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Starship Krupa

One MIDI track, multiple soft synths

Question

This is such a basic thing that I must have just missed it in the documentation. Playing multiple instruments from a single source is something MIDI has been able to do for 37 years, so there must be nothing to stacking 'em up inside Cakewalk.

I have a recorded-in-real time MIDI track that I want use to drive 2 different soft synths.

My MIDI track seems to allow only a single output, and I can't see any way to "stack" or daisy chain soft synths. Some equivalent to the hardware synth "thru."

I've tried different combinations of Synth tracks, Simple Instrument tracks, MIDI channel assignments, examined the Synth Rack, still, nada. I tried creating a Simple Instrument track and putting the other synth I wanted to use in its FX rack. Nope, no matter what I choose as the MIDI track's output, only one synth at a time makes a sound.

The way I've always done it in Mixcraft is that all of their "Virtual Instrument" tracks are similar to Cakewalk's Simple Instrument tracks in that both the MIDI data and the synth are part of the same track. There's a "rack" on each track to insert one or multiple soft synths. Record the MIDI data and you're free to change synths or add and subtract as many as you want to your heart's desire.

I thought I had it working at one point, then saved the project, but when I exited Cakewalk and came back to it the next day, it was back to not working, so that may have been a fluke or late night confusion.

Is it a matter of routing? In Mixcraft if you want to go in the other direction, say use multiple tracks of MIDI information to work one synth with multitimbral abilities, you have to do a little bit of routing.

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1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

This is such a basic thing that I must have just missed it in the documentation. Playing multiple instruments from a single source is something MIDI has been able to do for 37 years, so there must be nothing to stacking 'em up inside Cakewalk.

To do that in HW it has to be supported in HW - that is you need a MIDI out or Thru. A similar thing applies. The VSTi must support MIDI Out. When you set up your first VSTi enable MIDI out. Create a second VSTi and set the input of the MIDI track to the first VSTi with the correct channel. Another thing is that the first VSTi will need to handle MIDI channel assignment (I think). Omnisphere does that, but I don't know how many do. 

Edited by rsinger
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You need to use a virtual MIDI cable, such as LoopBe    MIDI Out doesn't always work as it is supposed to. I can get Kontakt to produce MIDI out (or get Cakewalk to recognise it, not sure which), but nothing else.

See this thread.

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6 hours ago, rsinger said:

When you set up your first VSTi enable MIDI out. Create a second VSTi and set the input of the MIDI track to the first VSTi with the correct channel. Another thing is that the first VSTi will need to handle MIDI channel assignment (I think).

Hmm, neither of the synths I'm using seem to support MIDI out (the box to enable it is greyed out).

I'm having trouble with following your instructions with a synth that has MIDI out. I enabled that, but can't get the rest of the routing right.

Should all of the instances be Simple Instrument tracks?

Edited by Starship Krupa

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9 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Hmm, neither of the synths I'm using seem to support MIDI out (the box to enable it is greyed out).

I'm having trouble with following your instructions with a synth that has MIDI out. I enabled that, but can't get the rest of the routing right.

Add your first VSTi with MIDI out enabled and then add a second VSTi instrument and on the MIDI track that is part of the second VSTi set the MIDI Input to your first VSTi. 

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39 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Hmm, neither of the synths I'm using seem to support MIDI out (the box to enable it is greyed out).

I'm having trouble with following your instructions with a synth that has MIDI out. I enabled that, but can't get the rest of the routing right.

Should all of the instances be Simple Instrument tracks?

Specifics are helpful such as VST plug-in names. Some plug-ins need to be configured in their UI to send MIDI data. Some do not.

No requirement for SITs.

But the plug-in generating the MIDI data must have a complete routing even if it does not produce audio. This means either a SIT or MIDI+audio pair.

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3 hours ago, scook said:

Specifics are helpful such as VST plug-in names. Some plug-ins need to be configured in their UI to send MIDI data. Some do not.

I'm trying to use MSoundFactory as the first in the chain, because it supports MIDI out. The next one in line is Surge, which doesn't. This is mostly learning how to do it so that I can apply it in the future.

So far, and this seems odd, I've gotten it to work when playing my external keyboard routed to the MIDI track, but not with the MIDI data in the track. So close, yet still not there.

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37 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'm trying to use MSoundFactory as the first in the chain, because it supports MIDI out. The next one in line is Surge, which doesn't. This is mostly learning how to do it so that I can apply it in the future.

 

Why don't you just connect the MIDI ins of all of the VSTis to MSoundFactory's MIDI out?

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Works for me.

I have "MIDI Thru" enabled in MSF Settings

GhagITB.png

Surge input set to MSF Omni w/ input echo enabled.

 

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1 minute ago, Promidi said:

Why don't you just connect the MIDI ins of all of the VSTis to MSoundFactory's MIDI out?

When using multiple synths this is the way to go, one master with all the other synths being driven from it. There is no need to cascade synths unless one of the synths after the MSF is modifying the data for the rest.

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1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

So far, and this seems odd, I've gotten it to work when playing my external keyboard routed to the MIDI track, but not with the MIDI data in the track. So close, yet still not there.

This has a lot do do with the track being selected when playing keyboard. Is Echo Input enabled on the source track?

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@Starship Krupa I tried to get one MIDI track to play out to multiple tracks (and thereby multiple synths). I could get the one track to play out to one track at a time, but not multiple. Only whichever track had focus (see video).

https://streamable.com/phklm2

@Nigel Mackay says below "Cakewalk doesn't handle it". I'm too am not convinced MIDI out is fully working to multiple destination tracks.

I have not seen any proof of it working for multiple tracks, just statements.

It should not be sensitive to the VSTi. Once the MIDI out has been given/consumed by Cakewalk, it then becomes Cakewalks responsibility to distribute that MIDI to all subscribed channels. The fact it works for one track, shows Cakewalk is clearly getting the MIDI data, and as such, the VSTi has done its job.

I have tried both Ample Guitar, which has an internal MIDI out setting to be turned on, and comes with Cakewalk, and also FURY-800. They both acted the same.

I also tried multiple 32b VSTi's that appear to support MIDI out, but they didn't even drive a single other track.

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Just just tried having Msoundfactory (with MIDI trhu enabled in settings) as the master driving multiple VSTi synths.  It worked fine here - from playing the keyboard to having MIDI events in the MSF track.    Of course for it to work, you have to set local echo to on for all of the synths in the layer.  But it definitely works.

You just have to find a VSTi that sends a copy of what it receives, out to it's MIDI out.   Not all do.

If you want Cakewalk by Bandlab to support MIDI routing, out of the box, in the same way that it supports Audio sends, then put in a feature request

https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/forum/8-feedback-loop/

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The problem is that just because a VST says it does MIDI out doesn't mean you can use it.

The Ample Guitars do it, but only sort of because they change the MIDI channel to match the string number. Not free.
Kontakt does it. Not free.
MSF does it. Not free.

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I suspect most VST MIDI FX plug-ins such as those from  Code FN42  will pass through MIDI data

Recently, I have tested NoteMapper and VeloScaler.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Nigel Mackay said:

The problem is that just because a VST says it does MIDI out doesn't mean you can use it.

Yeah, this is not validated by the scanner, for example the Dimension Pro VST shows "Enable MIDI Output" is selected by default but the plug-in does not send data, never has.

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14 hours ago, Nigel Mackay said:

The problem is that just because a VST says it does MIDI out doesn't mean you can use it.

The Ample Guitars do it, but only sort of because they change the MIDI channel to match the string number. Not free.
Kontakt does it. Not free.
MSF does it. Not free.

There are two ways around this, and still I can not get it to play out to multiple "receiver" tracks.

1. Only play on the one string ;)

2. Set the destinations to receive on MIDI OMNI (ie all channels) from Ample Guitar (free).

So, that would bypass/avert that issue, but I still can not get it to play more than 1 destination>:( I want  this to work, I want to be proven wrong, in that I am doing something wrong. And to be clear, it will only play on a destination track that has focus at the time.:$

The fact that Ample Guitar is provided as a part of a default Cakewalk install, I would really expect it to work.

Edited by JohnK

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31 minutes ago, JohnK said:

The fact that Ample Guitar is provided as a part of a default Cakewalk install, I would really expect it to work.

AFAIK no Ample Sound products have ever been bundled with SONAR or Cakewalk by BandLab.

Here are the synths bundled with CbB

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3 minutes ago, scook said:

AFAIK no Ample Sound products have ever been bundled with SONAR or Cakewalk by BandLab.

Here are the synths bundled with CbB

My mistake, You would be right. I probably downloaded the Lite version to try in SAVIHost before I installed Cakewalk, and totally forgot about it.:$

Are there any synths bundled with Cakewalk that support MIDI Out?

Edited by JohnK

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