Starting with the score editor


Maybe I’m too green but…

I bought Cubase 7 to make music in the long run. But, for beginning, I want to use the partition (or score) editor to enter with the mouse some songs I did some time ago.
At this point, I thought that it was useless to plug an audio card. I just wanted to go straight to the partition, write it down, and hopefully play it (though I don’t know about how to do it now but I figured I could search infos for it later).
I search the knowledge base for advices from someone who did it just like that but to no avail.
Maybw someone could direct me to that link ?
Thanks in advance.

Wait, you want to use Cubase only as a scoring application? That wouldn’t make sense, as there are many scoring programs (and most of them even cheaper) that do a much better job at that.

Welcome to the forum!

Before using the score editor, I’d recommend getting familiar with some of the basics of MIDI and Cubase by looking at Chapters 1 and 4 of the Quick Start videos (accessible from the Steinberg Hub when you open Cubase). Chapter 2 is handy as well for when you connect an audio interface.

Then look at “Entering and entering notes” on page 753 of the manual, which you refers back to the basics of the score editor you need to know about.

Papi has a valid point if you only want to use Cubase as a scoring application, but it sounds like you just want to start out this way.


I’m viewing the YouTube Cubase 7 lessons. Have done 4 so far. I’m taking notes and rewinding till I get the point. I’ll complete with the manual which is way more complete. I can take my time, I’m not in a hurry.

I’ll eventually record with Cubase. But, as a starter, I wanted to write some scores of songs I’ve done and play them back. Looks like I have to create a midi track before as I’ve seen in the lessons. Looks like I can’t do it any other way. And yeah, if I wanted only a score notation software I would have bought Sibelius.

By the way I bought a M-Audio FastTrackPro card last year and I just opened it. I have trouble in trying to get the last drivers. I’ll use it as is for the moment. If it doesn’t work I’ll get myself another soundcard (Audio, Midi, Direct monitoring, preamp, 2 inputs or maybe more). Suggestions are welcomed ! :slight_smile:

I tried to create a midi track. My M-Audio fastTrackpro soundcard is plugged and recognise by Cubase7. That’s about all I succeeded to do up til’ now.
I thought that creating a MIDI track would let me in into the score notation part of the software. So far I didn’t even succeed at assigning an Helion SE instrument (Jazz Piano 2) for the track.
I guess I have no choice. There is absolutely no shortcut for a beginner. I have to read the 1000+ pages (in French cause I loaded my software in french) in order to be able to find out how such a simple thing (in my mind) like that can be done.
Cause I guess it can be done, right ? Or else do we always have to record a track in midi in order to get into the Score part ? If so, it’s a big drawback. I’d like at least someone telling me it can be done.

Well, I feel like taking a short break before reading the manual. :frowning:

No you don’t need to record anything to start with. But you do need to have an existing midi part that you can open with the score editor. Do this to get started:

  1. In the project window create an instrument track set to use a VSTi and patch that you like (Halion Sonic SE and a piano patch are a good initial choice.) See pg. 255 of the Operations Manual on how to do this.

  2. In the project window select the pencil tool and use it to draw in however may bars you want the piece be. This will create an empty midi part for you. Alternatively you could create multiple parts with the pencil for verse, chorus, etc. I prefer this second approach.

  3. In the project window select the arrow tool and click once on the midi part you just created to select it. FYI if you were to double click it would open the part in the default (you can change the default in preferences) Key Editor, aka piano roll editor.

  4. Now that you have selected a midi part in the project window, go to the scores drop-down menu and select “open selections” which will open the empty midi part in the Score Editor.

  5. Start writing music.

All of the midi editors in Cubase operate on existing midi parts, but they do not initially create them. You can create midi parts either manually like above or by recording something. Manually will create an empty part, recording will create one that has midi data in it. Think of midi parts as being containers that hold midi data.

By the way, the manual is designed as a reference manual so you don’t need to read the whole thing - just the sections covering the tasks you are trying to do. Also the Key Editor is much more straightforward and easier to get your head around than the score editor which is much more complex since it has to not only deal with the actual underlying midi data (as do all the midi editors), but also all the visual aspects of displaying a score. You are likely to find that learning Cubase as a whole will go more smoothly if you start with the Key Editor and then explore the Score Editor once you’ve got a feel for how Cubase is organized.

Finally you might want to check out the tutorial videos that can be accessed via the hub.

Thank you so much !

I’ll try it soon. I guess that’s exactly what I was aiming at !
Again, thanks !