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Quick Controls in Cubase

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Quick Controls is a group of controls that allow you to assign up to eight individual controllers on the Inspector of a track. You'll be able to control these settings easily via the Inspector, saving you the time and effort in configuring these setups. 

Assigning a setting to the Quick Control is a very simple and easy process that helps you work on the music than on the technical aspects of the software. 

Setting Up the Device

If you have an external device that has knobs or controllers for controlling various settings via MIDI, you can use that controller with Cubase to control up to eight individual settings of a track.

Ensure that you have installed the correct drivers and software for the MIDI controller and then connect it before opening Cubase

To add the external control device, navigate to the Device Setup option. 

Click on the Devices menu and select Device Setup. Select Quick Controls under the Remote Devices folder. 

Quick Controls Through Devices MenuQuick Controls Through Devices MenuQuick Controls Through Devices Menu
Quick Controls Through Devices Menu

Select the MIDI device from the MIDI Input dropdown menu. After selecting the appropriate device, click on Apply to save the changes made. 

In the table below the drop-down menu, you will be able to see the eight Quick Control settings that you can use in a project.

Select the QuickControl1 and select the type of MIDI Status, then, click on the learn button and move the controller’s fader or knob. 

The MIDI signal of that specific button or knob will be assigned to the first Quick Controller. This table has many other options which will help you in changing the Quick Control setup. They are:

  • Control Name: the option to change the name of the Quick Control. Double click on this column for a control and type in a new name
  • MIDI Status: determines the type of MIDI message that is being sent by the device. Choose from Controller, Program Change, Aftertouch, Polyphonic Pressure, Note On, Note Off. Other types of controller, called Continuous Control messages, such as Ctrl JLCooper and Ctrl Houston are also available. Choose the type of control according to the type available on the device
  • MIDI Channel: choose the channel on which the MIDI signal is being sent. Choose from 1-16 channels
  • Address: usually contains the pitch of a note or the Continuous Controller number
  • Max. Value: used to find out the range of the values that pass through this controller. Choose from 0-127
  • Flags: determines how a signal is to be processed

There are three types of flags:

  • Receive: The MIDI message will be processed as soon as it is received
  • Transmit: sends a MIDI message as soon as the corresponding value in the program changes
  • Relative: considers the controller to have no end. There are no limits for this controller, such as a rotary dial available in certain keyboards and mixers. It is endless

After assigning a controller to each Quick Control, click OK. If you have an already prepared XML file with the controls set up, you can use the Import button. 

In order to use this same setup in another machine, click the Export button and save the file. 

Note that the Quick Control settings that you made are global, that means they are not project dependent.

Without a Controller

If you do not have a MIDI controller, but want to set up the shortcuts anyway, click on the Inspector of the track and select Quick Controls from it. Click on an empty slot and select the attribute to which to assign the Quick Control

By default it is set to No Parameter. Click on the various folders to select the correct control. 

Once you have selected the required attribute, double click on it and it will be assigned to that specific Quick Control. Change the value by dragging the slider left or right.

Quick Controls in InspectorQuick Controls in InspectorQuick Controls in Inspector
Quick Controls in Inspector

In order to select the global functions that are available in the project, click on the empty Quick Control slot with the Ctrl key and you will find all the attributes that can be controlled or automated.

To rename a Quick Control, double-click on the name of the control and type in the new name. 

To delete a Quick Control, select the No Parameter value from the list and that control will be disabled.


With the help of Quick Controls, automating values for tracks is now easy. Activate the Read and Write Automation of the track and control its value via the Quick Control

Ensure that you’ve selected the correct track and the values for automation are set properly. The next time that you need to do some quick and easy automation, boot up some Quick Controls and make your work easier.

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