Question from a DAW newbie (drum map)


I was recommended to try Cubase (and now own it) and because I’m a major beat composer I needed a better way than the piano roll Logic offers.

I’m getting used to the drum map but does anyone notice if you select a bunch of notes and then go to a lane those notes are de-selected?

Kind of annoying actually but anyway, going great guns thus far!

Aloha U,

Not sure which version of Cubase you now own but with C6.5 (and maybe before)
there is ‘Beat Designer’.

You might find it helpful.


Beat Designer was introduced with Cubase 5.


Does the beat designer create MIDI or must it be entered using the mouse?

I want to learn how to make beats without loops or tools.

Kindest regards

Beat Designer is MIDI Insert. You can use presets, or you can insert your own beat by mouse. Than, you can switch among different beats by using MIDI keyboard, or MIDI notes.

Try to wath this.

I think that like many you confuse midii with controlling software with some external device like in your case drumpads.

When Captain Kirk is on some planet and calls and says “Beam me up Scotty” Scotty listens, gets the message and executes the command. That same way you can use midi to send a message from an external source transmitter to an internal receiver-software application and get the command executed.
But Kirk can also give his commands internally, from the bridge. Just like the “piano roll” and the “beat designer” can be used to send command messages internally.

In audio, you’d play a snare-drum and you can manipulate the snare-drum sound but it stays a snare-drum. In midi all you get is a pattern. And you decide which instrument you will link to it, be it a snare, a tom, a daf or even a saxophone or violin.

In short: when you see a wave pattern, it’s audio. When you see either written notes or patterns, it’s midi.

Ha. ha!

I was not from the Star Trek Generation :slight_smile:

I’m probably guilty of using too much looping so hopefully I can amend my ways :imp:

Previously I used Ableton so it’s a bit of a change coming to Cubase.

What I gather now is MIDI is mainly a communication protocol for synthisizers in steinberg products and loops can be manipulated to change their tempo as well as beat sliced to change pattern.

Is this what the Beat Designer does?

Yeah great explanation :wink: I felt free to qute this to our Knowledegebase from Users for users :wink:
Greetz Bassbase

As a real ‘MIDIot’ one reason loops became and are popular is because many users
found/find it difficult to make MIDI ‘groove’. Tho’ there is lots of software for this.

I have always related to this line from the band Yes
[The time between the notes relate the color to the scenes —Yes]

Depending on the music it CAN be done but it is not always easy.

I can do pop,rock,dance,reggae even smooth jazz with MIDI no prob
but real jazz, classical, some real country or ethnic music can take me
hours and hours to please my ears.

and some of the real jazz MIDI stuff never pleases my ears.

I have had other players say: ‘that sounds just fine in MIDI’
but to me if you have ever played in a real jazz ensemble
you know (feel) that it is not.

It is probably the same in other styles of music.

Much like a magician, if you are dealing with MIDI, you are dealing with illusion.
And if you do it just right your listeners will not know it is an illusion.
They will just enjoy the music. But you will know.

When it comes to MIDI, know your and its limitations.
What Steiny has done recently with MIDI is just wonderful.
More of that please and thank you.

Growing up we had a player piano at home with lots 'o paper rolls of songs.
The songs always sounded exactly the same till the day we got a newer
player piano.

With the better piano the rolls sounded totally better.
I heard things I never heard before.

This made me wonder what those same rolls would sound like at
Carnegie Hall on a priceless Steinway Player piano
(if there were such a thing) or one roll playing ten pianos at once etc.

To me a MIDI file is a digital version of those piano rolls.


hola a ti curteye!

I took some quotes from you I hope you don’t mind.

With my background being centered around looping I am reliant on others to create a mood.

I was thinking of taking a step away from loops and using MIDI since it is editable but where do I start?

Does Cubase include any patterns that might replace loops or am I stuck with beat slicing via re-wire :confused:

These may help to get you started :wink:

Y’know, my great uncle owned a Steinway grand player piano! He passed it down to my uncle who sold it many years back. Undoubtedly piceless now but at the time he sold it it was not really considered special, much like analogue synths that were thrown out in the 80s! It sounded great even just in a small room, and I wish that it was still in the family to be played. I hope it’s in decent home wherever it is, and well tuned…


Curteye mentions that midi styles of music can occasionally “work”. It depends to an extent on the user and his line up of instruments and his room as well.
In real life a live jazz or rock band can have a hard time recreating their best in venues with poor acoustics.
Working with midi it can be a case of getting used to your available palette and chopping and changing until something sounds real compositionally, if not literally.
Midi is quite hard work if you’re trying to emulate real players who have already taken at least a decade or two to get it right themselves on instruments that took years to perfect. Nobody’s trying to emulate bad players are they? :mrgreen:
In the end it’s the dynamic of how quiet can you go and what you leave out and still sounds like you’re playing something (like the spaces). I always play the spaces very ferociously. :mrgreen:
So be encouraged by the fact it only sounds half decent. By musical emulation standards that’s very good.

I have been quite guilty of making music (or as it’s called today “content”) that is lacking in ambiance which is why I’m hoping to learn from this forum about MIDI.

Thanks for all the writings thus far!

Funny you should say that C!

Just two weeks ago a client wanted a MIDI (instrumental) version of Bob Dylan’s
‘Rainy Day Woman’ (Everybody Must Get Stoned) for a radio spot.

She gave the original on a CD and even tho’ I remembered the hook
from back-in-the-day, I did not remember
how ‘loose’ the groove was. (They probably were stoned! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:)

They played with such a great loose feel.
One that I had not heard since the early
days of Rod Steward when he was in the band Small Faces.

Took me hours of pulling/pushing MIDI events this way and that
but finally I got it to work.

But that job was really hard because it was very easy to go too far.

What ever the opposite of quantize is, worked in this case.
Very few notes actually ‘touched’ the quantize grid.


Looser than a sluts knickers?

I’m pretty open minded having been in a western country but is this acceptable conduct?

@Unity is Gain, “Don’t worry, be happy” :wink: .


I can feel it coming in the air tonight…

Greetz Bassbase