How to change note volume in editor - changing the velocity bar has no effect

Currently all notes I play with all instruments are given a maximum volume, however hard or soft I play. Although the indicator bars in the editor appear to be different in size, all notes have the same volume and adjusting the size for individual notes has no effect. I want to be able to adjust the volume so, for example, notes are quieter during a verse than a chorus.

In the picture the editor is set to show velocity and the notes all have different values, but they are always the same volume, however large or small the value. the volume doesn’t change if I change them.

Welcome, @Lee_Howson!

This is but one part of the equation. This screenshot shows MIDI velocity of the part that goes into your virtual instrument. But how the instrument responds to dynamics, this is another issue. There’s a possibility that velocity changes more of the “timbre” of the sound rather the “volume.”

For example, if you have a “traditional harpsichord” sound that doesn’t have dynamics by default, the instrument will always play at the same volume, regardless of the velocities.

If you want to affect only the loud/quiet aspect of the sound, it’s better to directly automate the instrument track’s volume in the mix (from the corresponding mixconsole channel, or the track’s fader section of the inspector).

Edit: By the way, what instruments are these? Orchestral libraries rely more on CC1 for dynamics than velocity.

Thank you for this. I am using various third party synths and drum machines. So for example, let’s say I add four kick drums in bar, and I want the first one to be a little louder and then I want to duplicate that bar for say a verse. I know in an old version of cubase I could just make the fist line a little longer in editor. How would I do that now? (it’s probably obvious, but I’m quite new to this).

Or my playing is usually a little sloppy and I want to standardise the note volume since it’s too uneven, I used to be able to just draw a line in editor.
Edit: Apologies - I saw ‘fixed velocity’ in midi function options now, but still the first question, I’m not sure.

That’s exactly what you do, provided that the virtual instrument is listening to velocity for its dynamics, and that the sound coming out has some dynamic range. If an instrument is overly compressed from within the plug-in, there’s not going to be much different in volume between parts played loud and parts played soft.

But you make it sound as if there’s no difference AT ALL. So, maybe there’s something wrong in the Dynamics setup of the track? Maybe velocity is not reaching the instruments at all?

That’s right - I tried this in a variety of projects with different instruments (some in Kontakt, a couple of Waves synths and a few others) I can even bring the velocity right down to 0 or up to 127 and it makes no difference. Sounds like there’s wrong in my setup then somehow, although it was only installed quite recently and this has always been the case.

Let’s take this from the top again.

You play normally at your keyboard (which MIDI keyboard do you have?). While you’re playing normally at your keyboard, everything sounds at full level, right?

But then, when you record this playing, the editor shows there’s variation of the velocities. Not every note is RED with a velocity of 127. Right?

And then when you play back, everything plays back at maximum level. Right?

In that case, I think it’s the instruments themselves that need tweaking. Your performance has dynamics. The keyboard produces dynamics. Those dynamics are visible within the recorded MIDI part in Cubase as different velocities.

Do you get the same result when you use a piano from Cubase’s Halion SE, for example?

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That’s it exactly, thank you for clarifying (it’s a Roland FA-08 so using Mackie generic). That’s a really good idea.

Yes Halion SE responds to velocity. So the instruments I’ve been using don’t respond to velocity in the way I expect which is fine because I should do that in track automation anyway. Makes sense, thank you very much for your help.

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Or another MIDI controller lane, besides velocity. You can also open a lane for CC1, 13, pitchbend, anything your vst instrument requires, or responds to.