My idea for a better Channel side panel

I just installed 13 on my main studio PC. It’s not as horrendous to look at as a lot of people are saying. I will give it a proper test when I get time but I loaded an existing v12 song and it played fine. As for the Left side channel strip, I still think it’s daft to have 2 panels taking up space. If you do really want a full channel strip, why not do it like I show in this very rough mockup. A single Left Side panel with tabs. If you like the channel strip, set to Channel. Easy. Then if you need to make adjustments to the Midi stuff, just press Inspector to bring it to front. Easy.



Add the optional feature-request tag, please.

Surely a single “press of inspector” is not much different from just using a key command to open/close either of them as it is now?

Or have I misunderstood something here?

(I’ve added the feature request tag for you btw).


I use Cubase, Photoshop, Vegas Pro, Presonus Studio One and a lot of other software daily in the studio. Sometimes simultaneously. I don’t have time or brainpower to learn all the key commands for all of them, especially when they often use same keys for different functions. A well designed gui should use the space effectively for people who use a mouse and/or key commands if they prefer. This idea of a 2nd panel that eats into arrangement space without a good reason is daft. But yet again, it looks like Steinberg didn’t bother to ask users what they wanted. Maybe they did, and they all wanted to have less space available for parts! P.s Thanks for adding the feature request tag Phil. Ed

Hmm. Ok couple of things.

I see your point about space. I do know though for many folks they have large enough screens. An extra strip at the side isn’t an issue. But still, in your case it obviously is, which is fair enough.

However, OK you don’t want to use Key Commands… There are already 2 very easy to use buttons to toggle both these sections. And to go a stage further, you can move both these buttons to the left of your toolbar so that you wouldn’t have to move the mouse barely at all in order to toggle them. So honestly, just using the buttons = same as switching a tab.

I’m not sure how you can manage to work efficiently without setting up a few key commands though tbh.

And one huge plus with Cubase / Nuendo is that you can assign whatever keys you want to whatever function you want. So if there is some hot key from another application that is similar you can assign that.

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I have 3 screens and I do use a few key commands. But this new strip is just a bad design. It’s always bad to take up more space than you need to , whatever size of screen you have.

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But how is this different from what we had before? I still haven’t fully seen the point of this new “channel” side panel. To me it just looks like the inspector with fewer options and no tabs, right? Exactly the same things as in inspector… I don’t get the point of it.

Unless I guess they thought that the new channel strip is slimmer and would be used instead of the inspector.

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Ah sure but this makes no sense.

It’s not more than in “needs to” be. They are separate panels that can be toggled on and off very easily. Nobody is forcing you to use both all of the time. Just like you have 4 mixers, you have a choice whether to use them or not.

I supplied a solution for you above, (using the buttons), but if you’re just going to say it’s “bad design”, I’m out.

Cheers and good luck.


Btw. The channel strip is intended not to replace the inspector. It is similar to what many folks used to do, using a single mixer channel on the left of the screen, in order to have quick access to channel functions and it can be made very thin.

When I first saw the new channel column, a single inspector with a channel tab was the first thought that came to mind. As it is now, it looks like a Big Mac. Two redundant inspectors next to each other destroy the overall compact GUI concept.

An optional division of the lower zone would be much more important, especially on ultra-wide monitors.

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I repeat what I’ve said elsewhere: The much bigger improvement in my opinion would have been to include what Pro Tools has which is easy access to sends and a few more items on each track ‘header’ (where you have solo/mute buttons etc). That way those items are always available without the need to select a track to expose them in the inspector.


Two left side bars is such a weird idea. I simply cannot see why on earth they ended wasting time on this.

They are almost the same - except they each now have unique options, meaning in reality that I can no longer have just a single left side bar showing just the things I need!!

If you are going to the trouble of making an extra side bar - why not let US choose what we need in each of them instead of forcing it on us.

I now have to use both side bars in order to see what I want, whereas in earlier versions I had everything in one… two steps forward one step back, or is it one step forwards two steps back…?


I haven’t checked it out (on Nuendo) - could you tell me what are exclusive in each?

Yes please! I really, really want Cubase to have these options.

I personally like the new concept. I can see my audio related things in one zone and the midi and track related items in another zone next to it.
I like it.

I don’t like the PT style, I think that it is a waste of screen estate and I also don’t like the two tabbed feature request from @Eddie_Stealth_Studio .

But that is just my opinion and since I am not the king of Cubase none of you have to agree with me. :grin:


It really isn’t, and more importantly those items can be hidden:



In the Channel, the new pop up EQ - which is actually really good (the old slider bars one is useless…), the Strip, and a fader that you can make a foot long are exclusive - they’re not in the Inspector.

The Inspector won’t let you have the new pop up EQ or the Strip. But it isn’t midi exclusive, as you can have routing, inserts, sends and a fixed size fader…

You can re-order all the items in the Channel, but the pop up EQ must be at the top.

On a 4K screen, you can fully open everything in the channel, have a foot long fader, and there’s still several inches of wasted space. You can also open everything in the Inspector - just the foot of the notepad gets chopped off.

I dread to think what the zoom meetings were like where they nailed down these important rules.

I don’t know what to think of it.

On the one hand, having two “left zones”, doesn’t sit well with me, it’s not proper, it’s not good manners, it’s wrong semantically! :rofl:

On the other hand though, it’s useful. So.

In order to make use of this useful feature, what did I do? I assigned a key command to my mouse and I switch it on and off as needed. Now, what would I do if it was a tab instead? I would assign a key command and switch to it from other tabs as needed (IF each tab had its own command instead of next/previous that they currently do)

So what’s the difference? That we can now see 2 tabs at the same time. Well, yes, good. But that would also be possible if we had a resizable left zone that could show 3 “columns” of data (the tabs) at once, what people were calling a modular left zone some time back.

For me, it’s the same value as if Steinberg had decided to give keycommands to track control presets, with greater granularity than at the “inspector section” level. Hit a keycommand, bam, I’m seeing what I want, inserts, sends, fader. Hit another, it’s my choice of midi modifiers, midi inserts and quick controls. Etc etc.

One could argue that it’s not the same thing, because in the case of the Channel Tab, one can simultaneously see both sets of data. Ok, I agree, but even then one cannot click at two places simultaneously, and, what’s more, a pianist can play faster than one can actually read the score. It’s a matter of practice in any case.


Yeah, and I think for some of us once we get to the point that we have a couple of those tabs open at the same time there’s a lot of horizontal real estate taken up. At that point the question is how many sections you really need to access. To me, comparing the way PT does it to this I think we eventually end up with a situation where for some users we’re simply not going to access enough items in the left zone that we run out of space in one zone, which means that if we’re ok with taking up more space with a second zone the alternative to have access to all sends or inserts on all tracks in the header simultaneously is a better use of space.

Maybe I’ll change my mind on all of this once I get to using it in Nuendo a few months down the road…

Well, I’m glad that you are bringing this up. I’m just a hobbyist with two normal screens, one 1920x1080, and another one set up as a portrait, 1080x1920, which allows me to work better with scores, and I can also have easy access to all mixconsole racks for my modest projects of a generally low track count.

But, the trend I’m seeing is ultrawide screens of huge sizes, so I’m not holding it against Steinberg if they think that there’s plenty of horizontal space to spare. I guess they have access to metrics to back up their decisions.

It’s just, you know, sometimes it feels bad when I think that I’m becoming that guy stuck in “the old ways”.

I have to say, this Channel tab is a truly baffling implementation! I can’t understand how it was approved or passed though beta testing. It’s literally two same things with just enough differences to be annoying on every use case!

The proposed Tabbed idea is not bad but I honestly think that the Inspector and the Channel tabs should simply be one thing. Most screens have enough space for it, and even if they don’t you can pick the modules you need and remove or keep the others closed.

Btw, not sure if the Steinberg team is aware of this little audio product called Wavelab in which—and I know this will sound crazy but trust me, it’s true—all sections can float free or be docked anywhere…!

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