How to draw smooth automation in midi cc lanes without snap?

I’ve got this problem like forever and I wonder if it’s a solution it.

When you use the “oldfasioned” automation lanes for midi data such as velocity or modulation, you can see that when you record modwheel movement it’s a nice set of controlpoints. But when you want to draw it yourself its always quantize according to grid snap, and the controlpoints are so scarce that the automation kinda jumps instead of goes smoothly.

Do you really always need to disable the snap feature in order to draw a consistent line of automation points ? Can you do it another way ?

Using cubase pro 8 btw

It’s a good question. I’ve often wanted to be able to customize the density of controller events independently of any quantize snap settings. Should be a paint-brush kind of thing: spatter the paint every millimeter, every centimeter, every meter, what ever the user chooses. Maybe should go into feature requests forum if it isn’t possible today.

In Preferences > Editing : Automation Reduction Level.
Use the tools for drawing more consistently (Parabola, Sine…etc.)
FWIW, I also use a graphic tablet with a pen which is much more natural than using a mouse.

It works using the parabola or line tool so that’s great.

However I can’t seem to find the prefference and editing setting you describe, I nowhere see a “reduce automation” level, is it in the midi section ?

It’s in the Editing section of your Preferences from the Cubase File Menu :wink:

Weird, I don’t see it either. Is it only in Cubase 8?


Hi, i think the function you’re looking for is in the Automation Panel.

Its Project > Automation Panel or F6 - shortcut.

There is a little gear icon on the bottom left of the window and clicking it will reveal the settings. The Reduction Level is there.

hope this helps…

i have created in request forum area for vertical snap and many sugestions around it. If you feel you might contribute on discussing or supporting or unsuporting please go to:

Hah! The cats have moved it!
Thanks for that heads-up. I haven’t changed this value since 5x.
Plus, another case of false information in the Operating Manual.

yay. Steinberg hates on visually impaired ppl like me :stuck_out_tongue:

can someone show how this can be applied to drawing CC MIDI data (i.e modulation or expression)? It is important for these parameters to be controlled in a flow-like ascending/descending motion, yet by default Cubase snaps a horizontal line to a quantize point. In Logic Pro X, two points are always connected by a diagonal line, and that makes sense. What is the workaround for Cubase?

Hey Cube100

The only way I’ve found to draw smooth line automation for CC lines is in the arrange window, not in the edit window, which I admit is frustrating as it’s something that Logic for instance does straight out of the box.

You can do this by expanding the drop down automation lanes for your midi track (in the arrange window). Click on the name of the automation track and scroll down the drop-down menu until you find “More…”, then navigate to “All CC”, then select Modulation or Pitch Bend etc.

This unfortunately means there’s a lot more vertical information in your arrange window so unless you’ve got a super hi-res screen it’s not ideal, but at least you’ve got some smooth CC info going on!

Hope this helps.

CUBASE - please sort this out, should come as standard to have the option to have ramp/jump/exp curve between 2 points in the CC lines.

+1. Well said.

I found this tutorial very helpful (it’s pretty much the same benjamintalbott said, but a little easier than going through all the drop downs):

Late to this thread but i was just searching for this feature and I found that if you turn off snapping in the midi key editor you can draw very smooth (many points) lines in the cc controller lanes…

Also late to this party, but stumbled upon it whilst looking how to get smooth CC recordings without all the unnecessary points.
The Automation panel was half the clue. The other I found in;
Midi > CC Automation Setup.
In there I set the CC controller numbers Record Destination to Automation Track. (in this case Expression 11 )
Coupled with the Reduction Level in the Project Automation Setup, I now can record CC info with smooth transitional lines.