Cubase Track Import and Presets

Taking tracks between projects in Cubase is easier than you might think. Gary Hiebner shows how track import works and explores ways to speed up workflow with customised presets.  

When you’re working between your Cubase projects you might find that you’d like to pull tracks from other projects into your current one. And that is possible through the track import functionality. Let me show you how to use this. Plus, let me show you how you can create your own customized presets for your favored tracks in projects. This can really help speed up your workflow and help you get your ideas down fast. Let’s dig in! 

Importing Tracks 

So let’s say you’ve built up a killer bass sound in your one project and you want to pull it into your current one. To do this, in your current project go to the File menu, and then down to the Import section. Scroll down and select ‘Tracks from Project…’ 

Tracks from Project


A dialog box pops up where you can navigate to the project you want to import from. So I’m going to navigate back to my older project with the bass sound I want, and when I click on open, it shows the Import options for the project. 

Import Options


On the left, tick the tracks you want to import. I’m going to untick the other instruments and just keep the bass instrument ticked. You’ll also be able to see if the tracks are audio or instrument tracks. For the destination section, you’ll want it to be a New Track in the current project. Or if you have already created tracks in your current project that you want to pull it into, then select that track here. 



If you’re importing an audio track into your project, you’re going to want to make sure that the ‘Copy To Active Project Folder’ is ticked under the Media Files section. This is just so that the audio tracks for this track are contained within the same folder as the project. 

Media Files


Track Versions 

If you are copying a track from another project and you choose a track you already have in your project and it contains data on it, it’ll create a new version of that on the track. It doesn’t completely overwrite it. 

What’s cool about this feature is that I can now jump between the different track versions. Let’s say I want to compare the old bass sound to the new one, then I can just right-click on the track and jump between the different versions. That’s a nice way to import tracks onto the existing ones, but you’re still be able to preview the old and the new ones. 

Track Versions


Saving Presets 

Another way of moving unique tracks to other projects is to save them as track presets and then you can open them up later in any project. The beauty of track presets is that you can also tag the presets so that you can use Cubase’s browsing features to find what preset you’re looking for. 

First, build up your audio or instrument track that you want to save. Add whatever plugins and processing you want to the track. Then right-click on the track and choose ‘Save Track Preset. 

Save Track Preset


This will bring up the Track Preset dialog box. Here you can give your preset a new. This will save the preset in the default user preset folder. Or you can choose create a new sub folder, by clicking the New Folder button. 

Preset Name


Now if you click the icon just under the New Preset name, here you can add tags to your track preset. This will help when you later want to search your preset database for a specific type of sound. So I’d recommend being as detailed as possible with these presets. 

Attribute Inspector


You can give it a Category, such as Synth Pad, and you can rate the pad. If you give it a higher rating, it will appear higher up in your preset list. So if you have a preset that you use a lot, I’d recommend giving it a high rating value. 



Character is an interesting Attribute. When you click on this it brings up a box where you can choose different options, such as if it’s a mono track, if it’s layered, and is in the major key, and so on.



So go through these attribute characters and refine your preset information. When you’re done click OK, and this will be added to the preset list. 

Now let’s see how to recall this preset. Create a new audio or instrument track. For the instrument you can leave it selected with no instrument. Then right-click on the track and choose ‘Load Track Preset’.

Load Track Preset


You’ll see here on the left panel you can either choose to show the presets in Logical order or by Attribute. And then on the right you have different fields you can sort by. So for example click on the rating heading and now it will sort the presets by rating from highest to lowest, and if you click on the rating header again it will switch this so it's rated from lowest to highest rated presets. Double-click the preset you want and it’ll load up this instrument and its associated plugins into the track. 

I’d say you could use this method if you have built up some great tracks and instruments that you’d like to use again but you don’t want any associated data with the track. 

And then maybe use the import feature if you want to pull a track from another project with its associated audio or MIDI regions.


That’s how to use Cubase’s Track Import and Track Preset features to recall tracks into current projects. Each method has its own unique benefits, but either way will help improve your workflow if you want to quickly recall your favored instruments and their associated inserts and sends. 

Gary Hiebner is an enthusiastic South African Sound Designer and Apple Tech Head! Gary has been involved in the South African music industry for the decade, and in this time has also been involved in the sound design and music production for many advertising agencies and media houses. Gary is a devoted Logic and Ableton user, but he al... Read More


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