How do you use dual monitors and Cubase?

Thinking of maybe getting a second monitor.

How good is Cubase to use that?
Standard MDI behavior - or something more than that?
Standard as I discovered working on dual monitor system

  • maximize window do that on one monitor - both main app and mdi-windows.
  • you can extend workspace manually over two monitors - but cannot use maximize window.

Thinking to have mixerConsole visible at all times, and less back and forth with windows.
Is that doable as is?

Or are there addons that give that ability - like software that work like it were an controller?
Preferably to use with Elements abilities - but interesting if upgrading eventually too.
A standalone of mixerconsole maybe that hooks right in - as the internal one?


I use two monitors in my set-up (3 if you count my iPad). I have set up separate workspaces for tracking and mixing. The Tracking set-up has the Project window on monitor 1 and the MixConsole on monitor 2. The Mixing workspace flips the Project and MixConsole windows. I usually place the plug-in windows on monitor 2. Although I am considering getting a third monitor for them.

I also use IC Pro for transport controls and Key Command buttons.

This set-up works like a charm. At least, for me it does.

I think most people will tell you that once you’ve used a dual monitor setup, there is no going back.

I mostly have the arrange page on one, the mixer on the other, with any plugins I want quick access to hidden under the mixer, which I can hide using a programmed switch on my mouse. But there’s no rules of course, you set things up as you want.

I keep thinking about getting a third monitor dedicated to plugins, but have not done this yet. I’m sure when I finally do it’ll be another ‘no going back’ thing :slight_smile:

I’d advise anyone to take a close look at Cubase IC Pro, before investing in a second monitor. Granted, the added screen real estate has speeded up my workflow. However, I find that IC Pro has had a much bigger impact. The way I see it, is has four huge benefits:
Transport Controls
It’s much easier to control Cubase with buttons, than with the alpha-numerical keyboard.

Accessing all manner of features in Cubase
It’s much faster to be able to access various features by pushing a (virtual) button, than using menus and the mouse or memorizing hundreds of Key Commands.

Moving faders
I’m deffinetly not a fan of virtual faders but IC Pro can do something that otherwise only physical Control Panels can. Move multiple faders simultaneously.

Remote control Cubase
If I want to lay down some (say) vocals myself, and don’t have a spare engineer loitering around, I can take my iPad (or Android tablet) with me and control Cubase from the studio. No more running back and forth between the Studio and the Control Room. This is a huge time-saver.

Also if you’ve already got a tablet (there is a phone version available aswell) it’s quite cheap.

And NO! I don’t work for Steinberg. I just find it a very useful investment.

Monitor 1 (first half of image) upper left and part of lower left: track metering (enabled via a send I put on each track).
Mon 1 upper right: track editor.
Mon 1 lower: arrange window.

Mon 2 (second half of image) upper left part of it: transport. Below that Mix Console for viewing VSTi’s and FX.
Mon 2 upper right: meters, lots of meters. The first column of 6 Dorroughs are what my final 6 stems are, pre-fader; second column, post-fader.
Mon 2 lower: the final 32 stereo stems / subgroups.
Mon 2 far-right-side strip top and bottom: meters showing stereo mixdown, some gain structuring and a final Dorrough showing what goes to my real-time mastering chain (it also has the “2bus” inserts on it – buss compression, limiters, etc.) That’s on yet a 3rd monitor.

If anyone is interested, here’s the full image:

I use 4 21 inch monitors set as close as possible to each other.

(From left to right starting with monitor 4)

  1. Mix Console 1 in full screen mode
  2. Mix Console 2 in full screen mode
  3. Arrange page monitor
  4. Mix Console 1 (not full screen) in lower half. (This contains only inputs, groups, effects, and master out channels)
    Upper half is blank. Its saved for editor channel, and is also where key, drum, or half-key half drum edit windows pop up using workspaces. Yes, you can have key and drum editors open in the same monitor. Key on top, drum on the bottom. It works well when working with bass and drum issues at the same time.

Mix Console 1 is also where VST’s pop up, any media bay, and history window.

All monitors are a bit lower and tipped slightly up. When seated my eye level is horizontally about 8 inches above the top of the video monitor. Also…I’m a musician so my keyboard controller is in front of me…not an outboard mix console. My 32/64 channel outboard mix console sits to the left of me. My Qcon Icon to the right with qwerty keyboard directly in front of the Icon. I don’t use pre-configured work stations as most would never come close to workable for myself.

The biggest problem is Steinbergs bug. Mix consoles in full screen mode won’t allow any VST’s or anything on top of them once you click on the mix console…it goes hidden.

The 2nd biggest issue for Steinberg is there is no focus on these mix consoles for key commands. This greatly hinders workflow making things a “click-fest” compared to C6.5. Key commands seem to be an afterthought with Steinberg. They didn’t even have any for the mix console when it was first released! I use key commands as much as possible assuming it’s faster than a mouse.

Sermon time: I don’t think some users really understand the full power of KC’s Macros, logical editor and how they can integrate together. Here is an inspiring video for key commands even though the guy is using a very old sequencer.

The Mackie HR824’s are set about 1 foot behind and just above the video monitors, about 4 feet apart forming the nice sweet spot triangle. When people see my project studio some believe having the Mackies set behind the video monitors by 1 foot compromises the audio. IMO everything is a compromise. I’m using Cubase to produce and compose…not master. I have a 2nd monitor system for reference but rarely use it. I’ll take my masters to a room sonically engineered for mastering who really knows his environment. So for me, that compromise is one I can live with…and I have for years. Learn your monitors well.

In Wavelab8 I’m also using video 4 monitors. Once you get 4 monitors for either Cubase or Wavelab, I doubt you will go back. :smiley:

Many thanks guys, I start to see soooo many improvements from dual monitoring.

Special thanks to jalcide for taking the time and post images.
And learned that I can have multiple instances somehow of mixconsole - have to look into that.
Probably in Cubase, not Elements that I run for the moment.

Up to three, all selectable from the Devices menu.

See The MixConsole on page 177 of the Cubase Operation Manual.

Get a 4K TV!

I use one as my main display, with a 23" touchscreen on each side of my desk, with a MixConsole fullscreen on one, showing all channels except inputs, and the other has all the little Cubase windows, including a small MixConsole with inputs, as per:
Use Cubase iC Pro on a phone or tablet. It’s customisable cue mix view is way better than using the horizontal cue send sliders in channels, and you can have up to four of them. But Cubase only! Note that a 7" Android tablet will only show the single ‘phone’ view.

I’m running Elements right now, which is only one mixer view - but will check Cubase manual as well eventually.


Only one is required if your display has enough pixels!

Neat setup.

I was looking at making something similar but with one tilted touchscreen right below main monitor.

They charge silly money for this hardware solution though, but software can be bought to make you own touch consoles for about ($700 or so was 18 months ago when I looked) - now $99 is seems .

Pretty close to have a hardware console I think.
But have to check this tablet stuff out, ignored those as serious.

Or wrap the console somehow into multiple rows to use screen efficiently.

But I saw that presets are available too, so that will be useful.

Firstly you cannot use Cubase across dual monitors if you have the “maximize” icon [top right corner] set on your master screen. This will automatically set/fix the Cubase program to show in one monitor only.

You have to click on the double screen icons [ also top left] of your master screen, set to " double down" . This then allows you to drag the Cubase screen on the master monitor across to the second dual monitor.

Its important to identify which is your master monitor, on the left monitor or right monitor. Once you have Cubase now across both screens you can position the mixer in one of the screens, the project in the other, etc. but still must be within the Cubase program screen. Only a few items like the transport bar can go outside of the Cubase main screen.

I have had no problems with dual monitors since the early Cubase days.
One important thing for me is the screen resolution, this makes a big impact on font sizes and therefor how much info you can fit onto a screen. The higher the better, nowadays TV screens are being used but there to it is important to ensure thy have a PC input and can handle the higher screen resolutions. HD LED screens are great, not HD ready or other marketing nonsence. It is also nice to know that one does not need to buy a TV as such, but rather a LED HD screen/monitor, as why would you need all the additional TV receiver/3D/fancy stuff functionality costs.

I have set up separate workspaces for Recording, Tracking and Mixing. The Recording & Tracking set-up has the Project window on monitor 1 and the MixConsole on monitor 2. Tracking has the Project across half the second console as well. The Mixing workspace minimizes the Project window and maximizes the MixConsole console over both windows.

I hope this helps. :relaxed::relaxed:

Cubase 7.5 32/64 bit Windows 7 64bit Intel Core i7-3.6Ghz 32GB RAM Steinberg MR 816csx, Mackie MCU
Barefoot MicroMain 27 Speakers

I am currently having TWO Matrox Cards in my Setup, both come with 4 Outputs each.

I am using 5 Monitors with cubase - 4 of them are 22 Inch each and mounted in a square, the upper 2 slightly tilted.

They are mounted on the top Level of my Zaor Studio Table (I bought mine before they started to offer the real big one and therefore had some individual changes done by Zaor in order to allow the table to carry the Motif XF8 in the Keyboard-tray). Since this is relatively far away from my eyes I decided to Mount a small Monitor directly on the front Level of my Studio table, left side with a moveable mounting plate).

Usually the four Monitors Show arrange window and mixer one (Mixer One is in Fullscreen on the 2 upper Monitors - i.e. Stretch): The lower two Monitors: Left the arrange page and the right Monitor for Control Room, Meters and Plugins.

The fifth “Close” Monitor is used to either extend the Screen real estate (Open Editors, Vsti Windows, etc.) or as a magnifier (I can select any of the four upper Screens to be mirrored on the small Close Screen for better Detail recognition.

I found that this solution is ideal for me, maybe some of you know the Problem when they wear glasses for reading and the main Displays are a Little bit too far …

Cheers, Ernst

PS.: Three ports of the second graphic Card are “free”, one of them is connected to my home tv. So I can Transfer Images ad lib to the living room :slight_smile:

That’s why I have the graduated focal lenses. For the home-office, I use ones with dual focal length, with the lower for reading, but when I was working on-site in contracts, I needed triple focal length, with the upper plain, just so people’s faces weren’t a blur when they came over to talk.

With my 4K, the dual is enough, as triple would require too much head movement just to be able to read a full-height window.

I’m telling you that once you’ve used a THREE-MONITOR setup, there is no going back. :wink:
The central monitor is for the regular track view, the right screen for the mixer and the left screen for VST management. Left and right screens are angled inward at 45 degrees and the NFM’s are sandwiched between them and the central screen and angled inward at 22.5 degrees.

I have setup two 44 inch flat tvs with Cubase, it’s a great way of working the resolution is fine for close working and you can get them very cheap

I used dual monitor setup then change for one bigger. Why ? I was tired to look on the left, on the right. I want to look stright ahead. But…using F3 all the time is not good thing also. Maybe Cubase 8 will have better windows menagment, like Logic 10 or Studio One 2 ? There is room to show tracks and mixer atonce on one screen.

If they have to copy window management from another DAW, it definitely has to be Sonar X3. Nothing comes even close to the awesomeness of the Skylight Interface. I’ve always said that the perfect DAW would be Cubase with Sonar’s GUI.