Playbeat 3 - Exported midi not triggering sounds on playback

Hi - I’m trying to use midi that I dragged out of Playbeat 3 to my DAW (Cubase 10.5) and play it back. The midi looks fine in my DAW within the instrument track but when I press play in my DAW I’m not getting any audio out of Playbeat, it seems like the midi in the track isn’t triggering the Playbeat VST. Most VST instruments and drum samplers play back fine if there is midi in the track but that’s not happening with Playbeat. Is there some sort of mode that needs to be set in Playbeat that will allow it to be triggered by midi from the DAW? I’d like to be able to control the playback using midi instead of the internal sequencer, is that possible? I checked the manual but not finding anything helpful for this issue. Thanks.

Hello Sean, I hope you’re doing well and safe.

Thanks for reaching out. Playbeat uses real-time pitch shifting for each of the sequencers and not static, which would make the MIDI input data irrelevant to the playback. Each of the ‘effects’ on the chain (Density/Pitch/Volume/Pan etc…) process audio in real time therefore having different notes on MIDI input would not translate during playback.

You can however 1. save your patterns as presets and trigger them via MIDI through the Quick-Load slots on your project(s), 2. export them as Audio (Stems or Full Mixes) or 3. Record Playbeat in real-time to another Audio track.

Hope this helps!

This really is disappointing to read. If I had of known this, I might not have purchased this app. Using presets within Playbeat 3 is OK, but it’s also limiting. It seems this plugin is good for people who play LIVE, but cumbersome for people who program their beats.

I probably don’t understand the technical side of things here, but I’m confused why a MIDI pattern can’t control the pattern the drums play. You can kind of do it sloppy way by changing the settings and assign keys to pad previews, and program in beats that way.

I just don’t understand why you can’t take a pattern you like and export that as MIDI, then have that MIDI trigger the samples to play. Like how many popular plugins do it (ex. UJAM’s Beatmaker series). I just don’t understand the technical side, perhaps, as to why you can click dots in the UI to trigger kick track (for example), but you can’t have MIDI input triggering the kick as well / instead.

Heck, it’s even weird to me that you can use MIDI to toggle through presets, but you can’t do something as simple as using MIDI to trigger the kick drum? Or is the way I described (changing the settings for Pad 1-8 Preview Sample to keys, and using those keys to trigger) the proper way to do it?

And if that works, why wouldn’t the exported MIDI automatically map to notes assigned to each of the pads so that you could just do what makes sense (export MIDI, and have that MIDI automatically trigger drums)?

I really want to like this plugin, but this feels like a missed opportunity!

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Hello nait,

I understand the confusion around this topic, but please note that Playbeat is not one static Sequencer engine , we have 8 totally independent sequencers, which all of them can do real-time pitch shifting (or other audio process) ranging from C-2 to G8. So triggering e.g. a Kick on a key C2 which in this case can be performed by any -or all- of these 8 sequencers, which one of these 8 sequencers would you expect to trigger the Kick track?

As you correctly pointed out , we could control each sequencer from one note, e.g. - C1 for Sequencer 1, C#1 for Sequencer 2 etc… but this midi message will only trigger notes/steps and will not change the pitch of the step (or any other ‘effect’ such as Density, Flam, Pan) which is a process on our engine ‘after’ the step is triggered.

Do you think a plain step-entering feature via midi keyboard would prove beneficial for your workflow? Given that this function would not pass any other information to Playbeat such as Pan, Flam, Density values, & Pitch?

Hi, thank you so much for the response and clarification. I actually understand things quite a bit better now.

I think what complicates things, as you say, is the pitch shifting. In my puny user-brain world, I was just looking at things from the perspective of triggering steps, I guess you could say? Which brings us to your question…

“Do you think a plain step-entering feature via midi keyboard would prove beneficial for your workflow? Given that this function would not pass any other information to Playbeat such as Pan, Flam, Density values, & Pitch?”

I think this actually would be a very useful feature for people. Perhaps that’s already part way there with the way I had described in my prior post… mapping Pad 1-8 Preview Sample to keys. But it would be something like C1 triggers a step on track 1, C#1, a step on track 2, etc.

As far as the “effects” (pitch changes, volume, panning, etc.), I didn’t even really think about controlling those via MIDI. I guess that does complicate things, especially pitch, since you’re already using pitch to trigger the track. I guess in my head, I was thinking that with MIDI you’d trigger the steps only, and the remaining “effects” would all still be controlled within the Playbeat UI.

I might be looking at this the wrong way though, perhaps, and I have to re-think about what the best workflow for me would be. The thing is, I like being able to use Playbeat to generate some patterns randomly. Then once I have those patterns, I like to be able to make slight (predictable, not random) adjustments to them on my own.

I’ll have to think about this a bit, but with my workflow, maybe it would make more sense to use Playbeat 3 as a way to generate MIDI drum patterns (maybe even real-time, sometimes), and then use some other VSTi for producing the sound. Then I can take those patterns and manipulate them how I want, or layer them with other drum patterns.

I think we can work toward this functionality where you could play some predefined keys to trigger any of the sequencers which will then be entered as steps on Playbeat engine.

Of course you can use Playbeat as a MIDI sequencer to ‘feed’ any other VST/Sampler/Hardware, but then you won’t take advantage for he real-time pitch shifting effects as you would have to set static Pitch output notes to send to that other application. e.g. - lock Kick output to C1, lock Snare output to C#1 etc…

Hopefully we can include such functionality the soonest.

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Thank you for that!

Re: the 2nd para… you are right! I guess this would not work to feed another VST in real-time for that reason. One could still generate the MIDI in their individual parts and feed it into multiple VSTS (one for each track) since the MIDI holds the pitch changes and other ‘effects’ (I think everything but pan), but that seems like it’s probably too much work for the return you’ll get from that kind of setup.

I look forward to the new functionality in the future though, thank you for your time!

The original question is exactly what I thought. Just bought it and don’t know the best way to use it in my workflow. It can be great if you implement the suggested feature! Thanks

I also had no chance to see this behavior in the demo since demo has disabled export.
What is the point of exporting midi? Only for feeding another sampler with pattern?
Without working with exported midi can complicate the whole workflow since there is a need to manage another sequencer inside main sequencer and to sync between them for the track duration…

Yes, we’re working to add this type of functionality to our upcoming update.

Hello michael, I hope you’re doing well.

That is correct, the exported MIDI can be used to ‘feed’ any other Instrument/Sampler/Hardware module.
Why would you need to manage another sequencer inside main sequencer and to sync to it?
You have the option to either drag the audio or stem directly or record the whole track to a new Track in real-time.

Thank you for reply :slight_smile:
I mean that I already have in the main host sequencer (Studio One in my case) the structure and ordering of the channel events, so for example I see that at some point I need to mute/change the drums part, lets say on bar 37. If I had the midi parts visible in the main sequencer I could just edit/delete the drums events. But how can I do it when all the timeline managed inside the Playbeat? How do I tell Playbeat to play a specific variation of the pattern at bar 37?
I always work with midi because it is much faster to modify things instead of re-rendering audio events (and also I put fx/modulations on a separate channels, will they be rendered by ?)Playbeat?)

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As explained earlier in this thread, this would mean that any real-time effects produced by Playbeat would not work. Although we do work for an update that will utilize MIDI input, now you can either drag/export your Audio files or Stems and arrange them in your DAW timeline, or use automation to switch through the quick-load presets accordingly.

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Hi, I’m excited by Playbeat and had the same question.
Reason for confusion is that THERE IS a midi export option, ad so we expect it will simply play back the internal sounds.
One way is to divide midi input channels in a DAW for each track - which works for NI Maschine with some routing efforts, especially in Cubase or Bitwig this is quite clumsy.
A more elegant solution is to create midi ports for each tracks - example is Groove Agent by Steinberg. For each instance you have 4 ports for up to 4 available kits in access, and you can edit the drums for each of them individually on the tracks.
I wonder why no other developers had this idea, and this feature would surely give a great impact to Playbeat. Optional input ports would be PB Track 1, 2 and so on.

We are working to release an update which provides this kind of functionality, on top you will be able to record patterns into Playbeat sequencer via MIDI keyboard in real-time. We expect to have this out the soonest.

Thanks for you patience :slight_smile:

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Thank you - sounds great!

Good thread! I tried exporting each midi stem on a groove I made, then they didn’t playback until I moved each one to the right note, but then they were missing all the pan, pitch etc etc stuff. I was like well what is the point of that then? Being able to export the midi and have it play back all the functions in Playbeat I think is an essential upgrade to the app. This will allow way easier arranging without having to bounce audio until one is really ready to bounce audio. Keeping things as MIDI as long as possible helps create a more dynamic arrangement in my workflow anyways. I know others prefer to work with audio. It is a very cool app though and I look forward to the updates!


I bought Playbeat and am also very pleased right now. More and more people work with MIDI and the export to Midi was also a reason for me to buy Playbeat. But what good is the MIDI export if I can not play it through Playbeat. When can we expect the update?

The reason behind this incompatibility is the real-time pitch shifting engine that currently does not support importing/triggering MIDI files due to its complex handling as each Sequencer has a C -2 to G8 range, and not just a single note to receive as input.

It is possible that with our upcoming version update we will add the option to be able to import midi using a fixed note setup, probably the General MIDI key map or a custom setup, but in this way it could be only used to trigger Playbeat and not exporting whatever the Pitch tab is rendering, a ‘true’ midi export that is used now.

We are working to have our V4 released later on this season and we will try to introduce this new feature instead of the current MIDI export, or have both options and let user select the way MIDI export will work.

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That sounds promising!