Automating MIDI Note Length

Progressive and Electro House have a common effect where the length of notes are manipulated as part of a build and drop in the music. I’m all too familiar with the ways to re-program synth patches to do this, but was hoping for a quicker, more universal approach, by simply manipulating the actual note length (the actual MIDI note, itself). This is something I do in Logic and am trying to find a Cubase equivalent.

There’s a great feature in “MIDI Modifiers” called “Len. Comp.” (Length Compression ) that does precisely what I want. It allows both the arbitrary “compression” and “expansion” of note length, as a ratio, based on whatever the original input note happens to be. Perfect! Manually tweaking this with the mouse during playback has just the effect I want – it sounds great.

Soooo, we can automate that, right? Like literally EVERY OTHER MIDI Modifier can be automated?


Oddly, one of the most useful parameters to automate, they omitted from the list. And inconsistently, as all the others are there to automate!

Steinberg, please add this, if for no other reason than to make it feature-complete and consistent. :slight_smile:

(That’s not entirely true, they also omitted the “Vel. Comp.” from automate-able parameters – which would be another great effect to be able to automate.)

So, I thought, no worries, I’ll make a custom “Transformer” preset under “MIDI Inserts” and automate the appropriate parameter in that.


Again, oddly, it’s the ONE MIDI Insert object you can’t automate any part of!

Arrrrrg. There’s a bizarre conspiracy against me automating MIDI note length. :imp:

Gurus: Until they fix this, are there any other MIDI-centric techniques that might achieve this?

Again, I know I can do this by editing each synth’s patch to achieve a similar effect and automate that. And, I know I can manually edit the note lengths in the editor, of course – but I’d like automate this smoothly via easy-to-manipulate automation, using curves, and also bind it to an endless rotary encoder for live shows – twist the knob, note length changes.



I don’t know, if this will work as same, as you want. But… Try to use MIDI arpeggioator as MIDI Insert. You can set your own arpeggio. For example play just one note. Than, you can set lenght of the note in the arpeggiator, which you can automate as almost any different parameter.

What about this?


Thanks, Martin – Great idea, I think that may work. I was trying that and it seemed like the length param would force a specific length rather than proportionally increase / decrease the length, but maybe not. I’ll experiment more and report back.