Cubase shortcuts, macros and tips (with gif examples)

We might take for granted the ability to modify shortcuts. But not every DAW has this feature*. Luckily Cubase is not one of them and you can set a hotkey for literally anything. If there is no something that you want, there is a big chance to create a macro, that consists of smaller tasks and is able to do what you need. It is better to overcome brain laziness and learn hotkeys from the very beginning, Cubase don't spam with UI elements and gets some hate from point-and-click lovers for that. I think using hotkeys pays back pretty quick and gives you feeling like you operate a star ship, that flies you to your imaginary song instead of distracting your brain with necessity to search the right button on the screen.

Cubase Shortcuts


Default shortcuts

s = solo selected track /2020/hotkey/s.gif
m = mute selected track /2020/hotkey/m.gif
r = rec enabled on selected track /2020/hotkey/r.gif
c = metronome /2020/hotkey/c.gif
num * = record 4 /2020/hotkey/rec.gif
j = snap to grid /2020/hotkey/j.gif
k = toggle group editing /2020/hotkey/k.gif
i, o = punch in / punch out /2020/hotkey/io.gif
u = bring to front
(uncover overlapped clip)
alt + z = undo
alt + shift + z = redo
ctrl + left / right
= move clip, step is quantize grid
alt (+ shift) + left / right
= nudge clip
. = toggle ruler between time and beats (exchange time formats) /2020/hotkey/dot.gif
, = return to start /2020/hotkey/coma.gif
shift + t = input tempo /2020/hotkey/shiftt.gif
shift + c = tempo window /2020/hotkey/shiftc.gif
shift + n / b = jump to next / previous marker /2020/hotkey/shiftb.gif
shift + num/ = preview cycle on / off /2020/hotkey/shiftslash.gif

ctrl + a = select all
ctrl + shift + a = deselect all
/2020/hotkey/ctrl-a.gif p = locators to selection /2020/hotkey/p.gif alt + p = loop and play selection /2020/hotkey/alt-p.gif num / = loop on/off /2020/hotkey/loop.gif l, e = jump to selection start / end /2020/hotkey/l.gif x = crossfade. Remove fades: Audio > Remove Fades /2020/hotkey/x.gif ctrl + l = move to cursor /2020/hotkey/ctrll.gif f = follow cursor /2020/hotkey/f.gif g / h = zoom in / out (view centers to cursor). One of the most cool features of Cubase, believe it or not. /2020/hotkey/gh.gif shift + g / h = vertical zoom in / out /2020/hotkey/shiftgh.gif alt + up / down = vertical resize of tracks /2020/hotkey/altud.gif alt + x = split at cursor /2020/hotkey/altx.gif q = quantize shift + backspace = delete time (region) shift + backspace - if Range Selection tool = delete time on particular track /2020/hotkey/shiftbackspace2.gif ctrl + shift + e = insert time (empty, silence) ctrl + shift + x = cut time
ctrl + shift + v = paste time (region) ctrl + g, ctrl + u = group / un-group /2020/hotkey/ctrlg.gif shift + del = delete track /2020/hotkey/shiftdel.gif ctrl + f = find tracks F3 = mixer
alt + F3 = mixer in the lower zone /2020/hotkey/f3.gif alt + l = show / hide control line /2020/hotkey/altl.gif ctrl + shift + l / u = lock / unlock event /2020/hotkey/ctrlshiftl.gif shift + x = split range /2020/hotkey/shiftx.gif ctrl + 1-9 = set marker
insert = insert marker
shift + 1-9 = go to marker
/2020/hotkey/marker.gif t = add track
ctrl + t = add audio track
alt + shift + t = add instrument track /2020/hotkey/t.gif Right click menu also has hotkeys, D, R, B, N are my favorites. 1
/2020/hotkey/track-menu-hotkeys.jpg Send tracks hotkeys 2
/2020/hotkey/send-hot-keys.jpg Inserts hotkeys


shift + s = project properties /2020/hotkey/shifts.gif alt + c = stationary cursor / page scroll /2020/hotkey/altc.gif ctrl + i = info line /2020/hotkey/ctrli.gif ctrl + v = paste
alt + v = paste at origin
shift + v = paste relative to cursor
/2020/hotkey/ctrl-c-2.gif 2 = range selection tool
ctrl + x = cut /2020/hotkey/ctrlx.gif shift + enter = set event name from track name /2020/hotkey/shiftenter.gif num+ / num- = move playhead
ctrl + num+ / ctrl + num- = snap to grid
shift + num+ / shift + num- = fast
/2020/hotkey/nuppm.gif F2 = show transport bar /2020/hotkey/f2.gif F7 = direct offline processing /2020/hotkey/f7.gif F8 = video /2020/hotkey/F8.gif F4 = show input\output\bus selection, audio connections /2020/hotkey/F4.gif F5 = show Media Bay /2020/hotkey/F5.gif F11 = VST instruments /2020/hotkey/F11.gif F12 = audio performance /2020/hotkey/F12.gif shift + F2 = inline: view layout somehow it doesn't work in C10 /2020/hotkey/shiftf2.gif alt + k = show/hide virtual keyboard (if enabled some shortcuts doesn't work) /2020/hotkey/altk.gif ctrl + p = open pool /2020/hotkey/ctrlp.gif e = left selection side to cursor /2020/hotkey/e.gif d = right selection side to cursor /2020/hotkey/d.gif ctrl + k = repeat /2020/hotkey/ctrlk.gif alt + o = show / hide overview /2020/hotkey/alto.gif alt + i = show / hide left zone /2020/hotkey/alti.gif shift + i = show / hide punch in / out separate window /2020/hotkey/shifti.gif alt + shift + c = events color window /2020/hotkey/altshiftc.gif ctrl + shift + space = shuttle play 1/2x /2020/hotkey/ctrlshiftspace.gif z = zoom track exclusive (I disable this because sometimes it conflicts with ctrl + z and wrecks horizontal zoom) /2020/hotkey/z.gif alt + r = toggle read /2020/hotkey/altr.gif alt + w, w = toggle write /2020/hotkey/altw.gif alt + e = expand / reduce mixer racks (it should be in focus) /2020/hotkey/alte.gif alt + a = activate / deactivate whatever can be activated/deactivated when it's focused
don't understand how this is quicker than mouse click, it must be for MIDI controllers /2020/hotkey/alta.gif/2020/hotkey/alta2.gif shift + q = auto grid 3 /2020/hotkey/shiftq.gif ctrl + shift + up / down = raise the volume of the focused channel(s) in 1dB steps. Works in Mixconsole only. /2020/hotkey/ctrlshiftup.gif alt + g / h = audio wave zoom in / out /2020/hotkey/alth.gif alt + space = play selection or clip (it will stop at the end) /2020/hotkey/altspace.gif n / b = locate next\prev event /2020/hotkey/nb.gif (shift +) tab = move through fields /2020/hotkey/tab.gif ctrl + shift + i = open in-place editor (I reassigned this to shift + e) /2020/hotkey/ctrlshifti.gif shift + num* = retrospective record
ctrl + w = close project, current window, plugin
ctrl + z = undo
ctrl + shift + z = redo
ctrl + a, ctrl + shift + a = select all / unselect
ctrl + e = open (same as double click, use to open multiple midi or audio clips)
ctrl + alt + s = save new version
shift + F5 = search mediabay
ctrl + shift + n = new track version
ctrl + shift + h = next track version
ctrl + shift + g = previous track version
ctrl + shift + d = duplicate track version

My custom hotkeys

d = Edit > Delete
⭐ Very convenient, deleting is very common and to move hand to the right side of the keyboard is tedious. /2020/hotkey/del.gif ctrl + space = Transport - play from selection start
/2020/hotkey/ctrlspace.gif alt + f = invert selection
By default it's "Invert" however does nothing. So I reassigned it. /2020/hotkey/altf.gif shift + d = zoom to event (custom, shift + e - default)
shift + f = zoom to project, horizontal (default) alt + shift + e = export mixdown /2020/hotkey/altshifte.gif alt + shift + b = bounce selection /2020/hotkey/altshiftb.gif alt + shift + v = events to part (great for duplicating clip every N bars or make it have certain length). Cancel: Audio > Dissolve Part /2020/hotkey/altshiftv.gif x = mute / unmute object
By default there is shift + m button but it seems not working. Mute/unmute object will work like a toggle. alt + m is possible shortcut, but recently I use just X /2020/hotkey/altm.gif alt + shift + r = render in place (current settings) alt + ` = select next plugin window shift + F4 = close all plugin windows (useful if you use "always on top" option) ctrl + shift + f = find selected in pool (it is useful for quick change of file's tempo, stretch algorithm, finding its location, etc) /2020/hotkey/ctrlf.gif ctrl + ` = pre-count on / off /2020/hotkey/ctrlpre.gif shift + m = monitor on / off /2020/hotkey/monit.gif alt + shift + x = split loop (cut selection at locators) /2020/hotkey/altshiftx.gif num+ / num- = move playhead quantized (reassigned) /2020/hotkey/numpm.gif ctrl + q = quantize pitch (reassigned) /2020/hotkey/ctrl-q.gif ctrl + t = add mono track, without confirmation (reassigned) /2020/hotkey/ctrlt.gif a = show used automation (selected track) (like Ableton)
shift + a = hide automation of the selected track /2020/hotkey/a.gif ctrl + alt + e = edit in lower zone /2020/hotkey/lower-z.gif alt + shift + q = quantize length space = play / stop
shift + space = toggle return to start position ctrl + shift + c = global copy (overwrites Show Chord Pads) ctrl + r = reverse
alt + shift + n = normalize
alt + shift + g = gain
alt + shift + s = silence
alt + shift + i = statistics
alt + ctrl + p = preferences
shift + F12 = key commands

Recently I reassigned J (snap on \ off) to ` - it is more convenient imo.

Also it is a good idea to reassign U to "move to back" instead of "move to front", this way it makes much more sense.

/ = preferences: automation follows events /2020/hotkey/slash.gif y = convert to real copy /2020/hotkey/y.gif


Remove all arms for record PLE

Media Type Is - All Types
Track Operation - Record - Disable
(I don't use "Enable Record on Selected Track" so I need a quick way to disable previously armed instruments)
shift + r /2020/hotkey/shiftr.gif

Duplicate time (region)
Ableton inspired

Edit - Global Copy
Transport - Go to Right Locator
Edit - Paste Time
Transport - Locators To Selection
Transport - Go to Right Locator
ctrl + shift + d (reassigned from Duplicate Track Version)

💡 So to sum-up working with time in Cubase (the space between left and right locators):
Insert Empty Time - ctrl + shift + e
Delete Time - shift + backspace
Copy Time (i.e. global copy) - ctrl + shift + c (not by default)
Cut Time - ctrl + shift + x
Paste Time - ctrl + shift + v
Duplicate Time - ctrl + shift + d (reassigned)

alt + d = 👍 hotkey assigned to built-in macro "Duplicate selected track without data" PLE. /2020/hotkey/altd.gif

Play file in Media Bay with a shortcut
to test an audio sample in the mix

Media - Preview Stop
Media - Preview Start
num enter = play media

Quantized Nudge


Doesn't have a shortcut by default
in brackets my variant

close gap (Audio > Advanced)

/2020/hotkey/close-gap.gif convert tracks: mono to multi-channel [ ' ]

/2020/hotkey/mono-to-multi.gif decrement event volume (can be done at Info Line)

/2020/hotkey/decrease-volume.gif delete overlaps (Audio > Advanced)

/2020/hotkey/del-over.gif detect silence (Audio > Advanced)

/2020/hotkey/detect-silence.jpg unstretch audio [shift + k]

/2020/hotkey/unstretch.gif shrink to range selection (i.e. crop range) [shift + c]

/2020/hotkey/crop-range.gif edit VST instrument (i.e. open/close VSTi) [v]

show key commands window [shift + F12]

/2020/hotkey/key-commands.png scrub tool (fun for sound design)

/2020/hotkey/scrub.gif jog left / jog right (yes, like DJ)

/2020/hotkey/jog.gif next / previous quantize setting [alt + 1 / alt + 2]

/2020/hotkey/quant-np.gif next / previous VST instrument preset 😍 [ [, ] ]

/2020/hotkey/vst-preset.gif next / previous preset [=, -]


Some info about shortcuts in Cubase

File that stores shortcuts is Key Commands.xml.
User presets are stored in c:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 10_64\Presets\KeyCommands\
You'd better save your configuration as preset from time to time save. Sometimes Cubase' config files get corrupted and don't work. So it is a good idea to back-up them.
My hotkeys preset: download. Just in case. It is better to make your own personal shortcuts preset.


Key Commands Overview as HTML Page
Original post at
This is a really cool, well made thing to display your hotkeys as printable table that looks like image below. First you open raw file from github, then press ctrl + s to save it as web-page (plain HTML tool). Then you open that web page in a browser (Firefox, Opera, Chrome), there will be a form to pick a file. You select your key-commands.xml file from path mentioned above and it will display this table.

backup download

KeyCommand Utility
Original post at
VB Script that creates two HTML files which show Cubase shortcut keys.
1. List of the commands which have keys and their associated key
2. Matrix of all the Keys vs Modifiers, and the commands for each combination
The HTML files will be opened in your default browser and are stored in the installation folder (see below). Place this script in the Cubase 'User Settings Data Folder', where the 'Key Commands.xml' file is stored. Run the script (double click) and it will create two HTML files (in the same folder as the script) and display them in your default browser. Original scripts written by JMCecil and someone else, adapted by MJV.

backup download

Here is an example of its output for defult Cubase 9.5 Key Commands.xml. Different colors mean different key mapping groups. Editors - mistyrose, Transport - yellow, etc.
Also I've modified it a little bit so there are free keystrokes that you can use as your own hotkeys. For example Y is totally free.