PLEASE, add a Key-track into Cubase!

When I write in the Key Editor, I look at the notes placed there, of course. They have their name indicated at that location. Now, when I write a piece of music in, for example, A b major, I read a lot of nonsense note names. All the flat notes have been replaced by their sharp enharmonic notes. It feels as if I am reading a text that at every turn contains words from another language - that I do not master well. This forces me to constantly think about their "translation”, which really doesn’t work smoothly. It’s distracting and slows down my work enormously.
If there were to be a Key track, we would be able to read the correct note names, even in keys with flat notes. And it would also provide the ability to modulate to a different key within one piece of music - just like we can change the tempo and signature within their respective tracks.
As far as I’m concerned, this is in fact an indispensable feature, because as it is, the essential music theory is ignored.


Don’t you set the key in the header part?

Adding a major chord in the chord track would accomplish this,

Cubase doesn’t have such a function.

Although you are correct, I still think this is a valid FR that, to me at least, would naturally and intuitively fall in line with already existing features of Cubase.
I, for example, don’t use Chord Tracks in my projects because I don’t see a need for them in my compositional workflow. Because of that, adding a Chord Track for the purpose of a key change, come across as a work-around to me.
What are your thoughts?

I was thinking of “Project Root Key” but I don’t think that has major or minor.

Set the key signature with the score editor.

Alternatively you can do it manually in the List Editor…
How to set the key signature of a MIDI file - MIDIprog

The OP is using the Key Editor.

Does this actually modify enharmonic spelling?

Who said it wasn’t a workaround? In any case it would come to nearly the same thing – adding an item to a track to control the the notes’ enharmonic display in the Key Editor. I have not commented on the FR. I am posting to correct errant workaround suggestions for the OP,

Yes, but one can easily add the SMF events by opening the score editor and setting key signatures where desired.

I think it spells chords and stuff wit the right key signature in play then.

It should add the proper SMF events (if it uses VST3 events instead one can merge/convert the tracks … they should then get proper SMF entries for exporting to SMF if desired).

@Brian_Roland. The OP has asked for this in the Key Editor. Are you saying you use this method and it works?

I think so. Takes 5 seconds to give it a try.

I believe I have in the past. I know for a fact it works in score mode, and I’m pretty sure it corrects spelling in other ways too. I’m almost positive it did in ‘older versions’ because they really did make use of SMF messages. Unless all that stuff was stripped out in order to ‘modernize’ things…

Steve, why do you constantly jump on my case 9 out of 10 times I make a post in Cubase forums? I’m aware OP is asking for a feature that doesn’t exist in the Key Editor (though you CAN insert SMF events, and it ‘might’ still fix things. I did some versions ago…could have changed. I’m not at a workstation with Cubase 13 installed right now to check it myself).

I’m attempting to offer a work-around. Takes 5 seconds to try it. If it didn’t work for you, I apologize.

Nobody. I was just expressing my own, personal views.

I understood that perfectly which is why I asked for your thoughts and opinion, in case you had any.

Here’s illustration of what the OP wants correcting… thus…

In the beginning I thought the same. Then I learned that the root key functionality is for something completely different.

There already is. The Chord Track allows one to enter a Scale event.

If only all areas of Cubase would adhere to that scale event… some of them do, some of them don’t.

And here’s what I’m wondering about right now:

Is the vertical piano “capable” of displaying flats? Or is it that it just shows whatever is fed into it by something else? E.g. the editor scale?

Scales visibility is something relatively new, so I hadn’t had time to really look into it yet. But I don’t know of any way to test whether the piano keys can display something else other than sharps.

On the other hand, if it’s supposed to just show what the scales say, well ok, it’s expected that we’ll be seeing lots of A#major and D#major, because that’s how they’re currently spelled. But this means that there’s some “independence” to what the Editor scale does and says. The list could very well still be C C# D D#… etc, but once we made a choice, it could pass through the chord track so that it gets a little makeup. (D# major → Eb major, G# major → Ab Major, F# major ? Gb major ? What can we do here, it can go either way, we need a choice.)


At least for factory scales, I would expect that at least all major and natural minor scales would be proper. The algorithm for any such scale is simple. You can only use each note name once, and it can be sharpened or flattened once. That way you can’t get D# major, because you’d need an f-double sharp and a c-double sharp, you can’t get Db minor because you’d need a B-double flat, etc etc. You do get the imaginary solutions, but you throw them away in favor of the simpler ones.

“Don’t you set the key in the header part?”

This keyboard is usually too far away from where you are writing when using a 4K monitor - easily 20cm up to half a meter. Looking back and forth again and again doesn’t work. It is also difficult to follow the lines over a large distance. We indeed have an indication from the horizontal lines and gray scales. But the notes already present are by far the most clearly readable, so you automatically focus on what is already written there and regularly quickly review/reread the last notes. And then you are confronted with these wrong notes time and again. This is always a disturbing factor that causes confusion. If this happens once, it is not so bad, but it can happen hundreds of times within one piece of music, which becomes really annoying and very tiring. And that should be avoided.

Cubase is not Key-Aware, so to speak. (the exception is the score editor, but this does not extend to the rest of the program.)

Adding a chord symbol is the most reliable way to have notes labeled correctly in the key editor. Even so, Cubase does not have double-sharps.

As others have said, in Cubase it’s a hodge-podge of different display methods for keys depending on the item one’s looking at. But it is possible to get decent note spelling in the Key Editor by using chord symbols in the chord track.

The scale labels in the chord track have no effect on this stuff.

As far as I know, Cubase says you can use the chord track as a musical scale. But goes through the sample editor, which you can’ access when composing with VST instruments, without audio. And then, there is no option for flat notes - like I said the A b major scale is not possible. So we can’t write in all the scales that use flat notes (which is half the time).