Humanizing existing midi files

Hi All. I am using Cubase Elements 11 and considering upgrading to Artist or Pro. I am working on a beautiful orchestral score using EastWest Opus Instruments but the midi has been quantised. Do the recent versions of Cubase have a way of disrupting the quantizing to more authenticate the human feel? Or is there a plug in or add on I can get that would do this?


Archangel Music Creatives

Have you looked at the Quantize panel?
Is your quantize set to soft? If its set to soft, what is the percentage? That would be a start, but I don’t know if it’s in Elements.

Going further, I created several Logical Editor presets for random midi placements within a given time frame. For example if I want a general lag where the majority of midi notes are behind, I create a Logical Editor preset for maybe -5 to 23. This assures that most notes will come in slightly late.

You may also want to get ideas from composers using Cubase here

If there are any other ideas, I too would be interested.

1 Like


This is absolutely amazing way of quantisation for me. I don’t need any humaniser anymore. This is just perfect solution, because it respects my way of playing it. It just makes it a bit more “tight”, closer to the Grid, but not robotic.

Tis is not needed. In the Quantize Panel, there is the Rough parameter, which was originally named Random. This will randomise the position a bit.

And don’t forget, we have the Catch Range and the Safe Range parameters in the Quantize Panel.

See more details in the manual, please.


You can also randomise the position and velocity of notes within a target in the midi modifiers panel.

1 Like

There’s also groove quantitizing, which I prefer to any randomness.

1 Like

When did it start being called soft quantise? It was iterative quantise for years.

1 Like

I understand Rough Quantize. Thats only going to give a random start within a given number of ticks right?

But if I want for example a random start however most notes lagging relative to where the midi note starts now, I think I still need a customized LE preset which for example is

Action Target=position, Operation=set relative random values between, and then the values to make it randomly lag… p1=-5, p2=23.

Now most notes, except for the 0 to 5 range will start after the hard quantize in the -0 to -23 range. If this can be achieved without an LE preset, let me know.

1 Like

Wait, are we on the same page as the OP?. The OP said his project came to him already Quantized. He wants to alter the quantized project.

1 Like

I think if you want to randomize the start position of hard quantized Notes it is more natural sounding to randomize by a small amount multiple times than it is to randomize by a larger amount once.

If a person is trying to play a note exactly on the beat, then most of the time they are going to hit the note exactly on the beat or very very close, then less frequently a bit further off, and even less frequently even further off. You can think of it like a bell curve distribution around the beat. If for example you randomize by -10 to +10 you won’t get a bell curve, instead it is an even distribution across that entire range. If however you randomize by -3 to +3 multiple times you’ll end up with a bell curve distribution. The more times you do this the wider the distribution will become.


Thanks yes but I have picked up quite a few tips here so all is good!

Thanks to all who have replied. I have set up a new file to experiment with what I have read here before applying it to the orchestral parts. I have to say I had no idea the quantise function had become so sophisticated. As a classically trained musician and not really a techie I played in parts I wanted a human feel to. Once again. very grateful to all respondees.

This is one of the niche reasons so many of us stick with Cubase. There is beauty hidden in the detail of every function, and while overall it may be in danger of becoming the “Word” of DAWs with lots of bloat, the musicality of the product is what matters most.

Welcome on board!

1 Like

As someone who tried an alternative to Word (and Office) for a few years and just came back to Word, gotta say - That’s not necessarily a bad thing

1 Like