Ah that’s a bit sucky, never used it for recording so wasn’t aware of that.

I don’t suppose punch in/out points can be used to force it to record either…

Sadly not - just tried it and recording still stops… It was so close to working!