New to Cubase, staff view questions

I tried googling for this stuff, but it tends to come up with Cubase 4 answers from 15 years ago… Kind of ridiculous.

I used to compose in Guitar Pro before going to DAW, but my files got complex enough where the memory leakage would trigger error messages after only five minutes of being open. I tried using Sonar to compose, but their staff view is pathetically buggy. Piano roll is ok, but it’s slower to work with for me. I bought Cubase because it sounds like the only DAW with viable staff editing right now. My ideal DAW is basically Cubase hosting Guitar Pro (without the crashing) in a tab, and thus I’m looking for ways to make Cubase’s staff view behave like Guitar Pro, where possible.

1: Is there a way to disable automatic rests completing measures? Obviously they’re there, but I don’t want to look at them while I’m entering notes. In fact, if I could get rid of the rests BETWEEN notes during placement as well, that’d be great. I’d rather have notes always go directly after the previous entry and manually place rests where needed, so I don’t miss note placements and have to drag them horizontally.

2: Can I assign keys to increase or decrease the note length of a highlighted note by one unit, eg from 1/8 to 1/4 or 1/8 to 1/16, like Guitar Pro? I prefer this to assigning and memorizing a bunch of keys for each note value. Rather just have + and - make notes shorter and longer.

3: What are the “one up” and “one down” keybinds? I thought they would do what nudge up and down do. Can’t seem to find any info, even in the manual.

4: Is there a guitar tab option? I’m not a noob, I just can identify intervals faster on a fretboard than a staff.


  1. Open Preferences > Record > MIDI and disable Snap MIDI Parts to Bars.

  2. There is already a Key Command to do so. The default Key Command is Shift + Alt + Arrow Left/Right. If you want to, you can assign your own Key Command in the File > Key Commands. These Key Commands are called End Left and End Right, and they are in the Nudge folder. The step size is linked with the current Grid settings.

  3. Arrow Up and Arrow Down transpose the selected MIDI Note(s) by one semitone. The Key Command is called Up and Down, and they are in the Navigate folder.

  4. Yes, in the Score editor (Cubase Pro only, as far as I know).

Hi Martin, The OP is asking about editing in the Score editor, not the project window or Key editor. Maybe some meaning got lost in translation? Your advice is spot on for those areas, as usual.

NoSoup4You, The Score Editor in some ways is a separate “program within a program”

  1. There’s no way to hide rests in the the score editor, in the way you are asking, I’m afraid.

  2. To use key commands to change note lengths in the Score editor you can (in Cubase Pro) create Logical Editor presets and assign keystrokes to them. If you have Cubase Pro check out the Logical Editor manual chapter, it’s an astounding tool.

  3. The Navigate>up/Navigate>down commands in the Key Editor nudge by a semitone up/down, but elsewhere they are used for navigation in the UI. This is an inconsistency that is convenient, but make sense only in the Key editor. The Nudge>Up and Nudge>Down commands operate in all editors, and are not set to any keystroke by default. (I set mine to ctrl-up and ctrl-down)

I am trying to imagine what it would be like for the majority of us anglophones, if we were forced to use the German forum, how well we would understand the subleties of the topics posted in German… Martin does a remarkable job :wink:

But yes, the original topic does refer to the Score Editor (and its specificities), and I’d just like to add a couple of points to Steve’s otherwise excellent reply :wink:

Generally speaking, one doesn’t “write” into the Score Editor in the way you are hoping… the handling of rests is purely automatic (although there are a few parameters to customize that in Staff Settings), and there is no way to disable the automatic appearance of rests to complete the measure.
If you really don’t want to see rests, the only thing you could do is set Score Settings>Staff>Polyphonic to “Polyphonic”, disable all polyphonic voices apart from Voice 1 (unless you are already using them, of course ,) ) and untick “Show” for rests… which will hide them completely (even where you might want them! ), which could easily get very confusing, so I wouldn’t recommend it :wink:.

An alternative method to using the Logical Editor in point #2, if you would rather use key commands…
Unfortunately, the key commands “End Right” and “End Left” don’t work on note lengths in the Score Editor (although they do work in the Key Editor), so the closest you can get with those, for your specific needs, would be to have the Key Editor window open also, and give it focus while using those key commands.

You asked, specifically, about the key commands “One Up” and “One Down”…
In the Score Editor, the “One Up” and One “Down” commands are used, on notes, for incrementing the polyphonic voice number, and on dynamic symbols for incrementing/decrementing their value (e.g. “p” to “mp”).

Thank you for the replies. I actually did figure out a few things later that night, but couldn’t edit because my post wasn’t approved yet. I believe an all-keyboard note entry will be possible at least, using those super-secret shortcuts (I found alt+shift+left/right by accident somehow.) I’ll have to work in “midi edit” rather than “step edit” if I want to go back and change things IIRC. I was hung up on that for awhile, trying to figure out why I couldn’t select prior notes without the mouse. And I’ll still have to map and remember some note value keys to get the placements correct. But I’ll get used to it, what matters is being able to do it fast. I also appreciate that you can move notes chromatically without having to put in accidentals. A lot of the time I’ll just slide a note around until it strikes me, maybe inspiring a good chord or key change.

I think all I’m really lacking right now is a way to start playback from the currently highlighted note using just the keyboard. Also SteveInChicago, I’ve seen that you’ve been battling score questions for years, so I was wondering if you’ve got some sort of general score workflow post floating around here somewhere.

EDIT: New aggravating problem. Why is Cubase forcing tied eighths instead of quarter notes here?

Also, is there a better way to edit the length of previously placed notes than using the length box at the top? Like pressing a note length key and having it be that…