Why no improvements to Expression Maps since 2009? Steinberg please answer

Expression maps were introduced in 2009, now 14 years later this essential tool has not been updated again. Specifically the composing community defintely need offsets per articulation. As it stands, Cubase is incapable of delivering accurate timing of multiple articulations in a single track without hand editing by the user, of every single note, which is very unreasonable.

Please, can we have a statement



I’m also very disappointed about the fact that this STILL hasn’t been looked into, but having been a Cubase user since ’98 I’m not surprised either. It’s standard Steinberg procedure. Loads of shiny new features to attract new buyers but very few improvements to the one’s already there, including several years old bugs that never get fixed.

Well , I have been with Cubase since Cubase Score. I don’t think there are any big features to speak about in C13, Frankly for me nothing. Vocoder is back, well whoppee, why take it away in the first place. Yes they shoved a few buttons around and made it slightly reusable and gave us more plugins, plugins, plugins. I don’t need any more I have a few hundred already.
Why did I buy it. Well tonight I think it was a mistake. I can remember the days when Cubase was innovative, no more. These are minor tweaks masquerading as huge leaps forward.
Cubase 12 was the same. Headline feature was getting rid of the dongle, well this is a problem of their own making. MIDI remote Integration? Well the number of keyboards it actually supports properly is vanishingly small and the interface for creating them is a labyrinth, not easy at all.
If Steinberg were still a market leader and an innovator they could do big things. True integration of MIDI 2, integration of Dorico, revamp of expression maps and a true orchestration rethink would be high on my list.
Sadly I think Steinberg is no longer cutting edge and I doubt if these things will make it into Cubase 14 even, in 18 months time.

It’s really sad that this update is so poor.


It’s not poor, just overpriced. In the past, this would have been a $60 12.5 Update. Ditching .5 Updates means they will charge $100 for every release, and the price hike will be less noticeable to some.

It’s like the Studio One 6.0 Update, except Steinberg will never release anything like Studio One 6.5 at $0 cost to users and you can’t hold off and upgrade next year because they will charge you more for waiting. You will, as a result, barely save money doing that. It doesn’t make sense.

Personally, I’m skipping, as nothing it beings addresses any of the issues I have with the DAW or makes it any more convenient to use.

Dorico is Steinberg to me, at this point. If not for the dongle drop, I wouldn’t have updated Cubase, WaveLab, SpectraLayers or Absolute the last go around. Now that they are off, the only thing I’ll even consider updating is Dorico Pro.

Here is the Steinberg dilemma: None of your points interests me in the slightest whatsoever. And I am just as much a Cubase customer as you are.
And then there are customers that are neither like you nor like me. And then some more.
However, even if I am not using expression maps, I agree that they need some attention from a Steinberg dev.

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I did say whould be high on MY list. I accept that not all users want the same. There is a huge number of composers who want expression maps updated, just check the VI forum (main composers board). MIDI 2 is coming this year, this will be a sea change and Steinberg knows this but Cubase 13 is not ready. MIDI remote integration? This sucks if your keyboard is not on their narrow list. I have an Arturia 88 MK 2 which is a market leader and this does not work with it. Many other keyboard do not work either and besides setup can be as complicated as teh old school method. Just my opinion.

No innovation in Cubase 13.


Why not give this one a go?

I don’t think Steinberg ever had the plan to write remote scripts for all or even all significant devices. They made a few and the rest is the job of the makers of said devices or the community.

Huh, isn’t that exactly one of their update features? MIDI 2.0 ready? What exactly do you think MIDI 2.0 will do for you once it is supported by Microsoft? (Cause Apple supports it already for a while.)

I, too, think that Cubase 13 is an evolution rather than a revolution. Not sure how much work was done under the hood but on the surface it looks like 12.5. None of my top 3 feature wishes were touched, either.

Yes, but I think that Cubase should refine the features they already have, instead of forgetting about them and leave them half baked. That’s why looking to the HUD of the feature, you can guess in which version was introduced. They don’t adapt anything. Actually, in Cubase 12 they added a BUG in Expression Maps and they never solved it.

And, of course, the market is huge, but I have the impression that Cubase team is more focused on deliver shiny (and superfluous) new features than making a great DAW. However, there are a few things I like about 13. The new channel tab added and the improvements writing MIDI. The majority of the new features are actually new plugins… which is disappointing. And this happens every year.

On the other hand, in Dorico… they really improve their software from version to version and you can feel the team working to listen to their customers and making them happier with the product. It’s incredible they are the same company!!

Of course, this may be due to the fact that they are a lot of different profiles for cubase, but not that many for Dorico, so it’s easier for the latter. However, it is not a valid excuse to forget about the features they already have (half) implemented, like Expression Maps.

Not trying to veer off topic, but where did you read that?


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It’s mentioned on the Cubase 13 page under the New Features tab, scroll to the workflow improvements section at the bottom of the page.

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I can only repeat myself: I am not using expression maps at all and even I think the editor and the capabilities of the feature need some love.
So do some other existing parts of Cubase.

Every time somebody claims that. Then I just count all the new plugins and all the new features that are not plugins. The latter team always wins. Yet every update somebody claims “more plugins than features”. Is this a recurring joke that I don’t get?

I share the OP frustration for expression maps not being updated (Studio One and Digital Performer are way ahead in that department). I remember having the same reaction when Cubase 12 was released ; if memory serves, someone from Steinberg answered me they thought of upgrading them but lacked time for that release… So my hopes were very high for 13… Alas…

But trying to be fair, although I am not interested in the new functionalities of Cubase 13, I suspect this revamp took a lot of work under the hood to modernize a 33 years (or more?) old software.
I hope they built the foundation which will lead to upcoming useful features for the film composer in a near future…

To conclude, I really think Steinberg should communicate better with its customer. @dspreadbury has done a lot in that department (for Dorico but recently also for Cubase) on another well known forum. I would like to publicly thank him for that.

I’ll probable buy the update when first revision will come out. At least to support the company. I guess engineering such a huge product is not an easy task. All the best to the hard working developers! (but not necessarily for the marketing department :smiley: )

It’s not disappointing for me. Frequency for example can achieve a workflow (multiple side chain inputs +multiple side chain sources) that is found in no other 3rd party VST and very worth it for dynamic EQ. I expect a ProQ3 upgrade that might catch up with Frequency. :rofl: I can name several other stock VSTs that I use that has no VST 3rd party advantage unless it’s a subjectively more pleasant GUI.

The old mindset of thinking Third Party VST is by default “better” is over. You still may not need them, but could it be possible the developer of your favorite 3rd party is also contracted to a DAW developer who makes similar with a new GUI? With a $29 environment, and mega mergers, some of these developers are very hungry.

I’ll never use the new Channel Tab. Using multiple displays, PLE/LE, Workspaces, Macros, and Metagrid there is absolutely no need for that new feature. See how that works? Different users with different objectives and workflows. But I certainly understand why others think its a great feature.

I too think Expression Maps improvement is definitely needed. Until then, I have patience.

The majority of new “shiny” features, the ones that are displayed in the promo. But don’t get me wrong, I like the plugins and I almost use only stock plugins. I love Frequency :stuck_out_tongue: + What I was trying to say is that I can’t see them as “improvements in Cubase”, just as “Very useful add-ons”.

And finally, I agree with you, I’m just saying that Cubase already has the features I want, but they lack some of the functionalities I need or I would like to have and I hate that once they have implemented a feature, they don’t touch it (it’s a way of speaking). With EM the only change it was done was in 11.5 I believe, that they added a bug that today still persists.

And as I say, the thing about Cubase is that we all have very different musical profiles. So it is very hard to please everyone at 100%, whereas in Dorico is much easier.

Finally, this is a topic about EM, so that’s why I am complaining, because I find them quite useful, but they are two steps behind of how they should be. And they have been there since 2009 as the O.P. sais.

I agree it would be nice to get a statement from Steinberg, and perhaps some work toward a nicer and more elegant way to create Expression maps.
I have often wondered how difficult it would be to make it a simple drag and drop affair from the Vst GUI to a blank midi event/Expression lane, a popup opens up asking for any offset and boom your good to go.
Maybe it’s a fools suggestion on my part but hey ho who doesn’t want simple tools that work.
Best regards to Z for posting.
Take care.

Agree 100%.

Regarding new plugins as part of he upgrade price. My own view is that if I wanted a new plugin in I could go and buy one. If I pay for an upgrade to Cubase, I want an upgraded Cubase, not more plugins, not free bits of other programs such as Iconica. If, e.g, I wanted a vocaliser (or indeed any other app) I would consider many other options other than Steinberg. I pay upgrade price to upgrade CUBASE!

I think this upgrade is just window dressing. So some buttons have moved around, and maybe a little more handy. Expression maps still suck and they MUST have got this message by now. MIDI 2 - they know what it is. I think (but don’t know) they probably farmed out the making of the plugins. Imagine being a Steinberg developer and being told that your job is to upgrade Cubase, by working on a plugin, when so much else needs to be done.
I think this upgrade is almost all bloat and window dressing. I think Steinberg is no longer cutting edge since Yamaha bought it out.
I will not upgrade again unless the anceint coding of expression maps are properly re-designed, MIDI 2 is present and there is some integration with Dorico.



MIDI 1.0 conversations were a one-way thing: From transmitter to receiver. However, 2.0 now allows for a bi-directional conversation.

Bit like this thread come on Steinberg is it going to happen…:innocent: :upside_down_face:

yes yes yes yes
We need an expression maps update
the ability to create them faster, batch editing

do we have any message from steinberg about this ?

let’s bump this thread once a day until we get an answear from steinberg