Suggestions to improve Cubase

Ok, so I am currently using a trial version of Cubase 11 Pro and I see some inefficiencies that need to be improved. Please don’t take my allusions to Studio One as combative, because I really want to make Cubase work for me since I believe it will work more seamlessly with Dorico (which I own a copy of). Is some of my angst possibly because I’m using the Windows version? Screenshots I’ve seen of the Mac version look much nicer and most of the help seems more geared to the Mac version. I see that there are a TON more tweakable options in Cubase which is great, but obviously a much steeper learning curve.

  1. Why isn’t there a ‘go back to beginning button’ like 95% of other DAWs? I see the ‘Go to left’ and ‘Go to right’ location buttons, but why isn’t there simply just a ‘Rewind’ button to take you all the way back to the beginning? Can the transport toolbar be customized?
  2. I’m dumbfounded on how convoluted the process is to hide keyswitch notes. In Studio One, as long as I have an expression map setup, it auto hides the keyswitches for me. I don’t have to set the lowest/highest notes and then go to yet another place in preferences to hide them! I’m sorry but this is ridiculous.
  3. Why do I have to click on a track first, then go to the Scores menu just to open a track in edit mode? Why isn’t there a right click option? In fact it seems most of the time there are no right-click options for pretty much anything.
  4. In Studio One, to make sure all instruments show up in the score editor, all I have to do is select a little option button off to the left of the track. In Cubase it seems I have to manually create a layout for each instrument and then select all of the tracks and THEN they finally all show up. Maybe I’m doing this wrong?
  5. I’ve yet to figure out how to show the ‘articulations’ below the notes in the editor window. Where is this feature hidden?
  6. In Studio One I can simply drag and drop an instrument onto a track and it just plugs it in automatically for me. This would be a much welcome change in Cubase to do the same.
  7. I know colors are not the most important thing in the world, but can they be customized or is it just the supplied palette of colors?

Maybe my problem is that I’m so used to the way things work in Studio One, using Cubase is like stepping onto Planet X? I really do want to make it work for me.

I obviously need to go through a class or series of tutorials or something. Any recommendations?


You can expand the Transport section. Click the 3 doors on the right side of the Transport buttons. Then you will find more Transport buttons. The fastest way is to use the , Key Command to Jump to Start.

Use Expression Maps (which has been invented by Steinberg many years ago and then just copied to other DAWs), instead of Key Switches, please.

If you mean to open the editor… Just double-click the MIDI Part.

Same as all editors in Cubase, the Score Editor is not Track based, but it’s MIDI Part based instead. Just select the MIDI Parts you want to see the scores for and open the Score Editor from the menu, by Key Command or by double-click (if you setup the Score Editor as your main Editor in the Preferences).

Do you mean in the Key Editor? They are at the same place as the MIDI Controllers under the Articulation and Dynamics.

You can do the same in Cubase. Just drag and drop it from MediaBay Rack to the arranger or the track list. Done.

There are lots of options in the Preferences, if you want to customise Cubase look.


Yes, they can be highly customized. You can even manipulate Tracks, Parts & Events based on the Color Names.


One important thing Martin pointed out is that Cubase editing is based on Parts & Events. Those are what you create & edit not Tracks. Internalizing that is key to working in Cubase.

The Cubase channel on YouTube has a ton of videos. I don’t use the Hub in Cubase, but I believe it has links to the videos. I’m a big fan of the Groove 3 training videos. Their monthly pass is good for binge watching and they have lots of Cubase videos. By the way, don’t overlook videos for older versions of Cubase. The changes found in the last five or six versions are almost all adding additional capabilities and not modifying how the basics work.


Thanks Martin! Still a little confused about the controller lanes because the setup dialogue has like 10 showing as selected, but only velocity is showing up. I realize that some may be missing because there is no controller data to display, but I know the expression lane should be showing because I have expression data in my midi file.

Oh, I think I just partially figured it out… You have to select the one you want to view. But is it possible to select multiple to show at the same time?

I just looked at the full score in Cubase and the notation is impeccable! So, I’m definitely warming up to Cubase. I just need to bite the bullet and schedule time watch videos on the Cubase YouTube channel.

Raino, thanks for the screenshots! Those helped a lot. Like I told Martin, I just need to buckle down and start watching the Cubase channel videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, I’m much more of a book person, but I know it doesn’t make sense to make a physical book with something that changes so frequently like software.

Okay, I’ve gone from criticizing Cubase to buying a book about it on Cubase Power by Robert Guerin. It was only $7.00 so what have I got to lose? I previewed it on and since I’m a member I downloaded the pdf and will start going through it… but I strongly prefer physical books… I’ll still supplement my learning with videos of course to get the latest about v11.


Click the + button down bellow the Controller lane, to add another Controller lane, please.