Recording takes in Cubase - a tip for beginners

This is for anyone wondering how to record takes in Cubase outside of the context of Cycle recording - especially folks like me: experienced with other DAWs but new to Cubase and wanting to get up and running quickly.

I searched the manual, watched video tutorials, and did several web searches, all in vain. None of the discussions of takes - at least none that I found - described how they’re created if you’re not doing Cycle recording.

In Pro Tools, you select "New Playlist. In Digital Performer, it’s “New Take.”

In Cubase, all you do is record again (assuming you’re in the default mode of “Keep History”, in Transport > Audio Record Mode).

Each time you record, a new “take” is automatically created, though so far I haven’t found anywhere where it’s actually labeled “take”.

The audio file is layered on top of the previous one. Each layer is automatically placed in its own Lane. (Lanes are displayed/hidden via the track’s Show Lanes button).

Cubase lacks a command analogous to “New Playlist” or “New Take” because it doesn’t need one.

It’s a convenient feature, but the Cubase documentation is awful.

I hope this saves someone else from wasting time searching for this.

P.S. You might also consider Track Versions, but that’s for another thread. I checked the manual, but still don’t understand their merits compared to regular tracks.

Track versions are just like regular tracks. In fact a regular Track is really just a Track with only one version.

Versions are useful for trying out alternatives. Suppose you’ve recorded a Track with several vocal takes, each on it’s own Lane. As it is, that would let you comp the vocals on that Track from your various takes. This will likely involve cutting and moving audio around. If instead of comping the initial Version, you create a new 2nd Version for that Track you can edit one of those and leave the other alone so you can always get back to the starting point if your comp gets out of control. And if you create multiple Versions you could create additional comps and then pick the one you like. Track Versions are basically a mechanism that lets you explore different editing options and alternatives.

You can even set it so versions are linked on different Tracks. Then you could set it up so changing to version 2 on a guitar Track also switches the bass track to version 2.

Track versions can also be useful for comping takes. Unlike Pro Tools, Cubase doesn’t have a comp track. All the takes combine together to make the comp track. When you comp and then record over the top, comping again gets messy, especially if you’ve crossfaded takes. I always duplicate the track version to make a track version before comping. This way you can go back to your takes version and duplicate that to make an alternate comp and then compare the two easily. Or you can go back to the takes version and record more takes over the uncomped takes to make it easier to cut up later.

By the way, I always have “takes to new playlists” option enabled in Pro Tools so that it also does it automatically like Cubase does.

Thank you both for the explanations. Much appreciated.

I haven’t gotten to camping yet, so I didn’t realize that Cubase doesn’t create a separate comp track. It looks like Versions will be fine, but now I appreciate the simplicity of creating different comps in different Playlists (in PT) or takes (DP).

When you’re done recording and ready to start comping, why not just duplicate the track? What advantage is there to creating a new Version?

What raino & currentsound said :slight_smile: There’s just no need to duplicate tracks as all the ‘history’ can ‘sleep’ in a track version. Post recording I also duplicate the track version (as already described in this thread) and edit/comp on that copy. In case I need/want to make changes later, all my original unedited takes are in place and just a click away.

No more searching for original tracks (used to ‘park’ them in a foldere before track versions were introduced), no doubling of CPU on duplicate tracks, less mess. It’s a neat feature.