Independent Edit and Playback Cursors

The intent with this suggestion is to have a method of editing, tracking, and arranging that lends itself to a more uninterrupted creative flow.

Here’s my idea: to have an option to split the existing Cubase cursor into two independently controllable cursors; one for playback and one for editing.

I really like using the cursor to make cuts, copies, edits, etc. at specific event start/ends, measure numbers, or marker positions. Given the breadth of assignable key commands already available to manipulate the cursor, i find this much faster and more accurate than clicking and dragging with a mouse and especially with a laptop’s track-pad.

The problem is that during playback of any part of my project, the cursor tracks the position of that playback, which of course means I can’t use the cursor for making any edits. The options are either:

  1. mouse around clumsily (at least in my case) to make edits during playback, or
  2. stop playback, make my edits in silence, and start playback again, repeat…
    There’s nothing wrong with these options per se, but I find that constantly needing to stop and start again can be frustrating.

If there were a way to split the cursor into two parts, it would allow for editing in a more musical context and allow for a more musical creative process; one in which musical creation/performance and editing aren’t separate tasks.

Think about Ableton Live’s Session View. Although it’s quite different than what I’m describing, the underlying principle is the same: to provide a means of creation in a musical context, i.e. during playback. In that case, the musical flow is centered specifically around looping and adding samples/parts. Given the tools already available in Cubase however, just having free reign over the cursor for edits during playback would be great for looping, but also good for arranging and editing in general.

What I’m proposing also seems like it would fairly simple to implement: a button/key command to split or merge the two cursor types, along with perhaps a few extra controls/key commands to manipulate and position each cursor independently.

What do you guys think? Would anyone else find this feature useful for their workflow?