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Managing Your Loops in Cubase: Part 1

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Have you ever wondered if you could get all the sounds in your system in a single window? Have you wasted hours looking for a specific loop in a specific tempo? Have you ever needed a heavy kick for your drum track and couldn't find it? Have you wished for a sample in a certain pitch for your project, knowing that it’s there in your system, but too lazy to search for it? Well, if your answer for any of these question is a yes, then go ahead and read on how to solve all these problems.

Cubase provides us with MediaBay, an advanced audio management system which helps us with the solutions for all these problems and offers many more amazing features. It allows you to view and browse the different folders in your system, tag and arrange the files according to the categories that you need, and find files that you need according to the filters that you specify.

In this part of the tutorial, I will show you how to use the Browser section and save presets in the Browser for easy access to your favorite folders.

MediaBay can be further divided into Loop Browser and the Sound Browser. If you require loops for your current project, the Loop Browser can be used to narrow down your search. The Sound Browser can be used to search for presets of VSTs and other instruments or tracks. This is really useful when you are looking for certain genre specific instruments or loops. Open your MediaBay from the Media menu or by pressing F5.


Getting to Know MediaBay

MediaBay’s window has four sections which helps us in getting our files easily:

  1. The Browser on the left-hand side shows the location of the folders, and the locations that are scanned for media files.
  2. The Viewer section at the top shows the files available in the selected folder.
  3. On the right-hand side, you can see the Tag Editor, which helps in editing the tags available for the selected sample or object.
  4. On the bottom, you can find the audio preview or the Scope section, which shows the waveform preview of the selected object.

You can individually hide or show sections of the MediaBay window (except the Viewer section) by using the buttons on the bottom of the screen. You can also change the sizes of each section using the divider line on each section.

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Managing Files and Folders in MediaBay's Browser

The Browser lets us browse for the folders that are available in our system. Once we select the required folder, all the media files that are in that folder will be displayed in the Viewer section.

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The File System folder shows the hard disks and removable media which may have media files in them. This is really useful in situations where you want to import the media files from a certain software, or you had previously stored some media in a specific folder in your hard drive.

The VST Sound folder shows all the presets and the media files that are used by the VST installed in your DAW. This is useful when you want to select a specific sound that is used by a VST, but don’t want to waste precious memory by loading that VST for that certain sound.

You can omit certain folders from being scanned by unchecking the checkbox besides the folder that you want to ignore.

You can also rescan the selected folder by the Rescan button on the top of the browser, or through the right-click context menu. An animated scanning indicator will appear besides the browser. The Deep Results option will show the available files in the folder as well as the subfolders.

Once you select the Rescan option, you will notice one of these four colors on the icons. They are:

  • Light Grey: This means that the folder has been already scanned.
  • Red: This means that the folder is being scanned.
  • Orange: This means that the scanning process was interrupted.
  • Yellow: This means that the folder has not been scanned.

The Rescan On Select and Rescan buttons also can be used for scanning folders. If you activate the Rescan On Select option, each folder will be rescanned automatically every time you click on it.

This is not a great idea if the folder you are going to select contains a very large number of files. But this option ensures that the files in the folder are current and updated.

You can use the Rescan option to manually refresh folders so that they display updated information. The Refresh option, found in the right-click context menu, is useful when you have made changes to the tags of certain files and want to update the display.

If you feel that the browser window is getting too cluttered with folders that you are not using, you can select the Show MediaBay Managed Items Only. This shows only the files that are being scanned and managed by MediaBay and hides all the other folders from view.

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Saving Presets In MediaBay's Browser

Whenever you are working in a project of a certain genre, you might use some loops or folders that are important for that style. You might have some favorite loops or VST presets which we use in each project. You can save these as presets and clicking on them will take us to the specific folder instantly.

To add a folder to the preset list, select the desired folder and then click on the + sign on the top of the browser (Add Browse Location Preset), and then enter the name of the preset and save it.

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The saved preset list can be accessed thorough the Select Browse Location Preset menu on the right side of the preset save button. In case you need to remove a preset from the preset list, you can select the folder and press the - sign and that preset will be removed from the list.


Conclusion

In this tutorial, I have covered the basic setup that you need to know to manage your loops. In the next tutorial, I will show you how to use the Viewer window, search for specific files, performing detailed searches, previewing files and much more. So stay tuned!

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