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Topic: Midi channels and vsti's

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  1. #1

    Midi channels and vsti's

    Something is puzzling me: my soundcard, a 2496, has one port, which in turn has 16 channels. Now, all midi parameters, such as pan, must use one of those channels. So, does this not mean that I only have 16 possible pan positions? Or does the fact that I use VSTI's, and they have unlimited capabilities, render this a moot point? I have read in the Sonar manual that if you put two instruments on the same channel, the second will deafult to the pan parameter of the first. But does this only refer only to external imstruments, and not have anything to do with VSTI's, so that I really have unlimted pan positions? This has puzzled me for a long time! Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Midi channels and vsti's

    Quote Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
    Something is puzzling me: my soundcard, a 2496, has one port, which in turn has 16 channels. Now, all midi parameters, such as pan, must use one of those channels. So, does this not mean that I only have 16 possible pan positions? Or does the fact that I use VSTI's, and they have unlimited capabilities, render this a moot point? I have read in the Sonar manual that if you put two instruments on the same channel, the second will deafult to the pan parameter of the first. But does this only refer only to external imstruments, and not have anything to do with VSTI's, so that I really have unlimted pan positions? This has puzzled me for a long time! Thanks!
    Hi Michael,

    The answer is "it depends".
    It depends upon where the pan data originates.
    If it is being specifically sent from within a program, i.e. CC#10 is being sent from a sequencing or notation program or such like, e.g. Sonar, then I believe that it will override any pan setting made for that channel within a VSTi.

    If the program does not send a specific CC#10 MIDI command, then (IMO) whatever setting is made within the VSTi will be actioned.

    As an experiment I set up two instrument slots in the Garritan ARIA sample player, a flute panned half left (32), and a clarinet panned half right(96), using the ARIA pan controls, then assigned them to the same MIDI channel. I took an existing MIDI file, made sure there was no pan assignment for the channel I was using, and played it.

    The result?
    The flute came from half left, the clarinet from half right.
    It's a trick I use initially when creating string parts. Put the string section in one position and a solo instrument panned fractionally apart (within ARIA) and play them from one sequencer track, before making a separate track for the solo instrument.

    It worked the same when I assigned two different VSTi's to the same MIDI port.
    I'm guessing that it would also work the same for MIDI hardware.

    Kind regards,
    John.
    Author of MIDI tutorials at http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/index.cgi

  3. #3

    Re: Midi channels and vsti's

    Thank you John. I think I understand. I was indeed setting pans within Sonar, and that's what caused the trouble. What a joy it will be to finally be able to use as many pans as I want, instead of squeezing everything into just 16 positions! No more doubling oboes and cor anglais on the same pan, or, worse, forcing temporary pan changes so I can use the same channel/track for two differently panned instruments! By the way, your reply was the most helpful I've recieved. I've been on 3 other forums with this issue, and nobody explained it as well. Much obliged!

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