Transpose chord track

Afternoon all

Newish Cubase user and first post.

I was wondering if anyone can help, my guitar is tuned down a half step and I generally start my writing with my guitar. When I want to add some accompanying instruments I add a chord track, input a scale or chords and use these chord to add in strings and piano etc. the problem I have is the chord boxes and scales do not correspond to the tuning I am in. Is there anyway to transpose the chord track so a C chord in E shows as B# when tuned to D# in order for the voicing to be correct.

Really struggling, watched a few videos for which I learnt a lot from but not how to achieve the above. Would also be brilliant if I can then send these chords to the chord pads.

I am aware u may be over analysing this and the solution is simple but I feel I need a little guidance.

Brilliant software by the way, this and NI Komplete has provided me with some very much needed inspiration.

Thank you


Hey Mike, welcome to the forum.

There are a couple of ways to do this.

  1. You could just change the chords in the Chord Track itself. Select all the chords in the track. Then in the Info Line near the top of the Project Window (you might need to make it visible in the windows setup) you’ll see field a for Root Key. This will show the root of the 1st chord you have selected. If, for example, that first chord is C and you change it to E you’ll transpose all the chords up a major third. FYI you can create different versions of the Chord Track and leave one unmodified while changing the other.

  2. If you don’t want to modify the Chord Track you can also transpose what you hear its monitored track playing. Say you are monitoring the Chord Track on an Instrument Track named Piano. In the inspector for Piano open the MIDI Modifiers tab. There you’ll find a control to transpose the track’s playback.

Hi Raino

Thank you for your answers.

  1. does this way of transposing change the chord symbol? Or will it say C on the chord track but play an E if transposed a major third. Interesting that you say you can have a different version of a chord track I modified, I believe you can only have a single chord track or am I missing something here?

  2. I do like this idea but I have 2 further issues. The chord track will not show the correct chords if the output is in essence changed and also the notation would be off, the second point I don’t mind as I can transcribe manually but the idea that a C chord isn’t actually a C means moving between say a guitar tuned to D# then to my mandolin which is standard tuning means it’s a further complication to use the chord track.

Ideally it would be great to tune the chord track, but I gather the only real workaround is to add a C major for instance and manually change this to a D# major.

Seems like either a slight oversight expecting everyone to work in E or I am just using this feature in a none sensible way.

The reason I prefer your second idea is I can just work as if in E as the transposition is there just not in a logical and instantly viewable way.

Thank you fella


If you transpose the Chord Track chords via the Info Line the chord objects are actually modified. So if you started with the chords C-Em-F-G after changing them they would display & play as E-G#m-A-B.

You are correct that you can only have one Chord Track. But versions are a different thing. Most (all?) of the track types in Cubase support Track Versions. This allows you to create different versions of material on the same track and easily switch between versions. You can even sync versions so multiple tracks get changed together. See the OPs manual for details. This is a very useful feature. So you could use them on the Chord Track for things like putting the song in different keys, trying out different progressions, re-harmonizing a melody, etc.

I almost always use the first method to transpose the Chord Track because I like to see and hear the same thing. And also the the pitch color coding in the Key Editor will be correct. But method 2 is useful for quickly checking how something would sound in a different key (and if I liked it I’d then change the actual chords) and also just to get the playback an octave or two higher or lower.

I mostly never use the Chord Track to generate audio for a mix. Generally I’ll block out a progression (and maybe some alternatives) using it. This also provides nice documentation. But once that’s done I mute the Chord Track. Then I’ll select the chords and drag them onto an Instrument Track where they each create a separate MIDI Part, which I glue together to make parts for verses, choruses, etc. Then I can edit those MIDI Parts to have more control over voicings and cut up notes to create rhythms. I find this drag and drop gets me to a rough starting point quicker and easier than hand entering them in the editor - other folks don’t. The exceptions where I do use the Chord Track in a mix are to create a simple pad and also it can be fun to insert an arpeggiater on the Instrument Track and have it generate some rhythmic content based on the chords. This works especially nice on pitched percussion.