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Starship Krupa

Route MIDI to multiple synths

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I would love to be able to route the output of a MIDI track to more than just one synth. Natively, without the need for external loopback software.

As it stands, the only way to get this result is either to use a synth that includes a MIDI thru function or to duplicate your MIDI tracks.

The most obvious use case for this is only needing to edit one MIDI track no matter how many synths are playing in unison (yes, I know about linked clips, but they add complexity, as does using an external MIDI splitter). Secondarily, there is screen clutter reduction, and not getting mixed up as to which MIDI track is going to which synth.

(If anyone knows of a MIDI plug-in that can accomplish this, please tell me)

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I'm with you on this. A midi track can input from all ports but it can only output to one. Why???

Even if the solution is a native midi loop, I would be happy enough. I use LoopBe  for something in nearly every project. It seems like something that should be a part of any DAW.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

The most obvious use case for this is only needing to edit one MIDI track no matter how many synths are playing in unison

There's several VST hosts that let you load up multiple instruments and trigger them from one midi track as well as add FX

Bluecats Patchwork is more on the basic side 

Akai VIP is more complex with preset maps which allows you to find patches using metadata tags

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Edited by Mark Morgon-Shaw
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2 minutes ago, Mark Morgon-Shaw said:

There's several VST hosts that let you load up multiple instruments and trigger them from one midi track

Other DAW's as well. Mixcraft, for example, has tracks similar to Cakewalk's "Instrument" tracks, with the difference being that instead of having one conjoined synth, you can add as many as you like.

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21 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I would love to be able to route the output of a MIDI track to more than just one synth. Natively, without the need for external loopback software.

As it stands, the only way to get this result is either to use a synth that includes a MIDI thru function or to duplicate your MIDI tracks.

The most obvious use case for this is only needing to edit one MIDI track no matter how many synths are playing in unison (yes, I know about linked clips, but they add complexity, as does using an external MIDI splitter). Secondarily, there is screen clutter reduction, and not getting mixed up as to which MIDI track is going to which synth.

(If anyone knows of a MIDI plug-in that can accomplish this, please tell me)

You can do this by clicking on the input echo. You can double through more than one track. It is the button right next top the track record button.

Record on only one track, then do a edit copy and a paste special. (You will hear both sounds but record on one track this way.) When you paste special you should then paste as a linked track. Now you can edit one track & it will affect both tracks.

* This method allows you to easily adjust the volume & panning in addition to independent envelopes. On all linked tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, rfssongs said:

paste as a linked track. Now you can edit one track & it will affect both tracks

Thanks. As I said, I know about linking. It is fab. Something that Mixcraft doesn't have.

I did some research and the way Cubase does this is that MIDI tracks can have sends similar to audio tracks, so you can set up any number of MIDI Sends. That seems pretty elegant to me.

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Would be nice if you can easily control the volume, pans & envelopes independently. Yes far more elegant.

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I tend to use linked MIDI clips when I need to do this - i.e. create a new MIDI track, and copy the MIDI clips as linked clips to the new track.  The new track is then routed to the additional synth.

That way, altering the original will automatically update the linked clips.

This also allows you to add MIDI FX or articulations to the linked track to make further alterations without affecting the original clips.

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This can fill up screen real-estate real quick. Having one MIDI track simplifies work flow and saves the planet screen space while editing.

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While additional routing options would be nice, it is fairly easy to distribute MIDI data in a track to as many instrument and MIDI tracks as desired with each downstream track having control over volume, pan, CC and other automatable parameters. The client tracks may also apply any MFX, articulation or drum map to the incoming data. And, if preferred, hide all the downstream tracks so that the whole group is represented by the master track. This track can host the automation for all the synths and their UIs may be accessed using the synth rack.

Not being a fan of linked clips, I used to rely on a virtual MIDI cable. They have a couple of problems: 

  • too easy to create feedback loops
  • some add noticeable latency

Now I use a plug-in to send MIDI data. 

To that end, I create an instrument track using a MIDI plug-in like one of the Code FN42 plug-ins (such as MIDIChFilter, MIDIChFilter or VeloScaler) or similar. Sometimes, the chain starts with a MIDI generator plug-in.

This plug-in appears at the input of all other instrument and MIDI tracks. Set their input, enable input echo and the synth is linked to the master track.

(Note: I did not plan on replying to this thread, however; several alternatives have already been mentioned, this needed to be documented).

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On 6/6/2021 at 1:39 PM, scook said:

To that end, I create an instrument track using a MIDI plug-in like one of the Code FN42 plug-ins (such as MIDIChFilter, MIDIChFilter or VeloScaler) or similar. Sometimes, the chain starts with a MIDI generator plug-in.

This plug-in appears at the input of all other instrument and MIDI tracks. Set their input, enable input echo and the synth is linked to the master track.

(Note: I did not plan on replying to this thread, however; several alternatives have already been mentioned, this needed to be documented).

That is actually pretty genius scook, thanks for sharing! A really elegant solution

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Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2021 at 5:39 AM, scook said:

if preferred, hide all the downstream tracks so that the whole group is represented by the master track. This track can host the automation for all the synths and their UIs may be accessed using the synth rack

Wow, thanks for this elegant solution. Using a free plug-in is fine with me.

If I understand the concept, the secondary tracks could also be Simple Instrument Tracks, which seems to be the best option. Control over automation and FX, less screen clutter.

Drat, I'm having trouble getting them to show up in Cakewalk....

Nemmind, I see that they are instruments rather than FX. Cool.

Edited by Starship Krupa

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Use whatever track type(s) make you happy.

A synth plug-ins in CbB requires at least an instrument track or one audio+MIDI track pair. 

Synth plug-ins will not work without a complete routing even when they do not generate audio,

For "synths" that do not generate audio  (mapping plug-ins like the Code FN42 plug-ins mentioned above and sequencers) I always use an instrument track.

For synths they have one output, I often use an instrument track.

For synths with multiple outputs, I use one MIDI track and multiple audio tracks.

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On 6/6/2021 at 1:39 PM, scook said:

This plug-in appears at the input of all other instrument and MIDI tracks. Set their input, enable input echo and the synth is linked to the master track.

Cool workaround - I still think CBB should allow us to select another tracks midi output as a midi input..most of the time I just end up drag copying the midi across

On the dropdown menu if it just had an extra option for "Tracks" which exposed any other midi or instrument track numbers in the project it sounds simple enough on the surface, hopefully would not be difficult to implement.

 

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I rarely need to send MIDI to multiple synths, but when I do I either:

1. Copy the MIDI as linked clips to the other synth tracks; or
2. Have a single MIDI track with its output set to a loopback device (e.g. http://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/loopmidi.html ), then have the input for the synths fed from the input for that device.

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35 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

I rarely need to send MIDI to multiple synths, but when I do I either:

Depends what sort of music you make but consider in EDM for example it's common to have 3 or  4 layers just for a Kick drum !

Layering is part of the secret sauce to better sounding productions, in many commercial tracks instruments that may sound to the listener like one instrument are or often several layers deep.  Anything that makes that process easier natively within the DAW is a bonus.  

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On 6/26/2021 at 5:01 AM, msmcleod said:

2. Have a single MIDI track with its output set to a loopback device (e.g. http://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/loopmidi.html ), then have the input for the synths fed from the input for that device.

Some users reported latency problems with LoopMIDI. When I last checked (a few years ago) it also had issues with UWP driver mode.

When I was using a virtual cable, I used LoopBe1. While it did not have latency problems, it was easy to setup feedback loops with it.

 

I stumbled on using a plug-in to forward MIDI data while  experimenting with solutions for another forum thread. It has been my solution to this MIDI routing issue ever since.

 

Maybe BandLab could supply a simple plug-in a  MIDI broadcast button on instrument/MIDI tracks or spin off another hybrid track type to handle this request.

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On 6/26/2021 at 11:01 AM, msmcleod said:


2. Have a single MIDI track with its output set to a loopback device (e.g. http://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/loopmidi.html ), then have the input for the synths fed from the input for that device.

In my experience,  using a loopback device as the midi input to a track which has input echo on causes no end of problems - there's definitely a bug with the way virtual midi ports are being enumerated. This causes midi inputs to be re-assigned in projects whenever the physical midi devices connected to the system changes (regardless of whether they are  selected as midi inputs in the preferences tab)

Bit of a long thread due to the examples, but it's conclusive that the bug is specific to virtual midi ports, and not physical midi ports

Midi Inputs - Please Help! - Cakewalk by BandLab - Cakewalk Discuss | The Official Cakewalk by BandLab Forum

Would be great if there was an easy built in way to send midi to multiple tracks, if just to avoid use of loopback software

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2021 at 7:34 AM, scook said:

I stumbled on using a plug-in to forward MIDI data while  experimenting with solutions for another forum thread. It has been my solution to this MIDI routing issue ever since.

Care to divulge further?

(if you weren't sleeping in class you'd know he already did.)O.o

Edited by sjoens
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