Recording a MIDI instrument onto an audio track

without mixing down

I like using softsynths and drum samplers and all that fun stuff. However, I’m not sure of a way to bounce the record the MIDI data onto an audio track without first mixing down the entire project.

In particular, I want to use a feature in ezdrummer that sends different drums/cymbals to separate tracks. The ezdrummer documentation only says that it’s possible and to check the host application for info on how to use it.

I know a workaround way (selecting all the wanted hits in the piano scroll, copying them onto a new track, mixing down only that one track, repeat for each drum/cymbal, import them into a new project) but that’s a lot of work. Is there an easier way to do this?

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I’m using N-Track version 4.2.1 build 2099

The freeze function might get you closer…

Pretty new to MIDI myself but just thinking out loud, but maybe someone else can confirm this is possible or a load of nonsense.

Can you assign the different drums/cymbals tracks to different MIDI channels and then set up some MIDI tracks with those channels in their properties.

Again don’t know if this will work.

To bounce to audio, you have two choices: solo the track, mixdown, and import, or else freeze. Freeze is simpler. But this has nothing to do with your second request.

To get the VSTi to send to different tracks, you have to split the MIDI data among separate MIDI tracks tracks as you described. No need to import them into a new project, just mute the original MIDI track. Note that there are programs out there that will quickly convert a multichannel MIDI file into a multitrack MIDI file, though I don’t know any names.

There might be another way but I don’t know of it. If the VSTi supports multiple audio output channels (i.e., more than 2), I don’t know how you’d instruct N to do that. In that case, you’d still need to use the VSTi’s controls to set which instrument goes to which track, and if it doesn’t have such controls, then this isn’t what they meant. The fact that they refer you to your DAW instructions implies that it doesn’t, and you need to use multiple MIDI tracks.

It’s too bad, because it’s a lot easier to do MIDI editing on a single track, and yet it’s also good to have separate tracks for each instrument in the end. This would be a nice feature for N to have, but it would take some serious thought how to set it up; the easiest one simply being “burst multichannel MIDI track to separate tracks”.

Using an external program to split the track is probably the best option, and whenever you want to modify the MIDI, edit the original track, and burst it out again.

Note that using this method, you’d freeze any instrument tracks that don’t need FX, but for instruments that want audio FX, you’d want to solo/mixdown/import. For example, to put reverb on snare only.

Finally, if the VSTi uses stereo samples, I strongly recommend that you mixdown each instrument to a stereo wave file. The result will have a much more natural stereo image than the tired old trick of merely panning a bunch of mono instruments.

PgMusic has a program call PowerTracks. It is not very expensive and has the features you are asking for I think. You can record a midi track with or without recording a simulatanious audio track. You can also use it to record midi and wav files as seperate process and play them at one time - convert their native fortmat to Mid or wav files and convert mid files that have several instruments inot Midi 0 format - each instrument is on a seperate track.

Thanks guys! learjeff, I think one of the programs you described should do the trick. Now if I can find one…

bax3 mentioned one, PowerTracks. As a DAW I don’t care for it – complicated and confusing to me. But it’s very inexpensive (was $20 a few years ago) and has some useful features like converting MIDI formats and staff notation.

But I believe there are also some free ones on the net. If you find a good one, please let us know!


Aye, I was looking for a free one, because I don’t really need all the features of PowerTracks. And I will indeed let you know if/when I find one!


I like using softsynths and drum samplers and all that fun stuff. However, I’m not sure of a way to bounce the record the MIDI data onto an audio track without first mixing down the entire project

There is another way.

You may be able to set up your soundcard to record “what you hear”. On SB Audigy cards you can do this by selecting “what you hear” in the creative mixer (WDM), or using ASIO channels 3&4. Can’t believe that other cards don’t have similar functionality.

Basically, this setting records to a track any audio going through the card, so all you have to do is solo your midi track, select an audio track to record to and hit record. Voila! an audio version of your midi track.

That doesn’t do the trick because he wants to do it one kit instrument per track, and all the instruments are on a single MIDI track. Furthermore, since he’s using softsynths (plugins), there’s no need to go through the soundcard. That is what he’d have to do if he were using instruments on a soundblaster, for example. But it doesn’t handle separating the instruments into separate audio tracks.