Piano Roll inconvenience

There are some Cubase Piano Roll peculiarities which have been annoying me for years.

One of my typical scenarios is that I draw an empty part on an instrument track, open up this part in Piano Roll and start entering notes with my MIDI keyboard using Step Input.

The inconvenience is that notes are entered not from the beginning of the newly created part (as I always expect for some reason), but from the point where the blue cursor happened to be at that moment, and it is almost always outside the boundaries of the part (usually at the beginning of the timeline). So I have to click the Piano Roll first to place the blue cursor somewhere inside my part, and then I can proceed with step input.

I always forget to place that blue cursor in the needed place – I just create part, click on it, play the keys, notice that notes are entered in the wrong place, so I have to undo them, then place the blue cursor inside the part and enter notes again. I sometimes run into this several times a day I guess, and this has been so damn irritating. At times I’d enter quite an amount of notes before I notice that they all go in the wrong place.

What’s more, there are two cursors in Piano Roll – this blue one and the main project cursor. The main cursor is moved by clicking on the upper ruler, and the blue one is moved by clicking in the lower zone, and I often confuse these two cursors and the ways they are moved.

Another bad thing: say, the project is playing, the main cursor is moving, I have Auto-Scroll option activated, and I’d like to do something with some part. I click on that part, enter Piano Roll and – I’m not seeing the contents of opened part at all, instead I’m again somewhere outside the boundaries of the part, because Auto-Scroll feature forces the screen to follow the main cursor, which may be quite far from the opened part. And if I previously have opened the Piano Roll and zoomed in – I will be seeing the cursor scrolling very fast through empty spaces, and I’ll have to zoom all out to see where the heck I am.

So, I wonder if anyone else out there finds this inconvenient. Or maybe I’m missing something and this is somehow convenient? I just don’t see why would anyone want to enter notes outside the part opened in Piano Roll, and more than that, to start entering notes outside the part BY DEFAULT. That’s ridiculous. Isn’t it logical that if I open a part, it means I want to work INSIDE this part, and I want to see its contents immediately, not grey empty non-existent spaces in some other places.

With the Lower Zone introduced in Cubase 9, I thought maybe Steinberg have fixed it eventually, but they didn’t.

I’m really curious what do you, Cubase users, think about it.

There is only 1 cursor… Do you mean the loop markers, locators?

No, there are two cursors available in Piano Roll. Please watch the video I’ve just recorded:


In the video I: 1) create part; 2) enter notes in a wrong place; 3) mess with zoom some; 4) enter notes in the right place; 5) press Space to play and playback starts from the beginning of the project; 6) mess with the two cursors – blue and gray.

Wow… I’ve never seen that blue cursor before. What is this sorcery?

Personally I have a macro set up to wrap my locators around the part, turn on cycle and start playing from the left locator.

The blue cursor is the Step Input cursor, it only shows when Step Input is on, so turn it off when you don’t need it.

Use the command “Move insert cursor to part start” to place the step input cursor.

I suspect you’d have an easier time if you disabled step input. Then there’d only be the one cursor.

My first post:

One of my typical scenarios is that I draw an empty part on an instrument track, open up this part in Piano Roll and start entering notes with my MIDI keyboard using Step Input.

I posted the command for placing the blue insert cursor. Did you notice?

Yes, thanks, I didn’t know about that command. But I’m really curious why this isn’t the default behaviour and why I have to use this command? In which case we would need the step input cursor outside the part we’d like to edit?

No case at all, and I don’t know either. It makes no sense. After people complained, they added that command.

Oh, someone already has complained about this stuff?