How to move a lyrics syllable to the next note?

I’m using Cubase Pro, and adding some lyrics to a MIDI track.
I’ve imported song lyrics from cliboard using Lyrics from Clipboard, and it mapped syllables to notes.
However, some notes are grace notes, and don’t have syllables; other syllables are supposed to cover multiple notes, so after a while, the text nodes and the notes don’t line up.
Just trying to move the lyrics with the move tool, moves them up and down, but not left or right. Moving the blue “position” dot just moves the dot, the syllable/text stays glued to the note in question.
I’ve tried finding a way to “split” the lyrics so I can drag them off to the appropriate note, but haven’t been able to figure out the trick.

Unfortunately, the documentation is super silent on how one would go about doing this:

Also, apparently I’m the only one who can’t figure this out, because I can find no threads about it in the forum. (There’s a bunch of discussions over in the Dorico forum – not the tool I’m using.)

So… what obvious tool/command am I missing to be able to slide over some syllable in lyrics and have all the following ones ripple with it? Or does that just not exist? And if so, how am I supposed to do this?

The link you posted is for the Score Editor, where there are functions for lyrics.

In the Key Editor you could use the text field in the info line. But this is not lyrics, specifically.

Since OP is mentioning grace notes, I assume they are working in the Score Editor.


Lyrics are attached to notes, so you would need to delete from one and add to the other. @maestro, maybe you have more experience with this??

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You are correct! What I mean by “MIDI track” is that I’ve played some notes in MIDI to a VST instrument track, and then opening it up in the Score Editor to insert lyrics.

That would be quite cumbersome. In most of the other editors, there are nice ripple edit features. For example, in Drum editor, I can select a bunch of events, and drag them over a beat, and they all slide over a beat. It seems like “move all these syllables over by one” would be a not-uncommon operation and could “just work” with the general Cubase conventions?

But it sounds like that’s just not a thing? Me, too, wondering whether @Maestro knows more. Nice handle :smiley:

Please quiet, the Maestro is thinking … :thinking: :hourglass:
mm … No! :woozy_face:

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I have hardly ever used the score editor in Cubase so please excuse any ignorance on my part.
Maybe a workaround for now is to alter the lyrics your are importing to have an entry for every note including grace notes. I think that would make it less time consuming deleting the dummy entries on said grace notes and such. Just thinking out loud.

…or add

This is problematic, since in practice, a melody line for lyrics would only have notes for the syllables – as opposed to an instrumental staff – and I would presume that the designer of the feature would have followed those conventions.

I am afraid there is no other solution right now.
There is no function in the Score Editor to move lyrics from one note to another.
Maybe that would be an interesting feature to add.
In the meantime using the method mentioned by @steve you would have to select all the lyrics from the note at issue to the end by poop-Clicking on the word attached to that note and re-import the lyrics from that point. And repeat this procedure wherever there is a need.

So, one should add lyrics as late in the process as possible.

I’m OK with turning sung grace notes into regular notes.
Held/articulated vowels are more of a challenge.
Plus, sometimes, the syllable breaking doesn’t actually break apart multi-syllable words; I think perhaps when they would run into a rest?

Unfortunately, that’s not how I have been writing songs in general until now. This is an experiment to see if ideas can be easily captured in Cubase, but… “easy” seems to be a relative term :slight_smile:

I hear you, I do things out of order in the Score Editor compared to the suggestion in the manual, but after a few years I know what to watch out for.

I use the Cubase score-editor a fair amount. I have done a few dozen songs., by my usage goes in spurts.

You are doing some automated things here that I don’t do (“I’ve imported song lyrics from a clipboard.”). I have always entered my lyrics manually. I have not had the problems you mention. I sometimes have notes that do not have a lyric or syllable - such as when I have two or three notes that are for a single syllable that moves melodically. Usually, the syllable should be on the first note in these situations. I then use the tab key to skip the other notes until I get to the next note that needs a syllable.

There also is a way to select a string of lyrics and move the entire string. I learned how to do this in the Operation Manual. I have used it on occasion. I do not remember off hand how to do this. If you have a string of lyrics that are off one note because it was put in automatically on a copy from a clipboard, this might be an option for you. Select the string, then use the tab key to move it. Perhaps this will work.

You are probably long past this problem now since you posted it 10 months ago. But if you still wrestle with this, perhaps this will help.

I used to do this a lot about 5 years ago, but not lately - so this might be a bit off. I’m also not at Cubase either.

When you insert Lyrics from the clipboard you can do it in sections by only selecting some of the Lyrics.

  1. Copy all your Lyrics onto the clipboard
  2. Select the first Note that will have a Lyric attached
  3. In the clipboard select only the Lyrics before the grace note
  4. Hit Insert Lyrics
  5. Select the Note after the grace note
  6. Select the next section of Lyrics & Insert them
  7. Repeat as needed

My most common screwup would be to incorrectly split up syllables (e.g. syl- la- ble vs. sylla- ble) which also causes a Lyrics & Notes mismatch.