Cubase Lesson 1: Recording Audio

Since my LE5 Version of Cubase came with my Tascam US-800, I opened the Cubase Quickstart Guide, that was bundled with it. It was 90% about how to install the program – Next, Next, confirm, Next, Agree… You’ve all installed something before, I’m sure. The last few pages were, however, quite informative.

Step 1: Set up a bus. I learned how to assign audio inputs and outputs to certain channels on my computer, my Tascam US-800 audio interface or any other device. This step was simple enough, but had I not know that I had to do this, I would be floundering around for weeks trying to figure out why I can’t record anything and conversely why I can’t hear it when I do.

Step 2: Record. These are baby steps, people. One thing that most of these programs do, and I can’t explain why in any definitive way, is require one to “arm” the recording on each channel before recording. What this means is to click the red circle icon on the audio channel in which you want to record. Then you press the mast record button in the playback controls. Again, simple. But I will tell you that the first time I opened Pro Tools (packaged with another peripheral of mine) and tried to record, I was bewildered for more than a few minutes because I didn’t read the instructions.

Step 3: Mix Down. Also known as encoding or ripping. Mix down actually means something else, but, I feel no need to get too technical here. I ran into a hiccup here. I thought maybe my LE version was limited so that I couldn’t save. “Not Enough Storage on the Disk” was the message I got, and since there is over 600GB available I thought it was the program stopping me. It wasn’t until closer inspection that I discovered my start and stop points were reversed, essentially making the track infinite. No computer in the word has that much storage. I chortled, and fixed the issue.

Step 4: Listen.
 Here is my first recording in Cubase. Isa wanted to help; this is her singing “A Bushel and A Peck” from Guys & Dolls.




Click on Isa to hear her sing!




  1. Side Yard Flock · May 3, 2012

    ok…I don’t really have composing skills…I have melody in mind and in some cases harmony, and they’re written down, but not in proper notation. I can read music, and played piano, but never very well. How hard it cubase and would you recommend it if I wanted to try and compose this musical of mine myself instead of trying to find someone to do it on the cheap?

    • Mark Gonzalez · May 3, 2012

      Cubase is very expensive and it is not an entry level program. It is good for recording and mixing but not the greatest for composing, although many people love it for just that purpose. I recommend finding a freeware (or free trial) program that you can use, like Reaper. Or, if you have the basic outline of the music that you want, I’m flexible in my pricing options. Just tell me where I can read it, already. I’m interested.

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