MIDI Notes vs. Score Notes

MIDI tracks in Cubase hold MIDI notes and other MIDI data. A MIDI note in Cubase is defined by its position, length, pitch and velocity.

This is not nearly enough information to decide how the note is to be displayed in a score. Information about the type of instrument, the key of the song, the basic rhythm, or the grouping of the notes under beams is not provided. This is the kind of information that you can set up in the Score Editor.


Cubase stores a MIDI note position in an absolute value, called ticks. A quarter note consists of 480 ticks.

Figure 1. A quarter note at the end of a 4/4 bar

The note is on the fourth beat of the bar.

If you change the time signature to ¾, this shortens the length of a bar to three quarter notes which corresponds to 1440 ticks. The quarter note is therefore moved to the next bar:

Figure 2. The same note in 3/4

The note is still at the same absolute position, but by changing the time signature, each bar is shorter. This effectively moves the note in the score, because the Score Editor interprets it differently.