MIDI Resolution Ticks, PPQ, and Quantize


Using Cubase 8.5 Pro I find these statements in the manual:

When Cubase stores a MIDI note’s position, it makes the measurement in an absolute value, called ticks.
There are 480 ticks to a quarter note.
480 ticks per quarter note (and thus 120 ticks per sixteenth note)

The above seems right, as it accords with the locations assigned to events per the displayed quadruples (in all edit fields) such as (4th bar, 3rd beat, 2nd 16th, 119th tick) Four 16ths per quarter note x 120 ticks per 16th = 480 ticks per quarter note (aka 480 ppq).

So far, so clear!

However, I also find in the manual:

You can specify a MIDI resolution between 24 and 960 for the MIDI file.
The resolution is the number of pulses, or ticks, per quarter note (PPQ)
and determines the precision with which you will be able to view and edit
the MIDI data. The higher the resolution, the higher the precision.
Choose the resolution depending on the application or sequencer with
which the MIDI file will be used, though, since certain applications and
sequencers may not be able to handle certain resolutions.

How is it possible to export a MIDI file at a higher resolution that it was saved in the first place?

Also, I find in the Logical Editor and the Quantize Panel that quantizations of 1/64 and 1/128 are offered.
I don’t get it because 64 and 128 do not divide into 480 evenly. (32 does, and so I would have thought 1/32 would be the tiniest valid quantization in the series)

Is the MIDI resolution actually higher than 480 ppq? Could someone please explain this situation to me?

I’m not 100% certain of this, but, yes, I think that is indeed the case. The PPQ that we can set is merely for editing/display purposes. (and, apparently, for “limiting” the export resolution :wink: )

It would be great if a Steinberg rep could provide an authoritative technical answer about this.