[LAU] First multitrack project: midi tracks and plugins

Lorenzo Sutton lorenzofsutton at gmail.com
Fri May 8 19:45:42 UTC 2015


On 08/05/15 21:02, Ivan K wrote:
> I have a 5 minute four channel midi file that
> I essentially want to orchestrate and add
> a spoken audio track to, and perhaps add a few other
> audio tracks.
> I first began experimenting on this file with qtractor.
> One thing I would like to do is to switch plugins on
> the same midi track.  That is, say one particular midi
> track is first synthesized with plugin x,
> and then the  next region of the same track
> is synthesized with plugin y, etc.

> I realize I can copy portions of an original midi-track
> to another track and thus, achieve the same effect,
> but for organizational reasons, I think I would prefer
> to not do this as my project may expand to
> more midi tracks than I could personally keep track of.
> Or is switching plugins on the same midi track something
> people generally do not do, and if you feel you need a different
> timbre at a particular place, is the preferred method
> just to create a new track?

If the plugin you are using is capable of understanding program change 
messages, that is traditionally the way of changing the 'instrument' in 

The problem is that the 'plugin'/soft-synth model is usually thought to 
work per track.

So I essentially see two options:
1. Use a plugin which recognises program change messages
2. Use jack midi or alsa midi to connect to a synth able to recognise 
program changes (e.g. fluidsynth obviously with a soundfont which has 
multiple programs)

Another typical 'MIDI way' of doing it would be to have a track with 
multiple MIDI channels in it and assign each channel its own instrument. 
Actually in Standard MIDI File type 0 everything was on one single track).

The problem with the latter model is that as far as I know today 
sequencers tend to have 'track-centric' plugins instead of 
'channel-centric', so you would still need to rely on either an external 
(soft) synth or some form of (midi) routing.


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