Key Editor's Articulations/Dynamics Lane and Score Editor

Here’s the thing. I absolutely LOVE this lane in key editor, makes handling keyswitches and dynamics a trivial thing, and it works like a charm.

I also like to have a peek in the score editor now and then, when midi editing goes beyond mundane and fundamental stuff. However, in the score editor, the way articulations and dynamics are handled (especially when tied to CCs) looks daunting and chaotic to me.

I would like to use the score editor to write the notes, and the articulations lane for the keyswitches and dynamics.

Apart from jumping back and forth between the editors, is there an other way to accomplish this?


Unfortunately there is no way, how to accomplish this.

But you can have the same Part(s) open in both the Key & Score Editors simultaneously. Then it is less like a jump and more like a small hop between them.


Not really… Just the fact Key Editor ruler works linear, Score editor ruler/time is not linear at all. You always have to switch the focus totally, to orient yourself, where you are. These editors are totally different from time point of view.

I mean it is easy to have both Editor Windows open at the same time and quickly switch which one you are using at any time. A lot of folks (don’t know if the OP is one) assume you need to close one Editor’s Window before opening the other - which truly would make it painful constantly closing and opening Windows.

No, no, I’m aware that I can keep different editors open. It’s just that I was hoping that maybe there was a way to have the lane as “second staff” of sorts. Inserting notes on the staff, and just underneath painting expression map changes and dynamics.

I know I can use the symbols in the score editor for this function, but somehow it doesn’t suit me. The layout gets congested fast, and I’m still slower inserting symbols than just popping them on the grid in Key Editor. But key Editor is tiring me out when it comes to evaluating melody and harmony at a glance.

Maybe I’ll do longer stints of inserting notes/editing expressions. Input maaaaany notes in score editor, then paint maaaaany expressions in key editor. That’s life! :slight_smile:

Edit: Now that I’m thinking about it, even with a sub-staff lane, the congestion would be exactly the same. It’s the horizontal zoom in the project window that allows for such easy handling of the lane. I also tried switching midi events appearance from blocks/lines to notes, but eh, not looking good.

In-place score editor?!!?!? It’s almost certain Steinberg have thought of that, but just how weird would it look?! :laughing:

As it happens, I just spent the past couple of days setting up expression maps for my orchestra plugin and am very happy about the feature.

What you describe is my typical way of working, e.g. enter lots of notes as one workflow, do a tweaking pass on said notes as a separate workflow. I find I’m more efficient in “assembly line” mode, as repetitive tasks are faster when I do them in a group and have some short term muscle memory going for me.

Years ago I was a Cakewalk / Sonar guy as in the beginning they were best of breed for anything midi, and I always did my writing in the score editor. I first came to Nuendo (2.x days) then Cubase, and for a time the score editor was a bit twitchy so I forced myself to get used to the keyboard editor. Now I find it a faster UI for entering notes than using the score, though I had to retrain my brain to count grid slots for note duration. I think the main speed improvement was not having to go back and forth to select quarter note, half note, etc. and instead just dragging the notes for duration.

So, since I’m in the piano roll anyway, having the expression stuff there is very intuitive for me. Of course, I can still see why people would prefer to write in the score editor, this is just what I got used to.

Thanks for sharing your workflow Chris!

I use Sibelius (6) for my general scoring needs, so the score editor in Cubase clashes with my muscle memory and ruins my willpower, as I can’t shush myself from thinking that whatever I’m writing I’d write faster in sibelius. I kind of alleviate this by having a palette on my phone of quantize lengths, dot, triplet, quantize triplet grid, some basic transport functions, and draw/select/glue/eraser tools, so that score writing goes a bit faster. (One hand on phone selecting input lengths, the other on the mouse inserting notes.)

I do feel comfortable inserting notes in the key editor too, just as you suggest, dragging for length and not bothering to select them, but not as much when I need to check harmony and orchestration at a glance. In that case, I feel an urge to check the full score and start to tweak there, which starts going slower again due to my inexperience with the score editor.

Maybe I should set a stopwatch and try all 3 ways and see what works best for me. (Key editor, Score Editor, import midi/musicxml from sibelius) :nerd:

In the real world I make a living as a software developer, and for Microsoft stuff the main tool is Visual Studio. However, decades ago (I mean, like DOS 3.1, when they used dinosaur eggs for footballs), I used a hot rod programmer’s editor called Brief. Fast forward to early Windows, and I switched to Codewright in part because it supported the Brief key mappings. Codewright died decades ago, but I still use it today. Sure, I know the keystrokes in VS, but my muscle memory is tied to Brief (and they killed that emulation in VS for reasons passing understanding). So why change?

When I first encountered computers I didn’t even know how to type. So, I went to the library and got one of those thin college textbooks on typing, copied the little keyboard picture with the lines showing where your fingers should be, and taped that to the bottom of my monitor. I then forced myself to follow that chart, no matter how painful it was. Since I didn’t know how to type anyway it was going to be painful no matter what, so at least this way I’d burn in something that would let me go fast. I guess I should reevaluate my tools from time to time to see if there’s a better way, and force myself to burn that into muscle memory, but why go through the pain if you already have something that works well for you?

I think the qwerty keyboard is the most obtuse user interface device in human history, so to me it’s all about being able to bypass the brain and think directly into the computer. If Sibelius and a phone is what allows you to do that, it’s the absolute best way to do things. The more you can get the computer out of conscious awareness, the more you can focus on inspiration!