Remove a single note from recording


I’m relatively inexperienced on Cubase 7 and would like some advice about a live recording I made of a brass band I was playing in.

At one point in the recording, there is a single duff note that appears to have it’s own frequency. I was thinking about applying a sharp tight frequency cut to that one note in the hope that it will make the offending moment inaudible. I then realised that whilst I know how to alter the frequencies for a track, I don’t know how to do it for a split second.

Any advice on how to do this - or indeed any more appropriate way to achieve my goal would be greatly appreciated.


Automation of the EQ’s band gain for just that moment.

Hi, of course you can try with eq - but this will have unwanted side-effects.

Honestly speaking I would advise you to get melodyne Editor. This allows tone-identification in polyphonic material (especially well working with Ensembles of identical instruments). Melodyne also identifies the tone by pitch, but you have a lot of Options to modify the Signal, like eliminating the note, correcting the note in Timbre and pitch, etc.

I think it is the best means to achieve what you Need.

Cheers, ernst

Hi Shortie,

if you also use WaveLab, you could delete that weird frequency in the “Spectrum” editor.


Thanks all - appreciated.

Alas, I am a hobbyist, so I don’t think I have the budget for Wavelab or Melodyne at present. I think that fixing it from within Cubase is my only option really.


That single duff note wouldn’t be on its own track would it?

You’d then use variaudio and move its pitch to where you would like it.

If the piece has another section where that phrase or note is repeated, you could try snipping around the note out of that section and then Alt-dragging it into a new lane on the same track at the time position of the duff note. A bit of cross-fading maybe, and you’re done.

I usually take the whole bar, bounce and then move the handles or edit the new audio so only the wanted replacement note sounds in the new part. that gives the most flexibility if you need to tweak the crossfade.

Thanks fizbin, but no - there were quite a few mikes, but it was a semi live recording of a brass band. Alas, the duff note was played by my good self too!

Ian - that is a solution I am considering. I’m just a bit surprised that Cubase doesn’t seem to have the ability to higlight a small section the track and apply unique tone settings without having to resort to automation strategies or your suggested solution.

Appreciate all the responses.


If I want to do that sort of processing to a small section of the track, I’ll often make a duplicate track, snip both tracks around the section,mute/delete parts so only the section to be processed plays in the new track and vice versa, then bounce and apply the processing to the new track thus avoiding doing any faffy automation and giving a lot more flexibility and ease of mixing also. Once convinced I’m happy I’ll bounce the 2 tracks back together if it’s a big project and I want to keep the track count sensible.

All this is much quicker to do than to type about! It’s basically doing just as you suggested - highlighting a small section by spinnining it off to a new track…

The best (and only, I think) to solve a problem like this is to use a spectral editor, like the ones included in WaveLab (full version) and iZotope RX. Both are quite expensive options, unfortunately. Spectral editors are also a bit tricky to use, but can yield excellent results. You really need to learn how to use it thought, as it’s also easy to utterly destroy your recording.

There might be some plug-in out there, that I don’t know about. You’ll have to do a bit of surfin’. Until Steinberg sees fit to include a spectral editor with Cubase, I guess you’ll have to bite the (expense-)bullet.

Don’t hold your breath, though. I think it’s very unlikely that Steinberg will include a spectral editor with Cubase. Spectral editors are highly specialized tools that are almost exclusively used in audio restoration. A task for which WaveLab is aimed at (among other things). It might be a good idea to release the WaveLabs spectral editor as a VST plug-in, though. That way Cubase and WaveLab Elements users could also have access to it, without having to fork out the money for a full WaveLab licence.

If you want to apply some individual EQ or anything else to one note - it is possible without automation and all that tiresome stuff:

  • Cut this one second from the audio event, creating it’s own event
  • Select this new audio event
  • in the upper tab go Audio=>Plug-Ins=> select your eq here. Cubase’s Studio EQ is good for that stuff since it has an analyzer
  • when you see a plug-in interface, press “preview” below, and this audio will cycle playback
  • find that frequency and notch it out
  • crossfade this edited event with it’s neighbors (select all three and press X)
  • this change is not permanent. You can go Audio=>Offline Process History and make changes to that EQ.

If you have to cut to much that this change catches the ear, layering some simple VSTi instrument below could work. Halion SE is enough for that, just lower the attack of the instrument since you just need it’s sustain to mask the EQ notch.

Melodyne and RX3 could do it better, of course, but still there are many things we guys on a budget can do with Cubase))

Thanks - that’s really useful and exactly what I need. :slight_smile: