How to correctly route input MIDI channels to instrument MIDI channels without tons of individual MIDI tracks?

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TheKvist
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:28 pm

How to correctly route input MIDI channels to instrument MIDI channels without tons of individual MIDI tracks?

Post by TheKvist » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:58 pm

Hello, dear Ableton Forum community,

I have been playing around with Ableton Live for the past couple days and have had great fun so far. However, I am currently struggling with a problem I can't seem to be able to solve correctly. I have been looking around the manual and the internet and think I might have found people having this sort of problem, too, but I couldn't find any definitive answer as to how it is actually done.

I have a Novation Launchpad in which I have configured a custom mode with 4 chromatic keyboards, each assigned to a separate MIDI channel, like this

Image

For easy reference, the channels assigned to the keyboards are 1-4 from top to bottom.
The problem is also not specific to the Launchpad as I can't get it to work with my 88 key controller with zones either.

The instrument I am using is SINE Player, which allows me assign individual articulations to their own MIDI channel.

Image

This means, mapped to the Launchpad are

R - Channel 1 - Maj Sustain
G - Channel 2 - Min Sustain
B - Channel 3 - Maj Staccato
Y - Channel 4 - Min Staccato

When running SINE Player in Standalone mode, everything works perfectly, each of the keyboards plays its own articulation. When loading SINE Player in Ableton, however, no matter which channel keyboard I press, it always plays the articulation assigned to channel 1. As this is working in standalone, I assume there must be a similar way in Ableton.

The only way I could get it to work was to create a MIDI track for every channel of the Launchpad, then route each of those tracks to their channel on yet another track containing the instrument. Then, arm recording for all MIDI tracks simultaneously.

Image

So essentially, I needed to create a total of 5 tracks to get something to work that I assumed would need only one single track to pull off. I suppose this can't be right, can it? Could anybody enlighten me on if there is a way to make this work, please?

Richie Witch
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Re: How to correctly route input MIDI channels to instrument MIDI channels without tons of individual MIDI tracks?

Post by Richie Witch » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:19 pm

Looks right to me. This is exactly how I set this up using Kontakt or UVI Workstation.

The stand-alone versions of these instruments (the ones I mentioned, at least) have the routing selections built into menus, so you don't see them broken out individually as tracks, but I can't think of any DAW I've worked with that allows you to select more than one specific MIDI channel per track. It's either "all in" or "pick one".

Since you said it's working, what part of this setup do you have an issue with?
"Watching the Sky" ~ A 4-track EP of piano, strings, and Native American flute

TheKvist
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:28 pm

Re: How to correctly route input MIDI channels to instrument MIDI channels without tons of individual MIDI tracks?

Post by TheKvist » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:48 pm

ardadadadadadad
Richie Witch wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:19 pm
Since you said it's working, what part of this setup do you have an issue with?
Thanks for taking your time! In fact, it is working this way, but this approach felt not quite right to me, as it seemed to be a lot of things to set up. If I were to add, say brass and woodwinds to this, I would end up with 13 tracks in total, which seems like a large number to manage for me. If this is the way to go, though, I suppose I simply need to get used to this kind of workflow, as I'm quite new to all of this.
Richie Witch wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:19 pm
The stand-alone versions of these instruments (the ones I mentioned, at least) have the routing selections built into menus, so you don't see them broken out individually as tracks, but I can't think of any DAW I've worked with that allows you to select more than one specific MIDI channel per track. It's either "all in" or "pick one".
I expected to be able to set up a single MIDI track containing the instrument, with its MIDI From set to "All Channels" on my Launchpad and then have Ableton send a signal from channel 2 of the Launchpad into channel 2 of the instrument. Instead, it sends the signal from any channel into channel 1.

I can confirm this by removing the articulation in channel 1 of SINE Player, after which none of my Launchpad keyboards produce any sound. So Live seems to merge "All Channels" into a single channel fed into the actual instrument instead of sending each note to the channel it received it from on the source device.

I don't know anything really about how virtual instruments work and how DAWs communicate with them, so maybe what I'm picturing is technically not possible on the plug-in level anymore

Da hand
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Re: How to correctly route input MIDI channels to instrument MIDI channels without tons of individual MIDI tracks?

Post by Da hand » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:02 pm

TheKvist wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:48 pm
I expected to be able to set up a single MIDI track containing the instrument, with its MIDI From set to "All Channels" on my Launchpad and then have Ableton send a signal from channel 2 of the Launchpad into channel 2 of the instrument.
This part is correct. Except that the management of the routing of the MIDI channels received inside the plugin is configured in the plugin. When you have Live set to "All Channels", Live sends all channels to SINE Player and then it is up to SINE Player to be configured properly. In order to do that, the plugin has to be capable of receiving multichannel MIDI.

This is the way plugins like Kontakt, Play, Engine, etc all work.

Do you not have the same window for configuring MIDI channels inside the plugin as in the standalone version?

TheKvist
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:28 pm

Re: How to correctly route input MIDI channels to instrument MIDI channels without tons of individual MIDI tracks?

Post by TheKvist » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am

Da hand wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:02 pm
TheKvist wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:48 pm
I expected to be able to set up a single MIDI track containing the instrument, with its MIDI From set to "All Channels" on my Launchpad and then have Ableton send a signal from channel 2 of the Launchpad into channel 2 of the instrument.
This part is correct. Except that the management of the routing of the MIDI channels received inside the plugin is configured in the plugin. When you have Live set to "All Channels", Live sends all channels to SINE Player and then it is up to SINE Player to be configured properly. In order to do that, the plugin has to be capable of receiving multichannel MIDI.

This is the way plugins like Kontakt, Play, Engine, etc all work.

Do you not have the same window for configuring MIDI channels inside the plugin as in the standalone version?
Thanks for the clarification this makes a lot of sense, actually. The only thing I know of that differs between the versions is is that in standalone, I can manually select the input controller. Other than that, the only thing that's actually configurable about the channels is the mapping to the articulation, at least as far as I can tell. I'm at work right now, so I can't look into it right now, but I will do again when I'm home and try to find something useful. Thank you very much for the suggestion!

If I can't find anything, I'll try to contact the SINE Player devs about the correct configuration directly, as Ableton is now out of the equation.

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