Separate written & played notes like in Dorico

It would be very useful, if Cubase would have separate written/notated notes and played notes like Dorico.

That way the performance could be humanized and adjusted according to VST instrument (like adding overlap for legato or adding a negative delay only to notes using a specific articulation), while retaining written/notated midi notes nice and tidy on the grid.

The played note needs only two additional parameters: a position offset & a length delta

You should take a look at Display Quantize in Score Settings/Staff/Main. It lets you hard quantize notes in Score Editor display while leaving the actual midi data that gets played unaffected.

That doesn’t work for the key editor (only score editor). Also, it’s inferior to the proposed feature from Dorico IMO, as Display Quantize might not work well for all notes.

Display Quantize function would still be useful in combination with the proposed feature, to generate written notes from played notes (in case of recorded MIDI performance).

So you’re concerned with how the MIDI Note Data looks in the Key Editor but not the Score Editor? Then yeah Display Quantize won’t work.

I’m curious why you would want the Key Editor to show something other than the notes’ actual position? In the Score Editor it makes sense because otherwise you end up with stuff like a dotted 32nd note tied to a quarter note. But in the Key Editor what advantage would you get by displaying notes on the grid when they actually are not. Personally if I have a note start 14 ticks after the grid-line I want that visible in the Key Editor.


This is the key question here. What is a note’s actual position?
From a technical standpoint, the actual position is of course the MIDI data that will be played. This is what Cubase currently displays in Key editor by default.

But what is note’s actual position from compositional perspective? Does it matter that I had to shift notes’ positions so that some articulation with slower attack is played on time? Or that I increased the length of notes, so they overlap, just to get the VST instrument to correctly play legato. Or that I randomized lengths and positions so that the performance is more human?

When I’m composing in the Key Editor these “offsets” detract from what the actual composition is. They make it less clear what the composition is. Or to put it another way, when I am interested in composition, I don’t need to see all the quirks of the performance data.

Of course usefulness of this depends on person’s workflow and experience. This may not be that useful to someone who plays in the notes with a MIDI keyboard and uses the Key Editor only to fix or touch up notes a little. I, on the other hand, work mostly in the Key Editor. From manually inputting notes while composing ideas to adjusting the performance in the end. I find it faster to work primary in just one editor, than to constantly switch between Key and Score editors (just so I can see a clearer picture in the Score Editor). I also prefer the Key Editor for editing. For someone that does most of the work in the Key Editor, this feature would enable him/her to have a clearer overview of the composition and edit faster (because written notes would stay on the grid).

Trust me, no one wants to hear me play the keyboard. I enter nearly everything by hand and am also making all those little adjustments. You know you don’t have to jump back and forth between the Key & Score Editors. They can both be open at the same time. I almost exclusively edit in the Key Ed because it is easier to select notes, copy paste, change pitches & duration etc. in the Key Ed. But I’ll often have the Score Editor open in a Window off to the side where I can easily glance over and see what’s happening in notation. Best of both worlds, Score for the music and Key for the data details - and for completeness the List Editor for forensic efforts.

I didn’t know Dorico had a piano-roll style editor. I almost got it on sale but messed up the date and missed it. :frowning:

That’s a very neat idea! Thanks!

It also has CC automation! I was temped too :slight_smile: But I’m holding off, because I would like to see that either Dorico gets more DAW features (like audio tracks) or that Cubase gets some form of Dorico integration/connection (maybe Dorico tracks in Cubase).

From what I see, I prefer Dorico’s way of handling connection between a score and MIDI data. As score notation can contain many shorthands, it makes more sense to generated MIDI data from a score than the other way around (like it’s done in Cubase). But for now, I think that splitting my workflow between the two apps would hurt it more than what I would gain from it.

The Cubase Score Editor and Dorico are really not comparable. The Score Editor was basically a labor of love by one guy to add scoring to Cubase. Where Dorico has an established and experienced design team that was given the opportunity to write an engraving application from the ground up without concern for any legacy issues - down to the underlying architecture.