Issue: Error Importing Tracks at Cursor position from another project

I’m comping and collecting parts from several projects for a film. Although I tidy up all the parts (start positions on the beat, length, end position etc.) when I import the data into a ‘parent’ project At Cursor Position events are imported at almost random places - sometimes earlier than cursor, sometimes later, and always not on the beat. It has something to do with different tempos in ‘daughter’ and ‘parent’ projects.

To recreate:

  1. Create Project 1.
  2. Create a Midi Track.
  3. Draw a couple of Midi Events on it from Bar 1.
  4. Create Project 2.
  5. Create Tempo Track. Alter it (make an additional point on the tempo line with a different tempo).
  6. Put Cursor at, say, bar 50.
  7. Import Tracks from Project → Project 1.
    7a. Select the Midi Track. Check Events and Parts, check Channel and Inspector Settings, check Automation, check Import at Cursor Position.
  8. The midi events are not at Cursor Position and are not on the beat.

Thus the whole process becomes a mess.

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Two things to keep in mind

1. If you import a MIDI/Instrument track with the time base set on Musical mode (button toggled to a quarter note on an orange background – in the Inspector), the MIDI content will obey the tempo of the project they're imported into, in which situation "Import at Cursor Location" becomes "Import relative to Cursor Location".

2. (If the projects share the same Tempo Track content) The farther from origin are the events, the farther from the cursor they will be imported.

‘daughter’ project (project to import)

‘parent’ project


The only good option you have is to switch the MIDI/Instrument tracks to Linear mode (click on the “quarter-note-on-orange-background” button to switch it to a little clock). This way, not only the tracks’ content will get imported at the Project Cursor (i.e. their origin will start at the Project Cursor), but they will also retain the original tempo.

Hey, Alin! Thanks for the input. But this doesn’t make any sense to me from the practical point of view.

  1. Why would this be a problem with Musical mode (i.e. Bars and Beats). I don’t mind the events obeying the tempo of the ‘parent’ project as long as all the data is on the beat so I can change the tempo later and it still would be on the beat.
    1a. Why would some date import BEFORE Cursor location and other AFTER. Doesn’t make sense to me either.

  2. I get that. It makes sense that Cubase would count bars in musical mode from the beginning of the ‘daughter’ project and put data further from Cursor position. But why not on the beat though? And why sometimes before Cursor position?

The solution has no practical value, sorry, as I would have to manually correct the tempo mismatch for the whole section. Which is a nightmare with projects with changing tempo. And, again, it doesn’t make any sense to me why midi with definitive Bars and Beats would have to be not on beats and, moreover, be presented in Linear mode drifting off the grid.

Short reply

Just kidding. I don’t have a short reply. :grin:

Long Reply


If you wouldn’t be right to say this, I’d say that the space between the Origin and the MIDI parts is the cause of the issue. It turns out though that even if the import location (bar 50) has the same tempo as the project you’re importing, the track content (starting exactly at origin) will not be imported at cursor (i.e. will be imported long after the beat – see below screenshot).

Two tempos (screenshot)

-Imported MIDI track is on Musical Mode.
-Content of the MIDI track: starts at Origin.
-Imported Project Tempo: 120 bpm.
Issue: events are way off the cursor location (they are imported at bar 6119, instead of bar 50).

Good questions.

  1. If the track content started in the middle of a measure, you’d want that space between the Origin and the first event taken into account. Maybe this is why the content gets imported like this (with space, if it contains space).
  2. Maybe I’m not answering your question, but here’s what I’ve noticed:
    → a slower tempo before the cursor, imported events will end up “after the beat”
    → a faster tempo before the cursor, imported events will end up “before the beat”
    From the practical point of view, yes, this doesn’t make sense.

Nope. You wouldn’t have to manually correct the tempo mismatch, but I concur to the fact that this would be a tedious task to do.

Steps you would have to take
  1. Use a PLE preset (Project Logical Editor prset) to change all the MIDI/Instrument tracks to Linear mode.
  2. After importing the tracks in another project, copy the tempo track events (“Tempo Track Changes”) and paste them where the cursor was when you imported the tracks.
  3. Enable the Musical mode for the imported tracks (so that you are able to “change the tempo later”).
What Cubase would have to do in order to acomplish the task you're asking for. (maybe this could be a feature-request...)

→ It should make sure that the imported MIDI/Instrument tracks are in Linear mode (if not, automatically switch them to this mode).
→ It should also import the Tempo Track events (“changes”), but add them (by replacing existing ones) only after the MIDI/Instrument tracks in the current project are switched to Musical mode (so that tempo mismatches aren’t accidentally created).
→ Then, restore the time base state for the old/resident tracks (or not) while turning the imported tracks into Musical mode (or to their original state).

Don’t get frustrated. Find a workaround. It’s better (and quicker).

I’d guess that the cause of the issue is exactly this:

Cubase sees the parts in linear mode upon Importing, thus, placing them in different places depending on the tempo of the ‘parent’ project.
Instead, it should be doing simple math. If I want the imported parts (given they are at Bar 1, Start Position to be at bar 50 it should add ‘+50 bars -1’ to the Start position on the imported events in Bars and Beats, not in Seconds (linear). So, the imported events would get the Start Position of

All events are starting at the same position in ‘daughter’ projects though.

By ‘on the beat’ I meant at ‘x.x.x.0’ position. At the moment the events that started at in ‘daughter’ projects can be imported at, say, Which, again, indicates that Cubase is looking at the imported events in linear mode and not as Bars and Beats.


Looks like Steinberg has been adopting this motto for the last few years, to be honest.

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I’ve had my share of being pissed on Steinberg and I know how you feel, but I’d do the same (and maybe you too).
On a side note, I must say that the things you can do with Cubase are greater in number than the ones you can’t do. Because of this, it would do you good to learn scripting! You won’t need any new features from Steinberg. Believe me. You will also understand how hard it is to satisfy everyone (or to decide a default behavior).

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But at the moment the default behavior doesn’t make sense, it’s practically illogical. I would agree if the solution wasn’t somewhat simple (i.e. add “X bars” or “X seconds” to the Start Position depending on a Track’s time base set). It’s a music creation program, for God’s sake, which means bars and beats 95% of the time.

Correction: it seems simple. Modifying a behavior successful (keeping Cubase in a stable state) might not be as simple…

But Cubase already does that, albeit only with linear time values. Although I’m not gonna claim that I know all ins and outs of DAW programming. But compared to other stuff Cubase can pull off this a matter of simple addition. The fact that they went with Linear Mode (time) addition and not Musical Mode (bars) addition still buffles me.

Linear is “absolute”.
Musical is “relative”.
It’s easier to comunicate in absolute terms.

Theoretically, yes. But isn’t Relative Musical mode of operation is kinda Music Production Software’s specialty though? And Cubase already does relative additions with other stuff, too.
Anyway, one can only hope that Steinberg will listen.

In the meantime, I’ve got quite a lot of swearing to do.

Swearing always helps :innocent:.

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