Knowledge Base


Studio One: MIDI FAQ

This article addresses some of the more commonly asked questions related to MIDI in Studio One.


Why does Studio One sometimes create a new song when I drag in a MIDI file from the browser?

Studio One uses a threshold for MIDI files, perhaps around 50kb in size, where if a MIDI file is over that threshold it will not import in to an existing song, but instead will create a new song. 

If you are viewing a MIDI file from the browser, you can always tell in advance if the file is over or under that threshold by looking at the bottom of the browser when the file is selected.  If the file will import directly into an existing song you will see preview controls there at the bottom of the browser, which also allows previewing it's tracks.


  • In the case above you can expand the midi file folder icon to see all of the tracks inside of the MIDI file and also only drag in individual tracks if you want.
  • If you do want to open this type of file as a new song instead of importing it's tracks into an existing song, drag and drop it anywhere except the arrange space. For example, drag and drop it to the main toolbar and it will open as a new song.

If you don't see any preview controls as shown in the next image below, importing the file will create a new song. 


  • In the case above if there was a folder icon to expand it to show all of the tracks inside of the MIDI file, if it was Type 1, even trying to drag in a single track would still open the full file as a new song.
  • Type 0 MIDI files like the one in the image above don't have tracks so you can't view or preview or import individual parts of it from the browser even when it can directly import.

By looking in the lower section of the browser you can always know in advance what the import will do as relates to merging into the current song or creating a new song and proceed accordingly.


What is the correct or best way to export a Standard MIDI File from Studio One?

There are a few different ways to export midi files or clips from Studio One.  Drag and drop to the browser Files tab is arguably one of the most efficient ways. 

However, if you want to export a Standard MIDI File that includes all of the necessary attributes such as tempo map and song markers, use File > Save As... and select *.mid or *.midi as the export format in the export dialog's file format selector box.  Some of the other export methods do not capture all of that data so if you are intending to export a full featured MIDI file to perhaps use in another DAW, use the File > Save As... method.

  • Studio One only exports Type 1 (multitrack) MIDI files, not Type 0.


How can I record overlapping MIDI clips in Studio One?

Unlike some other sequencers where that may be optional, recording over a midi clip in Studio One doesn't allow the possibility for the new recording to be captured in a new discreet overlapping clip.  For example...

  • You record a MIDI clip and stop the transport
  • You record another MIDI performance in the same area or range.

In some sequencers you can optionally have the second take be in a new clip on top of the first clip.  In Studio One that data will either always merge into the first clip, Record Mix, or keep the first clip on an inactive layer and put the new clip in it's place on the active layer, Takes To Layers.

  • You can manually stack MIDI clips on top of each other in Studio One on the active layer and they'll all play, but it will not record stacked clips that way.


How do I import a tempo map into Studio One?

Select a MIDI file in the browser Files tab and drag it directly to the Tempo Track in Studio One to extract the tempo map from the MIDI file.  Doing that doesn't require importing any of the musical tracks. 

In Studio One, if Instrument Tracks are set to Beats in the Track Inspector Timebase Field or Audio Tracks are set to Timestretch in the Track Inspector Tempo Field and the audio clips have a root tempo set as a reference or embedded Tempo Metadata, they will automatically conform to the new tempo map, or they won't if not.

  • The tempo extraction feature appeared in 3.5.0 so if it doesn't work for you please update to the latest version of Studio One 3 or greater.


How do I capture the program change data in exported MIDI files?

Currently Studio One doesn't capture program changes in it's MIDI file exports.  There may already be an existing feature request for that on Presonus Answers. 

If you need that for a pre-programmed musical show driven by a MIDI file, managing lights with MIDI messages, etc, etc, you will have to use another sequencer to add program change messages to your MIDI file.


How can I set different MIDI notes in a clip to different MIDI channels?

Studio One doesn't channelize MIDI data at the clip or event level, only at the track level.  With that in mind, you cannot have data on the same track operating on different MIDI channels as may be the preference in some cases where (for example) articulations are perhaps driven by MIDI channel, not by pitch based key-switching.


Does Studio One allow using Midi Machine Control messages?

Yes.  There is a built-in factory external device for that in the Presonus folder.







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