Possible to Change Horizontal Line Color in Expression Lane?

Is it possible to change the color of, or contrast of, the horizontal lines in the Expression Lane? You’ll see in the image below that the lines are a bit jarring on even a medium-dark background – hard to look at with so much contrast. Also the green line indicating Note On… are these adjustable? They, too are very hard to distinguish.

And, is there a way to Expression text on the left side. It such low contrast that it’s also difficult to read.


Well, you can experiment with the settings for the grid lines in Preferences>Appearance>Work Area>Edit Windows, but, personally, I have always found that it is difficult to get grid lines looking nice when using a dark basic background color (“Work Area Brightness”, which, although it looks like it belongs to the Project window only, is in fact global).

I messed with the interface colors in preferences until I could read the labels. And, I put the lines to full, so that they show. The default contrasts hide most of the lines.

The colors of the various bars are controlled by the MIDI color picker. Velocity is default BLUE->RED. So, Orange is going to be 100ish velocity. You can mess with the color ranges here.

Thanks for the answers. I thought it migh be such.

On another thought, how do you get the bars in the Expression Lane to match the colors set for them in the Expression Map Setup? No matter which instruction I choose in the Event Color Picker, it only affects the events in the Key Editor window, and not in the Expression Lane. The colors in the Expression Lane remain blue.


Hi Mahlon,

I too have set my background to a medium-dark color similar to yours and I have the same problem with bad readability of the expression text in the key editor. Unfortunately you can’t change the color of that text at the moment, the only way to make it clearer is to change the background color to either very bright or very dark. It certainly works best with a bright background like in JMCecil’s screenshot.

Anyway, I have contacted Steinberg support nearly a year ago when Cubase 6 came out, told them about this issue and asked them to provide a solution for better readability of the expression text. They promised me to pass it on to the development team but so far nothing has happened… I still hope they will eventually do something about this.

Maybe you can write them, too, so they will remember my request…

I suspect the reason Steinberg doesn’t want to fiddle with colors is pointed out in your request. If the color in the expression lane matches, then they will have to come up with a text scheme that automatically (or manually) allows you to have a text color that shows through through the event color. You already see the problem when having a dark editor background. You can’t see the text labels. It is a goofey issue to fix. Not all colors scale identically when it comes to having discernible color differentiation.

You are certainly right that it’s a tricky issue to resolve but do you remember how it looked like in Cubase 5? When the background was set to dark there was a little white field onto which the expression text was written so in effect the text color could always remain the same (grey) and would always be readable because it was an a little white background. It certainly didn’t look very cool graphically but it served the purpose. I suggested to Steinberg support that at least they reintroduce this old behaviour if they can’t allow for text color customization. Let’s see.

Thanks parnasso and JMCecil. I’ve switched my background to a lighter color and surprise to me, I actually seem to like it. :slight_smile: Seems like Cubase workspace was designed perhaps to be more on the light side.

Do you have any suggestion for getting the articulation boxes in the Expression Lane to show the colors set for specific articulation in the Expression Map Setup? They only show blue in my window no matter how I set the Event Color dropdown at the top of the Key Editor.

Thanks again,

as far as I know the expression background is a fixed color.

I’m talking about the color of the expression events themselves. Colors are assignable in the Expression Map Setup, but I don’t know how to make the articulations appear with their assigned colors in the Expression Lane.


There is no provision for that.

that’s what I was referring to. No way to change it.

Thanks, guys. I hate to be so dense, but in the manual, concerning coloring in the Expression Map Setup, it states:

“Click in the COL column to assign a color to the current sound slot. When working in the MIDI editors, you can color your events according to the color of the sound slots.”

Am I losing it?!? Or just dense?


It’s talking about the note color, not the expression area.

Edit: If you look at the 2nd picture I posted above, the last option on the color list is sound slot.

Ohhhhh. Ok. Thanks so much for you patience. I got it.