What will Cubase look like on a 4K (UHD) screen?

What will Cubase look like on a 4K (UHD) screen?
What will Cubase look like on a 4K (UHD) screen

4K screens, also known as UHD screens are slowly becoming a standard in the computer world, but how is this a benefit in Cubase?

The pros

The benefit of using a UHD/4K screen with Cubase is, obviously, that you will have a lot of overview. If you like to keep track of many plugins at a time this is a benefit. Since a 4K display is basically the same resolution as two full HD displays, you will be able to fit twice as much on the screen.

The cons

One of the drawbacks with using an UHD screen is that everything on your screen will be smaller. You will need a fairly large display, in my opinion at least a 28″ or 32″. Everything below this is basically useless because everything on the screen will be so small that you will have to use a magnifying glass to be able to read anything. The other drawback is of course; price.

The alternative

If you don’t want a UHD screen you do actually have some alternatives. You can either become a pro with workspaces. Switching between workspaces can help you a lot, especially if you have some serious key commands. Remember that Cubase is able to keep key commands for macros as well as standard operations.

You can also get a touch device setup with Cubase. If you have an iPad you can get apps like Cubasis, Cubase iC Pro, LoopMash HD, Cubase iC to work with Cubase.

If you already have a decent monitor you can also just get another one and run Cubase in a dual monitor setup. This way you will have the same nice HD resolution. The only drawback with this is that you will have two monitors that look different and that you will get the frame split in the middle of the two screens.

Display scaling

If you already have a UHD screen and want to use it with Cubase but find the text to be too small in Windows in general there is a solution.

Display scaling in windows 10
Display scaling in windows 10

Windows 8 (and newer versions) allows you to adjust the size of display items. This is also referred to as “display scaling”. Turning up the percentage will make everything larger on the screen. However many applications have not taken advantage of this feature. Neither has Cubase.

If you turn up the display scaling in Windows everything in Cubase will look larger. If you have a 4K display and think everything looks too small this might be an option for you. However, the graphical user interface of Cubase will also become a little blurry and pixelated. This is because while display scaling applies smoothly to everything in Windows, Cubase is not able to take full advantage of this.

While display scaling will enlarge everything on the screen the “Magnifier” option in Windows will zoom in on what you want. This is a good alternative if you have a hard time seeing those transients, small text or menus in Cubase. The magnifier can be opened on Windows by holding down the Windows key and pressing the + key. Similarly you can zoom out with the – key.

Finally I have provided some screenshots of what Cubase 8.5 will look like with and without display scaling on a 28″ 4K screen. As you can see, display scaling on Windows will enlarge Cubase up to a point where the user interface becomes a little blurry and pixelated.

Some users prefer to keep a high resolution in Cubase to get more room in the workspace while other prefer to have the text large and easy to read. Have you found the perfect pixel-screen size ratio? Let me know in the comments.

Cubase without display scaling
Cubase without display scaling
Cubase with 150% display scaling
Cubase with 150% display scaling
Cubase with 200% display scaling
Cubase with 200% display scaling
  1. For me 42 inch on 4k at 125% display scaling is brill but for one big downside.. The Cubase 9.5 Pro tool pointers are almost too small to see (at least for my old eyes). Downloaded a big red arrow for the mouse which helps find the mouse pointer but when it becomes a tool tip it becomes tiny. Haven’t found a workaround.

  2. Today I use a 2600 30′ screen, and with age going, I have a hard time to read. I consider also jumping to 4K, on a significant larger screen. One possible solution it ti buy a UHD TV. They come at a far cheaper price. We don’t need for cubase fancy screen performance, just the surface. A 42′ UHD TV still has smaller pixels than 28′ HD screen, so the often used argument over ‘you can’t do that it will stress you eyes’ can seriously be challenged…

  3. “Since a 4K display is basically the same resolution as two full HD displays”

    As Nils F. Lindberg said, it is 4 times the resolution.

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