I can't seem to overdub audio (can't hear previous take)

It’s late and my wrestling with Cubase has hit a new low tonight. I’m trying to do the following:

  • Record a take to a click - let’s call it scratch vocals and guitar
  • I screw up and want to rewind a little and start recording where I left off by just playing along with my prior take

Simple, no? :frowning:

Sonar/Cakewalk has always allowed this. I’m pretty sure I’ve done this 100 times in Ableton too.

Is this possible in Cubase?

My rules:

  • I don’t want to mess with setting punch in/out points. This is terrible for a few reasons I won’t get into.
  • I don’t want to use my foot to hit record
  • I don’t want to have to manage multiple tracks just to bounce back and forth between bad takes

This seems like something a first-generation DAW should support. Am I missing something obvious? It’s really frustrated me. The documentation only mentions the word “overdub” with regard to MIDI (minor oversight?!?).


  • Sean

PS… This old forum software Steinberg uses is laughable. No Markdown support? Just adds to more of my frustration! Creating a bulleted list should be easy. It’s not. They should take some of the money they have siphoned from me and pay a high schooler to upgrade it. :imp:
PPS… Okay… that might have been a little harsh, but seriously. For paid software… that needs a silly dongle, I expect MORE.

One way you could do this is to silence the section of the track you want to re-record and create a new track to record the new part. You can then listen to the original track and it will be silenced where you record the new part. Once you have your new recording, trim it to fit and move it into a lane in the original track or cut the original bit and slide the new bit in there.

Yeah, it is pretty simple. There are doubtless other ways but this one works for me - A few clicks, takes no more than a couple of seconds to set up.

1.Duplicate the track.
2.Delete the contents of the duplicate.
3.Set the original track to playback monitor and the duplicate track to input monitor, so you can hear both the old and the new. Snip and delete or mute any sections of the original take as required.
4.Record onto the duplicate track. Start, stop, or loop from/to anywhere you want. Make as many new takes as you require.
5. When you’ve finished, Ctrl+drag the new take(s) over to the original track. They will appear at their time correct positions in new lanes beneath the original take(s).

You can just remove the now empty duplicate track, or hold on to it in case you need it again to make another patch.

I usually have 2 tracks, 1 track with monitoring enabled and a second one with recording enabled, so I can always hear both live and recorded takes.

Good tips. Looks like the new track approach is the quickest way. I’m just so surprised that this isn’t a capability. I’ve done this very thing for many, many years. Seems so common to want to overdub on a track and hear the prior work.


  • Sean

That’s an unusual feature in Sonar. Most DAWs work the way Cubase does: a track plays from only one source of audio at a time. Use multiple tracks if you want to listen to multiple sources simultaneously. Use comping if you want to assemble a track from multiple takes.

I’ll break the news to you now so you’re not disappointed later: all DAWs lack some features that are found in other DAWs.

The problem as you outlined is not possible because of the channel routing. Once you start recording you cannot access audio on that track. Disappointing as this may be to you, it is only through learning the ins and outs of Cubase that things get to be second nature. We have all had to go through a learning curve.

Punch in and Punch out could not be easier. Set the Cursor/vertical time line where you want to punch in. On the transport bar there are two symbols one with a triangle pointing down with a dot underneath, which is the symbol to Punch In - click that and it will light up and a red arrow will appear on the bar measure above that arrange page. Do the same thing for the upward facing triangle with the dot above it for the Punch Out. You will then be able to hear the track before the automatic record comes on. You can move the red arrows if needed and to get rid of them click on the Punch In/Out symbols so they are unlit.

I hope that makes things easier.