The power of Midi Inserts! A positive post! ;-)


Just wanted to make a positive post about a somewhat over shadowed element of Cubase. Midi Incert FX’S

I have know of there existence since my first ventures in to Cubase back in college,when Cubase VST 32 5.1 was current. I am ashamed to say I moslty just use the Arpedgiator.

Recently I have had some time to play around and have discovered the power of Density, Midi Modifier and Quantize. The ability to make variations on a loop, add swing, add random velocity, throw the whole thing to to triplets etc. Throw a midi drum loop through it and you will never be short of a variation!

I feel like I have come across a trade secret and Ill get a knock on the door soon! :wink:

I am now thinking of refining some down, and throwing the midi back on to groove agent pads and starting over with random pitch to pick which variation get triggered!

It’s a shame that all the audio plugins seem to IMO steal the lime light.

I suppose I should next learn logical editor and really have my mind blown, with what just Midi Can do.

I wanted to make a positive upbeat post that might inspire some.

Thanks for reading



If you want to blow your mind a little more then you can freeze those inserts/modifiers into a new MIDI event, and the inserts are automatically frozen.

Just select the events in that track and go [MIDI] > [Freeze MIDI Modifiers]:

I’m always using this function for arps, density, swings etc. to commit into MIDI data that I can further tweak.


Thank you I wondered how to do that, I had being tying to record it back in but that dose not work!

Good tip!

I suspect the quantizer plugin insert is no longer maintained, i.e., you don’t get as many quantization choices there as you do in the quantize panel. It takes even more mouse clicks to get to the quantize plugin settings in the inserts menu (which uses an excruciating small font with up/down arrow to change it).

The quantize plugin setting applies to the entire track. You can keep that plugin open in the MIDI inserts section such that when you switch from track to track, the quantize plugin will display (or recall) what the current quantization setting is for each track. That’s the only place I know of where Cubase actually recalls and displays what MIDI data has already been quantized to. It would be more useful to recall and see what quantization is already set to on a finer per MIDI region basis instead of a per track basis. Newer DAWs do this automatically in their inspector panels for MIDI data/regions. Cubase is an older design that does not provide that kind of region based inspectors. (I added a feature request for it anyway, Display and set quantization parameters per MIDI region (regardless of track))

There even is a public SDK available for those MIDI effects (those are unrelated to VST3). But that is not widely used by 3rd parties, as those plugins are basically supported in Cubase/Nuendo only.

So we could build our own custom MIDI plugs?

In general, yes. But that particular SDK hasn’t been updated for quite some while.

Under this link, 3rd-Party Developers Support & SDKs | Steinberg, looks like it is the “VST Module Architecture SDK”. If you drop the top level index.html onto your browser, you can read the available documentation. The timestamp on the source files is 2004 and the MacOS Xcode project would not load as is (may be too old for the newer versions of Xcode).

Yes, it is the VST MA SDK (VST Module Architecture). Used it for some ideas years ago, but Windows only.

The actual plugin interface is IMidiEffect.