Questions & Answers

closed Retrospective Record / Capture Recording [Completed 5.1]

+578 votes
asked Dec 10, 2015 in Completed Feature Requests by niles (54,610 points)
closed Oct 26, 2020 by niles

This was added in Studio One 5.1.0. Thank you very much to everyone who supported this request  and to PreSonus for implementing this great feature!


I would like to suggest a feature that always records the MIDI data of an armed track in a buffer on playback. So when you are jamming along with a song or tweaking some filters but forgot to press record you can still retrieve the data after you stopped playback. In Cubase, Tracktion/Waveform, Samplitude & Live it's called Retrospective record, and in Logic it's called Capture Recording.

Examples of seven DAWs with retrospective MIDI record.


Cubase 10.5+ (improved retrospective record version)





Pro Tools

Digital Performer

closed with the note: Feature complete!

78 Answers

+1 vote
answered Oct 21, 2020 by Lukas Ruschitzka (256,440 points)
selected Oct 26, 2020 by niles
Best answer
Implemented in 5.1 :)
+16 votes
answered Dec 10, 2015 by jpettit (11,810 points)
Let's call it perpetual record. :-)

I have not checked but do the current pre buffer times only cover audio?
+20 votes
answered Dec 11, 2015 by niles (54,610 points)
edited Dec 30, 2015 by niles

Pre Record is different (and does not work for MIDI), it records a set amount before (manual) punch in. Studio One is able to record MIDI events Pre count. But that's also different, because you still planned a recording.
Retrospective always records. Whether in stop or playback mode. The buffer is flushed as soon as you playback again. It's very useful to capture spontaneous moments but can also speed up your work significantly, because you don't have to enable record, don't have to delete wrong takes, don't have to figure out that lick or CC change again that accidentally sounded very cool etc. In Cubase I hardly ever touch the record button when working with MIDI. I just play along. When I think I'm happy after the take, I press Shift-* to parse the buffer to the track.

I've shot a short video to show how it exactly works in Cubase.

+18 votes
answered Dec 11, 2015 by patricemazmanian (5,240 points)
This function should capture the notes on / off and also the "cc midi"
The pre buffer, which jpetit speaks only works with notes on / off.
"Capture as Recording" should work in play mode !
With Samplitude it also works in stop mode !!!
+47 votes
answered Feb 25, 2016 by jjanis5 (600 points)
I've been asking for this since day one S1V1 1.0... One of my favorite features in Cubase and why I continue to use Cubase over Studio One.
+36 votes
answered Apr 10, 2016 by jussituukkanen (360 points)
One of the most important features for many composers for music in Film
+21 votes
answered May 27, 2016 by j1cumbee (560 points)
This is the single feature I miss the most in S1 coming from Logic. Here's a page explaining how it works for anyone not familiar with how amazing this feature is:
+33 votes
answered Aug 3, 2016 by rhetrick (420 points)
The only way this feature cannot be the #1 requested feature has to be because people haven't had it before and do not know its incredible utility.  There is something about organic jamming with a track, without record armed, that leads to the very best moments in recording.  You then hit record and all of the sudden, your fingers and brain no longer remember what was hit.  PLEASE people, vote this higher!!!
+15 votes
answered Aug 16, 2016 by samuliteerilahti (1,080 points)
I would jump ships instantly from Cubase if this gets implemented!
–16 votes
answered Sep 11, 2016 by spencerdog (230 points)
I agree this would be great.  But the programmers need to be warned that it may not be easy or even possible to get this to work in 100% of environments.  Many people, including myself, could never get it to work in Cubase with "normal" settings... even in latest 8.5.20 version.  Depending on your MIDI setup and controller you may need to do things like disabling any preference where "MIDI chases the controller" which could break other things.
+10 votes
answered Oct 27, 2016 by mikemanners (1,360 points)
I too hope that Presonus will add this feature.

Retrospective record in Cubase was essential kit for me.

However, reclocking the captured performance to add midi drum tracks I have yet to figure out.

As an improvisor, extemporiser, working this way is wonderful if I could understand how to lock my unquantised parts to locck with those that are :)
+6 votes
answered Nov 5, 2016 by niles (54,610 points)
Half of the system is already build since the MIDI monitor exactly logs what event is received when. If the logged note en envelope events are stored in a buffer that is flushed prior to each playback start, it could be converted to MusicPerformance data on the armed track(s) when firing the command to parse the data from the buffer to the armed track when playback is stopped.
+9 votes
answered Apr 13, 2017 by spittss (340 points)
Yes PLEASE add this feature! This is the one thing I really love about LOGIC PRO! Come on PRESONUS! You guys can do this!
+4 votes
answered May 18, 2017 by rohannvanrensburg (460 points)

Would have to agree. There are a few relatively basic features S1 needs to come out on top. I really appreciate this program, but there are some relatively small (perhaps not on a developmental level) features that would dramatically improve the ease of use. I'm still toying with the idea of Cubase and the like, but if something like this, a hotkey to duplicate the events/track as well as the VST itself, and some features from Studio One X, etc get added, no other DAW would be a consideration. That and the heavy CPU usage, that is.

+11 votes
answered Jul 22, 2017 by jasonbrown19 (1,100 points)
Hi Folks,

I've just this week moved over to this great software after 17 years on Logic, because Studio One at least for me feels so much more creative to use. I'm starting to investigate various features of Studio One and I ended up on this thread because I Googled "Studio One capture last take as recording like in Logic" hoping that this very much used feature was already in the program.

I'm a little gutted that it isn't as it's a very important feature to have, in my opinion, and as somebody else in this thread said I can only think that the reason this isn't being up voted  more is because people haven't ever had access to it or used it in their DAW.

Please PreSonus add this much used/needed feature to your brilliant software.


+6 votes
answered Aug 30, 2017 by CLAAP (640 points)
What's the status on this? I'm thinking about moving to Studio One, but Retrospective is a feature i really rely on.

The best would be to be able to recall in a new MIDI event all incoming midi notes & CCs (possibly filtered by midi input / channel) that just happened, up to a specific midi buffer size (set in Preferences) - no matter if the track is armed or not and whether in stop or playback mode (just like Retrospective).
+7 votes
answered Nov 1, 2017 by joachimsvare (3,110 points)
edited Nov 27, 2017 by joachimsvare
I am migrating from Logic. The lack of this feature is almost a dealbreaker for me!

It is basically the only way I record midi.
+8 votes
answered Nov 2, 2017 by niles (54,610 points)
And we can add Live to the list of DAW's supporting this great feature...

+6 votes
answered Nov 28, 2017 by tarsonis (3,210 points)
I'm wonder why it gets just a few upvotes. Too bad that most people don't know this feature. Even old fashed super duper sound engineers I met didn't know about the feature in cubase. The best takes I made where saved through this feature. Also wondering why ableton "creative workflow" monster didn't even have this.
+5 votes
answered Nov 29, 2017 by LFO (3,430 points)
Now after all these updates which made S1 almost perfect DAW, this is the single feature left that still keeps me on Logic, although Logic's implementation of this is not perfect as the sequencer need to run (play) in order to Capture, unlike Cubase style where you don't have to press play first in order to capture played notes.
Please add this Cubase style, this is golden feature and many people don't know about it, and, I guess, soon it will be much more requested as Ableton is marketing it like they invented it and all those new producers will (re)discover it widely.
0 votes
answered Nov 29, 2017 by LFO (3,430 points)

Ok, I found this plugin that makes this feature step ahead of every implementation that I've seen so far:

Similar built-in implementation would make S1 more advanced than others DAWs regarding this.

–12 votes
answered Dec 31, 2017 by sirmonkey (2,710 points)
I do get why people like this idea. I actually like the concept too. However, this idea saves ALL ideas, and can seriously chew up memory space. Remember, this would save ALL ideas, and NOT just the nifty moments that you had. I would love to save every spontaneous moment that turned out well. But I can only keep some of those moments. Because my memory is finite. Just like everyone else.

Nice idea, but it has drawbacks. If implemented, I would want to disable this "feature".
+7 votes
answered Dec 31, 2017 by niles (54,610 points)
edited Dec 31, 2017 by niles

answer by sirmonkey: I don't think you grasp the concept of Retrospective record entirely. It does not store any take, it only remembers the last take. As soon as you press play again the buffer is flushed. When correctly implemented you can set the size of the Retrospective record buffer. Keep in mind we are talking MIDI here (Max 3 bytes messages + a few bytes for the time stamp), 10.000 events won't come close to 100kB. We already used this feature successfully in 2006 when there was a lot less RAM in computers.

Obviously an option to disable it for those who don't want/need it, is always good.

+8 votes
answered Jan 25, 2018 by neiljordan1 (18,370 points)

This has just been added to Pro Tools in v2018.1 too. Don't want to fall behind them!

+1 vote
answered Jan 30, 2018 by niles (54,610 points)

answer by LFO: I think Capture MIDI isn't as elegant as how retrospective record is implemented in Cubase (and some other DAW's). Retrospective record is no nonsense,  no dragging, fast recovery of the data captured by the MIDI device(s) between the last and next run. It's not necessary to separately store every melody, after all that's where the sequencer itself is for. Just being able to push a button and recover what you did between the last and next run is the whole idea. The elegance of Retrospective record is its simplicity. You don't need to think about it nor manage it.

+2 votes
answered Mar 20, 2018 by mikemanners (1,360 points)
As others have done, I migrated from Cubase Professional to Studio One some years ago.

In my opinion, Retrospective Record in Cubase was of little use - recording that inspirational extempore piece of music one found that, unless it was very simple, needed a great deal of editing, before it fitted with tempo of the project.

The ultimate I feel is 'Capture' in Live 10 - but there is much power in that under the surface, and will be very difficult to emulate.

Nevertheless, Studio One users need a similar 'Capture'. Anything that is better than that offered in previous versions of Cubase might be better than not having it at all - providing it doesn't force us to jump through hoops to make the captured Midi fit in with the project Tempo/Quantizing.
–4 votes
answered Apr 9, 2018 by mikemanners (1,360 points)
Retrospective Record in Cubase was, in my opinion of little use.

Ableton have taken the protocol and made it their own in Live 10: called Capture. This is so far removed from that previously offered in Cubase.

Presonus would have their work cut-out to implement a similar Capture in Studio One. But I hope that they will prove to be up-to-the-task !
+2 votes
answered Apr 15, 2018 by davidwarner2 (690 points)
Whilst this isn't a dealbreaker for me as I didn't know other DAWs had this until today, I can absolutely see the value of this kind of functionality.

Up until now, what I've done when "messing around" is just hit record in a scratch pad and start playing until something good comes up. However, something built in that functions like the "Capture MIDI" macOS plugin (how I wish it was available for Windows) which can be disabled or lightly configured and adds to a pool would be outstanding - capturing MIDI data with a defined "no MIDI input in X bars" boundary is outstanding, and flushing the stored cache on each session end (i.e. exiting Studio One) would keep things organised and clear.

Preferably, also allow us to store where this data is saved so that we can save it on whatever medium we prefer (to minimize undesirable SSD usage)

All in, I think this should absolutely be a feature of SO Pro 4. I would upgrade for that functionality. Even better, make it a part of 3, but don't half-*** it :) :)
+1 vote
answered Apr 20, 2018 by niles (54,610 points)

answer by mikemanners 

Retrospective Record in Cubase was, in my opinion of little use.

Ableton have taken the protocol and made it their own in Live 10: called Capture. This is so far removed from that previously offered in Cubase.

I'm a Cubase user so I don't know what makes Ableton's version "so far removed" from Cubase's Retrospective record. Could you elaborate on that? What makes Ableton's version more useful? We all benefit if at the end of the day the best possible version of Retrospective Record / Capture is implemented. Thanks!

+5 votes
answered May 24, 2018 by tarsonis (3,210 points)
So Studio One 4 is out with some nice and fancy features BUT NO capture. Pretty disappointing for my side. Just Capture would justify the high upgrade price (professional) for me.

+4 votes
answered Jul 24, 2018 by xyenzfyxion (2,940 points)
Really, PreSonus. You and your products are awesome. We would truly love the addition of a MIDI Capture feature. When are we getting this? I don't code, but I imagine that at least a start wouldn't derail too many of your other plans/wip, right? Please, can we get something in the way of Live's Capture? Your competitors have it, and your clientele base wants it.

Thank you!
+3 votes
answered Aug 4, 2018 by snb1 (980 points)
Yes please add this feature! Also add the automatic tempo detections as well like Live 10. Pretty please. This feature would be highly appreciated.
+3 votes
answered Aug 20, 2018 by jasonsachtjen (650 points)
Yes, please add this feature!  I won't make the switch from Logic until you guys add it.  I am very close.  PLZ.  Thanks!!
+5 votes
answered Sep 13, 2018 by jjanis5 (600 points)
edited Sep 13, 2018 by jjanis5
Please for the love of everything... This needs to be done NOW more than ever with the Atom coming out... Shortcut from the controller could be Shift + Rec.

Call it "Pre-cord"
0 votes
answered Nov 4, 2018 by 1234 (250 points)
If record and play on midi input could also be added into the record settings this would be a great time saver :)
+3 votes
answered Nov 7, 2018 by marcora (2,870 points)
FL Studio implements this by allowing the user to dump the last 5 (or whatever the setting is) minutes of last notes played into an instrument part, which can then be edited to isolate the chunk of midi that the user wants to keep.
+5 votes
answered Nov 13, 2018 by staffordwilson (370 points)
On Windows 7, I have scoured the net trying to find a work-around for this - e.g. a VST plugin that can perform the same feature but it's just not there. I have to say, some of my best performances have been captured using retrospective record on Cubase - I simply CANNOT give up that feature.
+6 votes
answered Dec 16, 2018 by johnnylucid (530 points)
Another very important feature that is missing from S1.
I hope to see it added soon.
+2 votes
answered Jan 13, 2019 by LFO (3,430 points)
I am currently on the fence switching from Logic and still waiting for this feature in order to consider a switch to S1 which I find more logical.
I would like to add that new implementation from Ableton Live is really great as it is also automatically adjusting tempo of the project to your captured play - something to consider, too.
+6 votes
answered Jan 16, 2019 by Beloved1 (1,490 points)
CAPTURE MIDI.. So I have Ableton, S1, FL studio, and by far I'm a huge fan of the direction S1 is going and I just realized how amazing capture Midi in Ableton is and seriously, this feature is a must have if you're producing music in  S1.  it only makes sense, given that S1 already has really good midi functions.  So I'm definitely up voting this feature in hopes Presonus Listens.   please up vote this feature S1 Fam. Lets make this happen.
+6 votes
answered Jan 30, 2019 by alexanderdetig1 (280 points)
Switched back to Cubase because of the lack of this feature. Sad.

Maybe we have to open up some support tickets. Maybe then they will recognize it?
+4 votes
answered Feb 4, 2019 by jasonsachtjen (650 points)
Please please please add this feature!  Thanks!!!!
+2 votes
answered Mar 27, 2019 by chillheimer (420 points)
Please please implement this!
I've lost so many great ideas since I've switched from Cubase. This is by far the feature I miss most and it actually made me try and buy Cubase 9 if the rest has improved since I left with Cubase 6. And nope, Studio One is still my favourite.
But please guys! This is such an essential feature for creative jamming..
+3 votes
answered Apr 1, 2019 by tamhuynh (210 points)
This feature is imperative, no excuse!

I'm quitting Studio One 4 to go back to Cubase before using it! Very Sad!

Just like Notion 6, we have been almost there (to be A class)... but not there for a long... long time.
+4 votes
answered Apr 4, 2019 by rohannvanrensburg (460 points)
Studio One does just about anything I need (and more than I don't even know it can do), but this is one of the few things that has made me want Cubase. This would have allowed me to save dozens of ideas or happy accidents that are now gone forever.
+5 votes
answered May 30, 2019 by jasonsachtjen (650 points)
once this feature is added, i will switch fully from logic.  PLEASE guys, add this.  thanks!!!
+2 votes
answered Jun 13, 2019 by jw31 (2,090 points)
I switched to Cubase during a sale recently for MPE and retrospective MIDI record. If Studio One had these, it'd be my main DAW again, as the workflow is great.

There are just so many inspirational moments when I'm just playing away, that retrospective record captures.
+3 votes
answered Jul 9, 2019 by samirelborno (8,390 points)
I use this feature in all mentioned DAWs all the time. I would do so in Studio One as well so a big +1 from me.

This feature is essential to my workflow!
+4 votes
answered Jul 27, 2019 by [email protected] (1,250 points)
It's been almost 5 years and over 300 votes for this feature, and still nothing? I'm losing faith in presonus direction to support serious composers who want to make studio one their main daw.  This is a huge workflow request to aid in creative process, and if you don't intend on adding it you should let people know. Looks like I'll be sticking with cubase.
+2 votes
answered Nov 15, 2019 by niles (54,610 points)
I've added the video of Steinberg's improvement to their Retrospective record feature in Cubase. It's pretty awesome and a pity we still have nothing remotely close to that in Studio One.