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  1. Music & Audio
  2. Cubase
Music

The Tag Editor in Cubase

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:

Understanding what a loop contains, and its characteristics, are all important. Tags of files can provide crucial information. In this tutorial, I'll explain more about Tags and how to create and edit them in Cubase.

Tags Explained

Tags can be called as a set of metatags that provide information about a file. The number of tags and the descriptions contained therein differ from one file format to another. 

For example, in a .wav format, tags such as bitrate, sample rate, and more could be found, but in .mp3 files, you can find many more advanced information in the tag section.

But what makes Cubase special is that it gives you the option to add tags and edit them irrespective of the file format. This gives flexibility to tag and categorize high quality loops and samples for easy and efficient access.

The Tag Editor

The Tag Editor can be found in the Media Bay section of Cubase. In order to access Media Bay, click on the Media menu and select Open Media Bay, you also have the option to open it via the F5 shortcut key. 

As soon as the Media Bay is open, you'll see information about the loops and samples in the system. The Media Bay is divided into three sections: The Browser, The Viewer and the Tag Editor

The Viewer and the Tag Editor are used for viewing and editing tags of the files. If the Tag Editor is not visible by default, activate it using the Tag Editor option at the bottom left of the screen.

The Tag Editor can be found at the right hand side of the Media Bay screen. 

It can be divided into two basic tabs: The Managed tab and the All tab. 

The Managed tab can be used to narrow down the tags of the file to a few important ones such as the tempo, scale and so on. 

On the other side, the All tab is used to view file-size, date stamps, write protection and other file related information.

Setting the Correct Tags

When presented with so much information on a file, narrowing it down to something specific would be difficult and time-consuming. 

In order to see only selected tags, activate the required tags using the Manage Tags option on the bottom right side of the screen.

The Tag Editor
The Tag Editor

On the top area of the Tag Editor, you can select the different types of formats that Cubase supports, such as Audio file, MIDI file, MIDI loops, etc. 

Select the appropriate format and check out the tags that are available for that format. If you look at the list of tags, you will notice that there are headings such as Filter, Viewer, Tag Editor, Type and Precision

The first three checkboxes are to select the areas that these tags will be visible. If you activate the checkbox for the Viewer, the selected tag will be visible in the Viewer area. 

The Type column shows the type of value that that specific tag will contain, such as Number, Text, or a Yes/No value. 

The Precision value shows you the number of decimal that are visible for that tag. 

Select the checkboxes that are important to you by clicking on the empty boxes. If you feel like some tags are not necessary, remove them by clicking on the checkboxes again or by clicking besides those checkboxes.

You also have the option to add, remove and to reset the tags. To add the tags, simply click on the + button and simply enter the Tag Name, and select the type of value that it will contain. 

The button can be used to remove the tags that you don’t want. Simply click on the required tag and press the button. Clicking on Reset will reset the tags to their default settings.

Editing Tags

There are two types of tags in Cubase: Those you can edit and those you can not. 

The ones that you cannot edit are mostly file related options such as File-Size, Creation Date, Plugin Vendor, etc. If you want to change these settings, you will have to go to the original file in your system and then edit them.

There are many different types of values that are available for different tags. One of the most common is the text value. Double-click on the Value column and type in the new value and that information will be permanently added to the selected file. 

Another common type is the drop down value, which is available for selecting the Style and the Category of the samples and loops. All you have to do is to select the suitable value from the drop down menu and it will be automatically added to the file. 

The Radio Button. This is usually found in the character information of the files. Use this option to set the tone and the character of the files. Choose from three different areas, the left, the right or the center value. Some values such as the Tempo and Bit Rate supports only numerical values, therefore ensure you type in numbers for those fields.

One of the most important pieces of information about a file is its Rating. Cubase offers a five-star rating system that allows you to rate the quality of the sample or to rate the usability of the file according to the situation. You can also use this option to mark any favorite samples.

If you feel like you do not need a tag, right-click that tag and select Remove Tag. If the file that you are editing is write-protected, the information that you add on it will only be applicable in the Media Bay, it will not affect the original file. In case you Re-Scan the library, this data will be lost.

Deploying Tags in a Project

In order to add new files and to tag them for later use in your projects, copy those files to your hard disk. After copying them to a folder, navigate to that specific folder in the browser window and all the media files in that folder will be displayed in the Viewer window. 

Now you can tag them using the Tag Editor. You also have the option to select multiple files at once using the Shift or the Ctrl key.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, I've explained how to tag and categorize files, there will be no more endless searching to find that 150 BPM file that was in C-Major scale. Just click on the category, select the BPM and find the file with a few clicks. 

Ensure that you add the right information to the tags and to properly save the files. In case of multiple file tagging, Cubase will display a progress bar which informs you about the tagging status.

Get on your system and start tagging those important samples and loops. Let’s make some better music.

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