5 Helpful Cubase Productivity Tips

To help you focus on the music and creative side of Cubase, Hollin Jones has come up with five excellent and useful tips to boost your productivity in Steinberg's popular DAW.  

Tip 1 - Hubs are Good

The Steinberg Hub that appears when you load Cubase can be switched on and off in the Preferences but it does more than just show you news and software updates. In the area at the bottom right of the window you can tell Cubase to always prompt you for a new project save location when starting a project, which is handy if you like to store different projects on different drives. Alternatively you can specify a default location and Cubase will just keep auto-naming and numbering projects for you, which is better if your memory for file management isn't so great.

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Tip 2 - Space to Work

You can end up doing a lot of juggling of windows in Cubase like any DAW. Since it doesn't yet allow the kind of docking interface that some others do you can use the Window menu to manage your workspaces more efficiently. Go to Window > Workspaces > Organize and you can save the current workspace as a preset. You can lock presets and choose which are global and which relate only to this project. Combined with key commands you can set up shortcuts to zap between workspaces instantly, or just use the Window menu to do this.

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Tip 3 - Customize Shortcuts

Key Commands are invaluable timesavers. Go to File > Key Commands to open the window and you'll see literally hundreds of commands, tools and actions that can be assigned to a shortcut. Use the search field here to filter the list—say “import” to just show any commands related to any kind of importing—and then pick the command you want. Use the assignment field to enter your own custom shortcut and assign it. If you've picked one that's already in use, Cubase gives you a chance to swap it or replace the old one.

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Tip 4 - Use Quick Controls

Most track types have a Quick Controls section available in their track inspector in the main Project section. These are very powerful and if you click on a slot you will see all available parameters for that track. Any instruments or effects connected to a track will also show their available controls and there's control of the channel strip too. Select a parameter and activate it and you can quickly build a control panel of commonly used controls, accessible for any chosen track without having to open more windows or dig around in settings menus.

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Tip 5 - Customize the Toolbar 

If you right-click in the toolbar at the top of the project window you can quickly show and hide any of the available sections. So if there's a big area of buttons you never use, hide them. Or if you've been struggling to find a specific control, see if it's possible to make it visible using this technique. There's also access from here to a Setup window where you can manage visible items and also create presets of sets of controls. So while recording you might want one set and while editing, a different set. Use this system to quickly and easily toggle between different sets of tools available to you.

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Learn more Cubase tips and tricks in these video courses at AskVideo here.

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More


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