Cubase SX3 Play-Order tutorial

The Play-Order Track in Cubase SX3 is one of those simple tools that just totally enhances the song-making process in Cubase.

With it, you'll likely find new hidden ideas and song-arrangements you'd never otherwise discover, making it a creative as well as a production-booster. But more importantly, you can throw large sections of song around the timeline with total ease... bliss!

Cubase SX 3 Play Order Track

The Play Order Track in Cubase SX3 is useful for more than its obvious tasks, i.e., to quickly and easily test different arrangement scenarios. It can also keep your various ideas cooking separately on the timeline (Warning: might not be practical for all scenarios).

Dunno about you, but one of the tasks I dread when making music on the computer, is when a certain section of music I've lovingly nurtured over several days must somehow be plucked, then plonked, somewhere else in the timeline.

Although Cubase has some tools to make this easier, it's still a delicate and very risky chore to ensure audio and MIDI parts are cut in exactly the right place, as well as maintaining the continuity of effects, blah blah... It can take hours to perfect and even then you might decide the change doesn't work!

(Observation: try zooming-in - fully - to where audio and MIDI parts join each other... you might be surprised!).

You're sectioned! What can Play-Order do?

The Play Order Track means, for example, you can have a 10-bar space of nothingness between each section of your song (or 'loops-in-construction'). The Play Order Track will play them all seamlessly in the order you specify - in any order! Once happy, you can then join the parts up to form a continuous sequence... wicked!

Create a Play Order Track in Cubase SX 3

  • Right-click anywhere in your project window » Add Track » Play Order
  • Select Play Order Track at the top-left of project window
  • With Drawing tool, drag in Play Order Track lane to draw the width of a song-section
  • Repeat for other song-sections or loops

Using Play Order in Cubase SX3

Change which sections play when, and how many times!

  • Select the Play Order Track then, click the "e" icon
  • Your painted song-sections appear in the right pane
  • Double-click one to add it to the Play Order list (left pane)

Tip: right-click » 'Append Selected in Play Order', inserts the selected section above the arrow position in far-left column - can be useful to know for subsequent insertions!

To change the play order just drag 'n' release the corresponding row (up/down) in left pane to its new position.

Repeats: click in this column and type in a number to instruct Cubase to repeat the selected section x number of times.


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