How to cycle between open windows in Cubase (on a Mac)

I’ve seen a lot of people asking in forums and on other sites how to cycle focus between your open windows in Cubase. Since Cubase will process your keyboard shortcuts in the window that currently has focus, keeping track of where you are in the DAW becomes essential for a fast and smooth workflow.

On a PC you can step through an applications open windows using Alt+Tab, but on Mac its not that simple. So, here’s how I solved it for my setup.

First open up the Keyboard settings.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 20.56.49

Next witch to the Shortcuts tab at the top of the settings window.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 20.57.46

Next find the group called Keyboard, and the setting called ‘Move focus to the next window’.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 20.58.07

I  have it set to Command+=, which at least in my english installation of Yosemite does not collide with any other setting.

Voila! Your all set cycle through your open windows using the keyboard. One less annoyance to slow down your workflow.

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5 Tips for a faster Cubase workflow. Spoiler: its all about the keyboard!

Recently I switched from Logic Pro X to Cubase Pro 8, and immediately saw my productivity cut in half. The reason? The loss of familiar keyboard shortcuts.

After working with Live and Logic for a few years I had gotten really comfortable not using the mouse to click around the UI, but after switching to Cubase suddenly all that convenience was gone.

Here’a a list of 5 immediate shortcut tips that will speed up your workflow if you find yourself in the same situation.

1. Find the key commands for zooming in and out in the project window

In Cubase this means G and H for zooming in and out horizontally and Shift+G, Shift+H for vertical zoom. Also, try Shift+F for setting the zoom to show the entire project. The same shortcuts also work in the MIDI piano roll.

2. Switch editing tools via the keyboard and not through the UI

By default, Cubase Pro 8.5 has the Select, Draw, Erase and so on set to keys 1-8. Only problem is they are not mapped in the order the Tools are shown int he UI toolbar. Using the Key Commands editor in the file menu you can change this to map to the UI.

Another useful tip is that you can hold down the Option key in the MIDI piano roll to momentarily switch to the Draw tool, making it faster to switch between drawing in notes and editing them.

3. Learn the shortcuts for transport commands

IMG_448732073Cubase has play start/stop mapped to the space bar, but there are a ton of other shortcuts to speed up your flow. Some of my favourites include Num1 to set the loop range to the current selection, Num/ to enable or disable loop playback and Num.  to return to 1.1.1.0.

As you can see the transport controls are usually mapped to the Numeric keyboard, so I got a USB 10 key from Goldtouch hooked up as a poor man’s DAW control surface. Highly recommended.

4. Learn to show / hide and switch between windows

In Live you have the Session vs. Arrangement view, in Logic the Mixer and Project windows, but Cubase probably has the most flexible windows management of all the DAWs I’ve tried.

The Media Bay (F5), Mixer (F3) and Transport panel (F2) are all mapped to the function keys, but you should also consider mapping the Key Editor to one of the F Keys.

5. Add, remove and toggle track configurations

You can use the arrow keys to navigate up, down and across the events and tracks in your project. When a track has focus, M and S will mute and solo respectively. Combine with the loop transport controls for easy playback focus and control.

You should also configure shortcuts for adding and deleting tracks, as well as hiding and showing them again. I have + mapped to insert a new Instrument track, and Numeric Clear mapped to removing the selected track.

Hopefully these tips will speed up your workflow and let you navigate Cubase faster. Do you have any other shortcuts that you can’t live without? Share them in the comments!

Cubase vs. Logic

I’ve been on the fence for some time, going back and forth on Logic as a DAW.

I like how simple it is to get going with a melody and a groove, and how snappy the UI of the actual DAW feels, but at the same time the state of the built-in instruments and effects really drags the whole experience down.

It’s not that they sonically sound bad, but the design and presets are really starting to feel old. I’m sure this is great for old time users, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with the engines under the hood, but for me the design and look and feel of a creative is just really important to get in the zone…

With this in mind, and after carefully looking into other DAWs at the market, I’ve decided to finally give Cubase a chance as well. I’ve only just recently installed it, and at the moment I’m plowing through the manual while finding my way around the UI.

So far though the impression is excellent. I really think Yamaha / Steinberg has made a fantastic job with laying out the controls while retaining a super fast response and a very logical workflow.

There are some things that require a bit of un-learning, such as Instrument Tracks and how the mixer and internal signal routing works, but it all makes sense once you open your mind to it.

Given the above though I’m uncertain if I will manage to pull a whole track together for Feb, but I’ll try…

Right, one more thing! The other reason I’m really excited about Cubase is because it will allow me to run the Hatsune Miku vocaloid plugin natively on the Mac. The standalone editor is only available on PC, and the plugin only works in Cubase…

その2015のお約束はどう?

今年入ったところ新年のお約束を6つした。一ヶ月経ったので振り替えてみようと思った。

  1. 毎月一曲完成する
    1. 完成したけど、まだミクシングが残っている。
      ギリギリセーフとしよう。。。 笑
      リンクはまた後日
  2. 5つの曲のデモを完成する
    1. まだだね。デモの曲を集めるため上記の1はあるけどね。。。
  3. 週一度このブログを更新
    1. ここまでオッケー!この調子で進めたら。。。
  4. 毎日少しでも運動する
    1. ウゥゥ。。。出来ていないね。やはり仕事やら、いくらでもいいわけできてしまうからだめだね。もっとしっかりしないと。
  5. 毎週琳と一緒にピアノの練習する
    1. ちゃんと進んでいる。日本で買った本「はじめから1人で学べる 大人のためのピアノレッスン 上巻 (DVD付)」で毎週ちゃんと頑張っている。琳もどんどん上達している。全然追いつかない  笑
  6. 日本で買った本を全部読む ;)
    1. 読んでいる。今一番楽しいのは「DAWで曲を作る時にプロが実際に行なっていること」興味のある人は是非読んでいみてください。

ということで。ここまではままよく進んでいる気がします。

まだ2月だけどね。。。

これからも頑張る。(運動もね。。。)

Presonus Faderport and Logic Pro X 10.1

After pulling the latest update (10.1) to Logic, don’t be surprised if your Presonus Faderport stops working. All you need to do is download the same 64bit driver you installed for the previous version (10.0) and copy it back into the Logic application package content folder.

The reason for this is that as Logic get’s bumped to 10.1, the application package gets overwritten and your old Faderport bundle disappears.

In other words, just follow these instructions again and you should be all good.

(Also, you don’t need to delete your previous control surface settings in Logic before copying in the bundle again.)