New to Cubase from Ableton, few questions

Hey everyone so I’m trying to learn Cubase and have a few questions.

First of all is the midi editor. Why is it that when I move midi notes up and down it doesn’t play any sound? It seems a bit frustrating that I have to click on the individual midi notes to hear them… in Ableton as you click the notes, or move them up and down / left and right it will play the note so you can hear the real time changes your making. All you have to do is click the little headphone icon in the midi clip to switch this on or off. Can this be done in Cubase? Seems like a very simple function that from my experience every daws piano roll it midi editor has?


Whenever I copy and paste midi notes or audio loops or regions on top of stuff that’s already there, cubase seems to stack them on top of each other endlessly. I’m not sure why you would ever want this function but in Ableton when you put one thing on top of something that’s already there it simply gets replaced . Is there a way to do this in Cubase? Another really frustrating workflow hiccup that just adds so much unnecessary fiddling around . How can I switch this on if it’s even available?

All help appreciated thanks :slight_smile:

Hi and welcome to the forum,

Please, make sure the Acoustic Feedback button is enabled. If you are using Instrument Track, make sure Control Room is enabled and Monitor 1 is routed to your wanted output. All Previews and Acoustic Feedbacks are routed over the onitor bus.

Preferences > Editing > Delete Overlaps. If you enale this option, it will work the way you expect.

But in Cubase, you can make layers this way.

1 Like

This is the icon in Cubase:

1 Like

Thanks for the answer , I sorted the acoustic feedback. I can’t find the Preferences - Edit - delete overlaps tho? Where in the menus is it?


It’s not in the menu, it’s in the Preferences window. On Windows, the Preferences window is under the Edit menu (if Im not mistaken). On Mac, it’s the system way: under the Cubase menu > Settings… (since macOS 13); the system [Cmd + ;] sortcut.

So this delete overlaps only seems to work with like clips/regions on the transport.

When in the midi editor of I put one midi note on top of another it still stacks them… how do I get it so that the notes underneath just get replaced ? Kind of like how it does it in Ableton?

This is such a clunky and awkward feature


Yes, is working in the Project window only. In the Editor, you can use Delete Doubles, if the time of both bird is exactly the same.

So I tried this and doesn’t work at all.

Basically there is no way to do what I need. I honestly cannot understand why midi notes placed on top of other midi notes doesn’t just replace them. Why on Earth would anyone ever need stacked midi notes on the same instrument / clip ?

Logic does this too and it sucks , I’m glad Ableton and S1 were clever enough to get rid of this god awful counter work flow feature :frowning:


Because one MIDI Part could send data to all 16 MIDI Channels, of you set the MIDI Track’s Channel to any. So one note could at Channel 1 and the other one at Channel 2.

But it’s not a midi track … it’s an instrument track.

I understand you can have one midi channel
sending to multiple things but surely on an instrument track you will only ever be sending midi data to the instrument on that track no?


You can do the same with the Instrument Track too. For example, HALion (HALion Sonic) is multi-timbral. Or NI Kontakt, VSL Pro… For the film music composers, this is a real use case.

Not like this… You can have one Track sent to multiple MIDI Channels.

Not at all.

Okay fair enough , so there is a reason as to why the feature is there , thanks for explaining .

But why is there not a feature to turn it off? Surely you have to agree that drawing a midi note on top of notes that are already there , and this automatically replacing / deleting the notes underneath is a much smoother and faster workflow


Add the feature-request optional tag to your post, please.

Agree and always wished there was an option to disable.

Sorry I don’t know how .

It’s fine tho never mind I guess

Don’t give up. I think this is a valid point to think about. Maybe a Steinberg dev walks in and sees this thread.

Since you know how it works in Live: How does Live determine that two note events are stacked on top of each other? Do they have to be identical in every way? Or do the only need the same start position? And if so, what if the positions differ by 1 tick (a tick in Cubase is the smallest MIDI position, it might be called PPQ or PPQN in other DAWs)?

I’m not sure on the technicalities . They definitely don’t have to be the same size. Basically if one note (any size) moves on top of another note on the same pitch, the note ‘underneath’ automatically gets deleted/replaced.

So to give you an idea of how I use it,

Let’s say I have a Bassline , I want to make some pads which follow the Bassline . Now the Bassline might be 8th notes or 16th notes and usually pads are much longer drawn out notes.

So I would take the bass line midi clip, and use those notes as a guideline of where I need to put the bass notes of my chords.

In Ableton I’d simply draw a long note and I can then quickly and easily copy and paste it across all the other ‘Bassline’ notes. I now have the bass notes for my pads/chords and it took maybe 10 seconds.

Now in cubase I cannot do this as it will keep the original Bassline notes underneath the long drawn out note I place on top of them. What I would have to do is go and delete all the 8th or 16th notes except the first one and then extend each one of those notes individually to get the same result as above. Now, this still accomplishes the same result , and it’s not something that’s going to make me give up. But I do genuinely believe if Cubase gave us the option to turn this feature on/off it will really help workflow in the midi editor.

Ableton has a lot of its own issues and I know no DAW is perfect , I see cubase trying to do so many things to improve workflow , which makes sense as historically Cubase has been seen as the most clunky/slow workflow daw there is. The improvements they have made over the years have been great and keeps getting better . This would be another feature that would further improve that. Let’s be honest when it comes to simplicity , quick workflow etc Ableton is the king. I think if Cubase simply copied a lot of these features from Ableton it could literally become the king of daws.

I see.
Maybe the workflow is different in Cubase than it is in Ableton.
Taking your example of bassline and pads from above:
I would NOT copy the bass part onto the pad track. I would create an empty midi part on the pad track, select both parts (bass and pads) and enter the Key Editor. I have to make sure that the pad part is the active one. It will show me the bass line but let me only work on the pads.

Bonus: I could use the chord functionality in the Key Editor to quickly draw in 3-tone or 4-tone chords with a single mouse click.

Result: I think I would finish this task faster in Cubase than in Live.

The ability to view several parts in the Key Editor might be the reason why Cubase users usually don’t stack notes on top of each other even though it is possible to do so. This feature even got enhanced with the latest update.

So, a different DAW may require a different approach to the same task.

1 Like

Ah that’s a really cool tip thank you :slight_smile:
I agree, probably just have to find different ways of working to accomplish the same task.

I guess with this approach you mentioned I have to like put the two tracks next to each other right ? Which could be difficult moving them around in a large project

I’ve tried seeing other parts in the midi clip I’m working on but can’t work out how to do it. In Ableton it gives you a really easy way to do this, you just select all the clips you want and then you can click a button called focus to edit the one you want to work on while the other notes from other parts go grey.

In cubase the only way I’ve been able to do this is put the two tracks next to each other and then select both parts but even this is confusing as I don’t know how I can only edit one part and not both at the same time . Is there any videos or anything explaining how to do it?

Not at all. The parts can be anywhere in the project. You can add parts to your current selection by Ctrl-clicking them (Mac: Cmd-click). It helps if they are on the same time position, though.
There is a preference that needs to be ticked (it is ticked by default):

BTW - it seems a lot of people like to use the Key Editor in the Lower Zone. Personally I find it too small and therefore use the Key Editor in its own, bigger window. On above screenshot you can see the settings for that, too.

I am going to reuse my other screenshot:
With this drop down menu you can chose which part should be in focus. Events of non-focused parts will be slightly de-saturated in color.

I made a small example. Blue is a bass line in F minor. I wanna draw an F minor 7 chord on the pad part (yellow). At the end I will transpose the pads by two octaves with key command Shift+CursorUp.