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Cheat Sheet: Steinberg Cubase 4.5

December 1, 2008
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SET UP VST BUSES

Cubase shuttles audio to and from your audio interface via buses. From the Devices menu, select VST Connections. In the Inputs tab, add and name buses as needed, then from the Device Port popup menu, select the Device Port that connects to the bus. Similarly, in the Outputs tab, assign Cubase buses to Device Ports using the popup menu.

CHOOSE SAMPLE RATE

Immediately after creating a new project, go Project > Project Setup and enter the desired sample rate from the drop-down menu in the Sample Rate field.

EDIT OTHER PROJECT ATTRIBUTES

Project Setup also lets you change the recording bit depth (Record Format), Record File Type, Stereo Pan Law, etc. It’s best to define these upon creating a new project, but you can change them at any time.

ADD A REWIRED SYNTH

From the Devices menu, select the ReWire synth (slave) application. In the dialog box that appears, activate the desired ReWire channels by clicking on the corresponding power symbol buttons. Then, open the device you want to ReWire. To quit a ReWire session, close the ReWired synth application first, then Cubase.

SET LOOP/PUNCH POINTS

Ctrl-click in the timeline to set the left locator, and Alt-click in the timeline to set the right locator.

INSERT A VST INSTRUMENT TRACK

This method works best for auditioning presets with non-multitimbral instruments. Go Project > Add Track > Instrument. In the Instrument drop-down menu, select the VST instrument you want to insert. To insert more than one instance, select the desired number in the Count field. Open the Inspector to make MIDI input assignments, select patches, and change instruments.

INSERT A VST INSTRUMENT VIA ACTIVATION

Use this method to insert multi-timbral VST instruments. From the Devices menu, choose VST Instruments. Select the desired instrument from the Instrument field pop-up menu, and when asked if you want to assign a MIDI track, click on Create. This creates a folder track with the instrument audio and MIDI tracks. Insert more MIDI tracks to send data to multi-timbral instruments.

BROWSE FOR VST INSTRUMENT SOUNDS

In an instrument track, you can audition any sound from any instrument (cool!). Click in the Apply Track Preset field, which opens up a browser. Click on a preset, and the appropriate instrument and sound will open (if you don’t see an instrument, then Cubase has opened an Instrument Track Preset with audio and MIDI effects, channel settings, etc.).

CHOOSE FIXED TEMPO OR TEMPO TRACK

In the Transport, click on the Tempo button to toggle between a fixed tempo or the tempo stored in the Tempo Track.

SELECT TIMELINE REFERENCE

Right-click in the Timeline and select the desired reference (e.g., bars/beats, samples, seconds, etc.).

SCROLL AUTOMATICALLY

To have the track view scroll automatically, click on the Autoscroll button (in the upper toolbar, toward the right of the Edit toolbar. The small arrow button to the right of the Autoscroll button, when enabled, suspends scrolling if you’re editing.

CREATE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

From the File menu, choose Key Commands. In the left column, choose what you want to assign to a key. Type the key in the Type In Key field, then click on the Assign button to bind the key to the function. Click on OK to save the assignment. Note that you can also create Macros; refer to the manual for more information.

SAVE SYSEX IN A CUBASE PROJECT

From the File menu, open Preferences. Under MIDI, select MIDI Filter. Check Sysex under Record, but uncheck Sysex under Thru. Click on OK. When you record a MIDI track and initiate a sysex dump from your MIDI device, it will be recorded in the MIDI track. If you can’t initiate a sysex dump, you will need to send a Dump Request message from Cubase. This can be created in the MIDI Sysex Editor but is much more complex than initiating a dump from the device itself.

REMOVE PLUG-IN COMPENSATION FROM VST3 DYNAMICS EFFECTS

Cubase includes plug-in delay compensation to even out any timing differences caused by plug-in latencies or by dynamics processing “look-ahead” functions. However, if you want to use dynamics plug-ins for live performance, click on the plug-in’s “Live Mode” button to disable look-ahead.

DESTRUCTIVE CLIP EDITING

Right-click on a clip, then select Plug- Ins and choose the desired plug-in. Set the parameters as desired; additional parameters are viewable by clicking on More, including the ability to fade the effect in and out over the clip. When all parameters are set as desired, click on Process. Note: This function is typically used to save CPU by applying effects to objects. However, VST3 plug-ins turn off automatically when no audio is present.

MIX DOWN TO AUDIO

To mix down a project, define the region to be mixed with the left and right locators. Then from the File menu, select Export > Audio Mixdown. Name the file, choose the format (MP3 and Ogg Vorbis are options too), sample rate, and other parameters, then click on Export.
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