Getting Started with Cubase


Cubase Intro How To-2


Cubase is one the the most popular DAWs in use today. For this article, I am just going to jump in and explain how to setup Cubase for building a song. I am assuming that you have already installed Cubase and registered it with Steinberg. And, you already have an audio interface of some type connected to your computer via a USB cable.

Let's Get Started

Click the Cubase Icon to load Cubase. When the Steinberg Hub appears, click CREATE EMPTY.

The Mix Console and the Track Editor will appear. If the Mix Console does not appear, press the F3 key. Next, click the F2 key to open the control bar.

Putting the Pieces Together

For this example, we will create a Guitar Track and a Vocal Track to keep it short. You will use the same process for larger, more complex projects. We will create the two tracks in the track editor. But first, we will create any effects to be used for the instrument and the vocals.

Creating the effects

  • 1. In the Input/Output Channels column, right click and choose ADD EFFECT TRACK.
  • 2. The Add Track box will pop-up. Click the Effect Drop Down and choose DYNAMICS, then COMPRESSOR.
  • 3. Leave the other fields as they are and enter a name like COMP-ACOUSTIC in the Name Field. Click ADD TRACK
  • 4. The Compressor Box will appear. Click the empty field in the top bar and double click PICKING GUITAR 1 effect then CLOSE.
  • 5. Repeat the previous steps, but select EQ and Frequency. Enter the name EQ-ACOUSTIC. Click ADD TRACK
  • 6. The Frequency Box will appear. Click the empty field in the top bar and double click ACOUSTIC GUITAR ROUND UP then CLOSE.
  • 7. Repeat the previous steps, but this time for VOCALS, selecting a vocal effect for both effect types.
  • 8. Your Track Editor should look like the image shown below after completion.
Cubase Intro How To-3

Now that the effects are completed, we will add two audio tracks. First we will need to make sure your audio interface is setup properly.

Working With Audio Connections

First, click STUDIO in the top menu bar. Click STUDIO SETUP. Click on VST Audio System. Your audio interface should show up in the right column. If it does not, click the drop down box and select it, provided the software for it has been installed. Then, click OK.

Next, click on STUDIO again and this time, select AUDIO CONNECTIONS. Make sure your Inputs and Outputs are setup correctly. Refer to the Cubase Manual for the details.

Back To The Creation of Audio Tracks.

  • 1. Right click in the Input/Output column as you did in Creating the Effects.
  • 2. From the drop down, select ADD AUDIO TRACK.
  • 3. Working with the Guitar first, select the Audio Input the Guitar is connected to.
  • 4. In the Name box, give the track a name. Use Acoustic Guitar and click Add Track.
  • 5. Repeat for the Vocal Track, changing the Input Port to where your microphone is plugged in.

Configuring Sends

Now that all tracks and effects are setup, we need to assign the effects. In keeping this simple, there are two ways to assign effects to channels. Sends and Inserts. A Send allows you to assign multiple instrument tracks to one effect. An Insert allows you to assign one effect to one instrument track. We will work with sends in this exercise.

Working With Sends

If you look in the Mix Console, you will see the SENDS row and the INSERTS ROW. We will be mostly assiging effects to the tracks using sends.

  • Using the Mix Console, find the Acoustic Guitar slider (Columns w/White slider handles)
  • The actual effect channels have purple handles. Don't use those.
  • Click on SENDS, the word itself. A greyed out box will appear under the name Sends.
  • Click inside the greyed out box and select the COMP-ACOUSTIC effect you created earlier.
  • Click inside the greyed out box underneath the box you just clicked and click EQ-ACOUSTIC.
  • Repeat the steps above for the Vocal Track.
  • Next, click the tiny icon on each send effect. Located in the left top corner. You will know when it is activated when it lights green. If you click the icon to the right, you will see the effect background turn orange. Click the the left again to get the green color. Refer to the manual for details.

Now that you have your effects assigned to each track, make sure your guitar and mic are connect to the proper ports on your audio interface. Click the track ARM button. Click the track RECORD button if you wish to record at the same time.

Turn the volume up on the audio interfaces and play and sing. If everyting is configured correctly, you should hear the sound coming out of your speakers. If you click the master RECORD button you should see the instruments wave form recording in the lane of the instrument track.

Click the rewind button to move the cursor back to start and click play again to listen to what you recorded.

I know. This is not an in-depth example of making a song in Cubase. I will be making a series of videos shortly. Those will be much more informative.

Thank you for reading.... Wes Senter