How to Use Cubase 5 Essential


Cubase 5 Essential can seem pretty daunting at first if you're not used to pro audio recording. You'll see lots of buttons, lots of options and no clear indication of where to begin. However, you shouldn't fear. As you get used to the Cubase work environment, you'll begin to appreciate how all those buttons and options actually make your recording and editing work easier and more enjoyable. No matter what kind of project you're working on, the most basic function of Cubase -- as with any digital audio workstation -- is recording audio signals to tracks. Once you're comfortable with this, the rest won't seem so difficult.

Things You'll Need

  • Audio interface
  • Click the Cubase 5 Essential icon on your desktop to launch it. Alternatively, navigate to the "Start" menu, select "Applications" and "Cubase 5 Essential."

  • Select "New Project" from the "File" menu to create a new project. In the Templates dialog, select "Empty" and click "OK."

  • Click "My Computer" on the desktop and navigate to the folder where you would like to save your project. Right-click and select "Make New Folder." Give this folder a meaningful name.

  • Select "Save As" from the "File" menu. Then select the folder you created in the previous step, type in the same project name as in the previous step and click "Save."

  • Click "Devices," "VST Connections" and click the "Outputs" tab. Click "Add Bus," select "Stereo" as the configuration and "1" as the count. If your preferred output isn't automatically selected under "Device Port," right-click the device that is listed and select the desired device.

  • Select the "Input" tab and click "Add Bus." You can setup a stereo input if you wish. However, a mono input is sufficient for most recording situations. If the correct input device doesn't automatically appear under "Device Port," right-click on the device that is listed and select the desired device.

  • Click "Project," "Add Track" and "Audio." Select "Mono" in the Configuration option. Select "1" for the Count option. A new track entitled "Audio 01" is subsequently displayed in your workspace.

  • Click the "Metronome/Click" button if you wish to record with a click track. Click the "Precount/Click" button if you wish to have a two-bar lead-in. Adjust the tempo of the click track in the "Tempo" field.

  • Click "Channel" under the track that you created to observe the track's input level. Rehearse the loudest part of what you intend to record and adjust the channel fader to ensure that the input level remains in the green and orange zones without crossing into the red zone. Going into the red zone is called "clipping," which causes undesirable distortion.

  • Drag the "Playhead cursor" to the beginning of the track and press "Record." Press "Stop" when you are finished recording.

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  • Photo Credit Riou/Pixland/Getty Images
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