Regions, Pools, and Libraries! (What you maybe didn't know & how to utilize!)

Hello Cubendo fam,

I ended up sharing some of these user experiences/findings in another thread about the differences between Parts, Events, and Clips, and some found it of interest so thought I would create a tips-and-tricks thread.

Please contribute your own findings! Knowledge is wealth!

Regions

Regions are one of those things in Cubendo not many (if any) understand what the purpose of is, and how they should/could be used… Myself included! I started on SX3, but only began making full use of these great utilities a few years ago.

I will quickly port over from the other thread and summarize the differences between Events, Clips, and Parts, as I think it helps people orientate themselves towards understanding what Regions are.

Events are typically audio/MIDI data outputs that are happening or are going to happen.

A piece of audio on the timeline, is an Event. It outputs audio data.

a MIDI note or MIDI CC, is also an Event. They output MIDI data.

Parts are containers for Events.

An Audio Part is a container that contains one or more Audio Events (or Clips…) on one or multiple lanes.

A MIDI Part contains MIDI Events (Notes/CC)

Audio Parts and MIDI Parts
AudioMIDIparts

A …Clip, is sort of a subset of an Audio Event wherein, it is a section of audio data on the timeline that references a larger audio file in the Pool. This is starting to get us close to what a Region is. Think of a clip as, literally, a clipping of a bigger audio file but is non-destructive.

The event I colour green, is a Clip of FILE01
Clip

For the sake of being thorough, here’s what happens if you Edit/Process that Clip.
clipedit
You can see, how Cubase is very non-destructive, even when something seems destructive.

Regions as stated above, are sort of related to clips, can behave like clips, and can actually be created from clips on the timeline. I like to think of Regions as, cycle markers for audio FILES, which creates sub-file clips in the Pool.
regions1
You can also drag Regions into the timeline directly from the Region list in the audio editor.

Creating Regions from Events
region from events

Creating Events From Regions
regions to events

Pools & Libraries

Pool & Libraries are pretty much exactly the same as you will find when you open them side by side. The difference is, Pools are part of your cpr project, whereas Libraries are their own project, ie, a Pool without a cpr project. Libraries can be opened on their own in Cubendo with no project open/active, or, you can open them while a project is active. You can open as many Libraries as you want, whilst you have a project open, and you don’t have to “activate” the Library, you can just play whatever audio files are in it whenever you want.

Some nifty little things and tricks with both Pool and Libraries:

  • Libraries can have mixed sample rates, even different from the sample rate of whatever project you have open, and they will play just fine. ie, if your currently open/active project has a sample rate of 88.2, and the Library you have opened is full of 44.1khz sample rate files, they won’t do that thing where they playback at half-speed. (caveat, if you open an audio editor from a Library file, this does not work for some reason… hope that changes). <-FR

  • You can open multiple Audio Editor windows from selected file(s) in a Library and edit them, and save those edits in the Library project.
    multiple editors

  • You can do the same as above with Direct Offline Processing (but not multiple windows)
    dop

  • for some reason, the little playback bar in the bottom left of Pool/Libraries does not engage the time bar if you start play from a file selection in the main list. A workaround, is you can leave the search bar empty and hit search and it will mirror your pool files into the search results (from what I can tell) and starting play from here does engage the time bar. Hoping Steinberg can change this.
    search
    note the tiny little waveform icon in the status column? it tells you there is some non-destructive processing on that file

  • Alternatively, there is an image of the audio file in the Library/Pool that you can click to skip playback to wherever you want.
    poolimagething

-of coarse as stated above, you can also open an Audio Editor window full screen, start playback in there and have a full detailed view of the waveform, add new Regions in there, edit, process, etc, etc.

  • You can drag stuff from your Project Pool, into a Library

  • You can drag entire project pools into Librarys, creating a “master pool” of multiple project pools.

Utilizing Regions, Pools, and Libraries together

I don’t know what the original intent and application of Library was, my first thought is that it was more of post-production/film/tv utility for asset management, archiving, etc - I’m not really sure “who it was for” (I’d love to hear from a dev their take on this), but I will just tell you some ways I’ve utilized it, and then I will speculate on some other uses.

Organizing an album project
Libraries have become an indispensable organizational tool for me.

Any time I am working on an album project, I am starting a Library just for that project. I create folders in the Library organized by song, and then create sub-folders in that folder for different stages of the project.
album

This is great for a number of reasons: I can reference all stages of any song quickly at any point without having to open the project. I can have one project open and listen to a different song to reference how they fit together, how they sound sonically different, etc. Sometimes the band wants to listen to one of the other tracks etc. I can just have this Library open ready to go. Sometimes albums will share certain sounds, I can access them quickly. Sometimes I need a break and will listen to something else to get perspective, etc, etc, etc.

Composition Projects
Likewise, when it comes to composition projects, I regularly do exports as I am progressing through a composition so I can reference what I have done and when. Sometimes, older exports have a better feel in certain parts I “destroyed” and want to recreate, or, if I named the export after the project version I can quickly find it and open that project version.

Personal Projects
With personal projects, and composition… much of my creativity comes from just hitting record and aimlessly jamming/improving… Sometimes an hour has passed and felt like 10 minutes, so I might not have time to dig in and turn that jam (which might be 90% garbage) into a finished project… But I can mark a bunch of regions of what I think is worthy of turning into something at a later date, drag it into a Library. For example, I have Libraries by genre for ideas, ie, “Electronic Music Ideas”. There’s 40 ideas In there, and when I have time I can go listen and find something I want to work on… All without having to wait for a project to load. Having to wait for 40 projects files to load is not efficient. The Regions let me skip to the good parts instead of having to listen to an hour of mostly garbage.
regions

Mixing Projects
Mixing projects, same thing, as I’m progressing through a mix, I do exports, and add them to a library so I can reference my changes quickly.

FR-> One thing I would like to see added to Pools/Libraries, is a music playlist feature, so “finished” songs can be compiled into a sequence and listen from start to finish.

Other Potential Use Cases

  • I could also see them being used in such a way, where, maybe you are dealing with consolidated files that have a lot silence in between say, dialogue, you might not want to have to listen to 2 minutes of silence, so you can use the region markers to skip to where there is actually material, and name the regions with what the start of dialogue words are.

  • maybe have some clips in your project that share one audio file, and there’s other parts of that audio file you aren’t using in the project yet but suspect you may want to use them in the future, you can just have them Region marked to access them fast when you do want them.

  • I could see it being used for location sound as well, marking assets, problematic sound, good sound, what probably needs ADR, etc.

  • TV productions will use a lot of recurring assets throughout a season, it could maybe be used as an asset/sound library. Or maybe there are flashback sequences later in the season and you want to search for them.

That’s pretty much it, I probably missed a few things.

All in all, I find it very useful, and it’s stuff like this that makes you realize Cubendo is not just a DAW - it is a career management tool, a project management tool, a record label tool, an archiving tool, commercial production house tool. You can build a serious production business operation off Cubendo.

Anyways, need to get back to music… Merry Christmas/happy holidays :santa:

edit

I Consolidated all the FRs plus added some new ones here:
Pool/Library Features - Cubase - Steinberg Forums

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