Export Automation?

So, I exported a soloed soft synth instrument track with several automation lanes.

File -> Export -> Midi File… “Export Automation” checked.

According to the manual, “If [export automation] is activated, the automation data (as heard during playback) are converted to MIDI controller events and included in the MIDI file.”

However, after I import this exported type 1 midi file into another DAW (or even Cubase) I do not see any automation (no midi cc events anywhere to be found) – just my note data.

“Read” was indeed selected on the automation lanes. “Mute automation” was not selected.

What am I missing / doing wrong?


Instrument track (not “regular” MIDI tracks), right? So, what exactly did you automate?.. remember that these “simplified” Instrument tracks are in fact a combination of MIDI, audio (i.e. faders/E.Q. etc. on the mixer), and VST data (the parameters of the instrument itself).
So, when you Export the MIDI file, you are, ipso facto, ignoring all the non-MIDI data.
The manual is apparently not very clear about that (referring to the Exporting of MIDI tracks). However, because Cubase has the option of recording MIDI controllers on automation lanes, it is in fact those (MIDI) automation lanes to which it is referring. It can’t export the (VST) automation for filter resonance, for example.

If you want to export, for re-importing back into Cubase… use instead “Export Selected Tracks/Import Track Archive”.

Thanks, Vic. Yeah, I’m trying to convert “native” automation (that automates a VST insert’s params), not MIDI CC recorded automation. I was understandably thrown off by the manual’s language: “the automation data are converted to MIDI controller events and included in the MIDI file.” Haha, pretty clearly worded (and completely incorrect). I don’t think they would have used the word “convert” for CC to CC as there would be no conversion needed, so perhaps it was a feature they planned on including but never did.

I thought the Project Logical Editor had a preset that did this, but it doesn’t.

I tried some arcane steps using Merge MIDI in Loop – no joy.

There must be a way.

Edit (adding some random thoughts to help others in future):

  • The end-game is to convert a project for use in another DAW.
  • Extract MIDI Automation of course does the opposite of what I want here. It converts MIDI controller events to track-based automation.
  • The Project Logical Editor lets you grab automation events, but alas, does not provide any actions for dynamically creating CC events based on them.
  • Since native automation is probably a higher internal resolution than MIDI automation it’s easy to see why this feature would be more involved as it would have to deal with data quantization rules, etc.

There is, but it’s very cumbersome (… I’ll see if I can find a post I made on another subject, but involving making the same workaround, a while ago…)…
Follow the steps 1 thru 4. (then you can export that newly-created MIDI).
For re-importing back into Cubase, follow steps 6 and 7 (except that, for step #6, you just select the MIDI Part that you have re-imported, then “Extract MIDI Automation”).

Vic, you rock. Thanks for this.


Okay, success following the keys steps in vic_france’s post (thanks again).

The “secret” being that you can copy native Cubase automation data to a empty MIDI CC automation lane. Makes sense. They should update the manual to explain this in the place that talks about exporting MIDI automation.

Here are the steps:

  1. Add a new automation lane next to the automation lane you want to convert to MIDI CC (exportable) automation. Turns out a MIDI CC automation lane can indeed live next to native Cubase automation lanes on a VST instrument track. So, you don’t need to create a MIDI-only track for this.
  2. Click on the default “Volume” drop-down on it and select “More…” then expand the tree “MIDI Channel -> All CC” and then choose a fitting CC number (I chose #102).
  3. Using the Range Selection tool in the toolbar select the automation to be converted (right-click on track to “Select All Events” if you want the entire track)
  4. Drag and drop to move (or copy) the automation onto the newly created MIDI CC #102 lane.
  5. Select Instrument Track and choose “MIDI -> Merge MIDI In Loop…” menu item.
  6. Finally, export it via: File -> Export -> Midi File… “Export Automation” checked.

The automation now shows up in other DAWs as CC #102 to be assigned to a target, as required.

This workflow is pretty quick, actually.

So the two secrets are that you need to drag and drop the automation to a CC lane via Range Selection, and then you need to use “Merge MIDI In Loop” for it to be seen by the exporting process.