Home ... FAQ ... Music ... Software ... Forums ... Articles ... Contact


It started with ATARI

Cubase Main screen

CUBASE first started life on the Atari Platform with Steinbergs first sequencer called Pro Twenty Four. This one piece of software revolutionized the music industry and was perhaps many musicians first step into MIDI sequencing. Steinberg(then called Steinberg Jones) improved on the design and came up with CUBIT.The name was changed to CUBASE and continued to evolve to what we have today with Cubase VST.

However, Cubase still remains the bread and butter sequencer of the Atari platform, with some musicians sticking to it rather then going on to VST, mostly because of its rock steady timing and performance.Atari Cubase is still available. See Q&A session.

This page is to present Cubase TIPS and a few downloads that will try to unravel some of less known areas of Cubase .


Using the Set Up.Mid

Load Setup.mid into Cubase using the open command from menu under FILE, and choose MIDI FILE from the dialog box. Once in Cubase, You can save it as an arrangement called DEFAULT.ARR (or you can download the Def.arr)and it will load everytime you start Cubase. This is a very handy arrangement file to use if you have a General Midi Module. Just press PLAY (Enter key) for a few bars, and the sounds load ready for you to play. For example just click into GUITAR to play the guitar patch. Use the arrow keys to scroll thru the sounds. The patch changes along with controller info is stored under the MIX LIST track. To edit it, select the LIST MIX track and go into the List editor under EDIT and make your changes. You can change things like panning, Volume, Modulation, Reverb amount and Patch change for each channel. I have the midi channels grouped to the General Midi theme. For example, you want a different Piano sound. Just change the patch number for midi channel one to a different piano sound (like patch change #2 grand piano) You could also make major changes using this list, change the track names to what you want, and save the whole arrangement as a theme such as TECHNO.ARR for a setup using techno analog sounds (from the GM list) or string and orchestral sounds for a CLASICL.ARR. Use your imagination. Using a setup such as this helps to get your ideas down quickly and not worry about putting in Track names, etc. As a side bonus, if you use other sequencers that can import midi files you can use this as a setup for those sequencers as well. I have it set up on EDITRACK and it works fine.

IPS module in Cubase

Using the IPS (Interactive Phrase Synthesizer)

Here is an algorithmic tool right within Cubase. Almost "M" like, the IPS can provide many types of variations to your music.

To create a "phrase, I usually go into Key edit, on an empty track, click on the "foot" for step record, and input a short 5 bar section quantized at 16th notes or Quarter notes from my midi keyboard. I highlight the section, then go to MODULES on the menu bar and select COPY TO PHRASE, a dialog box appears. Select OK. Exit out of Key Edit.

KeyEdit in Cubase

Then go to MODULES on the menu bar and select PHRASE SYNTH. The IPS appears. You should see your phrase in the Phrase window. Then select ACTIVE and IPS A to ON. The IPS should now be on. Play a note from your midi keyboard. The Phrase should start playing. Select HOLD in the Interpreter window. The Phrase should continue playing even after you release a key from your midi keyboard. Now the fun begins! Try this: Go to the pitch window and select ON by the word MAJOR. This turns on the scale interpreter. You can now select a scale by clicking a variety of scales to choose from. Hungarian anyone? On the Rhythm window, select OFF by the 100 number. A dialog will come down to select a quantized value. Select 8 for now. Go to the next off button to the right and select another value, say 16. Your rhythm changes. Try different values. You can also select "waveforms " by selecting the far OFF button. To record you results to a track, select MROS in the OUTPUT window, close the IPS (it is still running in the background) go to the track you want to record, and in the Part info window for that track, select MROS as it's input. Put Cubase into record mode by hitting * on the computer keyboard, or use the mouse. The IPS material is recorded into the Track. Below you will find my IPS files created using the above technique and also Music Mouse and "M" material. Just load them inside the IPS by going to FUNTIONS, and selecting LOAD PHRASE BANK. Enjoy!

Cubase Mixer Map screen


If you use general midi modules, you will find this Cubase Mixer Map handy. A 16 channel virtual mixer with Volume, panning, 2 controls for reverb; depth and wetness amount, and Modulation (vibrato) depth for each midi channel.Also you will find some Mixer Maps made by Guido Goebertus and Bjarne, members of the Atari-Midi Mailing List. These include Mixer maps for the Emu proteus,, the Yamaha Cs1x, the Roland U110 and more. Also a unique Mixer map for use with Cubase Audio Falcon (CAF) by Bjarne. Enjoy!


Cubase lite in Steem

NEW: 4-12-02

I am now happy to announce that according to posts on the Atari newsgroups, Steinberg has decided to release the Atari version of Cubase Lite as Freeware.Download it below. While not as full featured as Cubase Score, or the other dongled versions, this version is still capable as an excellent entry level sequencer with enough features to wet your appetite. The same arrange screen is presented with cut, glue, erase tools (by right clicking into the arrange window) with also a good set of quantise tools. The only editor available however is a score editor, which is still impressive. You can do a lot with this lite version and we are very thankful for this release to the Atari community by Steinberg as a token they have remembered their Atari roots.As you can see from the screen shot, it works well under emulation on a PC using Steem. According to Oliver Kotschi, Atari Cubase-Lite was distributed on a cover disc of "KEYBOARD" a magizine from Germany, with a statement from Stienberg about the freeware release.This was logical as Atari Cubase-Lite never required copy protection as in the other "dongled" programs and would be much easier to release. Here is the official statment on the cover disc concerning Cubase Lite:


Dear Atari Users, on this Keyboards CD you will find the final Versions of Cubase and Synthworks as well as some tools and MROS drivers. Since the Atari company retired from the computermarket in 1994 we will definately no longer develop these products. Especially the printerdrivers wont be supported anymore. In this case you have to use emulations or standardprinterdrivers. Have fun with these versions, your Steinberg Service Team 26.04.99

Steinberg - comprehensive collection of Steinberg software, with diverse versions of Synthworks, MROS drivers, Mixermaps, ACCs and of course Cubase, including first time free released versions of the Styletrax-module and Cubase light (please be sure to read the ATARI.TXT file in the STEINBRG folder)



For floppy only systems:
Unzip the cu-lite.zip onto your PC/Mac hardrive. Open the Cu-lite folder.Copy the contents right to a 720K disc in the disc drive (no main folder)Put the disc in your Atari and open A-drive. You should now see this:

cb_lite.dat (folder)

The cb-lite.prg should be by itself and not in a folder, but on the main directory of the disc (called the root directory)This way mros will be in the correct pathway and will load properly.

I hope this clarifies this question as I have been getting a lot mails on this issue!

Q&A Session

Q: Where can I get Atari Cubase?

A: This is probably the most asked question I get. Unfortunatly Cubase is NOT Freeware. It is commercial. It is not supported by Stienberg anymore. Some good news however: Cubase-Lite is now freeware, but if you want the full complete version, Atari Cubase is available from UK dealer Barrie at Keychange This is the Dongled version and comes with full docs. There may be cracked versions floating on the net, but there have been reports that these versions contain bugs, so it is much better to get the full legal version. Thank you Barrie for making it available.

Q:How do I use the kick function in Key edit, and what exactly does it do?

A:There are TWO Kick tools in the box when you right click in key Edit. One shows a Right BOOT and the other a Left BOOT ! All you do is that you select the LEFT BOOT if you want to kick a note in time to the LEFT of the grid, the Right Boot if you want to kick a note a note to the right in Time. Its easier to just try it.Kick around a few notes.Just move the mouse up to a note and KICK IT!It goes over to the nearet "snap" level. You could as well left click on the note so it is selected and drag it around that way as well.

Q: How do you create a Mixer Map?

A: OK....Create a Mixer Track by selecting an empty track. Then on the C colomn of the track, select MIXER.Then Double click into the arrange field so a track is created. Double click again, and perhaps the default map will come up.Its Ok if nothing is there.A window field should come up. Now RIGHT click and you get the tool box. Select NEW. The curser turns into a cross.LEFT click and a dialog presents itself to assign a controller to the object you are about to create. There is a dialog that saya REMOTE CONTROL. Click in it,and you will see a HUGE list of controller numbers and definitions.Go all the way near the bottom, keep on scrolling untill you see CHORUS DEP. Select it. Now under name type in CHORUS, and go OK. You know have a little object calle CHORUS on the window.Select and DRAG it to the size you want the slider. Try setting up other controller messages as well.Thats it!


Here is a Cubase Tip to get alternate tunings (not microtunings) on your keyboard.

Basically it is a "mapper" that maps notes to notes from pre-selected scales. I wonder if the same thing can be applied to Notator (Notator users...confirm this please)KCS can map notes also, but you don't have Presets available like in cubase, however you can make your own, which is the limitation in cubase..you have to select from the menu drop-down. Anyway...here is the technique:


1.Select an Acoustic Guitar patch.(for sake of example)
2.Go to OPTIONS on the menu, select INPUT TRANSFORM.the dialog appears.
3.Go to PROCESSING dialog, change KEEP to FIX.
4.Go to VALUE 1 dialog.Click in KEEP, select SCALE.
5. You see C-MAJ in the dialog box.Click in C_MAJ and select from the list of scales HARM MINOR (for sake of example)
6.On PRESET dialog box click in the box below "1" so it is checked.
7. Play your keybrd. Beautifull spanish guitar progressions with simple triad chord voicings!
8.Try other scales.
9. Also try, instead of SCALE in no4, select REVERSED, and the whole keyboard will be reversed for some wild stuff.

LOOPING IN CUBASE. Tip by Steven Miller

As an alternate suggestion to KCS, I believe you could also do everything you want in Cubase, and have a nice visual/graphic display to watch while you're doing it. Cubase has complete qwerty control of most functions, and can loop or cycle up to 64 tracks simultaneously and indefinitely between the left and right "locators". You can navigate up or down to each track using the arrow keys, activate or deactivate recording on any track at any time, and either replace the first part you recorded on the next pass, or overdub it with more info. You can also erase single or multiple notes on the fly, and then replace them in overdub mode on the next cycle. Your muting can be accomplished in two ways. The active track (the one you just recorded on) can be muted or unmuted at any time using Alt-M, or you can store up to ten muting "scenes" on the function keys and recall them by pressing Alt/F1 - F10. You would have to practice to get this polished for live performance, but Cubase is very solid and loops beautifully. You wouldn't have the "hanging note" problem mentioned by someone earlier because Cubase always stores a note length with its note-on messages, so it doesn't have to wait for a note-off to stop a voice from playing. Every function I've mentioned above is qwerty controllable, plus more, and you'd have the advantage of being able to see the program scrolling through the measures as you record into them.

There's one small clarification needed however. I said that you could activate or deactivate recording on ANY track at any time. Actually that only applies to the track you've currently selected as the ACTIVE track. I also checked and found that nearly all of the same features and qwerty commands are available in Cubase Lite, which runs nicely on a 1meg machine. It's a lot cheaper (provided you can find a copy) and there's no dongle needed to run it. You are limited to 16 tracks however, not 64 as in the full program, and cycled recording is always done in the overdub mode, adding to your previous material rather than over-writing it. But still very workable. If you don't like what you've recorded, just hit the undo key and it's gone. Cubase just keeps playing its loop, so you can try another pass.

Steven Miller is a member of the Atari-MIDI Mailing list.


There are a great number of techniques you can apply to sequencing. It depends on how you like to work. This is a type of subjective question, but you can try these methods and see what works for you.

1. Linear sequencing: which is playing a piece from start to finish much as you would playing in a band situation. You can start with (for example) Drums, to lay down a groove, then Bass, then chords (piano, strings) a melody, etc building up layers. Remember to add "space".. that is, don't play EVERYTHING at once, but use certain sounds here and there to make an arrangement. Then go back to edit using the edit tools your sequencer provides as needed. Do a mix of it, adjust panning (controller no 10) Then record the whole thing to DAT or cassette, or whatever you have. Add "real " instruments as needed.

2. Pattern sequencing..which is basically doing only a part of a song: the beginning, a middle section, a groove, and saving these as patterns, which then is put together in any order you want and Saved as a song. This way you could develop a library of patterns, choose what you want to include in your present piece or develope new patterns as each song needs. The editing tools can be used Extensively also to create exactly what you want.

Also.. My philosophy is that no one program can do it ALL...you can create something in CUBASE, save it as a midi file. Export it to a DR T program for processing it with the PVG, then back to CUBASE to put on the finishing touches. This is one example.

There are LOTS of resources on the net. Just use the word MIDI as a word search, and you will for sure find stuff.


DOWNLOAD Cubase Lite

DOWNLOAD Setup.mid

DOWNLOAD Def.arr instead of the setup mid.


DOWNLOAD Music Mouse IPS Phrases

DOWNLOAD Virtual 16 track Mixer for Cubase by Tim Conrardy

DOWNLOAD Mixer maps by Guido Goebertus

DOWNLOAD SX500 Mixer map by Tim Conrardy. Sysex info provided by David Etheridge.


Keychange Music Services Custom Atari computers for the gigging Musician as well as Cubase for Sale!

Cubase Files at the Atari-MIDI archives

Atari Cubase files for download

Atari Cubase Tips

French site with lots of updates and utilities for Cubase including a good collection of mixer maps. You will need your Dongle for the Cubase Updates to work however. Includes many versions of CAF.
Atari Cubase Updates

The main Atari MUSIC Site

Cubase IPS
Instruction on how to use the IPS in Cubase. You can still use it for the Atari version.
Using Cubase IPS

Cubase Mixer Map Help
Excellent page on how to do Cubase Mixer maps
Using Cubase Mixer Maps

Cubase Mixer Map help
More Mixer Map help from Paul Sellars of SOS.
Using Cubase Mixer Maps 2

Cubase Music Site A Cubase page with some mention of Atari. Good tips however.
Cubase Music Site

DC Cornelius's Cubase site with excellent articles on how to program percussion tracks in Cubase. DCC is a member of Atari-MIDI.

DCC's Cubase site on Programming Drums. Excellent!

DCC's Music Site

ATARI Cubase sellers:

Keychange Music Services
Phone: +44 (0) 1925 266120
E-mail: barrie@keychange.co.uk

ATARI Workshop
Phone. 01344 890008
Fax. 01344 890009
Sales - sales@atari-workshop.co.uk
Info - info@atari-workshop.co.uk

Peter Denk
Sandkamp 19a
D-22111 Hamburg
Phone.: 040-651 88 78
Mobil: 0172-413 38 77
Fax: 040-65 90 14 53
Email: info@ATARI-Fachmarkt.de
Öffnungszeiten: Mo. bis Fr. von 14:00 bis 18:30

WB Systemtechnik GmbH
Bahnhofstraße 289
D-44579 Castrop-Rauxel
Phone: xx49-2305-962030
FAX: xx49-2305-962031
Email: atari@wbsystemtechnik.de

Emmesoft ® di Marco Greppi
Via Oropa 100 10153 TORINO
Phone. 011/8903692 r.a.
FAX 02/700409943
Orario : 9.30-12.30 15-18.30
HOTLINE Hardware : Lunedi' 15.30-18.30
HOTLINE Software : Martedi' 15.00-18.00