Single-lane Expression Maps


The current implementation of Expression Maps in the Key Editor is very cumbersome and uses a lot of unnecessary screen space when using many articulations. IMHO there should be an option to show the articulations in a single-lane with a menu selection, similar to what’s currently the case in the Dynamics section (bottom of screenshot).


Well, I don’t disagree with you but this is a great reason for me to invest in a big 27 - 30 inch High Res Screen to deal with the many Articulations! :wink:

You’d still be wasting screen space, the only difference is that it would be more expensive screen space… JK. This is one of the worst ideas in interface design history. You’re looking at crazy staircase patterns when all you need is a series of instructions one after the other.

I’m not sure how you could have every Articulation on one Lane and actually be able to read any of the Articulations? I’m sure it would be fine if you actually were using next to nothing but rack up (for example) 20 Articulations over 4 bars and I don’t think anything would be legible.

Unless the piece is in Grave tempo and the composer is in an antisocial frame of mind, asking a real instrument player to play 20 different articulations over 4 bars is very unlikely to happen, too. Putting the articulation names on the same lane doesn’t affect legibility in any way, since for short-term articulations the names get cut off anyway, only instead of being cut off right before the next one, they do so half a screen’s height before the next one. Their horizontal length is identical. The Dynamics lane can juxtapose dozens of ppp’s and fff’s right next to each other with no issue whatsoever.

If you could show an example of another DAW doing this in one lane then I would love to see it. Until then, I can’t see it happening. I’m not saying I’m not up for you suggestion by the way and would love to see an example of it actually being possible. I’m just gonna get a couple of big high res screens. Once I have used the Articulations I’m working on, I close the Piano Roll and move on. It’s no big deal to me. Good luck with your request.

The expression maps are not only for use in sheet music, they are also meant to be used only in the Key Editor, and machines can play 20 articulations at a time.

I think there’s some misunderstanding here. It’s about the simultaneous use of different articulations. Concerning the number of articulations, I immediately wrote that it was beside the point, since legibility is the same. But when @SteveInChicago wrote about “20 articulations at a time”, I realized that some people would be using Expression Maps for sheet music (which, granted, is what Steinberg set out to do here). In this case Expression Maps are not mutually exclusive (you can have several of those superposed), and the current implementation makes sense.

However, I presume many other people, like myself, never use the Score Editor and are using Expression Maps solely to send keyswitches in order to select from a vast array of discreet articulations in a customized sample player (think VSL matrices or a custom Kontakt multi). In that case the articulations are mutually exclusive and there is no sense to them being superposed.

Cubase is smart enough to allow the user to draw an articulation above or below another one when possible, or cut the current one off and insert a new when it isn’t possible. It all depends on the Expression Map definition. IMHO it would be helpful to at least have the option to display only superposable articulations as row, and keep everything in one row in the opposite case.

@jono not bono, I understand it’s no big deal to you, but I spend more than half my time in Cubase in front of the Key Editor…

The Expression Maps lanes window should have and I demand, a scroll bar. Maybe they ought to to make it a new editor rather than cramming it in with all the other midi stuff. You would need a really huge monitor for VSL maps. The way your lanes disappear when you have too many would be funny if it wasn’t so frustrating. Can you imagine if the main Cubase Project Window worked this way? That would make people really angry. I have written to Steinberg about this many times. It doesn’t seem like professional programming to me, like they did not really think it out or test it much. Maybe this was made for only Halion???

Expression Maps can be used for electronic music. I would do that but I’m not right now.

This makes total sense.

This (in my opinion) is the way to go. I would hate for all the articulations to be be crammed onto one Lane.

Having an actual Articulation Editor which can either be accessed by a shortcut key (like Mixconsole is F3 etc) or actually displayed on a dedicated screen (if you have the Money or Physical space for one) would be amazing. If I spent more than half my time in front of the Key Editor, I would happily welcome a dedicated Articulation Editor and I would also be straight online, ordering a new Screen to view it on (that’s just me though).


An optional extra view for a single-lane Expression map would be incredibly useful for large orchestral templates.
It could just be that, an option, like how you select a CC lane rather than the expression maps.
Colour coding would prevent illegibility with many quick Articulation changes.