The Steinberg Forum Knowledgebase for Users by Users

Newbies to Cubase: Start Here

Cubase Crashes:

If you cannot find the root of the problem, you will need to look for your LOG file, which will give details about the crash. You will need to either post this on the forum in your own topic or attach it to a support form you can fill out in MySteinberg.

Also try removing preferences that have become corrupted. Be aware that all your Key Commands, Preferences, Presets, and Customizations will be lost:

Details of the Preferences

Removing Preferences

Thankfully, Cubase 7 and later versions have a brand new safe-start mode.

No Sound in Cubase

Firstly, you will need to close all other applications (they could steal your outputs.)

Be sure that your system volume is not muted, your track/event is not muted, and your monitoring is not enabled.

You may also want to check your Preferences>VST>Auto Monitoring settings and reset them to manual.

Next check your connections:

  1. Confirm that the desired inputs/outputs are enabled in your driver’s control panel. You can check this under Devices>Device Setup.

  2. Be sure that your busses are configured correctly and your input/outputs are enabled under VST Connections (F4).

  3. Be sure the correct busses are chosen in your track’s inspector.

  4. Switch off all system sounds so they do not interfere with the ASIO audio stream and restart if necessary.

    HalionOne won’t Load it’s Presets

Missing Content Cubase 7

Unfortunately some of you running under Windows are experiencing missing content for included instruments in Cubase 7, especially when updating from Cubase 6.5. The following symptoms have been reported:

  1. Padshop: no sample
  2. HALion Sonic SE: Layer (something) not found, error loading preset (presets are shown)
  3. HALion One: No presets, no sound, empty menu
  4. Loop Mash: The names of the WAVs are here, but they won’t load
  5. Prologue: Preset names are here, but they don’t soundWe tracked these issues down to an eLicenser Control Center (eLCC) version conflict that caused the synsoacc.dll file not to be overwritten correctly in all cases. The issue is now resolved in the newest eLCC version, which can be found here.

If you are affected by one of the issues mentioned above, please do the following:

  1. Update your eLLC to here
  2. Open the MediaBay
  3. Locate to “File System–> Local Hard Disks–> C:", right-click on C:\ and choose “Rescan Disk”
    In case of a customized installation, exchange c:\ with the partition that holds the relevant content files mentioned below.Please make sure that the following folders (and all its subfolders) are scanned:
    “File System–> Local Hard Disks–> C:\Users"
    “File System–> Local Hard Disks–> C:\ProgramData"
    “VST Sound” folder

-Helge Vogt

Waves Plugins License Error

  1. Open the Waves License Center
  2. Send any of your licenses from your cloud to your hard drive
    <if still doesn’t work then>
  3. Move licenses to external hard drive

Cubase Won’t Record

Please check the following:

  1. Your track is Record Enabled
  2. Use External Sync is set properly in the transport panel
  3. Your connections are correct as mentioned above

If none of this works, then you may need to reset your preferences in case you have disabled a vital setting.

Drag-n-Drop Not Working with Audio

A solution.

Export is Too Short/Silent

Confirm that your left and right locators are properly set in the ruler at the top of the project window. The area inside the locators determines the area that Cubase exports. Be sure that the area inside them is blue, otherwise they will be red (backwards)!

Also confirm that the desired tracks are not muted and not monitoring.

Cubase Overloads Computer Resources

DAW Components

Optimization/Configuration of the OS

Integrating Steinberg VST Instrument Sets

Solving Problems with VST Instrument Sets

Run Out of MP3 Exports

Versions of Cubase other than full require you to purchase the Fraunhofer MP3 encoder.

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Cubase 8 Tutorials

New Features

ClubCubase: Cubase 8

Advanced Tutorials

Cubase 7 Video Tutorials

C7 Handling Tips & Tricks

Advanced Tutorials

Other Tutorials

Cubase 4 Tutorials

Cubase 5/6 tutorials

ClubCubase Tutorials

Groove Agent Beat Designer

Creating Drum Maps

Logical Editor

Cubase Tutorial .NET

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If you are totally new to Cubase and license management, please start here.

Problem: Elcc cannot connect to the internet.

Solution: If your computer is online, your firewall, web-proxy, or anti-malware softwares are blocking the connections. Set each of the above to allow the following:

Server name:
Port 80 (http)

Server name:
Port 443 (https)

Problem: “Application ‘LCC2’ has caused the following error:
DCOM connection to program ‘Synsopos.exe’ failed.
Error:Unspecified error”

Solution: You will need to add elicenser exe to the list exempt from Win7 DEP. More on that here:

Also click Maintenance in the elcc after you finish.

Problem: Startup Cubase error message: “Some content could not be loaded. Either, licenses are missing, or trial licenses have expired.”

Solution: Normally these are expired trial licenses. Procede to remove the offending programs from your computer. Uninstall the applications on PC. On Mac, delete VST sound files from “Your System Disc”/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Content.

Problem: Elcc does not recognize a valid license.

Solution: Unplug and replug your elicenser, also switch ports as needed.

Problem: At least one connected eLicenser contains licenses which cannot be used with the installed version of ‘eLicenser Control’

Solution: A complete uninstallation and reinstallation of both the elcc and the applications concerned has been reported to do the trick.

**Problem:**Error code 2318 during an installation of Cubase 4.

**Solution:**Either try another disc drive or copy the correct installer onto your computer’s HD and go from there.

Problem: On XP: “Sequel3.exe. Unable to Locate Component
This application has failed to start because dwmapi.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.”

Solution: XP is not supported with Sequel. This missing file is “related to the “Desktop Window Manager”, which is only available since Windows Vista.”

Problem: Cubase will not launch because of crashing upon loading the MIDI Device Manager.

Solution: Go to, C:/Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Steinberg\Your Cubase version.
In this folder there is one single file called, Midi Devices.bin (The others are all .xml files plus three folders).
Relocate the Midi Devices.bin file to the desktop, for safekeeping. Relaunch Cubase.

Problem: When updating, error “Cubase 7_expanded not found”.

Solution: Move the Cubase app back into the proper folder under Program Files

Still can’t find it? Please check here.

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JBridge makes 32bit VST plug-ins run in Cubase 64bit (or the other way round in order to address more RAM to 64bit plug-ins running in Cubase 32 bit).

Free Tools

TabSel’s Plug-in Manager

KC Utility

You can use this tool to view your key commands and macros as an html, in order to better understand them.

Resplendence LatencyMon or DPC Latency Checker

These programs are for Windows and give detailed information concerning your system’s latency. This, in turn, determines if your computer is capable of handling your audio stream without dropouts.


With one click, this will tell you almost everything you want to know about your system.


More useful than the Windows defraggler, this defraggler is able to put long files at the end of the drive, defrag a single file, etc… Sort your data on the hard disk in the right order to speed up the loading process a bit.


This is an all purpose utility (Registry cleanup, temporary file cleanup, cookies, etc.)
Always trash the registry keys back, as they slow down your system.

Avast Antivirus 2013

Free antivirus for those of you without protection.

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USB Microphones in Cubase

USB Microphones are not ideal for DAW recording and I would not recommend them for Cubase users. Instead, I would recommend an ASIO audio interface and a microphone with a common XLR connection.

If you have an audio interface with a dedicated driver it is not advisable to use a USB mic as it will most likely only work with a generic driver like ASIO4ALL.

Here is how to setup your USB Mic with Cubase on a Windows system:

  1. Download and install ASIO4ALL from

  2. Open Cubase and go to “Devices–> Device Setup–> VST Audiosystem” and select ASIO4ALL as Asio driver. Apply the changes.

  3. Now go to the point under “Devices–> Device Setup–> VST Audiosystem” called ASIO 4 ALL. --> Click on the “Control Panel” button

  4. Now make sure that the little tool, the screw wrench, has a red cross on it. This makes sure that you are in the advanced mode. On the left you will see a list of your devices and little plus signs next to them.

  5. In the WDM Device list on the left of the ASIO4ALL control panel dialog activate your USB Mic and the respective inputs. Click on the little plus to the left of the device to make sure all inputs are activated. Next to your inputs the little ice blue on button should glow.

  6. In Cubase now go to “Devices–> VST Connections” and go to the Input tab.
    Create a new mono bus. Now select the USB Mic input as Device Port for that bus. If you want to you can also rename the bus to for example to “USB Mic Bus”.

  7. Now create a mono audio track, Project–> Add track–> Audio

  8. As Input for that track choose the newly created input bus in the inspector on the left.

  9. Now record enable the track and you’re ready to record tracks as described in the getting started manual and the operation manual.


This is how to get a USB Mic working with Mac OS X in Cubase:

How to combine multiple audio interfaces by creating an aggregate device on Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard

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Intro to MIDI

What is the Difference Between Midi/Audio?

When Captain Kirk is on some planet and calls and says “Beam me up Scotty” Scotty listens, gets the message and executes the command. That same way you can use midi to send a message from an external source transmitter to an internal receiver-software application and get the command executed.
But Kirk can also give his commands internally, from the bridge. Just like the “piano roll” and the “beat designer” can be used to send command messages internally.

In audio, you’d play a snare-drum and you can manipulate the snare-drum sound but it stays a snare-drum. In midi all you get is a pattern. And you decide which instrument you will link to it, be it a snare, a tom, a daf or even a saxophone or violin.

In short: when you see a wave pattern, it’s audio. When you see either written notes or patterns, it’s midi.

MIDI Concepts

Here are a few MIDI concepts, in short form.

MIDI Device

A physical machine (e.g. a hardware synthesizer) or virtual (e.g. a VST plugin or a host) application capable of MIDI communication.


A physical or virtual connector on a device. There are three types: In, Out or Thru.

A device uses a MIDI Out to transmit data and a MIDI In to receive data. A MIDI Thru is used to relay data received on MIDI In to another device. (see diagram below)

MIDI Interface

An interface can have any combination of ports. E.g. a hardware synthesizer typically have an in, out and often a thru port. Such a device is considered to have a MIDI Interface.

There are also more advanced MIDI interfaces, e.g. Steinberg Midex 8 (a USB MIDI interface) has eight ports in and eight ports out. A good interface if you have many hardware devices.

MIDI Cable

A physical (typically a 5-pin DIN cable) or virtual communications pipeline between two interfaces. Many recent devices talk MIDI over USB.

MIDI Chain

A series of devices connected with a chain of MIDI cables. (see diagram below)

MIDI Channel

A cable is subdivided into sixteen virtual pipes, called channels.

The concept of channels is what enable synthesizers to be multi-timbral (e.g. HALion 4 or a typical rack synthesizer).

MIDI Event

An event, or message, containing MIDI performance data or other MIDI information. E.g. Note On, Note Off, Modulation Wheel, Pitch Bend, etc.

Messages are transmitted from a device via its out port. The messages will be received by devices connected to the chain (via their in ports) and listening to the channel associated with the messages.

I.e. pressing a key on a keyboard is an event, generating a Note On message transmitted over MIDI to other devices. Recipients can then emulate the event, using the same key and velocity.

There are also certain events not associated with MIDI channels.


Shows how three MIDI devices typically are connected with Cubase, using a simple in/out interface on the computer.


You play the master keyboard and the currently selected track dictates which device will receive the MIDI data from you playing. When devices are chained, like the three shown above, MIDI channels are an important consideration.

-Courtesy of Elektrobolt

Helpful Articles:

More on Introductory MIDI Concepts

Introduction to MIDI Terminology

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Novation Automap in Cubase 6/6.5

At the moment this is written, it’s recommended to use the newest beta-version (4.4b1) of Automap:

We have installed this and had no problems regarding its stability. This includes the 64-bit version of Cubase with JBridge controlling the 32bit VST and VSTi,which usually only needed the Jbridge setting to keep Cubase from controlling the GUI.

The default settings of Automap are far from useful. They are, to say it politely, poor and illogical. Sometimes volume is this slider, then it’s another one, and most knobs and sliders are not assigned. Yet it messages that it has “full control”. For optimal control, it’s better to do it yourself, which is not very difficult. It boils down to this, being faster done than described:

  • Launch the Automap server, choose Mixer/Plugins Mappings, then at the bottom right Device Calibration.
  • The Edit Mapping Window will open. If you don’t see the Title Bar (Save, Open…to Page Down Icon,…) click the little triangle top-right. Also click to open the Edit Assignment triangle down left. You’ll see two tabs added: Parameter and Range
    -Launch Cubase and add an Instrument track, choose your instrument.
  • You’ll see in the main part of the Edit Mapping Window (EMW) a replica of your Novation hardware MIDI controller’s interface (MkII, Zero, Nocturn…) and Automap’s default assignment for them.
  • Draw the EMW to the right of your screen so it’s out of view. Now open your instrument’s interface, drag it more to the left and drag the EMW back in so they are side by side (if they overlap one will disappear!)

  • Several of your controls may not be assigned as you like. For example, I prefer the Volume to be the rightmost slider.
  • Click on the rightmost slider of the hardware replica on your screen. It’ll turn reddish. Now on the dropped down parameter tab, click at the right and type “vol” into the box. The volume parameter at the left will be in focus.
  • Click on it. The Volume is assigned now to the rightmost slider.

I personally use a Zero which comes with a pan-slider. Of course, I want to assign that to panning. So I click it, type in Pan and click the Pan parameter. But in my headphones Left was Right and Right was Left. To remedy this, click the Range Tab and there choose Invert. Done.

Once you have changed everything to your heart’s desire, go to the title bar and choose Save. You will be asked where you want to save it. Find an Automap-Mappings folder and save it in there. Next time you use Automap with that particular instrument, it’ll open with its default settings. But on the Edit window you can choose Open in the Title Bar and open your saved map.

When you’re really happy with it after some time spent using it in practical situations, you may want to click the Set As Default button in the Title Bar so it opens when you launch that particular instrument.

Much more can be configured:

  • It’s possible to add several keyboards, or, say, three Zero’s (one for the money, one for the show, three to get ready…) but only one can be active at a time.

  • Buttons can be set to different functions such as on/off, only act when pressed down, toggle between two options and step through, say, a list of wave options for an oscillator.

  • Pots and sliders can be set to go to and from defineable values. Entering the same value (in the Range Tab of course) but starting from negative (like -50 and +50) will have the pot or slider at zero in the center.

Also, to protect the values, they only become active when, by dragging or rotating, you pass the set value so everything changes smoothly. This can give the impression of a delay, but it really isn’t.

  • Encoders work like Knobs but they are endless, so they have no fixed value. The can be used normally, inverted, and also to react to the speed with which they are rotated.

  • Virtual MIDI is available but not in all Automappable Novation products. This takes over the hardware MIDI assignment and can be used to set up Quick Controls, etc…

  • Automap can also remember shortcuts and assign them to buttons so you don’t have to jump to your computer keyboard anymore.


  • Don’t forget to save your map!
  • It’s not possible to have more than one thing controlled at a time. So it’s either the mixer or an instrument or an effect, but never “and”.

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Wavelab Crashes Upon Startup

  1. If the error is caused by a VST plugin, located in the shared VstPlugins folder [C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VstPlugins], you could try this:

Run WaveLab/Tools/Tracer.exe, then run WaveLab The tracer application should hopefully tell you which is the last loaded plugin Remove that plugin from the shared VstPlugins folder, or open the file “WaveLab/Presets/Plugins/Plugins to ignore.txt” and type the name of this file.

To take a “hard-way”, remove all plugins from the shared VstPlugins folder, and run WaveLab. Then add each plugin one after the other and run WaveLab each time, until you find the guilty DLL.
2. If you have a theme manager running while trying to run Wavelab. It might not work. Theme managers such as AlienGUIse can interfere WaveLab.
3. Go to Control Panel/System/Avanced/Performances/Settings/Data Execution Prevention/Turn on DEP for all program except those I select:

Add “WaveLab.exe” and “WaveLab-app.exe” and apply the changes.
4. Start WaveLab in different ways, to see if the same thing happens in all case:

From the deskop (double click on the shortcut).

With a keyboard shortcut.

From Windows explorer, double-click on WaveLab-app.exe.

From Windows explorer, double-click on WaveLab.exe
5. Disconnect from the internet, uninstall your AV software, and try without it.
6. From the Windows command prompt, type msconfig and from the System configuration dialog, go in the Startup tab, and disable the apps which are not Windows app (not located in windows/…) and reboot. Doing this step by step (or using other startup utility) could help located a conflict application.

Wavelab Can’t Find CD Burner

Simply install this:

With Mac, you should open Wavelab without any media in your drive.

ASIO Scope Solution

Under Windows (all versions), the ASIO driver for the SCOPE audio card (Sonic Core) has a conflict with WaveLab, that can be easily solved by adjusting the Windows registry, as follows:
unzip the file below and double-click on “AsioScope.reg”
That’s it (no need to reboot).



Wavelab Freezes During Playback on Vista

Also try running Wavelab as Administrator.

Analysis Meters Are Too Slow

Navigate to Options>Audio Streaming Settings>Playback>Control Panel

Continue to lower your latency slider until the meters operate normally.

What Is Error Detection and Correction?

Clicks, scratches on vinyl, improper editing, and otherwise flawed samples are some of the mistakes that Wavelab Error Detection is designed to detect. Wavelab Error Correction can smartly correct these errors and restore the waveform by analyzing the surrounding samples.

Can Wavelab Fix Light Clipping?

I have found it best to use the VST Steinberg Declicker. Here are the settings I found helpful:






Of course, different settings may better suit your audio.

Is There an Upgrade Path from Elements to Wavelab 8?

Yes, from Wavelab Elements 8 only.

In the Montage Workspace Clipping on Overlap Even Though There is a Crossfade

Change the shape of your crossfade if the summed output is reaching clipping level. An unaltered linear crossfade will not allow clipping in the overlapping area.

Process in Place Opens a New File in Which the Channels are Delayed

Rendering does not yield favorable results with an MP3 or other compressed format; alternatively, load a WAV or uncompressed file type in the Editor.

MP3 Encoding in Wavelab

The Fraunhofer Encoder is available as an add-on for Elements, but you can add the Lame Encoder to your Wavelab codec collection for free, simply paste it in Prog Files/Steinberg/Wavelab/System and restart Wavelab.

Wavelab 7/8 include a Fraunhofer encoder.

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The Tips, Tricks, and Workflow Goodness Thread–VERY INFORMATIVE

Tip: Exporting directly to an application of your choice.

Macro to Reverse Locators:

Make a Macro in Key Commands as shown below and assign a key to the Macro. Hitting the key once reverses the locators…hitting it again switches them back.


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Having trouble configuring a generic controller?


What about MIDI latency?

Normally an ASIO/WDM driver (like ASIO4ALL) is the best to use.

Then set the latency slider as low as possible for the least delay.

Enabling Use System Timestamp will many times fix this by helping your clocks keep in sync.
This is under Devices>DeviceSetup>MIDI Port Setup; see a little check box at the bottom below your ports.

Long sessions can also screw up MIDI timing as your system’s clocks separate. Try restarting your computer.

Using a different interface might also be worth a try.

MIDI issues on Windows

Steinberg Knowledgebase.

Snap on/off key command:
Next to the Step Input button there is the “Snap Grid” On/Off button. This button can also be toggled by pressing “J” on your keyboard.

Difference between MIDI velocity, MIDI volume and the VSTi output channels:

MIDI Velocity
The MIDI velocity is transmitted with every MIDI “Note On” command. Basically your MIDI keyboard can electronically measure how hard/fast you press a key and translate this into the velocity control signal. So MIDI velocity is just a control signal and it’s up to the VST instrument which parameter is controlled by it. MIDI velocity can also just trigger a different sound by addressing a different velocity layer or can control any other parameter like for instance a cutoff. MIDI velocity does not necessarily control solely note volume, as in many instruments addressing a separate velocity layer alters the timbre as well.

Cubase offers an unprecedented level of velocity control. Much of this is accessible with the MIDI Modifiers tab in the Inspector. You have a velocity shift slider to adjust all your track’s velocities proportionally. You also have Velocity compression.

Now take notice of the “Random” and “Range” sections below Length Compression. These are powerful editors. Under Random you can select the Velocity parameter. There you have minimum and maximum values which specify the amount of velocity variation that is permitted (operating within the MIDI velocity standard of 0-127). Using the Range>Velocity Limit, you are allowed to set the minimum/maximum velocities that are allowed to play. Any velocities performed outside this range will be snapped to one of the values specified (depending upon whether it is too low or too high).

Here are some ways to actually edit MIDI velocity:

Drag with “Control+Shift” over a note. This also works when you have multiple notes selected.
In the Info line you can enter a value or you can also turn the mouse wheel on the velocity entry field.
If you hold control and turn the mouse wheel on the velocity value in the info line, you will set all selected notes to the same value but you can also choose MIDI>Functions>Fixed Velocity to do this.

You can also select multiple notes and change the values in the velocity lane.
You can also choose “Velocity…” from the MIDI functions menu.
Attached is a GIF that shows some velocity changes.

But there are even more ways to manipulate velocity. For instance, the MIDI inserts on a MIDI or Instrument track provide direct manipulation functionality where you do not have to edit.

There are more MIDI inserts that can have impact on the velocity but here I demonstrate the MIDI insert compressor. I then use the function Merge MIDI in loop to write the insert into the MIDI data stream to make the changes overtake and visible in the editor. The MIDI compressor is quite powerful because it can take away alot of editing work. Here is the attachment:

MIDI volume
MIDI volume (CC7) is just a control signal and it’s up to the VSTi what it does with it. Often MIDI Volume is equal to Channel Volume. Mostly MIDI volume controls a volume parameter in the VSTi and directly relates to the audio level. If you move a MIDI fader form a MIDI Channel MIDI Volume will be sent. Be aware that the fader does not constantly send a signal but only if you move it. MIDI Volume is mostly used for fade-ins and fade-outs.

The VSTi Output channel in the mixer
As this channel is already outside the VSTi and is the bus for the audio output of the VSTi it directly controls the audio level. If you are using a multitimbral VSTi be aware that you can activate the output busses in the Cubase mixer in the VST Instrument reack by clicking on the “[->” symbol next to the VSTi slot.

Key Commands
There are five Key Commands that let you set five different Velocity values.
Set the KCs in the dialog under:
MIDI > Insert Velocity 1
Then in e.g. the Key Editor there is a menu button called “Insert Velocity”.
In the dropdown list there is a setup option at the bottom.
That’s where you can set your values and set and load setups.

To get to the info line, use the tab key.

Creating drum patterns in the MIDI editor using the mouse:
You can also draw in the first note with the pen tool and then hold down Control+D for a certain period of time to dublicate the note. For long repeats I like to hold Control+D for shorter repeats I like to just click it a couple of times.

When you hold down Control and turn your mouse wheel on a value in the info line, all the selected notes will get the same value instead of relatively changing there value. I do that in the gif to change the note length of all selected notes.

Logical Editor and Velocity:
There are already several factory presets that impact velocity or that use velocity attributes for conditions. If you go to MIDI>Logical Presets you can go through the respective presets.

One can fulfill many use-cases with the Logical Editor and there are several ways to edit velocities with the logical editor.

Here is one basic example:
In the following gif two Logical Presets are created. They take the velocity of notes and multiply them by either 1.1 or 0.9. I then handily assign these logical presets to key commands.

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Once you have your MIDI track set up, navigate over to the left and click the Expression Maps tab. Left click No Expression Map and select Expression Map Setup from the dropdown. Upon the editor’s appearance, find the Expression Maps section on the left and click the little plus or Add Map.

Now over to the right you have Sound Slots, which is the section where you configure your keyswitches as you please. Now if you work with EWQL or Kontakt instruments, for instance, you will need to consult the manual for the list of keyswitches and their corresponding articulations. Clicking the little + button allows you to add more slots.

Next you can change your slot name in the appropriate column. Then in the Art. 1 column you can choose a symbol to represent the expression. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you should click Add Custom Articulation. As you do this you should notice that down in the bottom right, the Articulations column, new slots are appearing. There are two Articulation Types, Attribute and Direction depending on the nature of the articulation. For instance, attribute would be for those articulations usually affecting one note like staccato and sFz. Direction would be something like crescendos and sustain legatos.

You can actually change the keyswitch (normally as your instrument’s manual has laid out) by finding the Output Mapping section at top right. And typing the appropriate value under Data 1.

There! Now you’re ready to create a controller lane in your key editor and begin working with your exp. map. :slight_smile:

Here are Steinberg Expression Maps for popular libraries and instruments.

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About Choosing an interface

Core Functionalities

The audio interface you use can make or break your setup, with the emphasis being on driver reliability, excellent latency performance, and I/O connectivity.

When choosing an interface, I recommend you consult DAWbench. On this site, a generous user has taken the time to compare the latency performance of various audio interfaces of all connections. The results of a unit are often very suggestive of how its given manufacturer does on latency performance, as the reputation of the manufacturer is more at stake than that of any particular model. Obviously an RME will outperform the drivers of many cheaper models as regards latency. Still the price difference is the obvious and fitting compensation.

Also look closely at the capabilities of the DSP software. Many interfaces are driven by mediocre DSP mixers, some of which don’t even have FX capabilities. This is a huge factor in your realtime monitoring performance. Certain interfaces have extensive DSP abilities, with creative ways of letting you monitor with tons of FX via DSP in less than 3ms latency.

Most importantly make sure the design is rugged and the I/O satisfies your needs. Nothing is more irritating than investing in an interface that you will have to constantly be upgrading. Especially be sure to take notice of the amount of digital I/O on offer. Common protocols are S/PDIF (2 channels), ADAT (8 channels), and MADI (64 channels). These digital connections can be used to increase your channel count by integrating other devices such as mic preamps and D/A convertors into your setup. Caution is key, as several mic preamps and devices do not have certain digital connections.

As far as connections go, common are USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, and PCI. PCI’s generally have the best latency (but are a bit complicated for many users to set up) followed by Firewire then lastly USB. Choosing between Firewire/Thunderbolt and USB can be tough, but the availability of a Firewire port on your computer will be the deciding factor. It seems that Firewire is on the way out, and new methods, such as Ethernet, are on the rise for more creative users. Many companies have hybrid computer connections, which is very convenient.

For the geeks:

Some of us really get into comparing the tech specs of different hardware units. While every company selling preamps is going to market them as the cats’ meow, the word of mouth on internet forums is generally the best indicator. On the other hand, the quality of a given unit can be investigated by comparing it’s analogue and digital converter dynamic range, measured in decibels. When comparing these specs, it is important to figure out if the chipset or real world performance is being quoted. The often-quoted chipset performance is usually misleadingly higher than the dynamic range that a unit can actually achieve.

For reference, an entry level interface’s DA convertors (in this case the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2) have a dynamic range of about 105db. A high fidelity interface like the Fireface UFX weighs in around the 115db mark, very typical of budget standalone convertors. The acclaimed Lynx Hilo boasts 120.5, and the new Benchmark DAC2 a mind-blowing 125db. These figures are all for reference and should be confirmed at their respective manufacturers’ websites.

Troubleshooting Audio Interfaces

Clicks/Pops During Playback

First, if you have changed your driver midway through a project, please set Cubase to your original driver.
This often causes clicks and delays during playback.

Confirm that you are using the driver recommended by your hardware manufacturer. Otherwise use the free ASIO4ALL driver. Set it up by navigating to Devices>Device Setup>VST Audio System. At the top you can choose your driver.

You should also raise the latency slider to 2048 samples in your driver’s control panel and see if that helps.

You may also be experiencing clicks/pops in your recording:

Please run this on your Windows system. It is safe and free; I have run it on my own computer.

Also check this out for optimizing your Windows:

For Mac:

Other ways:
(Remove CPU hungry VSTi’s
(Change USB ports
(Stop running background tasks
(Use a powered USB hub or connect directly to a computer

If none of this fixes it, most likely your computer is not efficient at streaming audio or your interface manufacturer has provided drivers that have poor latency performance.


Dropouts are more severe interruptions in an audio stream than clicks and pops.

Please read the above section for more about treating these interruptions.

Firewire Troubleshooting

Special Considerations for Firewire

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To customize your own plug-in parameter layout for the following hardware:

Mackie Control MCU
Mackie HUI
WK-Audio ID
Avid System 5 MC
Avid Artist Series
Yamaha DM2000
Yamaha NUAGE
Cm Motor Mix
Radikal SAC-2K
Steinberg Houston
and also any other third parties hardware system that supports Mackie Control Mode (or Protocol) in the plugin editting area/section.

It is assumed that by this point, you have set up your supported hardware controller well with Cubase/Nuendo, meaning that you have successfully connected your device with the DAW via the device setup menu for usual operation. For more details about how to set up your hardware with the DAW, please refer to the appropriate info/manual page accordingly, as this guide only covers some tips on how to bring the most out of your RCE for your VST plugin control experience on your hardware.

Ok, I will try my best to explain the topic as easy as possible here and hope that I won’t be bringing the convoluted stuff this time, which I allegedly did In any case, if there’s any unclear section, please feel free to ask or write me.

  1. To make things simple and easy to understand, let’s create an empty project with a single audio track. Then insert a VST plugin (let’s say the MultibandCompressor plugin from the default Steinberg plugin set) into the 3rd slot of the insert section at the channel inspector, as an example.

  2. Now, regardless of which hardware from the above list that you have, there is a standard and well-defined way to “browse” or go to the insert plugin section of the mentioned audio channel on your hardware controller (and I hope you know how to do this ). At this point, one should see 8 insert slots available for the instant access on the hardware, where the 3rd one has been loaded with the MultibandComp in our example.

  3. Enter the plugin control layer of the 3rd slot (MultibandComp) by pressing the knobtop or any other corresponding function or page button dedicated for this (depending on the standard of your own HW), one should see that part of the multibandComp parameters are listed along the encoder knobs of your device, for instance, the top 8 encoders of the MCU device. Alright, up to this point, this is where/how we control those VST things since the HW integration introduced many years ago for the listed devices…
    (Something worth mentioning here is that, such hardware-based focus-oriented workflow in different function layers like Channel EQ, Channel Inserts, Sends, etc are not available on the generic remotes in general, as it requires some extra MIDI specifications that are only offered by protocols such as Mackie Control, EuCon, etc)

  4. For all VST plugins delivered by Steinberg, a well-thought layout of the underlying parameters has been predefined from factory, thus one should usually get the usable/important controls directly on the first page upon accomplishing step 3 above. But what if you have a 3rd-parties plugins or the pre-defined layout by Steinberg does not fit your actual use case or workflow? Let’s say, the order or the naming of the MultibandComp parameters that you see on your hardware does not appear to be optimal enough…

  5. Now, by staying at where you are on your hardware (the parameter control layer of MultibandComp, I will use MBC from now on). Open the so-called Remote Control Editor from the MBC plugin window via mouse (you usually only need to prepare once for each plugin if the param order is less satisfied )

  6. If I’m not mistaken, you should see the following parameters order for Page 1 by default (from left to right, for 8 cells Standard Layout)

  • Solo
  • Output
  • Bypass
  • Threshold1
  • Ratio1
  • Attack1
  • Release1
  • MakeUp1

Now, you could…

Hide or Remove a particular parameter

  1. Let’s say you already have the insert slot bypass somewhere at the top layer… and the Bypass (delivered by default) is an unnecessary duplicate here that you would like to remove…
  2. simply activate the “Learn mode” by clicking the “L” button near the top-right corner.
  3. Then, click on the knob of the 3rd cell in page 1 (in this case the cell with the “Bypass” parameter) to get the focus on the corresponding knob encoder on the RCE GUI, one should see the blue line covering the GUI knob area indicating the focus. By pressing “Backspace” or “delete” at this point, one can remove the assignment of the current virtual HW control.
  4. By pressing “Apply” button at the top-right corner of RCE, one should see the change applied immediately to your hardware… Meaning the physical knob encoder that previously controlling the “bypass” function is now empty/idle.

Rearrange a particular parameter (or the whole page)

  1. One could also drag and drop a particular cell to replace (exchange or copy) it onto another cell in any page. Simply left-click on the empty area within a cell in RCE (that is any area outside the knob or switches GUI), while holding it and dragging it to your desired location of the targetted cell.

Tip1: by pressing “CTRL” or “Alt” during drag and drop operation, you gain the possibility in exchanging two cells or duplicating the same parameter onto another cell.
Tip2: One can do the same with the complete page by dragging and dropping the page body.
NOTE: this can be done in either both Learn mode or normal mode.

Rename a particular parameter

  1. Let’s say “Threshold1” is too long to fit in your MCU LED display.
  2. On the RCE, double-click on the label part of the 4th cell of page 1 (namely the Threshold1 parameter cell) and name it as “Thd1” and confirm it with “Enter”. Then click on the “Apply” button near the Top-Right corner of the RCE. Now, you should see that the name is updated accordingly on your MCU device’s LED section too… (The same applies to all other supported HW)

Note: Depending on the availability of your HW, most devices only have one LED display for each knob encoder, while some high-end counterparts could provide up to three different length on different control sections, for instance, the Avid System5-MC. For the common case where you only have one single LED display for each knob encoder, please use the “Main Label” for the rename step.

Tip: The “Main Label” is also the top label you see on each cell block in the RCE page.

Define the LED ring behavior based on the parameter charateristic

  1. Many listed HW supports various LED ring mode on each Knob encoder to indicate the functionality or characteristic of the corresponding Knob encoder (or the underlying parameter) more intuitively. For instance, one would usually expect the center-hooked gauge metering for a “Pan” parameter, while a left to right increment ring gauge for a “Gain” parameter, etc.
  2. Depending on the availability of your HW, you can specifically define the LED ring behavior of each knob (cell) for better user experience on your HW. In practice, this does not change the behavior of the knob encoder itself but the look and feel of it.

Customize your own layout from scratch

  1. Practically, it is also very convenient to redefine the whole layout right from scratch. Simply reset the whole thing via the “Reset All” button. Remove the excessive pages down to the last one.
  2. Then, activate the Learn mode by pressing the “L” button
  3. In learn mode, left click on the knob (or switch if applicable) of any cell to get the focus (blue line covering the control area), then go and click on the intended parameter switch or dial on your VST plugin GUI, one will assign the clicked parameter directly to the focused knob/switch in RCE.
  4. Alternatively, one could also double-click on the corresponding cell knob (or switch) during the “Learn mode” to get a pop-up tree list for assigning the intended parameter similar to the channel quick control assignment workflow.

Another good example:
Let’s say you only need the threshold and ratio parameters of each band but nothing else ever in your work, which in this case made up 8 parameters in total that you would like to use frequently.

Then, one could practically assign the pairs from each band onto the first page and remove the rest (assuming that the engineer never uses the rest of the parameter in the future ever again). In this case, one can assign the following parameters from left to right in page 1:

  • Thres1
  • Ratio1
  • Thres2
  • Ratio2
  • Thres3
  • Ratio3
  • Thres4
  • Ratio4

Then, remove the rest of the secondary pages (by pressing the “-” button near the edge of the page). Once done, press “Apply” and there you go… the hardware will only provide the one and only page (a knob encoder row on the HW) with your most favorite parameters each time you access the plugin editting layer.

Important notes:

  1. Not to be confused with MIDI learn for the generic remote setup, the “Learn” mode in RCE is similar to the one in the channel quick control block, which allows you to learn and assign the VST plugin parameter under your mouse click to the focused knob or switch of any cell in RCE.

  2. For choosing the right layout in RCE for your HW, please refer to this table:

  3. Once you got the particular plugin editing layer active on your hardware. Any change made on the RCE for that particular plugin will be reflected on the fly to your hardware whenever “Apply” is triggered.

So, in general, you only have to set up once for each VST plugin that does not deliver a meaningful parameter order initially for the VST plugin editing on your HW.

-Steinberg Employee Sming

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Cubase 4, 5, 6 and also 7 do not support the import of Cubase VST songs and projects anymore. In order to import your older Cubase VST projects and songs, you can install Cubase SX3 / SL3 / SE3, which are available as a download here:

Cubase SX 3
Cubase SL 3
Cubase SE 3

Cubase SX3 / SL3 / SE3 can be run with your current Cubase 7 / Cubase Artist 7 license and allows you to import VST projects, save them in the new *.cpr format and open them in Cubase 7 series. These are not officially supported under current Windows OS but should install and run just fine under Windows Vista / 7 / 8.

Please note that Cubase SX3 / SL3 / SE3 are PPC based versions and the latest Mac OS to run PPC applications is OS X 10.6. For Mac installations please be sure to install the eLicenser Control Center for Mac OS X 10.5 (PowerPC and Intel based), 10.6 and 10.7, which can be downloaded here.

Helge Vogt

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MIDI Instrument Setup

MIDI instrument setup is a very broad subject, and countless issues could be holding up your system. Please consult the MIDI 101 section below for more setup tips.

Instrument Rack vs. Instrument Channels

The two main methods of accessing MIDI instruments in Cubase are instrument channels and instrument tracks. The following are some reasons you might use an instrument channel/rack instead of a track:

  1. Manipulating multi-timbral instruments by routing multiple MIDI tracks to the instrument. For that matter, you can route any number of MIDI tracks to an instrument as you wish.

  2. Intuitive setup when working with multiple virtual instruments at the same time.

  3. Choosing multiple outputs.

For most applications, an instrument track is more simplistic and straightforward but can only be used as a stereo source.

A common use for the instrument rack is to mix the kitpieces of a drumkit in the project window or the Cubase mixer.

For instance, let’s say I have EZDrummer but I want to process all pieces of the kit individually, each of them being on a separate channel in the mixer. A little EQ on the snare, a touch of reverb on the crash, etc. So I would add EZDrummer to the rack, and click the little routing button on the right of bypass. On the menu, choose Activate All Outputs. Finally I go to my EZDrummer control panel, Open Mixer, and assign each of these tracks as I please, or click Multichannel.

Instrument Connection Setup

Instrument rack setup

When using an instrument channel configuration, and having problems producing sound:

  1. Confirm that each of the up to eight “output” tracks are routed to the output bus specified in your VST Connections. (Or to a group channel that is, in turn, routed to the appropriate output bus.) This will all be shown in the inspector.

  2. That the corresponding MIDI track’s output routing in the inspector is to the desired instrument.

  3. Make sure that the MIDI track’s input routing is to the correct MIDI device. All this should be configured automatically, but some MIDI devices have several ports.

  4. Check settings with the instrument, the external connections of your MIDI device, and internal audio connections as outlined in the Cubase Troubleshooting above.

  5. If you are still having issues, please temporarily resort to an instrument track, and follow the steps below.

Instrument Track setup

Furthermore, if you are using an instrument track and still having difficulty producing sound:

  1. Confirm that your keyboard is transmitting MIDI data to your computer by watching the MIDI activity in your transport panel.

  2. Confirm the monitor button is activated on your track’s control panel. (Also confirm that monitoring in your preferences is set to Manual.)

  3. Check that the instrument’s samples have had time to load. Some instruments have to be authorized before they will produce sound.

  4. Ensure that your instrument is not bypassed, muted, or deactivated, and that an instrument sound has been selected.

  5. Lastly check your audio output connections in your driver control panel, VST Connections, and track inspectors.

Cubase 7.5

Note that when using versions Cubase 7.5 and greater, the nature of instrument tracks and the rack has radically changed. The instrument track has lost it’s limitation of one stereo output, so there is really no practical reason to use the rack under the new version, except by habit of setting up external MIDI sequencers.

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!!!What’s New!!!

Seyoum’s IRO Track Colors for Cubase

Mixer Icons

C7 Mixer Track Icons


Cubase Artwork and Wallpapers
C7 Mixer Abstracts

-Mr. Danny J. Lewis
Steinberg Wallpapers

-the Steinberg website

Bounce in Place Solution

Bounce In Place Solution.txt


Cubase Drum Maps



Superior Drummer (Avatar NY Vol. 1)


Addictive Drums


Steven Slate Drums EX


Steven Slate Platinum for Cubase 8 and previous

-Christon Harley

Battery 4


Free Instrument Presets

Free HALion Sound Presets

Free Retrologue Presets

-Elektrobolt and contributors

Track Colors

IRO Track Colors


External Apps

Apps to Enhance Cubase


Mouse management


If you have any contributions please PM me and I will be happy to add your work to this section.

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And please don’t forget that if you have any useful information or any desire to contribute to this knowledgebase please don’t hesitate to just send myself or Bassbase a private message with your contributions or ideas, which we will happily include among our writings. You don’t even necessarily have to write a full post’s worth to contribute. Additions to the Extras section and issue workarounds with things like elicensers are sooooo helpful to newcomers.

I know alot of you reading this are experienced musicians, songwriters, and audio fanatics-many of you more knowledgable than either myself or Bassbase. With your help, this knowledgebase can become a deadly weapon in Steinberg’s support arsenal. With such a large Cubase fanbase out there we believe the sky truly is the limit and the potential enormous. So thank you to everyone who has contributed here and to those of you who will do so in the future, as it is true: together we know almost everything.

Thank you so much