MIDI reverse - Atari Cubase to the rescue

Going back several versions, and still in C6, MIDI reverse has been doctored, such that a nominally reversed MIDI part isn’t actually the reverse of the original - some discussion here:



Hmm – “When you perform an optical reverse, the musical result is wrong” – well, that’s a matter of opinion, of course, but the consensus at SB seems to be that Cubase ought to intervene EVERY SINGLE TIME to make your composition sound more like a pop song.

It’s a shame, IMHO, that there isn’t (yet?) an option to override Cubase’s well-intentioned meddling on those occasions when you want a reversal to be just that.

If there’s a utility somewhere to reverse a MIDI file, it’s not easy to find.

But I just did this …

  1. Export a MIDI part as a MIDI file
  2. Open the MIDI file in Atari Cubase
  3. Select the MIDI part to be reversed
  4. Open it the List Editor
  5. In the Functions menu, select Reverse
  6. Close the List Editor (save edits)
  7. Export the reversed part as a MIDI file
  8. Import the MIDI file into 21st-Century Cubase

That did just what I wanted, albeit that the musical result was wrong, by SB’s definition.

And tonight I’ll cook on an open fire, because my gas cooker puts OXO in everything.

Hmm – "When you perform an optical reverse, the musical result is wrong

I think that something may be lost in the translation there. I’d say the midi info per note just needs reversing.

Going back several versions, and still in C6, MIDI reverse has been doctored, such that a nominally reversed MIDI part isn’t actually the reverse of the original

Isn’t it the case that a perfectly reversed midi part would have it’s note off at the front etc?

And if that wasn’t the desired effect the user wanted there’d be a couple of options that may be desirable.
1: Tails off at the end. As per normal as if it was entered in reverse.
2: Tails to the front. As per a reverse reverb or tape, say.

Just a couple of thoughts. Good old Atari. Two mentions today. Maybe time for a relaunch. Unless my trusty phone’s an Atari in disguise.

Well that would be true for reversed audio, but I don’t expect that’s what’s usually in the mind of someone wanting to reverse some MIDI notes. And if that’s what’s wanted, it could be achieve it by creating audio from the MIDI notes and then reversing the audio - And, to do it any other way would (I think) require the instrument playing the MIDI to make a reverse-playback kind of sound, which might not be easily done.

But focussing on what Cubase actually does at the moment, I think the trouble arises from a desire to deal effectively with unquantised or unequal note lengths - if the music has a distinct pulse, the literal reversal of such notes (mirroring) might sometimes make the notes seem badly timed. So SB implemented a method to overcome that.

But one consequence of Cubase’s tweaked reversal procedure is that the nominal “reverse” of, for instance, a series of notes with rests between them can include overlapping notes - or a short note appearing somewhere during a long one. And it’s hard to believe that’s what anyone would have had in mind when they thought about reversing the MIDI notes. The result may or may not be usable, but - good or bad - I expect it’s often not what the user expected.


“Hooray” for “progress” !

Hi all,

The response from Christian D. was a copy of what I received previously (Feb 3) in response to a support request I made to Steinberg USA.

What is missing is what preceeded the message:

This is already on Dev Track.

I think there is a misunderstanding how the Reverse…

And what came after:

…gives the best musical result.

We need to develop a new mirror events feature."

So maybe that’s what’s happening, they are developing, or hope to develop Mirror Events feature, which us Retrograde. Yes, in other apps they call it that, which is it’s name :angry: dag nab it.

That said, there is a workaround for certain situations that can be relatively painless, depending on if there have to be rests in there… if you quantize the lengths of all the notes to the smallest one in the set, things comes out okay. But that’s only a partial (or a non-) solution.

So, Steinberg Devs… Mirror Events function please.

Aaah…Atari. I still have about 30 Atari formatted floppies full of my old midi files, I wonder if they’re still readable? Might get them out of the attic and take a trip down memory lane!

BTW I think when Christian said “Optical” we might take that as “Mirrored”? Maybe?

It’s not possible to reverse a “midi note” unless the midi data is triggering a reversed audio sample, or the audio track produced from the midi data is reversed. Is the o/p talking about a timing issue?

I wasn’t wanting instrumental notes to play backwards (like an audio recording played backwards). I just wanted a mirror-type reversal, where the note lengths and the gaps between notes were the same as in the original MIDI, as if you looked at the Key Editor display in a mirror. That’s what the “Reverse” function in Atari Cubase’s List Editor did - what the current reversal procedure does is nothing like that, except in particular circumstances.

Try it …

  1. Create a short empty MIDI part, open it in Key Editor, and then quickly and non-systematically draw about six or eight notes, somewhat randomly, with the pencil tool, with no quantising and no snapping, with short and long notes and with rests between all the notes, and never more than one note sounding at once.

  2. Copy the part to another track, “reverse” it, open it in Key Editor - is there still never more that one note playig at once? Select all the notes and move their pitch down an octave (to make step 3 easier).

  3. Open both the original and reversed parts in the Key Editor at once. Look at the relationship between the original and “reversed” notes - can you see where the “reversed” pitches come from? - and the note lengths? - is it what you’d have expected from a reversal process?