Retrigger Samples in Media Bay - Important!

Just moved to Cubase from years of Ableton and FL Studio use.

One thing that’s extremely useful in both of those DAWS is the ability to retrigger samples (without quantization) while you’re auditioning in the browser.

In Ableton you navigate with the up & down arrows and can retrigger (play) the sample with the right arrow. This is an extremely useful, flexible and musical way to audition drum samples and one shots. Loops lock in with time, one-shots don’t. This very simple but elegant implementation makes finding the right sound very enjoyable and musical.

The current behavior is Cubase is great for loops but absolutely terrible/useless for one shots. A simple solution would be to apply a modifier key that bypasses the current quantized launch behavior. Essentially the browser will behave like a Sampler using the arrow key or mouse click.

Again, this is a MUSICAL way to audition one shots, I’m a little surprised to find there is no option for this in Cubase. So far very impressed with how well rounded this DAW is.

Thinking about this further there could just be two modes in the Media Bay that you can either choose or Cubase intelligently switched between.

Loop Mode - This is the current behavior of the browser.

One Shot Mode - This would be the mode in which you can musically ‘play’ one shot samples while auditioning them. If a file has a One-Shot “Character” tag then this mode should automatically be enabled.

Again, the current way in which you audition one shot samples is horrible because it treats everything like a loop. Even when you turn off the launch settings you still can’t ‘play’ the samples. “Auto Play New Results Selection” is also not a solution as you’ll get rapid loops of one shots that make no sense in the context of finding a sound. There is absolutely no valid musical reason for one shots to be treated EXACTLY the same as loops, it’s simply not musical.

The current behavior of auditioning one shots is just an on switch or incorrect loop that has no musical relationship with your project.

This by far the least thought out thing I’ve encountered in Cubase, it would be a very welcomed addition.

I didn’t explain how FL handles it but here’s another former FL Studio user who explains how it’s done in that DAW - “FL studio just shows a folder in the browser bar that lets you just click to hear the sound.”

This is perhaps one of the fastest ways to audition one-shots. Click away with no quantizing and “play” the sound. This let’s you hear sample in the context of your song, not like a sporadic loop or whatever arbitrary quantization the algorithm decides it should be in. I just can’t stress enough how useful this is for a one-shot workflow. What is currently in Cubase, specifically for one-shots, is absolutely terrible.

He was asking 7 years ago btw…

Hi Hmend99,

I may be missing your meaning but there is a way to audition samples in MediaBay without the delay you are mentioning. In MediaBay, above the waveform display and to the right of the preview level slider, there are 3 buttons. If you select the first one “Auto Play New Results Selection” and make sure the other two “Align Beats To Project” and “Wait For Project To Play” are unselected, this should give you what you want for one shots. You can arrow up and down the list and play the samples. Also, make sure the “Preview Cycle” (next to the Pause button on the same row) is turned off also so the sample doesn’t keep repeating.

It doesn’t switch back and forth when there is a loop and may not re-trigger in the same way as you other DAWs, so maybe this isn’t exactly what you were asking for but I thought I would at least mention it in case you were not aware of this button/setting. I hope this helps and sorry if I missed on what you were asking for.


Mike thanks for the suggestion, that gets us pretty close.

Yeah, the one missing behavior (hence this thread) is being able to re-trigger/replay/launch that sound again in a rhythmic way with either your keyboard or mouse. As you pointed out you can arrow up and down, yet left and right are completely unused - these could be the perfect candidates for the re-trigger behavior.

Cubase developers, I’m no programmer but pretty sure this is a very low hanging fruit that would be a huge win for workflow.

great addition

Very very very usefull idea… indeed for one shot samples its a pain in the A to audition one again and again (no, loop mode wont do it nicely lol).
So Cubase devs, on your keyboard, we need that for cubase 9.5

Taking it to the next level, having a basic step-sequencer in media bay would be awesome.

Basic stuff, on/off button, options to change steps (+/-) and time (1/8,1/16 etc), simple visual representation etc.
Taking it even further, when double clicking (or drag-drop to project) the selected sample with step-sequencer enabled the sample could be added as in step sequencer, maybe in a folder or something.

+1 to the idea of re-triggering the sample.

I did find that setting a key command up for “Preview Start” made this a little nicer for short drum hits. I used 0 since the number pad on my keyboard is very close to the arrows. I tried setting the key command to the right arrow but it caused me to navigate into the nearby MediaBay columns instead of triggering the sample to play. Unfortunately, the sample won’t trigger again until it plays through so it is still clunky when the sample is longer. Still this may make it somewhat better for you until Steinberg addresses this. With that said, I agree that clicking with the mouse or using a “Preview Start” key command should make the sample re-trigger from the start, instantly, even when the sample is currently being played back.

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Hi guys,

you can set up a macro to achieve this.

The actions of the macro should be:

First: Media - Preview Stop
Second: Media - Preview Start

Then you assign that macro to one key on your computer keyboard. Then you can trigger the sample instantly in a musical way, because each time you press, it first stops the sample, then instantly plays it, with no latency, as if you were hitting a key on your midi controller. So in that way you can instantly re-trigger the sample, even if it’s still playing from the previous time it was triggered (because the first action of the macro is to stop playback).

Hope this helps!

Thanks Jazzius!

I can’t speak for the OP, but this is working great for me. I really have never used macros in Cubase and I am not sure why. Very helpful tip.

Thanks again,

No worries!

Macros are great, you can customize Cubase like crazy to have very complicated behaviours which you’d otherwise have to wait until the end of the multiverse for Steinberg to implement! :wink:

Jazzius, I’m trying to give this a shot but the Macro is unresponsive when I try to audition. Here’s a screenshot of my setup. Can you let me know what’s wrong here?

Never mind, preferences had to be trashed.

And wow, this is definitely solves the problem man, thanks for that! Did not expect a solution without development, another plus for Cubase.

Are there any other cool macros you know about or is there a good thread I should look into?


Macros: your imagination really is the limit!

Here’s another example of what you can achieve, in this case fixing an annoying “feature”:

Yes at least be able to set the trigger point from when you hit play, the fact it’s tied to particular beats and bars is stupid.

Hi PeppaPig,

Please read the posts in this thread as they solve the issue. With a simple macro (thanks to Jazzius) and a few settings, it works great.


Hi brother. This function is great to have it in Cubase. one question how did you trash preferences. I’m traying to set up this macro, but not luck yet.

Hi! I’m a bit late to the party but this page might help you to clean / reinstate your preferences… He even has an app to back them up first

Thanks brother.

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