Mouseless score editor

Hi to all.
So, whatever I’m doing with the computer, I really don’t like working with mouse since it always seems to slow things down and I love programs that let you do most of the work without rising the hands off the keyboard.

I’m trying Dorico SE and it’s been developed with this same idea in mind. You can basically produce entire scores full with all kind of ornaments and chords and the like without touching the mouse, which is great.

I’m trying to wrap my head around Cubase’s own score editor.
I’ve set up a shortcut to toggle “Computer keybord input” and while in that mode i can move aroud with the arrow keys to select where to place a note (its pitch and position), click enter and have the note set. Before placing it, Shift+Arrows make you shorten or lengthen the note duration. Alternatively, pressing “c” would input a C note.

So far, so good. The problem is that once a note is set, I’m no longer able to “edit” it. If I keep staying in “Computer keybord input” mode, all I can do is add more notes. If I press ESC and exit that mode I can still use the arrow keys and I see that the notes are selected, but I cannot move them, change their pitch, location, length. I can’t seem to be able to copy / paste blocks of notes, either.

Also, ignoring ornaments and the like, how to input more common notation symbols like triplets? How to move the note up and now diatonically (according to the set key) instead of chromatically half-step by half-step?

I’ve considered writing in Dorico and export / input midi into Cubase, but that would be real workflow-breaker for me. I don’t have a distinct moment of composition and a moment of sound design. I tend to do the two things together, and Cubase is obviously a perfect DAW for that. I just happen to prefer writing notes on the score instead of on the piano roll.

So, to sum up, how to use the score editor only with the computer keyboard? Is there a comprehensive guid / cheat sheet to do so?



Unfortunately Cubase is not so flexible as Dorico in the Score Editor. So you cannot reach all of the commands via Key Command.

You could prepare some presets (functions and Logical Editor) to be able to edit MIDI data, which would work with the Score Editor too. But these are just a workarounds and you will not get into the same details and complexity, what you can do with Dorico.

Have a look at the nudge commands to move, lengthen and shorten notes according to the current quantize setting.

Here’s a logical editor preset that lengthens or shortens notes, using values you supply rather than depending on the current quantize value. Assign to a keystroke in Key Commands Process Logical Editor Preset– change the operation and parameter as needed – create multiple ones with different keystrokes if desired.

This depends on how you work. Use Build n-tuplet to set the display quantize and leave midi unaffected, use Quantize commands to affect midi events.

A macro I use frequently to Copy current selection then paste after current selection:

@Gustavo_Di_Pietro if you post other specific things you would like to do with the keyboard, I or others will be happy to answer.


Thank you very much for you time and answer. Seems like, without hacking around a bit, Cubase’ score editor is not really on par with Dorico as-it-is. I really hope they’ll eventually integrate the two products.

In Score Editor you design your custom-build workflow.
Here is a quick demonstration of what @steve (and @Martin.Jirsak) explained.
I didn’t touch the mouse once.
Judge for yourself.

Oh and this is real time! :wink:


Brilliant. This is why you are – Maestro.

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How the heck did you do that???

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Wow, that’s impressive and inspiring, thank you so much!

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By using key commands, macros, Logical Editor presets … and the rest is practice.

Custom key commands and macros: Computer Keyboard Input toggle, Nudge left/right, transpose up/down, note length, duplicate, slur, triplet etc.

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