Melodyne in Cubase with ARA – what’s different

  • New: Melodyne in Cubase with ARAIn this short film, you can see the advantages of Melodyne’s ARA integration in Cubase.
  • New: Perfecting comping in CubaseSee here how Cubase – thanks to ARA – makes perfect comping with Melodyne possible.

Thanks to ARA integration, the interaction between Cubase and Melodyne is many times faster, simpler and more powerful. From this tour, you will discover what changes are involved and what else needs to be borne in mind.

Required versions and compatibility

To exploit the advantages of Melodyne with ARA in Cubase, you require Cubase Version 10.0.40 or Nuendo Version 10.2 as well as Melodyne Version 4.2.3.

If you open old projects with this program configuration, Melodyne is integrated in the form of the Transfer plug-in, as was previously the case. All your Melodyne editing is preserved and you can continue modifying it. Naturally you can also apply new Melodyne editing to older projects via ARA.

Inserting Melodyne

With ARA, Melodyne is no longer inserted as a plug-in in the channel strip; instead audio events are equipped with it directly. This can be done by right-clicking on the event (and selecting “Melodyne” under “Extensions” from the context menu) or, even more swiftly, via the Info line. You can do this event by event or select multiple events and equip them all with Melodyne simultaneously :

As soon as you do this, Melodyne obtains access to all the audio data (of all the events) and can display their musical contents as audio notes and let you begin editing them immediately; the intermediate step that existed previously (when the material in question had to be ‘played through’ to Melodyne) has been eliminated.

However, since the data transferred by Cubase is limited to what lies between the boundaries of the event at the moment you first equip it with Melodyne, it is advisable to do this sooner rather than later. It is especially important to do it before narrowing the event boundaries in Cubase, as otherwise you will be unable to widen them again subsequently.
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Rearranging regions – Melodyne follows

Previously, it was not possible to edit an event on the Cubase track after a transfer, because the material transferred to Melodyne would not reflect the resulting changes. With ARA it does; the interaction between the two programs has been greatly improved. Now, if you do any of the following things in Cubase, the changes will be reflected in Melodyne:

  • move events
  • copy or repeat events
  • mute events
  • narrow the boundaries of an event
  • widen the boundaries of an event (n.b. as we warn earlier, if you are going to shorten an event, you should do so after equipping it with Melodyne, not before)

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Changing the level of any event, or letting it fade in or out, can only be done before applying Melodyne to that event and not afterwards. This is due to a known bug that will be fixed with a Cubase-Update in the future. For the time being, use the “Render in Place” function to create a new event, that will hold the results of your Melodyne edits burned into it and then can be adjusted in level or faded in or out again.

Changing what’s shown in Melodyne from within Cubase

As soon as you select an event in Cubase, its contents are displayed in Melodyne. If you now select a different event, Melodyne will show the contents of this second event instead.

However, Melodyne does not show you only the contents of the currently selected event, but also any events that precede and follow it on the same track (provided these, too, have been equipped with Melodyne). The ability to edit freely across event boundaries is very convenient, as it makes it possible to edit entire tracks quickly and efficiently – even tracks that have been pieced together from a large number of events of very short duration.

As an alternative to this Track Edit Mode, Melodyne offers a Clip Edit Mode that allows you to look beyond event boundaries.
More about these two modes…

Transport functions

Thanks to ARA, you can also control playback and cycling in Cubase from within Melodyne. That means fewer mouse movements and lets you to work more swiftly. More...

Tempo adjustments

Cubase’s current ARA implementation does not take advantage of Melodyne’s own tempo editing functions. In particular, once events are equipped with Melodyne they can no longer enter musical mode; and vice versa, events currently in musical mode quit musical mode as soon as they are equipped with Melodyne.
If you want to adjust audio events equipped with Melodyne to the song tempo, you must follow this procedure:

  • Remove the Melodyne extension – before doing so, you can if you wish preserve the results of any Melodyne editing you have already done (in Cubase, by right-clicking and selecting either “Bounce Selection” or “Render in Place”).
  • Then change the tempo in Cubase.
  • Once you have done this, you can return to Melodyne at any time to make further changes to the notes in the new song tempo.

Comping

With Cubase 10.0.40 and Nuendo 10.2, Steinberg has implemented the full ARA functionality with regard to comping. Now you can optimize all and any of your takes before you have even finished comping — before, therefore, the results have been set in stone by a bounce or audio mixdown.

This means you can bring all Melodyne’s editing power to bear on the segments you are considering for inclusion, so as to be sure of selecting at each point in the song the option that is truly the best. Furthermore, you retain at all times an overview over the entire track – however intricate it might be, and no matter how short, and how numerous, the segments of which it is composed. One another thing: Thanks to Melodyne, it is easy now to handle problematic take transitions.

Discover how to master comping with Melodyne in Cubase/Nuendo here.

And we’ve put together a collection of more general tips and tricks on comping (in Cubase but not only in Cubase) for you here.

File management

You no longer need to worry about transfer files when archiving or passing on Cubase songs. Thanks to ARA, such housekeeping chores are taken care of automatically.
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