Noob Help - I can record a waveform but cant hear playback

Hey! Hoping someone can just put me on the right path. I am sure I am missing something simple here. I searched this topic and didnt find the silver bullet for my problem. I am recording to Cubase 13 through a Scarlett 2i2 4th gen, and I can see the waveform I am recording on the track. When I try to playback the recording, there is no sound. I can hear all my computer sounds through my headphones (listening to spotify now) but even when I pause spotify and turn up my levels, I am not hearing anything. Probably a button I need to click or something ;). Appreciate any help you can provide!

Hi and welcome to the forum,

Please, make sure the Monitor button (orange speaker) is disabled, while playback.

Partially solved!

So simple, thank you! It was the mute on my “stereo out” fader…that allowed me to hear my recorded audio file.

I am also experimenting with putting a few chords on a midi track using the built-in chord pad. I have two chords playing each for a single bar, but I am not gettign any sound on playback. Nor do I get any sound when I click on a chord on the chord pad (which I would think should happen). Any more pro-tips on how to do this?


Could you attach a screenshot of your Studio > Audio Connections > Outputs and Studio > Audio Connections > Control Room, please?

Did you send the MIDI to an instrument that plays the notes?

I think I attached a screenshot - still learning this support site too! I don’t have a MIDI instrument - just trying to use the chord pad on the DAW to put a rhythm section in (I mean, that’s what I intend to do at some point - right now I am just fooling around trying to understand how things work).
I may eventually buy an external midi device, but I have enough to learn and was hoping I could make do with built in functionality for now.

There are all tracks muted

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MIDI doesn’t make any sound by default, you need to route it to an instrument, be it a real synth or a virtual one, like HALion Sonic or Groove Agent.

I’m sure you did it, but just in case…

Thanks - appreciated. I have managed to get some chords on the project window, but although it shows there should be some noise there (not yet music ;)) I have been unsuccessful in playing. The screenshot I took before did show all channels muted, but I have tested with them not muted and gotten the same result - no sound from MIDI or Chord Pad tracks despite them showing events in the timeline. I can hear the Vocal audio, so I am sure I am just doing something incorrectly.

This makes me think that you didn’t read the above statement.

Your screenshots indicate that there is no instrument involved at all.

@Nathan_Tyson Hello. st10ss I think is saying you need a virtual instrument. There are several ways to add a virtual instrument. I’ll explain one of the ways.

  1. From the top menu select Project > Add Track > Instrument.
  2. A pop up menu will open
  3. Select a VST instrument you want to use from the drop down menu next to the word “Instrument." Cubase comes with several different ones. (halion, groove agent, etc) Once you have selected one….
  4. Click Add Track button
  5. The instrument will open
  6. Drag the midi you created to this new track and press play. You should now hear sound.

Think of midi like music wrote on a piece of paper. To hear a sound you have to give it to a musician to play it. By dragging the midi file to the track you just created, its like giving the paper (midi) to a musician to play. Crazy analogy, but I don’t know your level of experience so I took a shot at trying to explain.

Hope that helps, if not let me know.

Hey TDMS - so helpful, thanks! Yeah, I am a complete beginner, so this kind of step by step help is…well…really helpful!
Here’s what I did:

  1. Added a track as you suggested. Chose Groove Agent.
  2. Drug the MIDI sound I had to the new track.
  3. Hit Play again.

Result: no sound

Also, when I have groove agent open, it shows some pads - should I hear a sound when I click on one of those pads?

I’m sure this is all very simple once I’ve been through it a few times, but cant seem to get any noise out of groove agent yet. Many thanks for your help!

Thanks for the followup - yeah, I think I am starting to figure out how the whole midi thing works…not there yet, but at least I get that I need both midi, and an instrument assigned to a track to make a sound. Still havent successfully done that yet, but learning. I did read everything…just didnt understand yet. Appreciate your patient help!

You need to load a sound too, in Groove Agent.
And GA is a drum instrument, not all notes will produce sound, that depends on the loaded program.
It’s better to start with Halion Sonic and a Piano sound.


@Nathan_Tyson I hope what st10ss shared helped, sorry for not mentioning you have to load it.
I recommend watching some quick start videos. Below is a link to Featherlight quick start playlist . It is a total of 40 short videos to get a new person up and going. I don’t know him and I am not affiliated. It is from cubase 9 but alot of the principles are the same.

Another playlist is from Steinberg below. It is for Cubase 10 AI/LE but still has useful information.

As well as:


Wonderful, thanks! This helps a lot. I will follow up by completing some of the quick start videos to get me on my way. I appreciate your help!

This is so awesome - and just what I needed. Thanks for hooking me up with all these great resources! I will complete some of those videos and see if that gets me up to speed. Many thanks!

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Good deal!