Feature request: Unmix - Audio to MIDI

Ableton Live already converts audio to MIDI notes with several mouse clicks, but Cubase and Spectralayer don’t. I think SpectraLayer will do this much better and will have the best algorithm even than Samplab AI VST. Please, add this functionality!

There is no problem with creating drum MIDI right now: Unmix - Drums, create hitpoints and export MIDI to the selected track - it’s very simple. The problem is to create MIDI from synth/bass/lead/pluck audio. VariAudio in Cubase 13 Pro works very badly for this type of task.

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I cant speak for Steinberg nor the main developer(@Robin_Lobel ) but I believe Spectralayers is designed to be a audio editing application for audio(like the idea of editing for Adobe Photoshop but for audio) not a midi music sequencer.

Im sure it could be added but then you would have to consider how much resources and energy it takes to implement something like that, not to mention it could take away from research and development into other things. If Ableton’s audio to midi function works fine then I suggest you to use it.

I think this feature will increase the sales for Spectralayers. For example, I bought Spectralayers only for 1 function: Unmix Drums. When you do Unmix some instruments you probably want to get MIDI too. The Ableton’s audio to midi feature was created a long time ago, Samplab works for the subscription. If Steinberg makes this functionality in the box of Spectralayer or Cubase it will be awesome!

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Have you tried using tempo and hitpoint detection in Cubase on the unmixed drum layers?

The feature already exists in Cubase.

For example, load up your mono-extracted bass guitar audio, highlight track, click variaudio, click extract midi. Creates a midi track of the audio.

Or am I missing something in the question?


VariAudio doesn’t work clearly, it makes mistakes even with very simple audio. You can see it in the image below. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

I can’t tell from your screenshot. Did you experiment with the diff options available before clicking extract?

As in this video-

None of the available audio to MIDI doesn´t work properly with drums, only melodic audio… Samplab is probably the best right now… This could be something that Spectralayers would shine with it´s AI and other features on extracting data

mmm…not sure of fastest way with drums. I have audio-to-midi in my Toontrack Superior, but have never experimented with it.

Perhaps a few alternative steps…

  1. extract mono drums from audio mix with Spectralayers.
  2. load into fuse audio drumssx to split the kit into separate audio drum components.
  3. Load, say, the bass drum into groove agent…which I guess creates a midi track.
  4. Save the bass drum midi…load into cubase.
  5. repeat steps 3-4 with remaining individual drums until all are also as midi.

I don’t generally convert individual audio drums into midi…so for sure I don’t claim to know the fastest reliable ways.

Seems to me though that Spectralayers isn’t the best platform to stick audio-to-midi into as a feature. Seems more suited for Cubendo to me.

I’m talking about full kit drum loops and full kit replacement. Since it’s not tonal it’s harder to extract polyphonic data for midi from it. But spectralayer is really good detecting any kind of sound and noise plus separating, I think it has it’s base for that kind of action too. Of course it isn’t it’s primary use case, but nice addon

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Both Melodyne and RipX can export the detections as MIDI events, but neither seem to detect specific transients and differentiate from noise as well as SpectraLayers, so I expect this might soon be a feature … just like Unmix Drums was added.

With the detection sorted, I’d expect the translation into MIDI events would not be simple, although even extracting the timing as MIDI events (so they could be transformed in another application) would be a cool feature.


Some python coder could do this by using drumsep model for individual drum sounds, then those to midi and then merge and assign them in single midi file

This bit … that’s the problem to solve, and not as simple as you might think.

There is no problem with creating drum MIDI right now: Unmix - Drums, create hitpoints and export MIDI to the selected track - it’s very simple. The problem is to create MIDI from synth/bass/lead/pluck audio. VariAudio works very badly for this type of task. I hope Steinberg will update SpectraLayers and add this feature.