The worst color management I've ever seen, the least natural

I’ve been using Cubase for a few years now and I’ve been complaining about the color management, especially, I think, since version 8. It’s the worst color management I’ve ever seen, the least natural, the stupidest. I switched to Nuendo, and of course it’s the same thing. But on top of that, it has bugs. For example, I Ctrl-click on the track header to request (for example) the default track color. Every other time, I have to repeat myself, once, twice, three times. And every tenth time, nothing changes. Nothing to do. And this is the only place, it seems, where there’s this option to revert to the default color. And anyway, it should work. One wonders, after 12 versions…


Please, don’t hold back.

I have not never seen this. Have you done any troubleshooting whatsoever regarding this?

Double-negative alert…


This problem never came up here. This always works with one click.
However, I would like to have key bindings for the colors so that you can select colors from the Elgato Streamdeck. Namely, we use color tones to identify audio clips by type. So we work a lot with colors without any problem.

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Let me clarify my point (terms may vary, as I work in French):

You have 4 different windows (2 too many, in my opinion): General design note: 3 different shapes to display colors, depending on the window: rectangles, medium squares, small squares. A 101 course in interface design teaches unity: same subject or function, unity of form. It’s not so bad, but it lacks coherence. The same goes for the way color names are presented, sometimes as a list (1,2,3), once on mouse-over (4).

  1. Project color configuration. As far as saving is concerned, you should be able to save a color set under a name and reuse it, instead of asking for it to become the default. Different color sets can be adopted for different types of project. The choice here is too rudimentary. It’s not very difficult to apply a “save as” function in programming (because everything ends up in a file anyway).

  2. Ctrl-click on track header. In addition to the colors (which I request by name), there’s the track option: Assign default color. This is the only place you’ll see this option (if I’m not mistaken). But it’s very useful. On the other hand, this window closes after a color has been applied. If I need to change the color of 102 tracks, it takes a long time. Logic and good practice would dictate a window that remains open (like 4) and allows different colors to be applied to different selected tracks in succession, without always opening-closing-closing…

  3. Top menu: Select color for selected events or tracks. If no event is selected, the color change applies to the track. So we’re in a window for managing event AND track colors. But in addition to the colors (always by color name), there’s a single option: Assign the track color to the event. And why isn’t there the option: Assign default (track) color? Because it’s inconsistent, poorly designed and unfinished.

  4. Right-click on an event. Color selected events. Oops, no obvious color names here in list form… the presentation differs: you have to move the mouse, with the short wait it takes and the absence of a general view of your color set (which can be long and complex). If, in 80 colors, I’m looking for the color corresponding to the bass clarinet in the orchestra, I can do a lot of mouse-over. The answer isn’t: use another method. If there’s a function available, it’s got to work. It’s still the best window (except for the names), because it can remain open, which means you can change the color of many events in a row. The problem (yes…) is that you can’t choose a color before applying it to an event. If no selection is made, all events are modified. Which makes this tool much less useful than it could be.

P.S. As for the bug, it’s my mistake, if you like. You have to select the track before clicking with Ctrl-click, which makes two steps. We’d like to be able to point to a track header and Ctrl-click directly…

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I think it would make sense to relabel the thread, add the “feature request” tag, and then copy/paste that latest productive constructive criticism to the first post. I think there’s a risk people won’t get to your (good) suggestions and comments because the thread looks maybe a bit aggressive.


@ cmbourget
Greetings from your neighbors in the German Black Forest.

1.) You’re right. It annoys me that you can’t import/save/call different schemes. For each called project I have to set the schema to default.
2 - 4.) Our way of working is very different. I keep the little window with the colors always open on the desktop all the time. Because the color window is always open, I click just on the color, when an audioevent is selected. I basically work with different colors in one track - and not with track colors.
Since we digitize sound carriers, I mark the events with the track numbers from the tape, front (green colors) and back (red colors) of tapes with certain colors.

But in my music projects I create tracks at intervals, I don’t have the problem of suddenly coloring 100 tracks.
If the names of the tracks are unique for each project, you can create a script with Logical Editor that automatically colors the tracks. This makes sense if you always use the same names. For example, color all tracks that contain the text “Drum” green.

Because our way of working and our tasks are completely different, we both have different ideas about how Nuendo should handle the colors.


I’ve given up on this. After four different versions, I still cannot reliably highlight multiple tracks and change the color of them. Once in a while it works but most of the time like you said - nothing changes. In Nuendo and Cubase. So I have to change the color of each one manually. If I have 20 tracks, after about ten I might be able to go back and change the rest en masse, but most of the time not. Years ago there was an option to select a track and and request all other selected tracks change to that color. In an action of “What??” that feature somehow got taken out. Like I said, I’ve given up on this ever being fixed and just learned to live with it. Sigh…


Have you tried Project Logical Editor Presets to change colors? On selected tracks, for example?


No I haven’t. Didn’t even know about that.

That’s the tool SB provides to do this. If you open it up and look through it you’ll gain some understanding, or, ask a specific question.

I went in there and tried editing a few of the presets but I got lost quickly. Way beyond my pay grade. Don’t really understand that part of Cubase/Nuendo. Logic software was easier for me to fogure out.

In my view this topic is only about complaining, which is just fine. This is the Internet. But I’ll say that such topics seem more an outlet for a person to express frustration about the program, rather than anything more constructive.

Jumping in on such a topic, and doubling down on the complaint, while at the same time not being versed in what Cubendo has to offer though, does a disservice to yourself and to others who reach the thread via search, etc.

Many forum members spend a good deal of time researching and typing out answers for their less knowledgeable peers, which is a positive that outweighs any trollish vibe.

So if you start a new topic and ask a specific question about the PLE, I’ll answer, Unless someone else does first, as there are many folks here who love to do that.


Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve had someone talk smack about me on any forum. My first instinct would be to respond in the same nasty insulting way you just did. I’m gonna go with my second instinct which tells me that people like you are not worth my valuable time.

Sorry you focused on that part, and not this.

I agree with the OP. (And I’ve been using Cubase since before it was Cubase on the Atari, so I’m well aware of what the possibilities are).

The last time the colour management was any good for me was Cubase 5, and when I had to upgrade to 8 the look of all my projects was a total nightmare. Yes, it’s a complaint, but one I feel is justified.

The idea of not being able to have transparent parts with a colour bar underneath ruined my projects. Now I have dark blue parts with black type / waveforms - unreadable. On the mix console, sometimes type is white, sometimes unreadable in black. When you add a MIDI instrument track you have to specify the colour of each part of it in the track list. The automation levels are sometimes practically invisible against a pale background. Now you can’t change the colour on the track list without holding down a key. Changing colours on several tracks at once isn’t as obvious or easy as it should be. The list goes on and on…

I’ve mentioned these before, several times but nothing changes…

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There is nothing wrong with complaining at all.

I was here when that changed, and was rather annoyed too. But since then transparency was added back in, albeit in a different way.

Nuendo prefs

Cubase prefs

Transparent events

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This thread becomes interesting insofar as the difficulties inherent in color management in Cubase and Nuendo are expressed, which was my aim. Certainly, I would have preferred to have been calmer at the outset, with all due respect for the people at Steinberg (who are excellent, of course, in their work), but, at the same time, it’s very frustrating to find myself faced with the same weaknesses year after year. It’s not as if I woke up one morning hating this color management. I’ve been repeating this point of view (and getting support) for years, ever since I started using Cubase, a point of view informed by the use of several other DAWs. But Steinberg doesn’t see this weakness, or is content with it. I can’t understand why. Programmers tackle far more complicated problems than color management. I think this basic dimension has never been Cubendo’s strength, but it’s been worse since version 8 or 9. We’re talking about many years and many upgrades… Hence a certain frustration, after days of still struggling to find a working logic. That said, I won’t be changing anything in this thread and I don’t think I’ve crossed the line into rudeness. Come on, we love them, our Steinberg programmers! But we want them to be perfect!

Which doesn’t solve my problem, however…

p.s. I did remove one rudeness from the title of this thread after all. It doesn’t change anything.

Granted, I could take one word out of the title (which I did).

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That’s right, I suddenly remember. It would be nice to come back to it.

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