MIDI Versions w/in MIDI Parts (Maybe called MIDI Variations)

I know there is track versions for MIDI just as there is audio, but I feel like trackversions with MIDI is used more for broad differences in arrangement, edits, takes, completely different compositions/etc. It would be handy to have variations (maybe it could be called that so as to not be confused with track versions, ‘MIDI Variations’) within midi parts. Instead of versions, this would be meant more for small variations in the same part you may duplicate or use throughout a track. This would also be displayed on the MIDI event in the form of for example 5/9 - tells you, there are 9 variations total, and you are using variation 5 of 9.

As it currently sounds, to emulate this, I create midi parts and keep adding/building within a part, and then peel back what I’ve added by muting it until I get back down to the foundation. Yes there are other ways I could use this, again using normal track versions, or quickly creating a new part by duplicating it to the next bar, or creating track lanes… But I feel like having a feature like this would be the quickest most efficient way, both in terms of composing, but also auditioning differences.


Would be great to hear from some MIDI gurus/composers on this workflow/gui idea - I’ve mostly been working with audio for the past 5 years and have only occasionally used MIDI and without going very deep.

RIght now, with different variations of the same MIDI section, say a bar, I’m copy dragging it to a lane below, and muting the one above. which is also good, but I’d like to keep my variations and move them around all in one event and avoid the clutter/confusion.

Go to your midi inserts and try beat designer. It could use a update. But it gives you a more clean approach when song writing and working with the drums.


Cubase has most of the things covered with midi. So just digg in to the manual and google. Im shure you find most needs covered.

I don’t think that’s really a practical answer to my request. It involves inserting something and having to go back and forth. It’s out side of the piano roll, it’s beat oriented, etc, etc.

This has been asked for many times. In other DAWs (Samplitude), each ‘event’ is considered an Object and can have ‘versions’. It’s a great feature. But alas it is unsexy.

Ok, have you tride using track lane?

You can with ease make as many variations you want and just jump through the lanes/tracks, just like you do audio takes. Just need to mute the parts and un mute the one you would like to use for the wanted bar count. Also great for layering up more advanced compositions. And you can make track rules and macros to make things work more smooth.

For me that function of jumping different arrangements is covered in many ways. Both at single track level and full project arrangement.

I am currently doing this with lanes, but it’s sort of cumbersome, lanes take up a lot of space, you have to colour everything to remember which variation is which, but that gets confusing when you start making variations on variations and dragging them all over the place… My idea would simplify all of this… I appreciate the workarounds you are suggesting but I’ve already created workarounds and they are annoying.

Mine are decade old tools in cubase, made to make things easy. And lanes dont take up much space. You leave the track closed for the most part and mute the pressent bars and choose different version and un mute. Dont have to open the lanes to change version.

But if you start working with 20-30 alt versions. Yes you face a big mess. Eaven with lazymans easy picking of tracks. Arranger track and loop your way through your ideas might be better for you.

I use a notebook and good old pencile and eraser too keep track of my progress. Might be something you should try :wink:

It’s more because I create alot of variations at once, and then experiment with them all over a project. But, you look at how Hans Zimmer works… he’ll create hundreds of variations of something. So for example, you could have just 1 Midi event now for ‘Fill’, with 10 variations. How many times you copy ‘Fill’, it will retain those variations. So ‘Fill’ before chorus one could be using 2/10 and ‘fill’ before Chorus 2, could be 9/10… but then you could quickly reverse that order without having to do any copy/paste. It would just be quicker, and more creative in a way. Easier to retain all ideas for later use if needed - that is the beauty of working digital.