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Feature request — Multi-instrument tracks

Something I really miss in Cakewalk by BandLab is a way to have a single MIDI track to control more than one VSTi instrument. If there is already a simple way to do that, I'm not aware of it. I need this a lot, because my instruments are usually made of more than a single VSTi (composite instruments) and, most of the time, I even need to play some of these instruments one or two octaves lower or higher than the others.

How do other DAWs solve this?

Usually, what I see most DAWs doing to solve this is through having built-in plug-in chains. For example, I like the Studio One instrument chain, however it poses problems for me when freezing and unfreezing these tracks, and it gets messy with relation to the mixer tracks involved. I also like FL Studio's Patcher, but it is limited in the sense that its audio output goes to a single audio track, requiring the "FL Send" built-in plug-in to route each VSTi instrument to its own audio track. Bitwig Studio has the most powerful implementation of this, in my opinion, as any MIDI or any audio can be manipulated along its route by design, being however a bit too complex sometimes.

How could Cakewalk By BandLab solve this?

  1. The way Cakewalk By BandLab tracks and routing works is really one of the things I prefer over most DAWs. You can take advantage of this to solve this problem without needing any plug-in chains or similar. I suggest adding a way to add more than one output to MIDI tracks, so we can make a MIDI track to output to a Piano and to a String simultaneously, for instance. MIDI effects could then be added to the inputs of the instrument tracks.
     
  2. An alternative to multiple MIDI outputs is to have MIDI sends — the ability to add one or more sends on a MIDI track that sends its MIDI signal to a VSTi track, just like the audio sends. If possible, it would be nice that each of these MIDI sends could have its own MIDI effects chain.
     
  3. Other way that may not be so pretty is the ability to add "send plug-ins" on the track effects panel (MIDI or audio tracks). These could work for audio and for MIDI. These "send plug-ins" would send their audio or MIDI output to another track, which would have the advantage of the audio or MIDI being preprocessed before being sent. But, honestly, I would prefer the solution 1 or 2.

Conclusion

I know you guys work very hard to constantly improve this amazing (and unbelievable free!) software. If you find this feature could add important value to Cakewalk By BandLab and deserve your development time, it would make my day. I'm sure there are lots of other users who would also need this feature as well.

Keep up the good work!

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Until additional MIDI routings are added...

One solution currently available for driving multiple MIDI and instrument tracks requires creating a master instrument track using a plug-in capable of passing MIDI data through the plug-in. I use one of the Code FN42 plug-ins (MIDIChFilter,  NoteMapper or Veloscaler)  but it could be any "synth" plug-in capable of sending data.

This "synth" appears in the input drop down of every other instrument and MIDI track in the project. 

The tracks using the master "synth" as their input need input echo enabled because there no data actually in their tracks.

 

Like aux tracks, because this method relies on input echo instead of actually storing data in the track, to print the track requires recording the data in real time. Alternately one could copy the data from the "master" track into the track echoing the data then use the regular freeze and bounce functions.

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I solved this problem with Imageline Minihost modular where iu can route many instruments together easy.  I opening Minihost Modular in Cakewalk.

 

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