Logic “Select Highest / Lowest Note” function - Cubase equivalent?

Is there a way to quickly select the top or bottom notes of a polyphonic midi part? In logic this was possible with the great feature - Function > Note Events > Select Highest Notes (or Select Lowest Notes) which I used all the time and really miss. Does Cubase have a way to do this as well?

I created a youtube video showing the function in action (PLEASE watch the video before commenting): Logic "select highest / lowest notes" function - can it be done in Cubase? - YouTube

Is it possible in Cubase’s Key Editor to quickly select the top or bottom notes of a polyphonic midi part? If not would you support me if I make it a feature request?

p.s. I also made the midi file from this video available as an attachment if you want to try in your studio.
SelectHighestNotesExample.mid.zip (1.51 KB)

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Not as elegant, but I use the Explode function for this:

Very nice way to make single voices from chords. I find Bass (lowest voice) works better than the rest of the voices.

I bet there’s also a way to create a preset in the Logical Editor to do that. Then you could create a simple key command to call the preset.

No, not as clean a way a Logic has, but there are a couple functions worth checking out.

The context variables, particularly Note Number in Chord, and Position in Chord can be useful.

Inside Range | Average pitch can be effective too.

In the Score Editor under Score>Functions, there’s an Explode function. Depending on whether the staff is polyphonic, you can end up with notes on channels or on new tracks.

So there are a few ways to do it, but I would plus one a feature that specifically found only the top line, but honestly, in practice these have worked pretty well for me.

(edit: couple of good posts while I was typing.)

Thank you all for the replies. I will for sure be trying your suggestions, but by chance did anyone try their suggestion with my provided midi track and see if it worked first? Looks like the explode + lines to tracks might get the job done, but will need to test it. But even so, wont it explode the original part to new tracks, which is not really what I want; I just want to quickly bring down the velocities of the lowest notes of the line.

Perhaps this is indeed worthy of a feature request?

Just as you ask if we watched the vid, I would ask if you read the replies.


With the midi file you provided, and a polyphonic staff, Explode reassigns the notes’ channels according to the lines.

One workflow, assuming your have set the midi part in Score Edit to polyphonic display, would be to:

  • open the part in a score editor edit view, explode to voices
  • switch to a key editor
  • Use the Logical editor to select all notes in the channel, eg., the top voice will be in channel 1

do your edits.

This can even be done using a macro to perform the commands.

Here’s a gif of what happens:

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Thank you all very, VERY much for taking the time to better explain this. I have done experiments with the logical editor and can get very close to what I want, though its not perfect. Using as suggested the context variables, particularly Note Number in Chord, and Position in Chord I can get it to consistently select the bottom voice for sure. And can get it to consistently select the top voice in my example as well by selecting “voice 2” in the logical editor. But it is a shame that on chords that switch from 2 voices to 3 or 4 voices it wont continue to select the top note, as the logical editor is counting up from the bottom, and there is no way to gave it count down from the top. So if a chord switches from 3 voice to 4 voice, if you have the logical editor set to choose voice 3, it will no longer select the “top voice” as voice 3 is not the top voice in 4 note chords.

I do often write for strings ensemble patches and switch from 2, to 3, to 4 note chords underneath a melodic line on top, and again would want to select all the top notes quickly so help bring out the melodic line via velocity, or to copy/paste to another instrument for doubling, etc.

Steve, what you have done in your gif looks like it could be a solution! Thank you so much for taking the time to show this in action, as well as the .gif!! Very helpful indeed!! I’m trying to replicate what you are doing now, and I’m having a bit of an issue. I’ve searched the manual for how to make my score set to “polyphonic display” but so far have come up empty. Do you mind sharing how the heck to do this, as right now if I choose to “explode” it will only let me choose “to new tracks” which is what I dont want (to polyphonic voices is greyed out). Must admit I dont use the score editor much.

edit: Ok it seems to be in "score settings -> staff tab -> polyphonic tab -> staff mode & change to polyphonic. Do I need to do this for every midi part I open before I can do this “select top note” process, or is there a way to make this a default setting for the score editor? I noticed this part was not part of your macro so maybe it is possible to have it as a global setting? However once the score is displayed as “polyphonic,” your instructions above does seem to do exactly what I wanted, even when voices are changed from 2, to 3, to 4 note chords! Thank you!!

Once small issue though - once my editing is done, is it possible to put it back to the original midi channel fairly easily so it plays back correctly on my virtual instrument?

I just want to say you all are AMAZING!! I really appreciate you taking the time to help me (and MANY others) better use the wonderful tool that is Cubase. Thank you so much for being so awesome!!

Glad it’s working for you.

You can make a logical editor preset to change all notes to a certain channel.

Note that if you have the midi track set to a channel number, and not to any, it will transmit all notes using that channel. This is good- you can then use channels (and voices) to do operations on the phrases. Of course, that wouldn’t work for multitimbral instruments.

As far as the staff settings, it’s not a global setting, but you can create a staff preset for it- (on the left where it shows Store and Remove buttons) Since I use the Score Editor a lot I use staff presets. Polyphonic voices are useful for many things apart from score display.

Here is my workflow to extract bass notes from any MIDI/VSTi part:

-Duplicate Track
-Select duplicated part
-Open score editor
-go to Scores->Functions->Explode
-ONLY check Bass To Lowest Voice, and make “Number of tracks” is high enough.
-If i hit okay and close the score editor, i can see the part with only the bass note in the bottom.
-Delete all useless parts

How many times do you need to do this on a daily basis? I do this once per day, so it okay like this for me…
If you want you can partly make a macro from this, but its so fast i dont really need to.
For Duplicate Track and Score i already have a key, so its just Explode and deleting the parts for me

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Nice one @WK1

For those coming to the topic via a search –
My post above used the To Polyphonic Voices option – you can follow @WK1’s sequence exactly, and generate midi parts. Just check Lines to Tracks. The result is several tracks with what the algo detects are phrases. While not the most elegant solution, this does do a nice job.