[solved] Importing MusicXML into Cubase Pro

my brother bought a Cubase Pro license / he has version 10.5.
We are trying to import some .MusicXML files into Cubase, without success.
The files are greyed out if one tries to import from within Cubase Pro. Nor can one drag files into the Cubase window. We made sure, the score editor is open.
It looks, as if he is not using the Pro version - even if the eLicenser is showing 10.5 Pro to be activated.
My brother had been using the trial version, before getting the full license.
Is there anything basic we might be overlooking?
Thank you for help.
(over in the Cubase forum we don’t seem to get noticed…)

I only have Cubase Elements here on my own Mac, so I can’t import MusicXML files myself (it’s a Cubase Pro only feature), but the procedure described in the Operation Manual here should work.

Thank you Daniel for answering this slightly OT question, we followed that procedure until here:

Importing MusicXML files


Open the File menu and open the Import submenu.
On the submenu, select “MusicXML…”.
In the file dialog that opens, locate and > select the MusicXML

We can not select the MusicXML file as it is greyed out (un-selectable). For me it looks like he has started up Cubase in a non Pro version. It is probably the same behaviour you would get with the Elements version?

Checking the eLicenser showed version 10.5 Pro though… the license being on a USB-dongle

No, in Cubase Elements that menu item doesn’t even appear. I’m afraid I don’t know any more than what I’ve said, so I suggest you raise a ticket with support.

Thank you Daniel, we are on the right path, even if we have not solved the issue yet…

  • [please jump to [edit] at the end of this message]

… the reason is quite a stupid one, I am afraid…
As these things might happen with someone trying Dorico, I will tell the story here:

My brother was using a trial version of Cubase 10.5.
For some reason he believed he needed a dongle - even for the trial version.
So he went and bought a dongle in a shop, registered and used it for the trial version.

Later he bought the full version of Cubase Pro.
As he noticed, his iMac from 2010 with 4GB was not really up to deal with this program, he decided to go for a new and powerful computer (it turns out to be a 27" iMac with 32GB RAM).

He asked me, so I helped him to setup his new computer. We used his TimeMachine backup from the old computer. Cubase Pro did work and seemed to be registered on his new iMac (he had put the dongle into the new computer). At this point we noticed that Cubase Pro 10.5 would not import MusicXML files… see above.

So it is basically just a licensing issue. We now tried to license his software on the new iMac without the dongle (soft eLicense), using the activation code he received when buying the full version. This resulted in an error message from the eLicenser (this version of eLicenser not being the newest). So we re-downloaded the eLicenser software, still getting this warning after inputting the activation code. It is probably time to reinstall the complete Cubase package I suspect…

By the way, he talked with Steinberg support - they could not help (told him to open an audio track before importing MusicXML files). To be fair, at that point he wasn’t aware about the problem with using an unnecessary, but registered, dongle.

Before reinstalling we will first try restarting the computer.
[edit] Actually no! It seems (as we are doing all this over the phone), he has mixed up Download Access Code with Activation Code… :cry: So I will try to lead him to his MySteinberg account to get the right code…

[edit 30.05.2020]
I have to correct myself, it is not a licensing matter, Cubase Pro always needs the dongle to work!
And the whole irritation appeared through user error and using the wrong file formats (MuseScore exports MusicXML files with file extension .musicxml - these files will not be recognised by Cubase). MusicXML exports from Dorico do work - as they have the file extension .xml

Hope you get this sorted. I just tried exporting a simple, one instrument XML file from Dorico Pro 3.5, closed Dorico, opened a blank file in Cubase 10.5 Pro, and imported the XML. It did not import the repeat structure (although it still showed the endings graphically) which is to be expected.

(Could file name length cause a problem in Cubase?)

Derrek, just asking: how did you import into Cubase Pro? We are trying via the file menu -> import MusicXML but always a new Cubase project will be started.
And another beginners question: what is a bank file?

That should have said “blank” file rather than “bank” file. I have changed it above.
I also imported the XML file via the file menu into the blank file.
The program asked me to select the XML file and then to select another Folder (I am guessing this was for the new Cubase project, should I save it).

I find it did create a second Cubase file for the import.
Everything played back as piano sound, since I did not take the time to assign new synths in Cubase.

Did this ever get sorted? I’ve created a drum score in dorico pro 3.5 and want to insert it into a cubase pro 11 project which contains the backing track for the drum part. I want to be able to read the sheet music as the backing track plays in cubase. But as people have said above everytime I try to import the music xml into the relevant cubase project it just creates a new project with the xml file imported. I;ve tried importing a midi file version which ‘works’ but is not looking like the file I produced in dorico
Many thaks

Sort of the same topic… I exported a MIDI file for an SATB composition (using woodwind Note Performer instruments) from Dorico 3.5 Pro to Cubase 11 Pro, and it worked very nicely. Once in Cubase I could change to proper choral sample libraries. By the by, before changing to choral libraries in Cubase, the instruments were automatically assigned to Halion instruments, and they sounded much better than the Dorico Note Performer ones.

So once you have imported your drum XML into a new Cubase project, what is to stop you from copy/pasting the new track into the existing project?

I don’t know! I’ll give it a go! I could also import the audio into the new project the new xml creates… but was hoping for a direct import method…