Sie sind auf Seite 1von 96

Sequencing with Cubase

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
What We're Going To Do
This page will demonstrate the mechanics of creating a MIDI sequence for a typical pop song. We will
see how we start off by creating some simple building blocks and then use them to gradually build up the
complete sequence.

At first, we will create repetitive patterns (normally 1 or 2 bars long) for the various instruments. These
short patterns are copied, bar by bar, to create longer sections such as the verse, chorus and intro. As we
do this, of course we have to modify the patterns slightly to reflect the chord changes.

How Long Will It Take?

Creating a sequence is very labour intensive and time-consuming. An experienced Cubase user might
spend around 10 hours creating this sequence. You should expect to spend more time as you will also be
learning your way around Cubase's complex user interface.

What Equipment Do We Need?

To work through this workshop, we'll need a suitable computer running Cubase 5, connected to a music
keyboard via Midi interfaces. Any inexpensive home musical keyboard should be suitable, provided it
carries the "General Midi" logo. A wide range of suitable products are available from manufacturers such
as Yamaha, Casio and Roland.

Section 1 shows how to connect the keyboard to the computer.

A "General Midi" keyboard has a set of standard voices which we will use for this sequence.

Note. We will not be using any digital audio or VST voices in this workshop.

What Song Are We Going To Sequence


The song we're going to sequence is called Your Eyes. We've chosen this song because you won't have
heard it before (and so you won't have any preconceptions about it). We recommend that you print out
the sheet music for the song as it makes life a lot easier.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqintro.html (1 of 4) [1/3/02 1:52:41 PM]


Sequencing with Cubase

The song-writers have presented us with a very rough form of the song. All we have are the melody and
chords for the verse and chorus, plus the chords for the introduction. As we create the sequence, we will
have to compose and choose instrumentation for all the different parts in the final sequence.

Plan Of Attack
If we examine the song carefully, we see it breaks down into the following sections:

● Intro - 16 bars
● First Verse - 18 bars
● Chorus - 16 bars
● Second Verse - 18 bars
● Chorus - 16 bars
● Chorus - repeated 3 times, fade out on final repeat

Immediately, we see that there are a number of repeated sections which will allow us to cut and paste the
same instrumental backings:

● The first and second verses use the same chords


● The chorus appears five different times.

If we look carefully at the Intro, we can see that it has the same chord sequence as the Chorus. Perhaps
we can use a modified version of the Chorus for the Intro?

Putting all this together gives us a general strategy for creating the sequence:

1. Create the basic parts for the first verse


2. Create the basic parts for the chorus
3. Add extra instrumentation.
4. Cut and paste repeats for the verse and chorus
5. Edit the chorus to create the intro
6. Further additions.

The number of repeats makes the job easier, but we have to take care to avoid the song becoming boring.
This is achieved by adding extra instruments to the later repeats and (towards the end) having one voice
cross-fade into another.

What About the Fade-Out at the End?

It is possible to create proper fade-outs, but it is generally hard work. A far easier method is to set Cubase

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqintro.html (2 of 4) [1/3/02 1:52:41 PM]


Sequencing with Cubase

to repeat the final chorus indefinitely and use a manual volume control to fade out onto the final mix.
You should certainly follow this approach if you intend to take your sequence to a recording studio and
use it as the basis for an audio recording. If that seems too crude for you, then you can build in a proper
fade using "Expression" control changes as an extra step at the very end.

Creating The Sequence


For convenience, we've divided the course into a number of separate sections. We recommend that you
print out each section and work from the printed version. That way you can put a tick next to each step as
you finish it. It is very easy to miss a step when working from the computer screen

Sequencing the Song

Setting up:

● Section 1 - Making a Start

Creating the Verse:

● Section 2 - Verse Electric Piano part


● Section 3 - Verse Synth Bass part
● Section 4 - Verse Drums part
● Section 5 - Recording the Verse

Creating the Chorus

● Section 6 - Chorus Electric Piano part


● Section 7 - Chorus Synth Bass part
● Section 8 - Chorus Drums part
● Section 9 - Recording the Chorus

Reviewing what we have so far

● Section 10 - Making a Trial Mix

Adding more tracks

● Section 11 - Adding Strings to the Verse and Chorus


● Section 12 - Adding the Harpsichord to the Verse and Chorus

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqintro.html (3 of 4) [1/3/02 1:52:41 PM]


Sequencing with Cubase

Building up a complete song

● Section 13 - Pasting Up a Complete Song


● Section 14 - Creating an Intro

Finishing touches

● Section 15 - Adding Synth Brass


● Section 16 - Revisiting the Drums

By the time we've got this far, we're pretty confident at using Cubase and should be well prepared for
creating our own original sequences.

Happy Sequencing

With grateful thanks to Rory Bathrick for writing the lyric to "Your Eyes" and allowing it to be used in
this example.

Bob Lang
January 2001
Revised March 2001

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqintro.html (4 of 4) [1/3/02 1:52:41 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with Cubase


Section 1 - Making a Start
Briefing

Before we can start sequencing, we have to make some decisions about track and channel usage. A reasonable way to allocate instruments to tracks is follows:

● Track 1 for the melody (using the Grand Piano voice).


● Tracks 2-9 for the instrumental backing.
● Track 10 for drums.
● Tracks 11-16 for scratch storage of small segments of music.

Each track should have its own name, and common practice is to give each track the same name as the instrument it plays.

In this sequence we are not going to be using any digital audio, so we can delete any audio tracks. (It's very easy to create new tracks if we decide later that we need
them after all).

Making the Connections

We'll be assuming that you'll be using an inexpensive home keyboard to record and play back your sequence. We also assume that home keyboard includes the
"General Midi" set of standard voices (most of them do).

If you have a PC, then you'll probably find that your existing sound card incorporates a midi interface; however, you'll need to buy a suitable adapter from a music
shop. Plug the adapter into the joystick (or game) port on your PC, and then connect the two midi leads (usually supplied as part of the adapter) to the In and Out
connections on your keyboard.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (1 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)

If you have a Mac, then you'll probably need to use a "midisport" (or similar) interface. Plug the interface into a USB port at the back of your Mac and use two midi
cables to connect to your keyboard.

Whenever you plug the midi cables into your keyboard, you have a 50:50 chance of getting them the wrong way round! If your computer and keyboard don't appear
to want to talk to each other, try swapping round the cables going into the In and Out keyboard connections. Provided your equipment is in good working order,
swapping the connections won't damage anything.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (2 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)

Using Cubase
In this tutorial, we are assuming that you reasonably familiar with using the computer mouse, clicking and double clicking on buttons, using menus and opening and
closing windows.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Although all Cubase commands can be accessed via the menu, there are a great number of keyboard shortcuts which will really speed up your work. Many of these
are accessed by holding down a special key and then hitting another one. We are assuming that you're already used to this feature as it is commonly used in many
well known programs.

The key you have to hold down would normally be the [SHIFT] key, the [ALT] key or the [CONTROL] key.

The [SHIFT] and [ALT] keys appear on both PC and Macintosh keyboards and work (in Cubase) without any problem.

However, on the Macintosh you should use the [COMMAND] key instead of the [CONTROL] key. The [COMMAND] key carries an Apple logo and a sort of Four
Leaf Clover logo.

Push Buttons

Many options are selected by a virtual Push Button which appears on the screen. When the option is selected, the appearance of the button changes so that looks like
it has been pressed. Pressing a button several times alternately selects and de-selects the option.

To select or de-select a push button option:

● PC: Click once with the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON.


● Mac: Click once with the MOUSE BUTTON.

It is normally quite easy to tell if an option is selected or deselected: sometimes the push button will appear to light up;
sometimes a tick appears (or disappears); and sometimes the words "On" or "Off" appear.

Changing Numbers

Many settings are indicated by numbers shown on the screen. By using the mouse, Cubase allows you to change the value of just about any number that you can see.

To INCREASE a number by 1:

● PC: Click on the number once with the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON.
● Mac: Click on the top half of the number once with the MOUSE BUTTON.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (3 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)
To DECREASE a number by 1:

● PC: Click on the number once with the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON
● Mac: Click on the bottom half of the number once with the MOUSE BUTTON

Note that you can increase or decrease by 10 if you hold down the [SHIFT] button whilst you click.

To put in an entirely new number:

● Double click on the number, type in the new value and press [RETURN].
(PC users should double click with the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON)

Some numbers are divided into several fields ('1.2.1.78' for example). The increase/decrease method will modify whichever one of these values you point the
mouse at. If you use the double click method, then you should enter values for all the individual fields, separated by dots. (If you don't enter values for all the fields,
then Cubase will assume a default value for the ones you miss out).

Some number values can also be set to 'Off' (which is not the same as '0'). You can set a value to Off by setting it to 0 and then decreasing it by 1.

Changing Other Values

The same mouse click operations which change numbers sometimes change other values, too. One notable example is the pitch of a note. Each increase by one
sharpens the note by a semitone and each decrease by one flattens it by a semitone.

Changing Names

Some values may actually be names. You can change a name by double clicking on it, typing in a new name and pressing [RETURN].

Pop Up Menus

Some items are changed by using a pop up menu. These are usually (but not always) identified by one of the following symbols: or

To change an option controlled by a pop up menu:

● Click once on the arrow head icon. Click on the new value from the list that appears
(PC users should click with the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON)

Tool Boxes and Selecting Tools

From time to time, you will need to select a tool from a tool box. You'll know when you've selected a tool, because the mouse cursor will change from its usual arrow
shape. To use a tool, just click the mouse button at the appropriate place on the screen.
http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (4 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]
Making a Start (Section 1)

The process of selecting a tool is quite different depending upon which platform you're using:

● PC: To select a Tool from a Tool Box:


❍ Hold down the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON to bring up the tool box.

❍ Still holding the button, move the mouse over the required tool.

❍ Release the mouse button.

● PC: To de-select a Tool (revert to standard arrow mouse pointer)


❍ Press and immediately release the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON.

● Mac: To select a Tool from a Tool Box:


❍ Click on the Tools menu on the menu bar at the top of the window.

❍ Keep the mouse button pressed and drag the tool menu to a suitable place.

❍ Click on the required tool from the menu.

● Mac: To de-select a Tool (revert to standard arrow mouse pointer)


❍ Move back to the tool menu and select the usual mouse arrow pointer.

Changing the Magnification of a Window

You should be used to using draw and scroll bars as most windows based programs use them. However, in addition to the usual scroll bars, Cubase also provides a
second pair of sliders which change the horizontal and vertical magnification of a window.

To change the magnification, drag the slider to a new position whilst holding down the mouse button . When you release the mouse button, the window will be
redrawn at the new magnification. You can control the horizontal and vertical magnification separately.

Step 1 - Setting Up The Transport Bar


The transport bar looks rather like a letter box. It holds the main 'play' and 'record' buttons (just like a tape recorder), and a lot of other useful options and data.
Here's what the transport bar looks like on the PC

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (5 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)

Note

● P.In = "Punch In" button


● P.Out = "Punch Out" button

It looks very similar on the Macintosh, except the P.In button, Cycle and P.Out buttons are stacked on above the other.

To change a number, you can either double click on it, or use the increase and decrease methods shown above. To change a push button, just click on it. Most buttons
"light up" when selected.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Fire up Cubase.
● When it is running, make it a full size window.

● Use the mouse to make the following settings on the transport bar (working more or less from left to right):

Rec Mode: Overdub (Pop up menu)


Cycle Rec: Mix (Pop up menu)

Auto Quantize (AQ): Not selected (Push button)


Punch In (P.In): Not selected (Push button)
Cycle: Not selected (Push button)
Punch Out (P.Out): Not selected (Push button)

Tempo: 128.00 (Numeric field)

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (6 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)

Signature: 4/4 (Two numeric fields)

Click: Selected (Push button)


Sync: Not selected (Push button)
Master: Not selected (Push button)

Step 2 - Deleting the Audio Tracks


Cubase can record sounds captured from a microphone and incorporate them into a sequence as a digital audio track. Unfortunately, this is just too complicated for
beginners and we're not going to use this feature in this sequence. Since we're not using recorded audio, we should turn it off completely.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Find the list of tracks on the screen.


You will probably see a number of Audio tracks, with names such as 'Audio 1', 'Audio 2', etc,
and a number of Midi tracks, with names such as 'Midi 1', 'Midi 2', etc.
● Look at the column headed 'C' and you should see that digital audio tracks are marked with a wavy line icon, whilst Midi tracks are marked with a note icon
(Track 10 may be marked by a drum stick icon).
● Delete any digital audio tracks (marked by the wavy line icon) by clicking on the track name and pressing [DELETE]

Step 3 - Setting Up the MIDI Tracks


We have already seen how we will be using the different MIDI tracks and channels. We now set up Cubase so that we can use the tracks as we have decided.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Look at the remaining tracks in the window.


● Make sure that you have 16 MIDI tracks, named 'Midi 1' to 'Midi 16'.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (7 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)
● Look at the column headed 'Chn' and make sure that each track has the appropriate channel number. If there are any discrepancies then use the mouse to
correct the channel number.

Tracks 11 to 16 are used for scratch storage and we should mute these tracks so Cubase doesn't play any data stored on them. The 'M' column indicates whether a
track is muted or not; a big spot in this columns shows that the track is muted.

● Look at the column headed 'M'. If there is a big spot in this column then the corresponding track is muted.
● Ensure that tracks 11 to 16 are muted by clicking next to them in the 'M' column.

Track 10 will be used for drums, and track 11 for scratch storage of drum data. We need to tell Cubase that these tracks will be drum tracks.

● Click in the 'C' column next to tracks 10.


● When the pop up menu appears, select Drum Track.
Note that the icon now changes to a drum stick.
● Repeat the process for track 11.

Step 4 - Setting the Number of Ticks and Auto Save Option


Cubase measures the length of a note using ticks. In the early versions of Cubase there were exactly 384 ticks in a crotchet (quarter note) and this is sufficiently
accurate for most applications. Later versions of Cubase give increased (but generally unnecessary) accuracy by allowing a greater number of ticks in a crotchet. We
recommend dispensing with this extra accuracy and sticking with 384 ticks per crotchet.

The same menu which allows us to the change the number of ticks, also allows us to specify an Auto Save option. When activated, this option periodically saves all
the information about the sequence to a backup file. We should set this up so that it performs a save every 15 minutes. This can be useful if things go badly wrong,
but should not be relied upon.

Working with Cubase has shown that there are several further options which are useful for more experienced users, but which can seriously confuse beginners. We'll
take the opportunity to make appropriate settings.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● From the Edit menu (at the top of the screen), select Preferences and then General.
A new window will appear.
● PC: Click on the 'General tab at the top of the new window
Mac: Click on at the top of the new window and select 'Miscellaneous' from the pop-up menu

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (8 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)
● Next to 'Display Resolution' will be a number, probably '15360'.
● Click on this number and select '384' from the pop up menu.

● Ensure that the 'Autosave' option is ticked.


● Set the 'Autosave every .... minutes' setting to '15'

● Look for the following options on the window (note that there are detailed differences between PC and Mac platforms):
❍ Set Midi channels with pop-up

❍ Transpose Midi with mini keyboard

❍ Change volume with slider -- Possibly combined with next option

❍ Set panorama with slider

● Ensure that all of these options are turned off (no ticks).
● (PC only: Click on Apply)

● PC: Click on the 'Arrangement tab at the top of the window


Mac: Select 'Arrangement' from the pop-up menu at the top of the window.

● Ensure that the option 'Restrict Inspector to Track Changes' is selected (ticked)

● (PC only: Click on Apply)


● Click on OK

Step 5 - Setting Up MIDI Playback Preferences


During testing, we have noticed that Cubase sometimes plays tracks even though they have been muted. This fix appears to solve this problem.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● From the Edit menu (at the top of the screen), select Preferences and then Midi.
A new window will appear.
● PC: Click on the 'Playback tab at the top of the new window
Mac: Click on at the top of the new window and select 'Playback' from the pop-up menu

● Scroll down the window until you find the entry:


'Play muted tracks in Editors'
● If this option is selected, then click on it to de-select.
http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (9 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]
Making a Start (Section 1)

● (PC only: Click on Apply)


● Click on OK

Step 6 - Setting Up The Score Editor


The Cubase score editor is rather quirky and can sometimes be confusing for beginners. However, there are numerous options which control its detailed operation
and getting these just right can increase your productivity.

For example, when editing musical scores, it is quite useful if the bar number appears above every bar. Additionally, if you're a little hazy about sharps and flats, then
asking Cubase to put a sign in front of every accidental can be useful.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● From the Edit menu (at the top of the screen), select Preferences and then Scores.
A new window will appear.
● PC: Click on the 'Beams and Bars tab at the top of the new window
Mac: Click on at the top of the new window and select 'Beams and Bars' from the pop-up menu

● Next to 'Show Bar Numbers Every...' will be a number, probably '4'.


● Double click on this number and then change it to '1'.
● (PC only: Click on Apply)

● PC: Click on the 'Accidentals' tab at the top of the new window
Mac: Click on at the top of the new window and select 'Accidentals' from the pop-up menu
● Select the 'All Not In Key' option.
● (PC only: Click on Apply)

● Click on OK

Step 7 - Naming the File

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (10 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Making a Start (Section 1)
We should save what we have so far, and give it a suitable file name. Preferably, a name that reflects the song title.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● From the Edit menu (at the top of the screen), select Save As...
A new window will appear. This should be a standard file dialogue window for the type of computer you are using.
● Use the mouse to move to a suitable directory for the file.
The actual choice of directory is outside the scope of this tutorial; you may need to ask your teacher for help at this stage.
● Set the File Name to "youreyes" (or whatever name you prefer)
● Ensure that the File Type is 'Song', or '.all'
● Click on "Save"

We've now set up Cubase and we're ready to proceed to the next section.

It's worth noting that if you're going to be using Cubase a lot, then you can save the file at step 5 and use it for all your future sequences. In fact, the screen you first
see when Cubase starts is loaded from a file called 'def.all' - some advanced users create their own version of def.all which this use as the basis for all their
sequences.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec1.html (11 of 11) [1/3/02 1:53:13 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 2 - Creating the Electric Piano part for the
Verse
What You Will Learn

This is probably the most complex section of the whole sequencing process and therefore the most time
consuming. In this section you will be introduced to the following concepts:

● The Arrange window


● The use of different Tracks in the Arrange window
● The concept of Parts in the Arrange window
● The Score Editor
● The Key Editor

Briefing

The main rhythmical backing for the sequence is from the electric piano, which plays a two bar rhythm
based on quavers. These two bars are repeated as necessary with appropriate shifts for each chord change.

We have to make a decision about which track we should use for the Electric Piano. We have previously
decided that tracks 11-16 will be used for scratch storage, track 10 for drums, and track 1 for the melody.
Quite arbitrarily, we choose track 4 for the electric piano.

The final rhythm is syncopated and so somewhat tricky to play. We get around the problem by recording
an easier, non-syncopated version, tidying it up, and then deleting some unwanted notes.

To "Tidy Up" the rhythm that we've just recorded, first of all we have to Quantize the notes; that is, move
them so they all start exactly on a quaver beat. Fortunately, Cubase provides a feature to do this for us.

We finish the tidying up process by making sure that the notes are legato; that is, the end of each note is
immediately followed by the start of the next note, with no gap between them. Fortunately, Cubase also
provides features that will perform this step.

To create the syncopated rhythm we simply delete some unwanted notes. An interesting effect is that after
deleting a note (or the last note of a chord), Cubase appears to replace the note by an equivalent length

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (1 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

rest. In fact, Cubase only stores notes and doesn't store rests at all. When a note (or the last note in a
chord) is deleted, it leaves a period of silence which Cubase's Score Editor interprets as a rest.

Once we have the syncopated rhythm for two bars, we need to create multiple copies of it, changing the
chord as appropriate. As we create any particular two bar section, we also copy it to a scratch track, so
that we can quickly find it and re-use it as necessary. We will find that these sections will also help us to
create the Electric Piano part for the chorus, too.

We will use the Score Editor to create each new part, each time based upon some previously created part.
The simplest way is to use the mouse to select the notes we want to change, and then move them up and
down the staff as necessary. By holding down the mouse button and dragging, we can draw a selection
box around a group of notes and then move the whole group in one go.

Note. To select a note, you must click on the head only, not the tail.

If we want to, we can select an entire chord and move it up and down the staff; however, if we move an
entire minor chord up or down in an attempt to create a major chord, the middle notes will remain
flattened (minor thirds). We then have to select only the middle notes and move them up one semitone (to
make major thirds).

A similar situation occurs if we try to move an entire minor chord to make a major chord, except this time
the middle notes remain sharpened and have to be selected separately and then moved down by a
semitone.

A quick reminder for Mac users: whenever you're asked to use the [CONTROL] key, you should actually
use the key with the "Apple/Four Leaf Clover" logo!

More on Using Cubase


Left and Right Locators

Cubase provides us with two special settings, called the Left and Right locators, which have various
important functions when recording, editing and playing back music. These will be explained as we get to
them. For now, you should remember that the Left locator should be set at the start of the section we
intend to work on, and the Right locator should be set at the end of the section.

We can see the position of both locators on the transport bar, and also in the main Arrange window where
they look like thin vertical lines headed by 'L' or 'R' as appropriate. You can see them circled in this
diagram:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (2 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

We can set the locators from the transport bar using the mouse techniques we've already seen, but it is
normally more convenient to use the mouse (in the Arrange window) to drag the 'L' and 'R' flags to the
desired positions.

Note. On the PC we must drag the Left locator using the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON and the Right locator
using the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON.

Cubase "Parts"

Cubase stores all musical information in one or more Parts. A Part might hold just a few notes, or all the
data for one midi track.

When we look at the main Arrange window, we can see all the parts that make up the song. We can use
the mouse to drag a part left or right and so change the time when it starts playing, or we can drag a part
up and down so that it appears on a different track.

Quantization and Snap Settings

Sometimes it is useful to pull the start of a note exactly onto a beat. This function is called Quantization
and is used to tidy up inaccurate playing. Notes are moved to positions specified by the current
quantization setting (a number). The number has the following meaning:

Setting Moves notes to.. Comments


1 Nearest whole note (semibreve) First beat in the bar
2 Nearest half note (minim) First and third beats in the bar
4 Nearest quarter note (crotchet) Any beat in the bar
8 Nearest eighth note (quaver) Any half beat in the bar

So, if the quantization setting is n then the bar is divided into n equal time intervals. When Quantization is
selected, notes are moved to the start of the nearest time interval.

The Snap setting is similar to the Quantization setting, but it is only relevant when inside an editor. If we
use the mouse to slide a note left or right, then it is only moved to a position given by the current Snap

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (3 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

setting. For example, if the snap setting is 8, then the note can only be moved to the nearest quaver
position.

The snap positions and quantization positions are identical, and most of the time it makes sense to set
both values to the same number. The following keyboard shortcuts (on the main keyboard) set both Snap
and Quantization values to the same value:

Shortcut Snap/Quant Setting Position in bar


[1] 1 Nearest whole note (semibreve)
[2] 2 Nearest half note (minim)
[3] 4 Nearest quarter note (crotchet)
[4] 8 Nearest eighth note (quaver)
[5] 16 Nearest sixteenth note (semiquaver)
[.] Dotted (toggle) Lengthen current setting by 50%
[T] Triplet (toggle) Divide current setting into three equal parts

Note: The "Dotted" and "Triplet" settings are not required for this sequence, but may be inadvertantly
activated by pressing either [.] or [T]. Pressing the same key again, turns off the setting.

Moving and Dragging Notes in the Score Editor

Individual notes can be selected and then dragged up and down the stave by using the mouse.

However, many users find this very fiddly and prefer the following keyboard short cuts. Each short cut
involves holding down the [CONTROL] button (or both [CONTROL] and [SHIFT]) and then pressing an
arrow key.

Shortcut Movement
[CONTROL] [UP ARROW] Move selected note(s) up by one semitone
[CONTROL] [DOWN ARROW] Move selected note(s) down by one semitone
[CONTROL] [SHIFT] [UP ARROW] Move selected note(s) up by one octave
[CONTROL] [SHIFT] [DOWN ARROW] Move selected note(s) down by one octave
[CONTROL] [LEFT ARROW] Move selected note(s) left by one snap position
[CONTROL] [RIGHT ARROW] Move selected note(s) right by one snap position

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (4 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]
Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

Here we set up the initial values for the track, give it a meaningful name and set to it program number 6
(Electric Piano 2).

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Click on 'Midi 4' to highlight it.


You should see a separate information box (called the Inspector) containing details about the
track. If you don't see this box then click on the icon at the bottom left of the window. This should
open the Inspector.
● Double click on 'Midi 4' and change its name to "EPiano2".
● Look at the Inspector and double click on the program number ('PRG') field. Set its value to 6.
● The 'Chn' field should be set to 4. All other settings should be either 'Off' or '0'.

Step 2 - Recording the Basic Rhythm


We will begin by recording a very simple rhythm, which will eventually become the basis for the Electric
Piano parts of both the verse and chorus.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 9.
● Click on the name 'EPiano2' to select (highlight) track 4.
● Press 'Record' on the transport bar.
Cubase will give you a two bar count in, and then record whatever you play on the keyboard.
Everything you play will be recorded into a new Part on track 4.
● Record the following simple pattern for (about) 8 bars. It is an Em chord played just above middle-
C:

● When you've finished, press 'Stop' .


You should see a part appear in the Arrange window. By default, the part gets the same name as

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (5 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

the track ("EPiano2").

The first few times you try, you'll probably make a complete mess of it! Delete the newly created part by
highlighting it and then pressing [DELETE]. You can then try again.

When you think you've got it (more or less) right, proceed to the next step.

Step 3 - Quantizing the Recorded Notes


What you've played may be rather ragged, but Quantizing the notes may well tidy everything up.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Highlight the part and then type [CONTROL-R] to open the Score Editor.
(On the Macintosh, remember to use the "Apple" key instead of the Control key!).
● When the Score Editor opens, make it a full size window.
● Set the Quantize and Snap settings to 8 (= eighth notes, or quavers). You can do this from the drop
down menus at the top of the window, but a simple shortcut is to press [4] on the main keyboard.
● Now press [Q] to perform Quantization.
● If you see at least consecutive two bars which look correct, then yippee!, otherwise you'll have to
exit the score editor, delete the part and go back to the previous step.
● Remember the bar numbers which have the correct notes and exit the Score Editor.

● On the Arrange window, select the Scissors tool.


● Use the Scissors tool to cut the part at the beginning of the first bar number you remembered, and
again at the end of the second bar number.
You should now have a two bar part containing the notes you want; together with a couple of parts
which you don't want.
● Select the Eraser tool and delete the parts you don't want.
● De-select the Eraser tool.

● Drag the remaining part so that it starts on bar 1.

Step 4 - Tidying Up the Note Lengths


http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (6 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]
Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

We now have a simple two bar quaver rhythm, with the notes starting exactly on the beats. The next step
is to make sure that the notes end at the right time.

For this part, we're going to use the Key Editor. This editor shows a piano keyboard going up the left hand
side of the window, with bars and beats going horizontally across the top. Each note is shown as a
coloured horizontal line, where the length of the line indicates the length of the note. You can easily see
where each note starts and ends.

Ideally, the end of each note should just reach the beginning of the next note. The last notes in the
sequence should just reach the end of the part. Since the start positions of all the notes are already
quantized, all we have to do is set the length of each note to exactly one quaver.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Highlight your two bar part and type [CONTROL-E] to enter the Key Editor.
(On the Macintosh, remember to use the "Apple" key instead of the Control key!).
● In the Key Editor, set the Quantize and Snap settings to 8 (= eighth notes, or quavers). You can do
this from the drop down menus at the top of the window, but a simple shortcut is to press [4] on
the main keyboard.
● From the main menu, select: Functions, then MIDI Functions, then Note Length, then Fixed
Length.
This sets all the notes to the same length as the current Quantize value (quavers).
You should see that all notes change in length to the same size.
● Exit the Key Editor.

Step 5 - Setting the Correct Rhythm


The simple quaver rhythm is too boring to use throughout the entire song. We will selectively delete notes
from the part to create a more interesting rhythm. Note that deleting the final note in a chord appears to
create an equivalent rest. This is a desirable feature and is due to the way that Cubase defines notes and
rests.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (7 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

● Type [CONTROL-R] to re-enter the Score Editor.


● Selectively erase unwanted notes by clicking on the head of each note and then using [DELETE]
or [BACKSPACE].

You will probably find it a good idea to drag the mouse to select all the notes in a chord and then
press [DELETE] or [BACKSPACE] to delete them in one go.

Carefully erase notes until you end up with the following part:

● A single mistake can be reversed by typing [CONTROL-Z].


If you make a more drastic mistake, then you can abandon all the changes by pressing [ESC]. Of
course, you should re-enter the Score Editor and try again.

● When it looks right, exit the Score Editor.

Step 6 - Naming and Saving the Two Bar Rhythm


The part you've just created has the same name as the track (probably "EPiano2"). However, we will be
building up all 18 bars for the verse using (and re-using) two bar parts. To avoid getting horribly
confused, we will need to give each part a different name. We should also copy our basic part to a scratch
track so that we can re-use it later.

To give a new name to a part, we have to hold down [ALT] and double click.

We also use [ALT] to make a copy a part. Dragging a part whilst holding [ALT] makes a new copy of the
part.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● If the part isn't already selected, click on it once to select it.


● Hold down the [ALT] key and double-click on it.
This should open up a little edit box showing the name of the part.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (8 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

● Enter the new part name "EPEmEm" (that is, "Electric Piano, E minor, E minor") and press
[RETURN].

You should now preserve a copy of this part.

● Hold down [ALT] and use the mouse select the part. Don't release [ALT]
● Still holding down [ALT], drag the part to track 12. When you release the mouse button, it will
make a copy of your part.
● Now you can release [ALT].

Step 7 - Creating the First Two Chords


The first bar of the verse is Em (which is why we've set up that chord in our Electric Piano part).
However, the second bar is F (major) and so we need to edit this chord change into our part.

As we'll only be making changes to the pitch of the notes (and note their horizontal positions) we'll set the
snap setting to 1 (whole note/semibreve) so any accidental left/right mouse movements have to be really
large to have any effect.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Select the part (on track 4, not the copy we just made) and enter the Score Editor.
● Set the Snap setting to 1.
You can do this from the drop down menus at the top of the window, but a simple shortcut is to
press [1] on the main keyboard.
● Make sure that the loudspeaker icon at the top of the window is selected.
With this icon selected, you can immediately hear the effect of any edits that you make.

● Hold down the mouse button and drag a box around all the notes in bar 2.
When you release the button, all the notes should be selected. It may take you several tries before
you get the hang of it.

● Now hold down the [CONTROL] key and press [UP ARROW]. This moves all the selected notes
up by one semitone. You should see their position change on the staff but the middle notes will
acquire flat signs (b).

Unfortunately, this change has created an F minor chord (with an Ab), not the F major chord required.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (9 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

To correct this problem, we need to raise all the Ab notes by one semitone.

● Drag the mouse to select all the middle notes in bar 2. Your selection box should only touch the
heads of these notes. As before, this may take you several tries before you get it right.
● Hold down the [CONTROL] key and press [UP ARROW]. This moves all the selected notes (the
Ab's) up by a further semitone, converting the minor chord into a major chord. The flat signs
should disappear from the stave.

If you make a hash of it, then you can undo the previous command using [CONTROL-Z].
Alternatively, you can exit the Score Editor without saving any changes by typing [ESC].
Additionally, you also have a spare copy of the part on track 12 which you can use in case of disaster.

● When everything looks right, exit the Score Editor.

● Use [ALT] and double-click to rename the part to "EPEmF" (that is, "Electric Piano - E minor,
F").
● Holding down [ALT], drag a copy of the part to track 12, as we will need it later.

Step 8 - Creating the Rest of the Chord Sequence


We now continue creating the rest of the chord sequence, working in chunks (ie parts) of two bars. Each
time we create a new part, we put a copy on track 12. Sometimes, we'll need to repeat a two bar part that
we've already created, in which case we just copy it from track 12 and drag it to the appropriate position
on track 4. We work this way until the entire chord sequence for the verse is finished.

Our chord sequence would sound very strange if we used a basic triad for every chord. To make the
sequence sound better we need to make use of chord inversions. For the verse, we recommend you use
the following inversions.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (10 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

To minimise the amount of editing, we should try to re-use any parts that we've already created. Here's
how to do it:

"EPEmDm" bars 3-4 created from EPEmF


"EPEmAm" bars 5-6 created from EPEmF
"EPDmG" bars 7-8 created from EPEmEm
"EPEmF" bars 9-10 a direct copy of EPEmF previously created
"EPEmAm" bars 11-12 a direct copy of EPEmAm previously created
"EPDmEm" bars 13-14 created from EPDmG
"EPG7G7" bars 15-16 created from EPEmEm (with extra notes for the sevenths)
"EPAmAm" bars 17-18 created from EPEmEm

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Create "EPEmDm" as follows:


❍ Copy and drag 'EPEmF' from track 12 to track 4, bar 3

❍ Use the Score Editor to edit the second bar of the part so that it matches bar 4 of the chord

sequence above.
One possible way to do this as follows:
■ Use the mouse to select the high notes (top c) of bar four

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (11 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

Hold down [CONTROL] and [SHIFT] and press [DOWN ARROW].


The notes are transposed down a complete octave.


■ Hold down [CONTROL] and press [UP ARROW].

The notes are moved up to D, forming a D minor chord.


❍ Exit the Score Editor.
❍ Rename the part to "EPEmDm".
❍ Drag and copy the part to track 12.

● Repeat this process with the remaining parts of the chord sequence:
❍ "EPEmAm", bars 5-6 (created from EPEmF)

❍ "EPDmG", bars 7-8 (created from EPEmEm)

❍ "EPEmF", bars 9-10 (a direct copy of EPEmF previously created)

❍ "EPEmAm", bars 11-12 (a direct copy of EPEmAm previously created)

❍ "EPDmEm", bars 13-14 (created from EPDmG)

❍ "EPG7G7", bars 15-16 (created from EPEmEm - see next paragraph below)

❍ "EPAmAm", bars 17-18 (created from EPEmF)

Making the Dominant Seventh Chords

To create "EPG7G7", you'll have to add extra 'F' notes to create the dominant sevenths. Do this as
follows:

● Working from 'EPEmEm', transpose the chords in both bars to G major like this:
❍ Select all the lowest notes in the first bar.

❍ Press [CONTROL][SHIFT][UP ARROW] to transpose up by one octave (E to e)

❍ Press [CONTROL][DOWN ARROW] twice to move down to 'd'.

❍ Repeat for the second bar.

● Drag the mouse to select all the low notes ('G') in the first bar.
● Hold down [ALT] and grab the first selected note.
● Hold down the buttons and drag the selected notes down the staff.
You should see new copies of the selected notes appear as you drag.
● Drop the newly created notes on the low F (space) on the staff.
● Repeat the process with the second bar, this placing the notes on the high F (top line) of the staff.

Step 9 - What Does it Sound Like?


Now's a good time to make sure that our chord sequence sounds nice. The sequence should sound smooth
with pronounced pauses where the rests are located. Let's play back what we have so far.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (12 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

When the Cycle button is selected, Cubase repeatedly plays all the music between the Left and Right
locators. This allows us to hear our results several times, without using the "rewind" button.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 19.
● Make sure that the Cycle button on the transport bar is selected.
● Click once in the Arrange window to make sure that no parts are selected.
● Click on the name "EPiano2" to select (highlight) track 4.
● Type [CONTROL-R] to enter the Score Editor. This will show you the notes in all the parts on
track 4.
● Press 'Play' on the transport bar and listen to the chord sequence.
● Press 'Stop' to stop playing.
● Exit from the Score Editor.

Step 10 - Merging All The Parts


Although working with small two-bar parts is very handy when creating the chord sequence, for future
working we should join all the separate parts together to create a single unit. Later on, we can
conveniently create copies of our part for the later repeats in the song. Of course, we still have the
individual copies that we've stored on track 12.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, select the Tube Of Glue tool.


● Click the first part with the Glue tool. This joins the first part to second part.
● Continue clicking with the Glue tool until you have joined all the parts together in a single part.
● Rename this single part "EPVerse".

Well done! You have now successfully created the Electric Piano part for the verse. There are still plenty
more parts to create, but all of them will be simpler. You should also find that you work faster and faster
as you get increasingly used to Cubase.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (13 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Electric Piano part (Verse) (Section 2)

(Incidentally, all of this work would have taken an experienced Cubase user about 30 minutes!)

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec2.html (14 of 14) [1/3/02 1:53:50 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 3 - Creating the Synth Bass part for the
Verse
What You Will Learn

Compared to creating the Electric Piano part, the Synth Bass part is extremely simple. During this section
you will learn about the following topics:

● Changing the clef.


● Dropping notes on the staff.
● Using Copy and Paste.
● Adjusting note velocities using the Key Editor.

Briefing

As you could probably guess, the Synth Bass provides a bass rhythm which underlies the whole of the
song and gives it a sense of fullness.

In some pop songs, the bass part provides a counterpoint melody in its own right; however, this song uses
the bass to provide a fast staccato rhythm, playing the same note (pitch) for the entire bar. It is worth
noting that bass parts rarely use chords, even when the instrument is polyphonic.

As with the Electric Piano, we use a two bar rhythm which plays the same note in each bar. We change
the note being played to reflect the chord changes through the song.

Once again, we have to make a decision about which track/channel to use and make an arbitrary decision
for track 8.

With the Electric Piano, it was possible to play the basic rhythm using the keyboard. However, the Synth
Bass part is too fast for most players, so we will have to create it entirely inside the Score Editor. Once
again, it will prove easier to create a simple rhythm (this time using semiquavers) and delete the
unwanted notes.

As before, we end up with a two-bar version of the rhythm. We will make multiple copies of this and

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (1 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

adjust the pitch of the notes in each bar to match the chord being played. Because the Synth Bass only
plays single notes, this is a relatively simple operation.

As before, if you're using a Macintosh, remember to use the "Four Leaf Clover" key instead of the
"Control" key.

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


Here we set up the initial values for the track, give it a meaningful name and set to it program number 39
(Synth Bass 1).

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Click on 'Midi 8' to highlight it and make sure you can see the Inspector.
● Double click on 'Midi 8' and change its name to "SyBass1".
● Look at the Inspector and double click on the program number ('PRG') field. Set its value to 39
("Synth Bass 1").
● All other settings should be either 'Off' or '0'.

Step 2 - Creating an Empty Part


We are not going to record any notes from the keyboard; instead, we are going to create the rhythm
entirely inside the Score editor. First we need to do is create an empty part, two bars long, which will
eventually contain our bass rhythm.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 3.
● Click on the name 'SyBass1' to select (highlight) track 8.
● Double-Click between the locator lines.
This should create a new (empty) part, named 'SyBass1'.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (2 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

Step 3 - Changing to the Bass Clef


Since this is a bass part, we need to change to the Bass clef. There are several versions of the bass clef,
with numbers above and below showing octave shifts up and down. We need the simplest version.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Highlight the part you've just created and type [CONTROL-R] to open the Score Editor. When
the Score Editor opens, make it a full size window.
You should see two bars of score, with no notes and a treble clef.
● From the Score menu, select Staff Settings
A new window should open up. You should see a treble clef near the centre of this window, with
draw bars on either side.
● Use the drawbar on the left to select the correct bass clef. Make sure you choose the one with the
two dots bracketing the second line on the staff, thus:

● Click on "OK".

For information: The drawbar on the right selects the key signature, adding sharps or flats as appropriate.
You will need to use this feature when you work on songs in different keys.

Step 4 - Creating the First Four Semiquavers


Now we have an empty part, we will now use drag and drop inside the Score Editor to create the first
four notes of the rhythm.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Snap and Quantise values to 16 (=semiquaver or sixteenth note).


A shortcut to do this is to press [5] on the main keyboard.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (3 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

● Inside the Score Editor, select the semiquaver note tool.


(Remember that a semiquaver has two flags on its tail)
● As you move the mouse, its horizontal and vertical position is indicated by a pair of boxes at the
top of the window.
The horizontal position is given by four numbers, such as '1.2.3.0';
the vertical position is given as a pitch, such as 'E1'.

● Guided by the position boxes at the top of the window, drop four semiquavers on the staff at the
following positions:
❍ 1.1.1.0 E1
❍ 1.1.2.0 E1
❍ 1.1.3.0 E1
❍ 1.1.4.0 E1

When you've dropped all four notes, you should see:

If you drop a note in the wrong position, then deselect the semiquaver tool and drag the note up or
down, left or right, to the correct position. When experimenting, you may also create some
unwanted notes. Make sure you delete them.

● Exit the Score Editor.


● Make a copy of the part and drag it to a scratch muted track (say track 13).

Step 5 - Pasting in the Rest of the Pattern


In this step, we will copy our four semiquavers to the paste buffer, and then repeatedly paste them into
the part. Eventually, we will have two bars of semiquavers.

Note 1. Notes are pasted at the position given by the main locator (on the transport bar). You must set
this to the correct position before issuing the paste command.

Note 2. The main locator position may be preceded by a minus sign indicating a position before the start
of the song. Take care that the minus sign is absent when pasting notes into the part.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (4 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Highlight your part (on track 8) and enter the Score Editor.
● Drag the mouse around the heads of the four semiquavers to select them.
● Type [CONTROL-C] to copy these notes to the paste buffer.
● Move the mouse to the main locator value in the transport base.
● Double click on the main locator, enter "1.2.1" and press [RETURN].
The locator should change to '1.2.1.0'
● Type [CONTROL-V] to paste in a copy of the four notes. If you've set the main locator correctly,
these should appear immediately next to the first four.

● Use the mouse to increment the second number of the main locator from 1.2.1.0 to 1.3.1.0
● Paste in a further copy of the four semiquavers.

● Continue incrementing the second number of the main locator and then pasting in notes until
you've filled up two complete bars. When you've finished you should see the following:

If you forget to increment the main locator, then you will end up with doubled notes when you
paste. The simplest way to fix this is probably to type [CONTROL-Z] to undo the previous
command. However, if this doesn't work, then select Functions from the menu, then Midi
Functions, then Delete Doubles.

● When you're happy with your two bars, exit the Score Editor.
● Make a copy of the part and drag it next to the copy you made at the end of step 4.

Step 6 - Setting the Correct Rhythm


We will selectively delete notes from the part to create a more interesting rhythm. As before, when we
delete a note, Cubase appears to either lengthen the previous note, or create an equivalent length rest.

What To Do

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (5 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Type [CONTROL-R] to re-enter the Score Editor.


● Make sure that you can clearly see both bars 1 and 2. Use the draw bar at the bottom of the
window if you can't.
● Select the Eraser tool.
● Selectively erase unwanted notes by clicking on the head of each note. The notes you should erase
are marked below:

When you have finished, you should end up with the following:

If you make a simple mistake then [CONTROL-Z] will undo the previous operation. If you make
a more drastic mistake, then you can abandon all edits by pressing [ESC].
If things look desperately wrong, you can revert to the version of the part that you saved at the
end of step 5.

● When it looks right, exit the Score Editor.


● Make a copy of the part and drag it next to the copies you created in previous steps.

Step 7 - Setting the Note Velocities


The part we have just created has an interesting rhythm, but all the notes have the same length and
velocity. Since we want a staccato rhythm, there's no need to worry about the note lengths; however, we
might like to vary the note velocities to make the part sound less mechanical.

We shall use a special tool in the Key Editor which creates smooth velocity ramps. We will set the notes
at the start and end of each bar to a high velocity (around 105-110) and those in the middle of each bar to
a lower velocity (70-80). This will give an interesting rise and fall of loudness in each bar of the Synth
Bass part.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (6 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Select your two bar part and enter the Key Editor using [CONTROL-E] and make it a full size
window.

The window should appear in two sections, with a vertical piano keyboard in the upper section,
and a separate lower section.

● If the lower section is missing, then click on the icon near the bottom left of the window. On the
PC this looks like a wavy line; on the Macintosh it is the words "Contrls".

When the lower section opens, a new icon will appear just below the piano keyboard.

● Click on the icon just below the piano keyboard and select "Velocity" from the pop-up window.

You should now see the following icon:

Along the bottom of the editor window, you'll see what looks like a bar chart underneath each
note. Provided you have set up the icon above, the height of each block indicates the velocity of
the associated note.

● Select the Cross Hair tool (which looks like this: + )


● Put the mouse in the bottom part of the window and drag the mouse whilst pressing the mouse
button. You will see a straight line stretching from your starting position to the mouse cursor.
● Let go of the mouse button and you'll see that the velocities of the notes are adjusted so that they
touch the line drawn by the mouse.
● Try this several times until you are sure you can see how the tool works. If you have difficulties
adjusting the first note in the part, then try dragging the mouse from right to left instead of the
more natural left to right.

● When you're ready, use the tool to achieve the following rise and fall effect:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (7 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

The velocity range should be between the values given above. There is no need to be fanatically
accurate, and it is not necessary for both bars to be exactly the same.
● When you're happy with what you've done, exit the Key Editor.
● Make a copy of the part and drag it next to the copies you created in previous steps.

Step 8 - Creating the Complete Part


In this step, we create the complete part by making multiple copies of our two bar sequence. When we
have 18 bars of data, we edit each bar in turn so that it follows with the chord sequence for the verse.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Select the part you've just edited, and ensure that it occupies bars 1-2 of track 8.
● With the part still selected, use the mouse to drag a copy of the part to bars 3-4.
● Repeat the process to drag a copy to bars 5-6.
● Keep repeating this process until you have filled all of bars 1-18 with copies of the part.
● Select the Tube Of Glue tool.
● Use the Glue tool to join all the separate parts into a single part.
● Use the Inspector to rename this single part "SBVerse".

Step 9 - Editing the Part to Match the Chords


This is just like we did for the Electric Piano, but the Synth Bass is lot easier because it doesn't actually
play any chords. As we work through the part, we must select all the notes in one bar and drag them up

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (8 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

or down the staff to the required pitch.

The Synth Bass plays the root note of each chord; however, there is a choice of octave. Here is a
suggested sequence.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Enter the Score Editor.


● Using what you've learned, change each bar in the part so that the pitch of the notes are as shown
above.
Remember to change every note in the bar to the same pitch.
● When you've finished, exit the Score Editor.

Step 10 - What Does it Sound Like?


Now we can hear both the Bass and Piano parts playing together.

What To Do
http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (9 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]
Synth Bass part (Verse) (Section 3)

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 18.
● Click once in the Arrange window to make sure that no parts are selected.
● Click on the part 'EPVerse' to select it.
● Hold down the [SHIFT] button and click on the part 'SBVerse'.
You should now have both parts selected.
● Type [CONTROL-R] to enter the Score Editor. This will show you both parts at the same time.
● Press "Play" on the transport bar and listen to the sequence.
● Press "Stop" to stop playing.
● Exit from the Score Editor.

Well done! You have now successfully created the Synth Bass part for the verse. You should have found
that you worked considerably faster and produced this part much more quickly than the Electric Piano.

(Incidentally, all of this work would have taken an experienced Cubase user about 15 minutes!)

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec3.html (10 of 10) [1/3/02 1:54:04 PM]


Drum part (Verse) (Section 4)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with Cubase


Section 4 - Creating the Drum part for the Verse
What You Will Learn

In this section you will learn the following.

● Creating Drum tracks.


● Painting drum "notes" into a part using Drum Editor.
● Creating ghost copies of parts.

Briefing

Creating a proper drum part for a song could take many hours, so to save time we will use a simple drum pattern. This
consists of the same two bars which are repeated for the entire duration of the song. The two bars are as follows:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec4.html (1 of 6) [1/3/02 1:54:59 PM]


Drum part (Verse) (Section 4)

You will actually be using the Drum editor in Cubase. The drum parts should look like this when you've finished. In
fact, you might like to keep checking your drum part against this diagram.

Note: There will be lots of other drum instrument names appearing and and it's unlikely that the sounds you want will
really be the first seven names in the list!

Unlike other parts, all the drum instruments are played on channel 10, with each instrument being selected by a
different pitch.

The easiest way to work is to drop the required notes into an empty drum part, gradually building up the pattern. Each
different drum sound is triggered by using different note pitches and so it is important to drop the note at the correct
place otherwise you'll get a different drum sound. (If it sounds good, then leave it!).

The Drum editor (not supported by all versions of Cubase) was designed for drum programming. Although
superficially similar to the Key Editor, it has several differences:

● Each "pitch" is labelled with the appropriate drum sound


● Each note is shown as a "blob", rather than a line. This reflects the view that drum notes are essentially of short
duration.

If you don't have the Drum editor, then you'll have to make do with the Key Editor. Although it is not as convenient as
the Drum Editor, it will do the job.

As with previous parts, we will make multiple copies of the drum part. Because the drums are not affected by chord
changes, we can use a facility called Ghost copies.

In a later section, we will add some further embellishments to the drum parts to give a greater level of reality.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec4.html (2 of 6) [1/3/02 1:54:59 PM]


Drum part (Verse) (Section 4)

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


In General Midi, drums are always played using track and channel 10. All we have to do is set the track name to
"Drums".

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Click on 'Midi 10' to highlight it and make sure you can see the Inspector.
● Check that the track type icon is a drum stick and not a note.
● Change the name of the track to "Drums".
● Look at the Inspector check that the 'PRG' and 'BANK' fields are both set to 'Off'.
● All other settings should be either 'Off' or '0'.

Step 2 - Creating an Empty Part


Once again, we are going to create an empty part (this time on track 10) and drop notes in it.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 3.
● Click on the name 'Drums' to select (highlight) track 10.
● Double-Click between the locator lines.
This should create a new (empty) part, also named 'Drums'.

Step 3 - Creating the Bass Drum Sequence


Now we have an empty part, we can put the simplest drum part into it. This is the Kick Drum (also called the Bass
Drum).

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Double click on the 'Drums' part to open the Drum Editor.


You should see a list of drum sounds down the side of the editor window (instead of the piano keyboard you
might expect in Key Editor).

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec4.html (3 of 6) [1/3/02 1:54:59 PM]


Drum part (Verse) (Section 4)

(On the PC we have noticed a bug that means that sometimes the drum sound names don't appear. A simple
workaround is to scroll to bottom of the window and then back to the top again).

● Set the Snap and Quantize values to 8 (= eighth notes or quavers).


A shortcut for this command is [4].

● Find the 'Bass Drum' sound and click on its name to highlight it.
● Select the Drum Stick tool.

● Click on the four strong beats of both bars, leaving "blobs" behind.
● If you click in the wrong place, deselect the Drum Stick and drag the blob to the correct position.

● Press "play" to hear what your bass drum rhythm sounds like.

Step 4 - Adding the Rest of the Drum Sounds


Adding the remaining instruments is just as easy as for the Bass Drum.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Inside the Drum Editor, find the next drum sound to be added.
● Referring to the either the musical score or the grid above, use the Drum Stick tool to add notes (blobs) at the
appropriate places. Remember:
❍ It is best to work with one drum sound at a time.

❍ The order of appearance of the drum sounds will probably vary from the system to system. Don't expect

them to appear in a convenient block as they do in the picture at the beginning of this section.

● Play the sequence from time to time to hear how it sounds.

● When you've finished, exit the Drum Editor.

Step 5 - Get the Volume Right


Playing your sequence is probably quite painful, as all the drums sound at a high volume. You need to adjust the
velocities to get them into balance.

What To Do

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec4.html (4 of 6) [1/3/02 1:54:59 PM]


Drum part (Verse) (Section 4)

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Inside the Drum Editor, find the Bass Drum line, and click on the name to select it.
● Click on the icon at the bottom of the window. On the PC, this looks like a wavy line; on the Mac, it's the word
"controls".
The window should change so that it looks like the bottom of the Key Edit window.

● You should see the same icon for velocity control as you did in Key Edit:
If you see some other icon, click on the icon, hold down the mouse button and select Velocity from the pop up
window.

● You can now use the Cross Hairs tool to adjust the velocity of the bass drum sounds. We recommend setting
the values somewhere between 90 and 100, with higher values on the first beat of each bar.

● You can now select each drum sound name in turn and set the velocities according to this table:
Bass Drum 1 Between 90-100
Electric Snare Drum ~80 on the beat, ~40 off the beat
Closed Hi Hat ~90 at the start of each bar, ~50 elsewhere
Open Hi Hat Around 50
Castanet Around 60
Shaker Around 50
Tambourine Around 50

● We recommend you keep playing the part so you can hear what effect your changes are having.

● When you've finished, exit the Drum Editor.

Step 6 - Creating Ghost Copies


For now, we will not make any further embellishments to the drum part. As we expect to return to it later, we wish to
use it whilst we carry on with the rest of the song, whilst leaving it in a suitable state for future enhancements.

This seems an ideal opportunity to use Ghost parts. A Ghost part is like a reference or pointer to another part. When
Cubase plays a Ghost part, it actually plays the data stored at some other place in the sequence. So, if we edit the
source part, then any ghost copies of it are automatically updated, too.

Don't forget: On the Macintosh, use the "Four Leaf Clover" key instead of the "Control" key.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec4.html (5 of 6) [1/3/02 1:54:59 PM]


Drum part (Verse) (Section 4)

● On the Arrange window, ensure that the drum part occupies bars 1-2.
● Select the "Drums" part
● Hold down the [CONTROL] key and drag the part to bars 3-4.
This creates a ghost of the original Drums part. You should see that the copy has a slightly different appearance
to the master.
● Continue making ghost copies and filling in the remaining bars 5-18.
Note that Cubase allows you to select a ghost part and make another ghost copy of it. This is the same as
selecting the original master part and making a ghost copy.

Step 6 - What Does it Sound Like?


Now we can hear all our parts playing together.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 19.
● Click once in the Arrange window to make sure that no parts are selected.
● Press "Play" on the transport bar and listen to the sequence.
● Press "Stop" to stop playing.

Well done! You have now successfully created a first version of the drum part. Despite the complication that different
pitches trigger different drum sounds, you should have found the process relatively straightforward, if a litte time
consuming and messy.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec4.html (6 of 6) [1/3/02 1:54:59 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 5 - Recording the Verse
What You Will Learn

In this section you will learn the following.

● How to use the Score Editor to correct errors.


● How to record long stretches of music.
● Using punch in and punch out.

Briefing

We've done enough of the backing tracks to enable us to record the verse. Just in case you've forgotten, here
it is again:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (1 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

By far the most convincing way of recording the verse is to play it on the keyboard. If you are a confident
player, you can probably record it in one or two takes. However, if you're less confident you may prefer to
record it in stages, building it up as you go along.

We will also quantize the recording as this allows the less confident player to produce a reasonable result in
a reasonable time, but at the cost of a somewhat "robotic" result. A confident player who can accurately play
the melody in just a few takes will produce a much more "human" result.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (2 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

Using Cubase (continued)...


Alternative Representations in Traditional Notation

In traditional music notation, there there may be several equivalent ways of writing the same information;
especially when using dots (to increase the length of a note by 50%) and ties (to link two notes together to
make one longer note). Here are two alternative ways of representing the same few bars of music. (Look at
the lyrics "in" and "-net"):

If you can't see why the two extracts are identical, then you need to read more on music notation!

The Score Editor will generally show music using the second form, rather than the first.

How the Score Editor Interprets Musical Data

The Score Editor can often appear to behave very strangely; sometimes it seems to put in rests all over the
place, sometimes it shows pairs of notes as chords instead of a single line of melody, and sometimes it's a
complete nightmare to change the length of a note.

To understand the behaviour of the Score Editor, we need to be aware that there is a conflict between
traditional music notation, and the way Cubase records and stores notes.

In traditional music notation, there is an implicit assumption that a note starts playing only when the
previous note has finished. To find out when to play any particular note in a bar, we have to look at the
previous notes in the same bar and mentally add together their lengths. The next note in the bar will start
playing when the current note finishes. Provided the tempo doesn't change, each bar should take the same

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (3 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

amount of time to play.

However, this does not take into account the reality of playing music with expression. Some notes may be
played early or late; the finger holding down the key may be lifted early, leaving a short silence between the
end of one note and the beginning of the next; or a note may be held down longer so that it overlaps with the
start of the next. Cubase faithfully records these variations and it is the job of the Score Editor to make sense
of it all and display it sensibly.

In deciding whether any particular note should be displayed as a quaver, crotchet, minim, etc (eighth note,
quarter note, half note, etc) the Score Editor uses the following information:

● The position of the current note - how close to the beat it starts.
● The actual length of the current note - how long the key was held down.
● The position of the next note.

Hence, the particular representation of any note in the sequence depends upon the context in which it
appears.

The following three examples show two notes: the first is approximately one beat long (a crotchet/quarter
note), the second approximately half a beat long (a quaver/eighth note). The only difference between the
examples is that the second note starts at a different time in each case, yet it is the representation of the first
note which changes.

In the first example, the second note starts one beat after the first note and the Score Editor chooses to
display the first note as a crotchet (quarter note):

In the second example, the first note is held down for a beat but the second note starts well into the second
beat. Hence there is a period of silence between the end of the first note and the start of the next. The Score
Editor displays the first note as a crotchet (quarter note) followed by a rest:

In the final example, the second note starts well before the first note has finished playing. The Score Editor
now decides to display the first note as a quaver (eighth note), even though this is not a true representation

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (4 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

of its actual length:

The implication of this is that to change the represented length of any particular note, it may actually be
necessary to change the position of the following note!

Correcting Note Lengths using the Score Editor

Suppose a player makes a mistake recording the verse, and instead of playing:

Plays this instead:

(Look at the words "me" and "in" in the second bar)

As far as the player is concerned, there is one mistake: the note for "in" was played a little too late.
However, this probably led to two further errors: the "me" note being half a beat too long and the "in" note
being half a beat too short.

Hence there are three errors to be fixed:

● The note ("me") should be made shorter.


● The note ("in") should start half a beat earlier.
● The note ("in") should be made half a beat earlier.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (5 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

The problem will only be fixed when all three problems have been sorted out.

The first step is to move the "in" note half a beat to the left. This can be fixed by setting the snap value to
8th notes (quavers) and then using the mouse to drag the note one snap position to the left. The Score Editor
will now display this:

Although the note now starts at the right position, it's still too short. Meanwhile, the "me" note appears to
have been shortened (but it hasn't really). These problems are best fixed inside the Key Editor, using the
techniques shown in step 6.

A Word Of Warning!

If you delete a rest in the Score Editor, then the remaining music in the part is shifted to the left. This is
normally disastrous.

As a general rule, if you need to "delete" a rest then you should either lengthen the note before the rest, or
move the note following the rest towards the left.

NEVER delete a rest unless you know exactly what you're doing! - and even then, think twice!!

Automatic Punch In and Punch Out

"Punch In and Out" are terms used in studio recording where a small section of some previously recorded
material is replaced by a different recording. It is commonly used to correct mistakes. Punch In is the start
of the recording and Punch Out is the end of the recording.

Simple Punch In and Out can be easily done by pressing the "record" button whilst the sequence is playing.
Any notes played on the keyboard are recorded onto the currently active track.

Cubase also supports Automatic Punch In and Out. If the "Punch In" button (on the transport bar) is selected,
then when playback reaches the Left locator position, recording is enabled. Similarly, if the "Punch Out"
button is selected, it turns off recording when playback hits the Right locator position.

To use this feature, we must bracket the section to be replaced by the Left and Right locators, select the

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (6 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

Punch In and Punch Out buttons, and start playback several bars earlier. As the music plays, we can hear the
playback approaching the Punch In point so we know when to start playing. When playback reaches the Left
locator, the "record" button on the transport bar lights up and recording is enabled. Anything we play now is
recorded into the current track. When playback reaches the Right locator, the "record" light goes out and we
can stop playing.

Building Up a Recording Using Automatic Punch In

We can use Auto Punch In to build up a part in short sections like this:

● Record the first few bars and then stop.


● Set the Left locator to the start of the next bar.
● Select the Punch In button on the transport bar
● Rewind back to the start of the sequence and press play
● When the punch in point is reached, play the next few bars.

In this way, we can build up a complete part in short takes. If we make a mistake, we just delete the last take
and try again.

Recording Mode: Overdub and Replace

On the transport bar, there is a field called "Rec Mode". This has two possibly values: Overdub (the default)
and Replace.

In Overdub mode, when we record more information into a part, the new information is stored in addition to
the previous information.

In Replace more, when we record more information into a part, the previous information in the part is
replaced. This is similar to a way a multi-track tape recorder works.

If we use automatic punch in and out together with Replace mode, the previously recorded material in the
section bracketed by the Left/Right locators is replaced by the new recording. This is probably too
dangerous for beginners and so we do not recommend using Replace mode. As you become more proficient
with Cubase, you may use it at your own discretion.

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


The melody for Verse 1 will be recorded on Track 1.

What To Do
http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (7 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]
Recording the Verse (Section 5)

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Click on 'Midi 1' to highlight it and make sure you can see the Inspector.
● Change the name of the track to "PianoLead".
● Look at the Inspector and double click on the program number ('PRG') field. Set its value to 1.
● The 'Chn' field should be set to 1. All other settings should be either 'Off' or '0'.

Step 2 - Creating an Empty Part


Once again, we are going to create an empty part (this time on track 1) and record our melody into it.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 19.
● Click on the name 'PianoLead' to select (highlight) track 1.
● Double-Click between the locator lines.
This should create a new (empty) part, also named 'PianoLead'.

Step 3 - Recording the First Few Bars


Now we have an empty part, we start building it up until it holds the complete melody for the verse.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Enter the Score Editor.


● Press [5] to set the Snap and Quantize values to 8th notes (quavers)

● From the Score menu (at the top of the screen), select "Staff Settings.."
A new window will appear.
● Ensure that "Clean Lengths" and "No Overlaps" are selected.
● Click on "Ok".

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (8 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

● Make sure the main locator is at bar 1.


● Press "record" on the transport bar.
● After a two bar count in, play the first four bars.
● After you've played four bars, press "stop".

● The music you've played probably looks a bit ragged, but using Quantize [Q] may well tidy it up.

You can fix individual notes by dragging them with the mouse or using [CONTROL] and an arrow key.
If you make a complete hash of it then delete the part and start again.

Step 4 - Adding More Bars Using Automatic Punch In


When we've got the first four bars correct, it's time to add the next four, using the auto punch in method.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Working inside the Score Editor, set the Left locator to 5.1.1.0 by double clicking on the transport
bar and entering "5" followed by [RETURN].
● Press the "stop" button several times until the main locator has returned to the beginning of the
sequence.
● Press the "Punch In" button on the main locator bar.
● Press "play".
● When play back reaches the Left locator, the "record" button will light up and you should play the
next four bars of the verse.
● When you've recorded the next four bars, press "stop".
● Once again, you may have to Quantize your music to see if it looks ok.

If you make a mess of it, delete the notes you've just recorded and try again. You don't have to delete the
entire part!

Step 5 - Adding More Bars


By repeating the previous operations over and over again, we can record the complete melody.

What To Do
http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (9 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]
Recording the Verse (Section 5)

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Using the Punch In technique shown in step 4, record bars 9-12.

● Using the Punch In technique shown in step 4, record bars 13-17.

Step 6 - Tidying Up Note Lengths


Whenever we play on the keyboard, there is a tendency for our music to sound to choppy and staccato. As
with the Electric Piano part, we need to ensure that it sounds legato. Fortunately, Cubase provides a
"Legato" tool for this very purpose.

Unfortunately, the "Legato" tool will probably make some notes too long. In most songs, long notes
generally at the end of the bar which contains them, and not carry on into the next bar. We'll have to identify
these problems and fix them manually. We do this by selecting the note and then setting the LENGTH field
of the note (which appears at the top of the window) to an appropriate value according to this table:

Desired Length LENGTH setting


Half a beat 0.2.0
One beat 1.0.0
Two beats 2.0.0
Two and a half beats 2.2.0
Three beats 3.0.0
Four beats 4.0.0

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Exit the Score Editor and enter the Key Editor.


● From the main menu, select: Functions, then MIDI Functions, then Note Length, then Legato.
This will lengthen any notes which are too short.

If you've done a lot of editing, then it is possible that the end of some notes may overlap the start of the next.
The following step will correct this:

● From the main menu, select: Functions, then MIDI Functions, then Note Length, then Delete

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (10 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

Overlaps (poly).

The Legato operation will have made the last notes of each of the following bars too long:

● Bar 2 - last note should be two and half beats long (2.2.0)
● Bar 4 - the note should be four beats long (4.0.0)
● Bar 8 - the note should be four beats long (4.0.0)
● Bar 14 - last note should be two and half beats long (2.2.0)
● Bar 17 - the note should be four beats long (4.0.0)

Each of these should be corrected as follows:

● Select the desired note


The note details should appear at the very top of the window.
● Double click on the "LENGTH" field (at the top of the window)
● Enter the correct length from the table given above.
● Repeat for the next note.

Step 7 - Setting the Velocities


It's probably a good idea to adjust the velocity of the part in relation to the other tracks being played.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Inside the Key Edit window, select the Cross Hairs tool.
● Adjust the velocities of the melody. You should set them somewhere between 110 and 120. They
don't all have to be the same velocity.

Well done! You have now successfully created a version of the verse melody.

It's probably worth noting at this point that the highly quantized, legatified (?) and velocitized (??) result
bears little relation to beautifully phrased music played sympathetically by a virtuoso. Welcome to
sequencing!

Seriously, if you want to record beautiful phrasing, then you have to be able to play beautifully. Cubase will
record whatever you play, but the more you fiddle with it, the more mechanical the final result. Part of the

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (11 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Recording the Verse (Section 5)

skill of sequencing is knowing when to edit and when to leave well alone.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec5.html (12 of 12) [1/3/02 1:55:19 PM]


Electric Piano part (Chorus) (Section 6)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 6 - Creating the Electric Piano part for the
Chorus
Briefing

You've already done the hard work for this part. It's just a question of picking up the rhythm for the verse
and continuing it into the chorus. Since you've already created lots of two bar parts,

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


We will use track 4 again, but this time starting at bar 19. Everything else is set up and the settings don't
need to be changed.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Click on 'Midi 4' to highlight it.


● Drag the Left locator to bar 19 and the Right locator to bar 34

Step 2 - Making a Start on the Chorus


The basic rhythm for the chorus Electric Piano part is exactly the same as for the verse. The chord
sequence (and invertions) for the chorus is:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec6.html (1 of 3) [1/3/02 1:56:06 PM]


Electric Piano part (Chorus) (Section 6)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Find the part "EPEmEm" that you created in section 2.


● Drag and copy it to bar 19 on track 4
● Use the Score Editor to modify it so that it plays Am in the first bar.
● Exit the Score Editor and rename the part "EPAmEm".
● Drag and copy the edited part to track 12.

Step 3 - Building Up the Rest of the Chorus


You now have sufficient knowledge and skill to build up the rest of the Electric Piano chorus.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Create the following two bar parts using the techniques you've already learned. As all the parts
will eventually be merged together, don't make ghost copies of the parts:
❍ "EPAmF", bars 20-21 (created from EPAmEm)

❍ "EPAmEm", bars 22-23 (a direct copy of EPAmEm previously created)

❍ "EPDmG", bars 24-25

❍ "EPFDm", bars 26-27

❍ "EPEmG", bars 28-29

❍ "EPFG7", bars 30-31

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec6.html (2 of 3) [1/3/02 1:56:06 PM]


Electric Piano part (Chorus) (Section 6)

❍ "EPAmAm", bars 32-33

Step 4 - Merging All The Parts


As with the verse, we need to merge all the parts together into a single part for the chorus.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, select the Tube Of Glue tool.


● Click the first Choruspart with the Glue tool. This joins the first part to second part.
● Continue clicking with the Glue tool until you have joined all the parts together in a single part.
● Rename this single part "EPChorus".

Well done! You have now successfully created the Electric Piano part for the chorus. If you've been
paying proper attention, this should have been a much simpler job than for the verse as you would be
able to re-use a lot of the material you'd already created.

(Incidentally, all of this work would have taken an experienced Cubase user about 20 minutes!)

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec6.html (3 of 3) [1/3/02 1:56:06 PM]


Synth Bass part (Chorus) (Section 7)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 7 - Creating the Synth Bass part for the
Chorus
Briefing

If you thought creating the Electric Piano part for the chorus was easy, then you're in for a real treat with
the bass part. It's so simple that it's almost trivial.

We already have an 18 bar pattern which we created for the verse. We're going to make a copy of that
pattern, drag it to the correct position and then edit it to match the chord changes in the song.

Of course, the chorus is two bars shorter than the verse, so we'll have to use the scissors tool to cut the
part down to the correct size.

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


Of course, we're going to use the same track (8) as we did for the verse. That means that there is no
setting up required. Just remember which track you're using.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, check that the Left and Right locators are at bars 19 and 35.

Step 2 - Duplicating the Verse and Cutting to Size


Because the verse part is so simple, but has the correct rhythm, we're going to use it as a basis for the
chorus.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec7.html (1 of 3) [1/3/02 1:56:19 PM]


Synth Bass part (Chorus) (Section 7)

In this step we're going to create a copy of the verse part, drag it to the correct position and trim it to the
correct size.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, drag and copy the part named 'SBVerse' so that the copy begins on bar
19 of the same track.
● Rename the duplicated part to "SBChorus".
● Still in the Arrange window, select the Scissors tool.
● Use the Scissors tool to cut the part at bar 35. Use the position of the Right locator as a guide.
● Select the Eraser tool.
● Use the Eraser tool to delete the odd 2 bar tail left at bars 35 and 36.
● Deselect the Eraser tool so that the mouse has the normal arrow pointer.

Step 3 - Editing the Part to Match the Chords


All that remains is to edit in the appropriate chord changes into the part.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Enter the Score Editor.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec7.html (2 of 3) [1/3/02 1:56:19 PM]


Synth Bass part (Chorus) (Section 7)

● Working as you did with the Synth Bass verse, change each bar in the part so that the pitch of the
notes are as shown above.
Remember to change every note in the bar to the same pitch.
● When you've finished, exit the Score Editor.

Well done! You have now successfully created the Synth Bass part for the chorus.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec7.html (3 of 3) [1/3/02 1:56:19 PM]


Drum part (Chorus) (Section 8)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 8 - Continuing the Drum part into the
Chorus
Briefing

We have already produced a basic drum pattern for the verse. This actually consists of the same two bar
pattern repeated several times.

For the chorus, we're going to take an easy way out and continue the same pattern! Of course, this makes
for a rather boring sequence but it will allow us to carry on with the rest of the sequence. In a
professional sequence, we would expect to re-visit the drum parts later on and put in a lot more work on
them.

Step 1 - Continuing The Sequence


You already know what to do...

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● On the Arrange window, select one of the two bar drum parts. It doesn't matter which one you
select.
● Create a ghost copy of the part and drag it to bars 19-20.
● Continue creating ghost copies until you've completely filled in the bars between for the chorus.

● When you've finished, listen to the entire sequence several times.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec8.html (1 of 2) [1/3/02 1:56:40 PM]


Drum part (Chorus) (Section 8)

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec8.html (2 of 2) [1/3/02 1:56:40 PM]


Recording the Chorus (Section 9)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 9 - Recording the Chorus
Briefing

Now the backing tracks for the chorus section have been built up, it's time to record the chorus itself. Here
it is:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec9.html (1 of 4) [1/3/02 1:57:04 PM]


Recording the Chorus (Section 9)

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


We will record the chorus melody on track 1, next to the verse melody

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, check that the Left and Right locators are at bars 19 and 35.
● Click on the track name 'PianoLead' to select (highlight) track 1.
● Double click between the locator lines to create a new empty part.
● Change the name of the part to "Chorus".

Step 2 - Recording the Chorus


Now we have an empty part, we use Punch In to gradually build up the complete chorus

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Enter the Score Editor.


● Press [5] to set the Snap and Quantize values to 16th notes (semiquavers)
● Set the main locator several bars before the Left locator, say bar 15.
● Press the "Punch In" button on the main locator bar.
● Press "play".
● When play back reaches the Left locator, the "Record" button will light up and you should play the
first four bars of the verse.
● When you've recorded the four bars, press "stop".
● Use Quantize to see if your music looks ok.

If you make a mess of it, delete the notes you've just recorded and try again. You don't have to delete the
entire part!

Step 3 - Adding More Bars to the Chorus


http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec9.html (2 of 4) [1/3/02 1:57:04 PM]
Recording the Chorus (Section 9)

By repeating the previous operations over and over again, we can record the complete melody.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Using the Punch In technique, record successive four bar chunks of the chorus into the part.

If you make any mistakes then you can delete the notes you've just played and try again.

Step 4 - Tidying Up Note Lengths


Just as when we recorded the melody, we have to tidy up the note lengths using Legato.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Exit the Score Editor and enter the Key Editor.


● From the main menu, select: Functions, then MIDI Functions, then Note Length, then Legato.
● Set the Legato Overlap value to 0.0 and click on OK.
You should see all the notes lengthen until they touch the next note.

Step 5 - Setting the Velocities


As with the verse, we need to adjust the velocity of the part in relation to the other tracks being played.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Inside the Key Edit window, select the Cross Hairs tool.
● Adjust the velocities of the notes to between 110 and 120.
They don't all have to be the same velocity.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec9.html (3 of 4) [1/3/02 1:57:04 PM]


Recording the Chorus (Section 9)

Well done! You have now successfully created a version of the chorus melody - and you probably did it
much more quickly than the verse. This is an indication of your growing skill and confidence in using
Cubase.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec9.html (4 of 4) [1/3/02 1:57:04 PM]


Making a Trial Mix (Section 10)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 10 - Making a Trial Mix
What You Will Learn

In this section, you will learn how to adjust the relative velocities different parts and tracks to achieve a
balanced result:

● Selecting multiple parts.


● Adjusting velocities up and down.

Briefing

Each synthesizer generates the various voices (programs or patches) in a different way. This in turn
means that some voices will naturally sound louder than others for the same velocity level.

This unavoidable problem has the undesirable side-effect that some voices in your sequence may be
completely dominating the others. Now is the time to perform some rough adjustment to put the different
parts into balance.

Warning. You might think this would be an opportunity to use the volume control setting provided by
the Inspector. However, experience has shown that using the volume control at this time can prove to be
very confusing and cause problems later on. For now, we will use velocity settings to adjust how loud a
note sounds and leave the volume control for later.

Step 1 - Listen to the Sequence So Far


At this stage, it's worth listening to the complete sequence several times and then deciding which tracks
need to be raised or lowered in volume.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, set the Left and Right locators to bracket the complete sequence, verse

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec10.html (1 of 3) [1/3/02 1:58:57 PM]


Making a Trial Mix (Section 10)

and chorus.
● Select the "Cycle" button on the transport bar.
● Set the main volume control of your keyboard so that it is in the centre position.
● Listen to the sequence several times, and decide whether any particular instrument is too loud or
too soft.

Step 2 - Adjusting the Velocities


We have already seen how the Key Editor can adjust the velocity of notes by using the cross hair tool.
Cubase provides an alternative command which adjusts all the notes in a complete part. This is what
we're going to use.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Decide which track you want to adjust in velocity


● Draw a box with the mouse to select all the parts on the track.
If it's the drum track then you only have to select the first part as all the other parts should be
ghosts.
● Start the sequence playing so you can hear the effect you're having.

● Type [CONTROL-H]. A separate window opens.


● In the bottom part of the window, you should see the word 'Velocity'.
● Next to this word, you should see 'Add/Subtract'.
If you don't see 'Add/Subtract' then click on the arrow head and select it from the pop up
menu.
● Double click in the 'Amount' box and enter the velocity adjustment required.
We suggest you use either '+10' to increase the velocity, or '-10' to decrease the velocity.

● Click on "Do" and (after a few seconds) you will hear the loudness of the affected track change.
Each time you click on "Do", the specified amount is added or subtracted.

● When you're happy with the result, click on "Exit" to dismiss the small window.

You can repeat this process several times with the various tracks until you find a result that pleases you.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec10.html (2 of 3) [1/3/02 1:58:57 PM]


Making a Trial Mix (Section 10)

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec10.html (3 of 3) [1/3/02 1:58:57 PM]


Strings - Verse and Chorus (Section 11)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 11 - Adding the Strings
Briefing

So far we've made good progress with the song, but it's lacking something in the high frequencies. It's
practically a cliche that most songs arrangers solve this problem by using strings. Since we're being
predictable, we'll do the same.

There are two broad ways we could use strings:

● To play long chords to re-inforce the harmony


● To play a melodic line as a counterpoint to the melody

Since it's slightly quicker and easier, we'll create long chords to re-inforce the harmony.

As before we have to decide which track to use. This time we choose track 5 for the strings.

Another decision is the choice of voice (program or patch). In addition to various patches labelled
"Strings 1", "Strings 2", "Synth Strings", etc, you'll find a separate section of sounds labelled 'Pads',
such as "New Age Pad", "Poly Synth Pad", etc. On the keyboard that we used to prepare our sequence,
we chose "Warm Pad" because it fitted in well with the rest of the song, but these sounds do vary
between different tone generators so you may have to choose a different sound after you've sequenced up
the strings.

Using Cubase (continued)...


The Inspector - Changing the Sound

We have already used the inspector to set up a sound (program or patch), but occasionally we may
experience problems if we try to change the sound played by a particular track. In theory, it seems quite
simple: just select the track and change the program number. But sometimes, the sound just seems to
change back, usually at the start of a new part.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec11.html (1 of 6) [1/3/02 2:00:03 PM]


Strings - Verse and Chorus (Section 11)

Here's how to change the sound of a track:

● Select the track and make sure that no parts are selected.
● Put the new program number in the inspector.

If we find that the sound appears to change back at the start of the part:

● Select the part giving the problems.


● Change the program number to "Off" in the inspector.

If we still have problems, then it's possible that a "Program Change" MIDI command has accidentally
been recorded into on of the parts. In this case, we'll have to use the List Editor [CONTROL-G] to find
and remove it. This is not as difficult as it might sound!

Restarting a Session

When we finish for the day and then try to pick up the next day, it sometimes happens that some or all of
the tracks don't play the correct sound.

A quick fix is as follows:

● Select the offending track and make sure that no parts are selected.
● Double click on the program number as if we were going to change it.
● Press [RETURN] without changing the number.

When we produce a professional midi file, it is usual to put "Program Change" MIDI commands at the
beginning of each track. Usually, the program changes are built in to bar 1, with the music proper
beginning in bar 2. However, creating this special first bar is normally done when the rest of the
sequencing is complete.

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


Just as we did for the other sounds, we have to set up the track we're going to use. Initially, we'll choose
the Warm Pad sound (program number 90).

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec11.html (2 of 6) [1/3/02 2:00:03 PM]


Strings - Verse and Chorus (Section 11)

● Click on track 'Midi 5' to highlight it.


● Change the track name to "Strings".
● Look at the Inspector and double click on the program number ('PRG') field. Set its value to 90.
● The 'Chn' field should be set to 5. All other settings should be either 'Off' or '0'.

Step 2 - Creating an Empty Verse Part


As with all the previous parts, we need to create an empty part first and then use an editor to build up the
musical data.

Both string parts use long chords, which occupy an entire bar (semibreves). It therefore makes sense to
set snap and quantize to whole note (=semibreve)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set the Left Locator to bar 1 and the Right Locator to bar 19.
● Ensure that the Strings track is selected and double click between the locators to create a new
empty part.
● Enter the Score Editor
● Set the Snap and Quantize values to '1' (=whole note or semibreve).
A convenient way to do this is to press [1] on the main keyboard.

Step 3 - Building up the Verse


The strings use long chords which occupy an entire bar each (semibreves). By far the easiest way to
create each part is to drop the notes directly onto the stave.

Here is the chord sequence for the verse strings:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec11.html (3 of 6) [1/3/02 2:00:03 PM]


Strings - Verse and Chorus (Section 11)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Still inside the Score Editor, click on the semibreve note from the selection at the top of the
window.
The mouse cursor should change to a semibreve.
● Following the chord sequence given above, drop the four notes of the first chord directly onto the
staff.
● Continue building the whole part until it is complete (see below)...

In addition to simply dropping the notes onto the staff, you should also try to make use of the Cut/Copy
and Paste feature. For example, you might drop in the first Em, then use Copy and Paste to paste in
subsequence Em chords, which you then tailor as appropriate. Try to find the fastest way of working.

● When you finished the part, exit the Score Editor.

Step 4 - Creating the Chorus


Creating the chorus is simply a case of working in exactly the same way we created the verse. However,
there is probably more opportunity for using Copy and Paste in the chorus, due to the sequence of chord
changes.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec11.html (4 of 6) [1/3/02 2:00:03 PM]


Strings - Verse and Chorus (Section 11)

Here is the chord sequence for the chorus strings:

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Position the Left and Right locators for the chorus


● Create a new empty part and rename it "StrChorus"
● Working in the Score Editor, store the chord sequence shown above.
● Exit the Score Editor.

Step 5 - What Does it Sound Like?


When you've complete both parts, listen to how it all sounds together. It's probably a good idea to
experiment with different string sounds and see which one you prefer.

If you decide to change the sound patch then see the note earlier above.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec11.html (5 of 6) [1/3/02 2:00:03 PM]


Strings - Verse and Chorus (Section 11)

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec11.html (6 of 6) [1/3/02 2:00:03 PM]


Harpsichord - Verse and Chorus (Section 12)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 12 - Adding the Harpsichord parts to the
Verse and Chorus
Briefing

Here we have another cliche. A continuous quaver pattern picking out individual notes from the chords - and
pretty effective it is, too.

Many pop songs would use a truly synthesized sound, but in this case we'll use a harpsichord. Towards the
end of the song, just when the listener is getting fed up with the harpsichord sound, we cross-fade from
harpsichord into a square wave sound (although we don't tackle that in this section)

As before we have to decide which track to use. This time we choose track 6 for the harpsichord and
mentally reserve track 7 for the square wave.

Step 1 - Setting Up The Track


Just as we did for the other sounds, we have to set up the track we're going to use. Initially, we'll choose the
Harpsichord sound (program number 7).

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Click on track 'Midi 6' to highlight it.


● Change the track name to "Harpsi".
● Look at the Inspector and double click on the program number ('PRG') field. Set its value to 7.
● The 'Chn' field should be set to 6. All other settings should be either 'Off' or '0'.

Step 2 - Creating the Verse Part


http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec12.html (1 of 4) [1/3/02 2:01:54 PM]
Harpsichord - Verse and Chorus (Section 12)

Here is the harpsichord part for the verse:

What To Do

Using all the skills you have gained so far, record the harpsichord sequence for the verse in whatever way
you consider appropriate. There is no right or wrong way, just the way that works for you.

When you've recorded the notes, quantize them, set them all to the same length, and set the velocity to
somewhere around 85.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec12.html (2 of 4) [1/3/02 2:01:54 PM]


Harpsichord - Verse and Chorus (Section 12)

Step 3 - Creating the Chorus Part


Here is the harpsichord sequence for the chorus:

What To Do

You know what to do, so do it.

As with the verse, quantize and set the length of the notes, and then set the velocities to around 85.

Step 4 - Listen to the Whole Sequence


When you've completed both the verse and the chorus for the harpsichord, listen to the result. If necessary,

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec12.html (3 of 4) [1/3/02 2:01:54 PM]


Harpsichord - Verse and Chorus (Section 12)

change the velocity levels of any of the tracks, and perhaps try experimenting with different program
numbers for each track.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec12.html (4 of 4) [1/3/02 2:01:54 PM]


Pasting Up a Complete Song (Section 13)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 13 - Pasting Up a Complete Song
Briefing

The full song has the following structure:

● Intro
● Verse 1
● Chorus
● Verse 2
● Chorus
● Chorus
● Chorus

Each verse is 18 bars long, whilst the Intro and Chorus are each 16 bars long.

So far, we only have one copy each of the verse and chorus. When we want to listen to the song, we
could just set it running in a loop, but that quickly gets boring as there is no development as the song
progresses. For a better final result, we need to be able to add and change things later in the song - we
can't do that as it stands.

To solve this problem, we must now arrange the sequence so that we really do have two copies of the
verse and four of the chorus. To do that, we must copy and drag our existing parts around the Arrange
window. We also need to leave space for the intro, too!

Normally, most copies we create will be ghost copies as this slightly reduces the memory overhead.

Step 1 - Consolidating the Drum Parts


So far, the drum parts for the verse and chorus consist of the ghost copies of the same two bar pattern.
This step consolidates the separate drum parts into two larger parts: one for the verse and one for the
chorus

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec13.html (1 of 3) [1/3/02 2:02:57 PM]


Pasting Up a Complete Song (Section 13)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, select the Glue tool.


● Use the Glue tool to glue together the drum parts for the verse only.
● Name this part "DrVerse".

● Use the Glue tool to glue together the drum parts for the chorus only.
● Name this part "DrChorus".

● De-select the Glue tool when you've finished.

Step 2 - Making Multiple Ghost Copies


So far, we have one verse and one chorus. We need to create ghost copies of every part and drag them to
the correct places.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, type [CONTROL-A] to select ALL the parts.


● Put the mouse on the first drum part (in bar 1)
● Hold down the mouse button and [CONTROL] simultaneously, then drag the mouse to the right
until it reaches bar 35.
● Release the mouse button (whilst still holding [CONTROL]).
This should create ghost copies of every part.
● You don't need copies of the parts in tracks 11 to 16, so delete them whilst keeping the originals.

This simple step has produced the initial Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus structure in the song. We need to
produce the final two Choruses.

● Click the mouse in the Arrange window to de-select all the parts.
● Drag the mouse to draw a box touching all the chorus parts beginning in bar 53.
You'll probably find it easier to start the mouse at track 11 and drag it upwards.
● Create ghost copies of the chorus parts and drag them to bar 69.
● Create yet another set of ghost copies and drag them to bar 85.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec13.html (2 of 3) [1/3/02 2:02:57 PM]


Pasting Up a Complete Song (Section 13)

Step 3 - Making Space for the Intro


We almost have our complete song structure. We just need to make space at the beginning for the Intro.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, select ALL the parts.


● Grab one of the parts at bar one and drag them across to the right so they all start at bar 17.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec13.html (3 of 3) [1/3/02 2:02:57 PM]


Creating an Intro (Section 14)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 14 - Creating an Intro
Briefing

So far we haven't talked about the intro, but now it's time to reveal the hidden secret: the Intro is actually a
chorus with notes chopped out of it!

If you listen to the intro again, you'll hear this progression:

● Strings starting in bar 1


● Synth Bass joins in bar 4, starting with a fanfare
● Drums join in bar 5 with a Cymbal crash
● Electric Piano fades up slowly, starting at bar 6
● The Harpsichord fades up slowly, starting at bar 9

The Intro sounds very effective and yet it is simply achieved by just re-using the parts we already have.

Muting Channels

We have already seen that we might mute some channels so that we can use them for scratch storage;
however, being able to mute channels is quite useful when building up the intro.

Since the intro starts off with most tracks silent, it's difficult to hear the effect of our edits as the parts
we've not yet touched will be playing at full volume; however, if we mute all the parts we have yet to edit,
we can get a better impression of how the intro is building up.

Solo Button

On the Arrange window, you'll find a "Solo" button. If you press this button then only one track plays and
all the others are temporarily muted. This is sometimes useful when you have a problem.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec14.html (1 of 4) [1/3/02 2:04:35 PM]


Creating an Intro (Section 14)

Step 1 - Creating the Copies for the Intro


Since the Intro is created from the existing chorus parts, then we need to drag copies of these to bar 1, so
we can make a start.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● In the Arrange window, use the mouse to select all the instrumental parts for the chorus (which now
starts at bar 35). Don't select the actual melody for the verse.
● Copy and drag all these parts to bar 1.
● Rename the parts to "EPIntro", "StrIntro", etc.
● Mute all the instrumental tracks for the Electric Piano, Harpsichord, Bass and Drums by clicking in
the 'M' column for each one.

Step 2 - Synth Bass Intro


The first few bars of the Synth Bass Intro should look like this:

Bar 4 is slightly different, bars 5 onward are not changed.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Unmute the track for the Synth Bass.


● Use the Score Editor to edit the Synth Bass Intro part.
● Delete all the notes in bars 1-3.
● Use the Glue tool to glue together some of the semiquavers in bar 4 to produce the version of bar 4
shown above.
● De-select the Glue tool and exit the editor.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec14.html (2 of 4) [1/3/02 2:04:35 PM]


Creating an Intro (Section 14)

Step 3 - Drum Intro


This is almost as easy as the Synth Bass..

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Unmute the track for the Drums.


● Use the Drum Editor to edit the Drum intro part.
● Delete all the notes in bars 1-4
● Put a Crash Cymbal at the very beginning of bar 5.

Step 4 - Electric Piano Intro


The significant feature of the electric piano intro is that it slowly fades up from bar 6, reaching full volume
at the end of the part.

The fade up is achieved by using the cross hair tool in the Key editor to adjust the velocity of successive
notes.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Unmute the track for the Electric Piano.


● Use the Key Editor to edit the Electric Piano Intro part.
● Delete all the notes in bars 1-5.

● Make sure that the velocity icon is shown at the bottom of the window:
● Use the Cross Hairs tool to produce a gentle fade up of the note velocities from bar 6 to the end of
the part.
● De-select the Cross Hairs tool and exit the editor.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec14.html (3 of 4) [1/3/02 2:04:35 PM]


Creating an Intro (Section 14)

Step 5 - Harpsichord Intro


The harpsichord is treated in exactly the same way as the piano, except that the fade up starts from bar 9

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Unmute the track for the Harpsichord.


● Use the Key Editor to edit the Harpsichord Intro part.
● Delete all the notes in bars 1-8.
● Use the Cross Hairs tool to produce a gentle fade up of the note velocities from bar 9 to the end of
the part.
● De-select the Cross Hairs tool and exit the editor.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec14.html (4 of 4) [1/3/02 2:04:35 PM]


Adding Synth Brass (Section 15)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 15 - Adding an Synth Brass
Briefing

By repeating the same verse/chorus parts over and over again, there is a real danger of the song becoming
very boring, very quickly. To prevent this problem we need to keep making changes as the song
progresses. A simple way to do this is to add extra instruments towards the end of the song.

This simple Synth Brass part should come in just after the second verse and add a little extra spice to the
second chorus (bar 69). We can get something for nothing in the next repeat of the chorus if we cut and
paste the part onto a second track, playing a different Synth Brass sound.

Step 1 - Creating the Synth Brass part


Here is a simple synth brass part that fits in quite nicely with the chorus:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec15.html (1 of 4) [1/3/02 2:05:15 PM]


Adding Synth Brass (Section 15)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Change the name of track 2 to "SynBrass2", and set it to program number 64.
● Set the Left and Right locators to 69 and 85.
● Record the synth brass part given above using whatever techniques you think appropriate.

Step 2 - Re-using the Synth Brass Part


To add even more variety, the second time we'll play the Synth Brass part, on two tracks, playing the same
data simultaneously.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec15.html (2 of 4) [1/3/02 2:05:15 PM]


Adding Synth Brass (Section 15)

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Set up track 3 to "SynBrass1", program number 63.


● Drag a ghost copy of the part you created in the last step to bars 85 to 101 of track 2.
● Drag a ghost copy of the same part to bars 85 to 101 of track 3.

Step 3 - Whoops - Could be a Problem Here


From experience, dragging a part from one track to another can sometimes mean that Cubase doesn't play
the right sound. There is a danger that the part on track 3 will be played using the wrong Synth Brass
sound. We'll just make sure that doesn't happen.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Select the synth brass part on track 3.


Make sure you select the part and not the track.
● Look at the inspector for the part and ensure that the program number is 63.
The program number in the part should match the program number for the track.

Step 4 - Preparing for the Fade Out


During the last repeat of the chorus, we would expect the music to fade out (although the fading out is
being handled outside the sequence). It makes good sense to reduce the impact of the synth brass by
making sure it only plays on one channel.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Select track 3 (Synth Bass 1).


● Drag a ghost copy of the synth bass part to bars 101 to 116 on the same track.

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec15.html (3 of 4) [1/3/02 2:05:15 PM]


Adding Synth Brass (Section 15)

For the final repeat of the chorus, track 2 isn't used.

That's it. The synth brass part adds a great deal of variety and we've gained extra value from it by using it
on two tracks, playing both singly and together.

You're ready to proceed to the next section.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec15.html (4 of 4) [1/3/02 2:05:15 PM]


Revisiting the Drums (Section 16)

Introduction to MIDI Sequencing with


Cubase
Section 16 - Revisiting the Drums
Briefing

We made the drum parts by creating a two bar sequence, which is played continuously during the whole
song. For some songs, this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do; however, we might like to create a bit
more variety in the drum track.

There are three things we could try:

● Add new drum sounds for a short part of a track.


● Remove some drum sounds for a short part of a track.
● Change a drum sound for a short part of a track.

Step 1 - Adding Crash Cymbals


Drummers often use a crash cymbal as "punctuation" to highlight the phrases of each verse and chorus.
Usually, a cymbal crash signals the start of a new phrase, which is often the start of a new line of the
lyrics. Cymbal crashes invariably appear on the first beat of a bar.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Use the Drum Editor to edit the verse drum part.


● Using a Crash Cymbal (of course), put cymbal crashes at the start of the following bars:
❍ 17, 25, 29 and 32

● You could also put a cymbal crash at bar 21, but you might prefer to add this to the second verse
only. Of course, this means changing the ghost copy at bars 51-68 into a normal part, otherwise
the extra drum crash will also appear in verse one.

● Use the Drum Editor to edit the chorus drum part and put drum crashes at bars:
❍ 35, 39, 43 and 47

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec16.html (1 of 3) [1/3/02 2:06:12 PM]


Revisiting the Drums (Section 16)

● Since the intro was derived from the chorus, you may also put equivalent cymbal crashes in the
drum intro part

Step 2 - Adding Ride Cymbals


Ride cymbals and bells sound best when played repeatedly on all the beats of the bar. They are
particularly effective when played for a complete phrase of the music.

In this section we shall add two lots of ride cymbals to the chorus, for the second and fourth phrases

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

● Use the Drum Editor to edit the chorus drum part.


● Put Ride Cymbal (or bell) strokes on all four beats of the following bars:
❍ 39, 40, 41 and 42 (but not on the first beat of bar 43)

❍ 47, 48, 49 and 50 (but not on the first beat of bar 51)

Step 3 - Removing the Closed Hi Hats


Sometimes less is more! Removing a sound from the mix can be quite an easy effective way of changing
the overall sound of the song. If we remove the Closed Hi Hat strokes for a phrase this will have the
effect of emphasizing the Open Hi Hat strokes, allowing them to sound until they naturally die away.

By the time we've done this, the drums for the chorus will look like this:

● phrase 1: 4 bars: as previously programmed


● phrase 2: 4 bars: with added Ride Cymbals
● phrase 3: 4 bars: with Closed Hi Hats removed
● phrase 4: 4 bars: with added Ride Cymbals.

What To Do

Follow these steps. Put a tick next to each one as you finish it:

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec16.html (2 of 3) [1/3/02 2:06:12 PM]


Revisiting the Drums (Section 16)

● Use the Drum Editor to edit the chorus drum part.


● Select and delete all the Closed Hi Hat strokes in the following bars:
❍ 43, 44, 45 and 46

Step 4 - Experimenting on Your Own


Here are a few things you could try to liven up the drum parts...

● Adding rim shots on the 2nd and 4th beat of a phrase


● Adding the occasional extra Bass (Kick) Drum stroke on the last half beat of a bar or phrase.
● Adding a VibraSlap at the first beat of the last bar of a part.
● Removing the 1st and 3rd Bass (Kick) Drum stroke in each bar of a phrase
● Changing one drum sound for another, say Snare Drum for Electric Snare Drum.
● Removing some random drum sound for a phrase.

There is no law that says that each repeat of the verse (or the chorus) has to be identical.. Try creating
multiple non-ghost copies of the drum parts and experimenting with various changes as the song
progresses.

Producing effective and realistic drum tracks is very time consuming, but there's no doubt that the effort
is well worthwhile.

Return to main page

http://www.csm.uwe.ac.uk/~lrlang/music/seqsec16.html (3 of 3) [1/3/02 2:06:12 PM]