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Felipe Leal

Can start from a MIDI and replace different tracks/instruments with my own instrument plugins?

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Hello friends! I'm new to this wonderful software and community, and so far I'm loving it!

I need your help, please.

I'd like to ask you if it's possible to start from a MIDI file with different tracks, and change each track to a different plugin instrument of my liking?

I did something of the sort via the option "Replace Synth", right clicking on a specific track. The problem is that it changes all the tracks at once to the same plugin and patch, and if I try to change another track to a different sound from the same plugin (LABS by SpitFire Audio) again it changes all of them to that one sound.

I've always dreamt of reimagining some themes from my childhood like the Super Mario World themes, with more modern sounds. I know this has been done lots of times, but I'd like to try myself. :) 

Any help would be much appreciated!
Many thanks in advance!!!

image.thumb.png.d13a24ffa455d5a78f8906df61f432c7.png

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You need a synth per track. If you want 3 MIDI tracks playing 3 different LABS instruments you must add 3 LABS synths.
Opening the MIDI file probably inserted a TTS-1. This is a multi-timbral synth - can play up to 16 instruments. But LABS is one instrument at a time. You want the Soft Piano - insert an instance of LABS, then use the drop-down to select the Soft-Piano.
You also want the LABS  Strings?
Add another copy of LABS, use the drop-down and select Strings.

Try this way:
Decide which instruments you want. Add them, one by one, choosing First Audio Output for each, no MIDI Source.
Then, one by one, point the relevant MIDI tracks to them.

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Don't use replace synth for this.

Add additional synth instances as needed, then point the respective MIDI tracks to them.

Here in this example I have shown two MIDI tracks routed to separate instruments. I cut the example down to two MIDI tracks + two instrument tracks to keep it simple. There are other ways to do this, but this example should get you started. The virtual instruments I used each have multi-capability, but I omitted that in this example so it should represent any instrument. I only loaded one sound in each of these instruments.

You use the pull-down menu for the MIDI track output to select from the currently inserted instruments.

 

Cakewalk-MIDI-multi-instrument-demo1.png

Edited by abacab

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If you add TTS-1 to the project before importing the midi file, the resulting midi tracks will automatically route to different channels of TTS-1. You will be able to playback immediately and get good indication of what it will sound like. From there, you can add whatever softsynths you wish, and reroute each midi track accordingly, as Abacab suggests.

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6 minutes ago, Kev said:

If you add TTS-1 to the project before importing the midi file, the resulting midi tracks will automatically route to different channels of TTS-1. You will be able to playback immediately and get good indication of what it will sound like. From there, you can add whatever softsynths you wish, and reroute each midi track accordingly, as Abacab suggests.

It is best to first "open" the MIDI file, rather than "import" it. When you open it, the tempo settings are preserved.

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^^^This

Make sure no MIDI output devices are selected in preferences.

Open the MIDI file instead of importing.

With no MIDI output device available, Cakewalk will automatically add TTS-1 to the project and configure it to play the MIDI file.

Then one can add other plug-ins and audio tracks to the project and change the MIDI tracks outputs to the new plug-ins.

 

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1 hour ago, abacab said:

It is best to first "open" the MIDI file, rather than "import" it. When you open it, the tempo settings are preserved.

Good idea. I usually use the drag and drop method and set the tempo manually.

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15 hours ago, scook said:

Open the MIDI file instead of importing.

With no MIDI output device available, Cakewalk will automatically add TTS-1 to the project and configure it to play the MIDI file.

Then one can add other plug-ins and audio tracks to the project and change the MIDI tracks outputs to the new plug-ins.

This is the method I typically start with to work with any existing MIDI file. ^^^

Having the Cakewalk TTS-1 synth being automatically configured for the song with General MIDI instruments for each track is a real winner. This is truly a strong point for Cakewalk if you are into MIDI files. A huge time saver! Then you can start off right away adding new instrument plug-ins  for better sounding tracks!

I'm not aware of any other DAW that does it this well, especially at this price point (free). For example, Studio One can do it, but it inserts a separate instance of their Presence sampler for each sound, where TTS-1 is 16 part mult-timbral, and does it all within a single instance. I think Cubase can do it with the bundled HALion Sonic sampler. Maybe give it a try if you are already a Cubase user.

Edited by abacab
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13 hours ago, abacab said:

Having the Cakewalk TTS-1 synth being automatically configured for the song with General MIDI instruments for each track is a real winner. ....

I'm not aware of any other DAW that does it this well, especially at this price point (free).

Mixcraft comes with a UI-less GM synth that has some decent sounds in it (especially drum kits). It behaves similarly to Cakewalk/TTS-1 when bringing in MIDI files.

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If you have an audio interface with midi interface the preferences would be set with the midi interface settings for midi out/in.

I would do this:

1.

A. If the original tempo is important, go to file menu and select open. Find the midi file and open it.

B. Add the TTS-1 by going to file menu insert and select softsynth. OR drag it in from the browser/plugins.

C. Leftclick and hold on the first miditracks number. Drag the pointer over all the other track numbers to select them. Press and hold the "Ctrl" key on the pc keyboard and select the TTS-1 as output on the first midi track. It changes the output on all selected midi tracks.

D. Ready to play.

2.

A. If the default120 tempo is ok. (Maybe i'm gonna change it back and forth). Go to browser/ media. Find the midi file and drag it in.

B. Add the TTS-1 by dragging it in from the browser/plugins.

C. Is the same

D. Is the same.

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4 hours ago, Kurre said:

A. If the original tempo is important, go to file menu and select open. Find the midi file and open it.

B. Add the TTS-1 by going to file menu insert and select softsynth. OR drag it in from the browser/plugins.

Agree, but step B is only necessary  if you have any MIDI output device selected in Preferences, not just a hardware interface, which in that case MIDI output will default to that selected MIDI device rather than automatically inserting  TTS-1.

Just adding comment for clarification.

 

Edited by abacab

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3 hours ago, abacab said:

Agree, but step B is only necessary  if you have any MIDI output device selected in Preferences, not just a hardware interface, which in that case MIDI output will default to that selected MIDI device rather than automatically inserting  TTS-1.

Sorry, my fault. :(

I assumed that most people followed recommendations and selected the output (and input) devices as recommended by the daw the first time you start it.

You and Scook obviously don't do it.

Wonder how many users don't set up their audio AND midi devices from start of the daw?

Why would someone wait to set midi output when you already is there and setup the input?

I and everyone that have midi hardware surely set the output right away.

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8 hours ago, Kurre said:

If you have an audio interface with midi interface the preferences would be set with the midi interface settings for midi out/in.

.....

Maybe it's my grammar that makes it hard to understand.

It's an IF statement and i thought it was obvious what the ELSE statement would be.

"Would be set" means that i assumed most people have set the midi output and thus don't have TTS-1 popup automatically.

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40 minutes ago, Kurre said:

Sorry, my fault. :(

I assumed that most people followed recommendations and selected the output (and input) devices as recommended by the daw the first time you start it.

You and Scook obviously don't do it.

Wonder how many users don't set up their audio AND midi devices from start of the daw?

Why would someone wait to set midi output when you already is there and setup the input?

I and everyone that have midi hardware surely set the output right away.

Nothing to be sorry about! ☺️

I doubt that many of today's new users are using external hardware sound modules. And if you are using MIDI hardware you probably already know the answer.  It's usually just newcomers that get tripped up by this setup issue, trying to get TTS-1 working the first time they open a GM MIDI file. So my comment was directed at them, not the MIDI experts.

I am an old dog that used to use external MIDI sound modules and workstations, but I prefer to use soft synths today. I have a MIDISPORT 4x4 sitting in the closet, and empty MIDI sockets on my audio interface. So no MIDI output in use here.

Edited by abacab

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Wow, thanks friends for your valuable replies! It's a lot to take in for a newbie, so I'll analyse each of your comments and hopefully learn as much as I can about this nice software!
I will bother you with another noob question…
Does adding VST sampled sounds (realistic piano sounds for examples) changes the way I should save the files/projects? I would assume that a MIDI file does not support these sounds, right? Would I lose these changes if I save the project as a MIDI file? Should I save in CWP, CWT, CWB?
Many thanks!!!

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In order to retain all changes including plug-in assignments save as a Cakewalk project (file extension .cwp).

Cakewalk projects often contain more than just the project file. Usually each project exists in its own folder. In this folder along with the active project file, there may be several versions of the project file and additional folders for audio, melodyne and mix scenes.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 9/23/2020 at 11:55 PM, scook said:

In order to retain all changes including plug-in assignments save as a Cakewalk project (file extension .cwp).

Cakewalk projects often contain more than just the project file. Usually each project exists in its own folder. In this folder along with the active project file, there may be several versions of the project file and addition folders for audio, melodyne and mix scenes.

 

Thank you very much mate! Much appreciated!
And thanks to all the rest for your help as well… I managed to do it! Just insert all the instruments that I want and then route the tracks to them. It was easier than I thought!
Many thanks!!!

Edited by Felipe Leal
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