What are some unique MIDI programming tricks for Cubase that beginner music producers may not know about?
As a music producer, your creativity knows no bound. The Cubase DAW gives you the power to make stellar music using MIDI programming. However, like any powerful tool, there’s always more you can learn about it to streamline your workflow. So, let’s delve a little deeper into the world of Cubase and discover some tips and tricks to supercharge your MIDI programming skills!.
1. Quantize Your MIDI
Quantizing is a MIDI programming trick that can automatically correct timing errors in your religiously recorded performances. Go to the ‘MIDI’ menu, select ‘functions’, and then ’quantize’. Here, you can choose your quantize presets, and your MIDI notes will snap to the beat, making your performance sound tighter.
2. Use Expression Maps
Expression maps can significantly improve your orchestral mock-ups. With them, you can change articulations of a VST instrument by triggering program changes. For example, you can easily switch from staccato to legato or pizzicato strings. Set it up by using the ‘Expression Map’ setup dialog found in the ‘Project’ menu.
3. Key Commands are King
One of the most effective ways to speed up your workflow is by memorizing key commands. Cubase is packed with shortcuts that help you navigate faster, and you can even customize them. Simply navigate to ‘File’ -> ‘Key Commands’ to set them up.
4. Use the Logical Editor for Customization
The logical editor is a powerful feature of Cubase that allows you to set up custom MIDI operations. You can create a command to select all notes with certain pitch or length, automatically add velocity to notes, etc. Access this feature through the ’MIDI’ menu, choose ‘Logical Presets’ for some inspiration.
5. Use the MIDI Plugins
Cubase comes with a wide array of MIDI plugins that can help you in various aspects of MIDI programming. From arpeggiators to MIDI delay lines, there’s a veritable treasure trove of tools to explore. You can access these by selecting a MIDI track, and then selecting the ‘Inserts’ tab in the left zone.
6. Explore the Note Expression
‘Note Expression’ is a feature in Cubase that allows you to add unique expressions to each note. For example, you can fade in a note, add vibrato, or tweak the pitch of individual notes. You can access it by pressing the ’Note Expression’ button on the toolbar.
7. Try the Chord Track
The Chord Track is a fantastic tool for songwriters. It allows you to map out the harmonic structure of your song, automatically plays the chords for you, and can help you come up with complex chord progressions. You can find it under ‘Project’ -> ‘Add Track’ -> ‘Chord Track’.
8. Take Advantage of MIDI Modifiers
MIDI Modifiers can add realism to your MIDI programming. With MIDI modifiers, you can compress the velocity of a performance, transpose notes, or randomize pitch, timing and velocity. Access them under the ‘MIDI Modifiers’ tab in the MIDI track inspector.
9. Utilize the Score Editor
If you prefer traditional notation, the Score Editor is for you! In addition to standard notation, it has an array of functions that can be useful for MIDI programming, like inserting dynamics, slurs, or articulations. Open the score editor from the ‘Project’ menu, under ‘Scores’.
10. MIDI Loop Recording
You can record multiple takes of a performance and choose the best one later. This can save you time and take some pressure off your recording session. Enable this by activating the ‘Cycle’ button on the transport panel.
That’s it for our top 10 MIDI programming tricks for Cubase! With these tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be making your way around Cubase like a pro in no time. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced producer, these tips should help you improve your workflow and take your compositions to the next level.