Split Keyboard Zone Question

Hear multiple VSTis during recording?

Does anyone know of a way to get N to play two VSTI instruments at the same time during recording? The scenario is this. I have a MIDI keyboard controller split into two zones, each sending notes on a different MIDI channel. I have two MIDI tracks output to 2 different VSTIs. Their input channels are distinct from one another (example one on CH 1 and the other on CH 2) and matched to the two MIDI channels output by the keyboard’s zones. Right now I can get N to play only one VSTI at a time, and I’d like to hear them both.

The manual says the following:



Input to output echo:

None: the program doesn’t send any incoming MIDI signal to any MIDI output port

Automatic: The program sends the incoming MIDI signals to the MIDI output port and channel of the currently selected track. When in this mode you can switch the sound produced by a MIDI keyboard simply clicking on the MIDI track that has the desired channel and output port settings.

Manual: When this mode is active you can select the MIDI output port and channel to which the incoming MIDI signals will be sent to. You can also alter the incoming notes transponding them and changing their velocity

Manual mode still only lets you map to one, though it doesn’t have to be the selected track.

What would be nice is if there were a way to have N play any (and all) VSTIs that are assigned a channel when there is note data on that channel.

NOTE: it does seem to playback the post-recorded MIDI tracks this way - each to their correct VSTI playing in unison. But only one VSTI at a time when you’re recording it or playing the keyboard and not recording.

Anyone know of a way to make this work? Or is this a feature request? :)

MMMn - good question ? - one reason why plugin synths do not respond to individual MIDI channels is that they are set to OMNI - this overcomes the problem of a newbi throwing a keyboard at a softsynth and it not working - IE, N Track drums should if MIDI compliant only play on MIDI channel 10 - but if that was the case the forum would be jammed with “N Track drums dont work” and “how do i change my MIDI channels ?” etc - so if they are OMNI and they work no matter what channel they use - no doubt you have found that changing the MIDI channel in MIDI tracks prefs has no effect -

Native Instruments B4 Organ is multi-channel 1 for upper manual, 2 for lower manual, 3 for pedal board -

there may be a workaround that someone has discovered but another thing i found is that N can only focus on one instrument at a time - that being the instrument on the MIDI track that is selected, cant get N to select 2 MIDI tracks as i can with audio tracks -

Dr J

well, it can be done - not without difficulties, but try this -

insert 2 blank MIDI tracks -

insert instrument channel (your synth 1)
insert instrument channel (your synth 2)

ootput MIDI track 1 to your synth 1
output MIDI track 2 to your synth 2

now for the messy bits -

open properties for MIDI track 1, next to “instruments” set to channel 1 - and lower down set RECORD from channel 1 -

open properties for MIDI track 2, next to “instruments” set to channel 2 - and lower down set RECORD from channel 2 -

now click on record, before you start playing check that both tracks are still armed (record buttons are both red) if N switches off 1 track, re-arm that track by ckicking on the grey button it will turn red again and record both tracks -

record a small ammount of track, stop recording then restart recording from just past the end of previous recording and N SHOULD record from both tracks and not disable one -

best of luck

Dr J

looks like forum needs a service - not putting topic or posts in the correct order

Dr J

You’re right on all counts Doc. N can seem to handle more than one instrument when playing back recorded MIDI data though, so I wouldn’t think it would be a far stretch for it to do so during recording or just idling. Perhaps as you suggest this is by design to keep the MIDI newbie from losing their minds. I know MIDI has been a long and winding road for me. :cool: I’ll keep my fingers crossed; maybe Flavio can come up with a way to do this in a future release that makes it intuitive for a beginner but flexible as you learn the ins and outs of MIDI. This feature would be really helpful in the songwriting process.

Yep, forum does seem to be adding replies out of whack…

I tried as you suggested but it still does the same thing. To be more specific, I have:

Midi track 1 mapped midi channel 1, and Zone 1 on the keyboard is set to Midi channel 1. Output is 4Front Bass. Zone 1 is also transposed up a couple of octaves on the midi controller keyboard since it is way down on the keyboard, to get into the right range for this instrument.
Midi track 2 mapped midi channel 2, and Zone 2 on the keyboard is set to Midi channel 2. Output is 4Front Piano

When I record I hear two pianos. Because the lower zone is tranposed up a couple of octaves, I can play the same exact notes a couple of places on the keyboard. It does record Zone 1 notes to Midi track 1 and Zone 2 notes to Midi track 2.

When I play back, Midi track 1 plays back bass, Midi track 2 plays back piano, so that part is working as expected. Just can’t hear it correctly when recording or idling (not playing or recording but in LIVE mode).

i only have a 25note kbd so i had to use a controller to change channels - my kbd is a Edirol unit it has controllers on it and here lies a problem -

N is quite good at MIDI especially using VSTs but i have had so many problems with MIDI and MIDI units doing things that at first sight seem ufeasable that i addopted the principal of only using N for softsynts and recording the output directly to a sampler not recording in N -

for non VST MIDI i use another program which shows MIDI notes in notation form and not as a series of morse code - and as it has its own soundbase the playback is fantastic -

if your kbd has any controllers on it beware because your kbd is in direct control of the M $oft Synth (even when you are using a softsynth the M $oft synth is still there undernesth what you are playing - i had the problem where when i played a note, the note was played correctly in notation software but a false note was also heard slightly before, the notation software generates its own notes so where did the rogue note come from ? -

my keyboard was sending out the correct notes (google for MIDI INPUT VIEWER) but a controller had altered the tuning of the M $oft synth and this was generating the rouge note - as the software had greater latency than the M $oft synth i heard the M Soft synth first - luckilly i can cut off the M $oft synth in that program so i only hear the correct notes -

although i have not tried it, when using soft synths you should be able to change the MIDI out in Ns prefs from M $oft synth to say midimapper this SHOULD stop any rogue notes showing up - reprise - the M $oft synth palys out faster than N in live mode - also changing a patch on a kbd WILL change something unexpected somewhere everytime -

if you have notes that you dont want and cannot swith off the M $oft synth then open windows volume controlls and turn its output level to zero -

this may not be your problem but it shows up what can happen and throw us off track

Dr J