Submitted by thewhippinpost on Tue, 11/07/2006 - 17:51.
Cubase SX2 box

When Steinberg release a new version of Cubase it means there are more tricks to learn. Here is the lowdown on what you can look forward to when you buy Cubase SX2... even if you already own it, it's still a good place to find some SX2 tips.

Introduction to Cubase SX2

MIDI File import/export

MIDI File Import and Export is now completely implemented within Cubase SX2, including drag-and-drop of MIDI files from desktop to arrange window, a classic Cubase feature.

Define active part (when multiple parts are selected)

A new menu item allows toggling between parts when multiple parts are selected for editing in a single window - a VERY handy feature!

Add velocity in info line

Velocity values can now be edited individually or in groups directly from the info line.

Improved visual grid in key editor (view pitch)

The background grid in the key editor now has dark and light bars reflecting the pitch in a keyboard-style.

Add Controller Number to names

Controllers are now displayed with names and numbers.

Multiple audio parts combined in audio editor

Multiple audio parts can now be combined and edited together as a batch, an oft-requested VST feature.

Shortcut Key Commands for drum editor (with predefined velocity values)

A Set of new key commands allows you to create events with pre-defined velocity values.

New Record Mode Stacked for Audio and MIDI

Audio or MIDI can be recorded in multiple passes or in cycle mode onto a single track. Every take can be displayed and edited in its own lane within the track. The "Remove Overlaps" can be used to collapse all takes to the final take.

Chord recognition in editor windows

Moving the cursor over a chord in the key editor displays the chord in the menu bar.

Transpose: Automatic Scale Correction

Automatic Scale Correction can be activated in the transpose window for any MIDI part. A list of pre-defined scales is available.

Import/Export Tempo Maps

Tempo Maps can now be imported from one project to another. Important for any music-for-picture work, especially in workgroups.

Key Command to nudge Song Position Pointer (SPP)

A new key command "Step Bar" allows you to nudge the SPP in bars.

Repeat events/parts using pencil tool

Alt-Clicking a part in the right bottom corner and dragging creates copies of the part and repeats the events, a nice time-saver.

List Editor: multiple tracks open in single window

Multiple parts from multiple tracks can be opened in a single list editor window by shift-clicking the parts to make a multi-part selection and then opening the list editor. Parts can either be selected by clicking the associated events or by selecting a part from the part list.

Open tool-box with right-click

Right-clicking in any editor window opens the tool box (new preference entry under editing), CTRL+right-click opens the regular context menu in this setting.

Time Warp Tool: New Mastertrack with timeline editing and tap tempo function

The new Time Warp tool allows you to edit the tempo track by dragging a timecode or bar position to a specific event or hitpoint, thereby creating a new tempo track entry.

You can use the Time Warp tool to create complex tempo maps for free-form audio or MIDI on the fly, or even to match MIDI music to picture without the complex re-arranging. All this happens directly from the project page or editor windows. This dramatically expands the tempo editing features of Cubase.

Tempo Record slider in Tempo Track Editor

A slider has been added to the Tempo Track Editor which allows real-time tempo changes to be recorded on the fly - Good for remixing songs with "odd" or fluctuating tempos that're hard to match.

Precount from tempo track

Specify whether a precount before a tempo change will have the old or the new tempo.


A new Freeze button has been added to the VST instrument rack. Selecting Freeze for an instrument disables the instrument and replaces any MIDI tracks played by the instrument with invisible audio tracks. These are generated offline and held in a separate Freeze folder within the project folder. Instrument and associated tracks are disabled. MIDI Channels volume/pan can still be changed.

Unfreezing an instrument re-enables the midi tracks and the instrument and deletes the freeze files.

New Score Features:

  • MIDI Meaning
  • More definable guitar symbols
  • Tabulators for 12 strings
  • Colorize notes
  • Lyrics assigned to verse
  • Paste lyrics from clipboard
  • Copy chord symbols
  • Auto layout improvements

Groove/Match Quantize

Right-clicking a MIDI part accesses a new command: Advanced Quantize » Part to Groove.

A new groove template is created and appears in the quantize window. Patterns can be edited from within the quantize menu.

Smooth Cycle

Cycle can be activated/deactivated while sequencer plays. Cycle will play uninterrupted even if the cycle is moved while sequencer plays.

There is an exception however: When moving the cycle before the current play position, the song will continue to play.

You can buy the latest Cubase SX2 at zZounds whom I've always found to offer good deals on anything musical.... plus they've got a price promise too so you've little to lose.