Moving over to Cubase and adapting my Sample Library workflow?

Hi there, I have a long history with various DAWs over the years, started in PT, moved to Ableton, moved to Logic, and now I’m transitioning over to Cubase. Loving it so far, it’s kind of a blend of my favorite aspects of all those other programs!

One downside of many of those other apps, Ableton especially, has been a rather weak media browser - lacking abilities to properly tag, favorite, rate, add tempo/key, etc. As a result, I created my own file system as a workaround within MacOS finder - basically instead of using tags and ratings, I used subfolders to categorize everything. Many years into this, I’ve discovered a system that works well for me, and all my loops and one-shots are highly organized by instrument, type, or sonic quality.

However, in Cubase’s Media Bay, I love that it adds several things I’ve missed out on, the tagging especially. Thing is, when I add my main drum sample library folder to my favorites, I lose all the organization I worked hard on over the years. It’s literally everything dumped into one massive list. The filter/tag section above the list is empty, so I can’t really figure out how to take advantage of adding categories or tags. It looks like this now:

I’m aware that I can use the search function to narrow things down, but with my workflow, I don’t always know what words to search for, especially since libraries and sources vary greatly with what they name things - I just like to go to a relevant folder (e.g., ‘hat loops’) and see what inspires me in the moment for the song.

Is there some way I can view my folder structure in this media bay window? And also is there a fast way to auto-tag or add tags to a batch of selected files or folder? Rather than tagging each file one at a time.



The Filters are useful, if there audio files have these categories set. You can click the column header and choose other categories.

The tree view is available of the Favourites or the real files view. But this might be available in the MediaBay window only, not the Rack version.

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Yes, there is:

Not sure if you know this already - the Media view on the right side is just the small display of Media Bay. The full sized Media Bay window is much better suited for tagging and any other kind of work.
Menu Media → Media Bay

The file browser is on the left side, “this computer”:

Re-tagging everything from your file system to Media Bay should be relatively easy. You select one of your specific folders, then select all files listed and apply the tag.

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I see, thank you. Opening the main MediaBay window I discovered the attribute inspector, and additional views for the folder system which are helpful. I do, however, wish that I could manually enter categories, or start typing a category and have it search (rather than go through the many alphabetical drop-down menus by category, which is pretty tedious). But it’s better than nothing which is what I had before!

Actually, I did discover the separate MediaBay window which is helpful, but I also found a way to get the subfolder view I was looking for within the docked file browser -

I discovered this by clicking the very top right hamburger-like icon in the main Media view which says “Show All Results.” From there, I observed that the folders I marked as my favorites are available within the dropdown menu, and that by clicking the icon next to that which says “Include Folders and Subfolders” (in my case toggling it off), it provides me with a familiar Finder file-system based view which is how I’ve organized everything to this date. I can then navigate my library exactly how I designed it.

I do like that I can simply toggle that icon back on to see everything within folders, as well as the shuffle icon - thereby allowing me to discover unexpected surprises outside my organizational system. Perhaps I know I wanted to find a hat loop, but I end up discovering a shaker loop which works better which I might not have discovered otherwise. Best of both worlds!

I do wish I could maybe tag and add custom category/character names from the docked browser, but ultimately this is a huge step up for me and I’m glad I can mix organization methods on a whim as needed!