Export midi from Cubase - burning in the tempo, any way to do?

What do I mean ?

I’ve recorded a midi part on the fly using a guide metronome but with lots of rubato - ending up after tweaking and editing with a part that does not fit the tempo grid, but also the tempo map has been edited and looks like a dog’s dinner.
But it sounds perfect and I can render the audio out exactly as I like - great! (Think Chopin preludes etc…)

But… I then want to import the original midi file into a new project with completely different instrumention for a new arrangement - I don’t want to bring in the tempo map because it just makes everything too complicated. The other option is to play everything in again, which again is a lot of unnecessary hassle.
So what I really want is to export the midi file out but with the tempo “burnt in” - and then re-import into my new project. I can always do a time-stretch to match the new project tempo for the whole file, that’s easy, it’s the little bits in the middle that are the problem.

I cannot figure out a way to do this in Cubase - and I can’t find a simple enough midi recorder app that I can use on my Mac Pro to bounce it onto live.

I have a workaround (sounds bonkers but it does work) I use a bluetooth midi recording app on my iphone. I set up the midi output from cubase to send to the bluetooth and capture it on the iphone. I then use airdrop to copy the new midi file back (now with a default tempo of 120BPM or whatever I set - that part doesn’t matter) - which is my case means hopping onto my macbook pro and then moving the file to the prod machine (Airdrop doesn’t seem to work with non-Apple BT dongle when Mac Pro is in a different room on KVM extenders)
This method WORKS. It even retains the half-pedalling sustain from the original and the velocities are perfect.
But it’s a hell of a faff - it takes ages to set up and execute.

So the question is:
Is there a way of rendering out the midi part whilst burning in all the tempo changes?
OR: Does anyone know of a SIMPLE midi recorder app that will sit on the same machine - (if I search online for such a thing all I ever get is yet more bloated DAWs and complication stealing my audio ins/outs / sample rate pain / midi routing / and all that business.
What I want is something like a Yamaha QX7 or Roland MC500 clone for Mac!

The tempo track / -map is included in the MIDI export. The secret is in the import options: “ignore Master track events on merge”

Thanks - I shall try that…

The tempo track / -map is included in the MIDI export. The secret is in the import options: “ignore Master track events on merge”

Sorry unfortunately that doesn’t work - I just tried a complete end-to-end test.

  1. If this option is set to ignore then the notes land exactly on the grid as per the source with no tempo applied at all (not what I’m after)
  2. If this option is set NOT to ignore - then the original tempo map comes along with it.
    I don’t want either of these options.

I have rendered my resultant audio file (usually) which has all the correct attributes - but I also want to match it with the source midi file but without all the tempo info.
Recording in real-time to a different midi recorder is the only option I can come up with…

And unfortunately my workaround (unlike my previous comments) is not flawless - maybe a bluetooth problem or something, but lots of the midi events end up being truncated - not sure why…

I’m still confused as to what you are trying to do. Either MIDI has the tempo map or it will match what your project temp is. If your part is broken into chunks try merging them before export. You could also try just importing the track using track importing from a project.

I am indeed importing tracks from projects - I do that all the time. I work with massive templates so this is an important part of the workflow.
[in my case I use VEPro7 so it’s just a midi track/s routed to one or more Vienna Instance]
But my source “midi region” for want of a better expression… is originally played in on the fly (ie: no reference to tempo) BUT ALSO the source project has lots of tempo tweaks for creative effect - but not related to the actual tempo grid.

If I were to play that source track out of the DAW and record it onto a hardware midi sequencer (like a QX7 for example) it would play the correct notes in realtime and capture a midi recording that had no relation to the original tempo (just like a rendered mixdown audio file would)
Fortunately Cubase has an easy time-stretch tool to deal with that part of the problem (ie: mismatched global tempi)
[NB: - 2 problems with the QX7 idea - I had one back in 1986 but don’t have anything like that now (mine got nicked actually!) - and midi is all now on USB extenders and through networks etc… not the old 5pin DIN jobbies. And my production Mac Pro is in a completely different room to the control room. ]

The purpose for doing this is to create completely new arrangements (instrumentation etc…) going say from a piano solo to a quintet with piano and strings using the original piano perfomance. Using the original tempo map just complicates the hell out of it. What I would do ideally (and using rendered audio frequently do) is to use the Warp grid to create a useful tempo grid for everything else - and if I’m using rendered audio that’s no problem at all.
But what I can’t do so easily is to go back a step to the original piano roll midi recording and make changes - usually taking phrases out to unmuddy the new texture - or where for example the rendered reverb doesn’t sit well in the new arrangement.

I don’t think Cubase can do this at all. But I did wonder if there was a really very very simple midi recorder app that I could route the midi to in the box …
Typically I would be doing several of these at once (it’s 14 of them on this project) and then the process won’t be needed again for months and months - till the next one.
I suspect I shall have to set up a separate laptop running a DAW next time I have to do this and route the midi over the network. Which is OK I suppose, but I posted the question in the hope that there maybe a much easier way of achieving this process.

I appreciate the responses, I really do.

I guess you can’t do what you want in Cubase, but why do you need a second computer? You’re on Mac right? Why not install GarageBand, Studio One Prime or any of the other free Mac DAWs on the same computer and route the midi between the programs?

I may not be reading carefully enough, but are you trying to export/import a midi track from a project with a complex tempo track into a project with a fixed (or otherwise different) tempo such that it still plays with the rubato and so on that it does in the original project? If so, I wonder of something like this will work:

  • In original project, set the track(s) time base to “linear”.

  • In original project, set the tempo to fixed, and same as destination project. Or, if destination project also has a tempo track, import that tempo track into the original project.

  • Now set the track time base(s) back to “musical” (not sure if this step is necessary).

  • Export the midi track.

  • Import into destination project.

Not tested, I’m just musing. Or alternatively, would it work to open the destination project and “import track” from the source project directly, skipping midi export/import altogether?

Yes you can do this easily.

In the export mixdown dialog there’s a pop-open set of options regarding XML.
One of the boxes allows you to bake the tempo into the file your are mixing down.


Hi @richford , I just found out that this works

  1. set up a IAC bus
    Setting up a virtual MIDI bus – Ableton
  2. set your midi track’s output to the bus
  3. open another daw (I tested ableton) and create a track which uses that bus as its input
  4. press record in ableton and press play in cubase