Seeking advice on Cuebase techniques for orchestral scoring

I’ve been using Cuebase for years, mostly orchestral scores using East West sounds.

I have recently upgraded my instrument samples to EastWest Opus Composer Cloud subscription. The sudden explosion of sound sample availability has led me into a kind of mental panic as to how to manage all of them, particularly articulations for the same instrument, which goes through a lot of trial-and-error when trying to articulate a delicate phrase and get the sound I want from the sounds I have available.

A lot of the video tutorials seem to use ProTools. I really don’t want to switch DAWs and climb that learning-curve, but I see something the pros seem to do on Pro Tools that I think can’t be done in Cuebase. If it can, I don’t know how. It has to do with articulation management.

The Opus 1st violins, for example, have 56 articulations, 39 if you exclude the “LITE” (memory-conserving) samples, and the “KS” (keyswitch) samples. To have all of these “at my fingertips” exceeds the limit of articulations I can control using Program Change in Cuebase (max = 16). So to have full control over the 1st violins, it seems I really need to create at least three separate 1st Violin tracks, each containing some logically-arranged subset of these articulations, with no more than 16 articulations in each track.

What I see in Pro Tools and the “template” models for Cuebase (such as from Poundsound) is to not use articulations at all, but simply create 39 separate instruments grouped together in a folder.

They can sketch out the musical line in a track, and can then just select individual notes to “apply” an articulation from a drop-down list. I don’t see any way to do this in Cuebase.

It looks like the only way to do this is:
a) create a separate instrument track for each articulation, then cut from one track and paste into another, or
b) create as many articulations as feasible in separate midi tracks, draw in all of the articulations in the articulation map, and use the above cut/paste process if I have to switch tracks to get to a particular articulation.

Am I missing something?

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It sounds like you may indeed be “missing something”. Are you familiar with Expression Maps? (Pg. 909 in manual). A very involved subject, but a necessary one for effective orchestral mock ups in Cubase. EMs allow you to access all available articulations in a given library in one track. There are numerous approaches. For example, I prefer using “Attributes” over “Directions” as this allows me to select note-by-note articulations from a drop-down menu.
Search the forum at Vi-Control for more resources, or reply back and I’ll try to help. You can also investigate third-party solutions like Babylon Waves Art Conductor. Not a simple subject, but very, very worthwhile. Good luck!


Thank you, Rhenn, for your response!

Yes, I’m intimately familiar with Articulations. The issue here is how to best organize Cuebase when you have 39 (or more) individual articulations for a single instrument.

I’ll sign up on Vi-Control, and see if there are any suggestions there.

Again, thanks!

This is where a lot of composers, many using Cubase participate.

Good luck on your goals.

with expression maps you can manage much more than 16 articulation
I have for example 37 articulation for strings

Freudon, can you (would you be willing to) walk me through that?

When I create an articulation map, I can create keyswitch articulations, and yes, the only limit on those is the number of keys outside the playable range. But the instrument has to respond to that out-of-range note, which limits me to KS instruments.

If I use Program Change, it seems to me that it limits me to 16 MIDI program change values.

So I’m confused, and eager to find out what I’m not understanding.

I’m not in front of my computer but
here are two images as examples to present my management of expression maps

the keys in green represent the program changes of which there are 47
and in example of expression maps I have a capture
from a Spitfire bank which it is true works with UACC

but I’m using a touch screen with the Sherlock plugin
14Bit MIDI which makes things easier because many commands are ready to use and you just have to insert them into the empty pages

in color it looks like this

Ans example is Albion One String High

I found another capture of Albion UIST
but I assure you that all this is on
the VI Control forum where I posted these screenshots

but the UIST bank does not react to the UACC
see the link
but I have 18 articulations so more than 16 in expression maps

Thanks for keeping me on the path of thinking it’s possible. It is, and I’ve got the basics figured out.

Will write a short article on this, soon.