Modulation Wheel not working? Cubase 8.5

I’m a newbie using an older version; Cubase 8.5 and keyboard Yamaha CP4. My modulation wheel is not functioning as ‘vibrato or volume’ wheel. Is there a set up that I’m missing?
Any help hugely appreciated.

Hi and welcome on the forum,

Double-check the Preferences > MIDI > MIDI Filter. Make sure MIDI CC1 is not present in the Controller list. Also make sure the Controller is not enabled in the Record or Thru list, please.

Then, double-check the Studio > Studio Setup. Make sure, you are not using CP4 MIDI Input for any Remote Device, please.

Hi Martin,
Thanks so much for responding so quickly! Much appreciated. I have checked both of your suggestions and everything is looking as it should. I’m just now realizing that it may in fact be an issue with my keyboard. The mod wheel functions more as a ‘vibrato’ instead of volume and vibrato. Perhaps I’m confused with what to expect however, when I watch/listen to youtube videos, the mod wheel seems to function as both.
I’ll check my Yamaha manual to see if there’s something I can correct.

Again Thanks so Much!!!


The wheel will output the modulation cc. The individual vsti is where it may differ. In some it works as modulation in others volume. So in my spitfire orchestra plugin it works like expression control. The actual control wheel output will not change. Only how a vsti responds to it. Just record and move the wheel and take a look in list editor or at the bottom of the normal editor change from viewing velocity to modulation and you will see if Cubase is actually seeing it. Also you should see the midi indicator light in Cubase when you move the mod wheel.

Wow Martin! I really appreciate your feedback. Very helpful. I just wish I’d done this sooner. I think I understand now. The mod wheel definitely affects the part and I see it recorded. I was under the impression that it was intended to work as volume/expression for each VST. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

I’m so looking forward to upgrading to Cubase 10 or 11 AND getting new sounds. Which spitfire orchestra do you have? I’m predominantly interested in strings and woodwinds. From what I’ve listened to, they sound amazing!!

Thanks again for your help!


I use BBC Symphony Orchestra. It’s not a fully featured version but is useful and sounds good.

Glad I could help Heather. It’s Mark by the way and not Martin :blush:

Oops! Sorry about that Mark.
Again, I really appreciate all the help…I’m really quite a newbie to both computers and to Cubase. Tons to learn…it’s Fun!


Tons to learn indeed. I’ve been with Cubase since it’s Atari midi only days so I have a bit of a head start lol.

Oh WOW! I’m impressed, Mark. What kind of music do you record? You must be recording professionally. Props to you.

I started a while back with Cubase 6 but found that I really didn’t have enough time to give it so I shelved it until very recently. It’s fabulous to have the time now, however my skills are really lacking.

You have no idea how appreciated your responses are - especially given that I’m sure you are super busy! I literally spent hours researching the mod wheel to no avail.

Thanks again!

No I do it just for fun. I used to play drums for a living years ago and worked for a small studio for a while but since about 1990 I have had a home studio which I record friends and at present online projects with other people. I like to choose what I do so I don’t get paid for it. I just enjoy it :blush:

Great attitude Mark! I totally get it. I used to play mostly as a soloist, piano and vocals, occasionally with a trio. I’ve been teaching piano and voice and have been fortunate to have a lot of talented teens who write their own music. I was doing a bit of recording with them to get them excited about doing their own thing.
I’m currently teaching just a little and finally have time to record my own tunes. Like you, I do it for my own joy and learning.

It’s great getting young people recording and definitely Spurred me on. I’ve also been recording my sons band on location with a zoom l-20 which can record 20 tracks simultaneously to SD card. I then transfer to Cubase. My son playing drums also meant I practice more now to keep up with him.

It’s all good fun. Glad your enjoying it :blush:

Awesome that you record your son AND that he inspires you. I feel as though there is some magic happening with some of these young folks…very cool and tuned in. What genre is your son into and You? What style/styles get you most stoked? I love a lot of styles however what comes out when I write is often a bit classical/jazz when I write instrumentally. Songs with lyrics - hard to say…pop/adult contemporary/healing. Who knows? Hard to categorize really. I tend to really lean towards arranging with cellos/strings and oboe with of course piano and bass.
Question for you: Do you use Groove Agent or do you drum live when you record? I can’t drum to save my life. I LOVE percussion, especially the subtler instruments which seem to add depth and just pick up the entire groove, however am absolutely clued out how to start. I’d sure be open to any suggestions as to how to get started learning. For example, I found a drummer on youtube who shared some drum maps and I found them useful.
Thanks again for any insights…

My son is into Metal at the moment, which although not my type of music has some great playing. I’m from a prog rock background and prefer that type of music to short pop songs but I have a go at all sorts. The band I play in fuses lots of styles from rock, pop, jazz but sounds like none of them really. The recording I do with them are all acoustic drums. This is one of them. If the link works it should take you to a song called New York Zones. HENRY'S RADIO - NEW YORK ZONES - TheMill.TV

Your description of the music you do sounds very interesting. I keep trying to do orchestration myself using spitfire BBC orchestra. I’d love to hear something.

So I don’t use groove agent as although the sounds are not too bad they are not like real drums. I use SD3 by toontrack which is in my opinion the best drum vsti. I play drums in live using a Roland td30 electronic kit to trigger SD3 and record the midi. As far as percussion I have all sorts. From drums to tabla and nearly everything in between lol.

Wow - on many levels! Thanks for sharing your tune. Super tight, great ideas, great recording and Awesome drumming! It’s pretty evident that you’ve been doing this for some time now. Really great.

I won’t be ready to share anything for some time yet. My husband is building me a new fanless computer. Once that’s ready (hopefully within the month) I plan to upgrade Cubase and get some Spitfire sounds. Right now I’m struggling with the string sounds I have and I’m just not satisfied. I have soooo much to learn!! EQuing and mixing etc.
Question: when I initially bought Cubase - I had CD’s to install then I later upgraded to 8.5 which I downloaded. When I set up my new computer and upgrade to Cubase 11, do I first install my CD’s and then do the download?

Thanks again for your constant help!

You don’t say what version of Cubase 8.5 you have. If you have the pro version then you will have a usb dongle. In that case you would just install 8.5 and plug the dongle in and it will work. If you have a version with soft elicence than the process is a bit different as the licence resides on your computer. The lowest version are LE and AI. AI usually comes free when buying hardware (audio interface) Cubase elements also uses a soft elicence. This link shows a comlarison of versions.

Now I know if you have AI they allowed an update to a universal type licence that will be compatible with future versions. I think you may have to find out which version you have and take a look at
Software/license activation & reactivation – Steinberg Support To see about reactivation. If you do have AI or LE versions then you should be able to get the latest version. If you have elements I’m not sure where you would find version 8.5 to download but there may be a steinberg archive. For versions above you will have the usb licence but you would still have to find the older version to download if you don’t still have it.

Try get your husband to look at the models SCAN computers make for audio and see what components they use as they have been tested. A lot of people suffer with new computers due to not researching into the components and can suffer pops and clicks.

Let me know how you get on. Use the support section of the main site to search for the licence reactivation.

Oh and keep at it with the writing and recording. Thanks for the comments :blush:

Hi Mark,

Thanks again for all your help!! I have the Pro version of 8.5 so it sounds relatively straightforward. Here’s hoping! My new computer may not be ready as soon as I’d hoped, due to slow delivery of parts. Thanks for the suggestion of SCAN computers. It looks as though we are good in that department. It is a mini- itx pc with a Gigabyte z490i mb. I’ll have 2 internal harddrives, both ssd’s with the operating system being an M.2mvme drive which is 250 gb. The other ssd is 1 tb. 16 gb’s of ram and i7 10700 cpu. SOTM usb audio card. (these are my husband’s words) I am not that versed in computers.

I’ll be in touch once I get my new computer, if not sooner.

Sounds like a decent pc although I’ve never heard of SOTM so I had to google them. I’m using a RME Babyface Pro FS audio interface.

It should boot up super quick with an m.2 drive. I use one for my samples so they load fast.

Yes let me know how it goes. Have fun :blush: