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View Full Version : Difference between Midi Track & Instrument Track better?


paul Neathery
04-08-2007, 08:58 PM
I have been watching my Pro Tools Tutorial CDrom that came with my 002. the guy says to set up an Aux Track and a Midi Track to use Midi. Then I hear elsewhere, that i can use an Instrument Track for Midi. What is the difference?

Why would you use a Midi Track over an Instrument Track..and vice versa? Can you record vocals or guitar to an Instrument track or what exactly is an Instrument Track made especially for? If you can record vocals with an Inst. track, why choose that over and Audio Track?

Also, I had the idea of converting my midi tracks to audio tracks. I thought it may decrease CPU usage since the plug ins are eliminated? Am I on the right track?

thanks,
paul

filosofem
04-08-2007, 09:25 PM
Basically, a MIDI/AUX setup would be for external sound modules, but not exclusively and the same applies to Instruments tracks, although not exclusive, you'd normally use Instrument tracks for Virtual Instruments.

As a side note, a little unknown fact, you have a possibility of 256 MIDI tracks, 128 AUX tracks, but you only have 32 Instrument tracks with LE.

Can you record vocals or guitar to an Instrument track


Not in the sense your thinking (Audio tracks) but if your using a Breath Controller or Vocal Modeling than yes.

converting my midi tracks to audio tracks. I thought it may decrease CPU usage since the plug ins are eliminated?


Yes you are on the right track, you can also make them 'Inactive'.








filosofem

paul Neathery
04-09-2007, 08:10 AM
So, If I have multiple midi sounds, each track has to have it's own Aux. Track? And how would you recommend routing the i/o of the Aux. and Midi tracks?

I know very little of Midi and am just trying to get a handle on it. So, if anyone has any other hints I'd appreciate it.

thanks,
paul

sky88dd
04-09-2007, 09:50 AM
Before Pro Tools had instrument tracks, you had to use a midi track to record midi data and an aux track to monitor.
An instrument track is like a combo track that combines a midi and an aux track. It allows you to record midi data and monitor the sound.
I usually use an instrument track with a software instrument/sampler(xpand, kontakt, machfive etc..)and midi+aux track for external sound module/sampler.
Hope this helps.

filosofem
04-09-2007, 06:48 PM
If I have multiple midi sounds, each track has to have it's own Aux.


No, and this is what seperates MIDI tracks from Instruments tracks when using external sound modules, an Instrument track has both MIDI I/O and Audio I/O combined so this then becomes a little bit more trickier to follow the signal path and mix. If you don't drop the Audio faders your going to get your Audio Input source in each Instrument track with no seperation, but where as with a MIDI/AUX setup the Audio Input from your external device is contained on the AUX only.

Try it out, setup a couple of Instrument tracks and route your external device to them and move the faders, what happens? Then create a couple of MIDI tracks and a AUX and then move the faders, what happens then?

how would you recommend routing the i/o of the Aux. and Midi tracks?


Assigning MIDI tracks correspond with what Patches have been selected for them on your external device.

The AUX is assigned to correspond with what your Input source (external device) reflects on the Interface.








filosofem

Sonny in London
04-10-2007, 07:17 AM
Another way of utilizing both techniques is with multi-timbral VIs.

I create an instrument track and put something like Plugsound Pro or Miroslav Philharmonik on it, load up a number of different patches on separate MIDI channels and routed to separate outputs.

The first sound will be routed to the instrument track's MIDI channel and audio input. I will then create separate MIDI tracks and auxes for the other patches, assigning the MIDI outputs to the respective channels on the VI and the Aux inputs to the corresponding outputs on the VI.

This gives me one instance of the instrument but individual tracks for programming and mixing, keeping CPU down and not wasting instrument tracks, which are limited to 32.

Of course, this will only work with multi-timbral VIs (the two mentioned above, Reason, Sampletank, BFD, Kontakt are examples of others). Xpand would not work in this fashion for instance.


Peace


Sonny

Jay Terrien
07-14-2007, 07:19 PM
Sonny, you sure seem to know a lot about MIDI. Alas, I do not. ;(

I purchased MOTU MachFive for PC a few months ago, which I am using as a plug-in within Pro Tools 7.3.1cs1. I have a few questions regarding the MachFive's interpretation of Arco and pizzicato midi data.

FWIW, I use Sibelius 4.0 to notate all of my compositions. I've been exporting MIDI files of my compositions out of Sibelius into Pro Tools. Once the MIDI files are in Pro Tools, I then route them through the MachFive to figure out which string samples sound the best for a given compositional idea. My questions are as follows:

1.) For some reason, some of my string samples cut in and out, omitting certain notes while their midi track is playing through the MachFive. Is this simply because the range of the particular string sample that I chose doesn't have a very large sampled range? Could this be why several notes (like, VERY high contrabass notes, etc.) are missing? Is there a way to "add" more notes to whatever library I would pull from?

2.) One of the viola tracks that I wrote in Sibelius contains both Arco and pizzicato markings, which change frequently throughout the piece. When I exported that particular viola track as a midi file, I could hear each Arco and pizzicato change while listening to this midi file within an ACID session. HOWEVER, once I routed the same MIDI track through the MachFive, using a Prosonus viola patch, I only heard the Arco portion. Is there a simple way to route through MachFive to make it interpret EVERY bit of data that is on a given MIDI file? I've heard that people will sometimes route the same MIDI file through separate Arco and pizzicato samples and the edit and mix them together until they are seamless. UGH! There's got to be a better way to do this.

I am not an experienced MIDI user, so, is there is a string library out there that will let me use just one sampled sound to get both Arco and pizz or is this just out of the technical logistics of MachFive's MIDI interpretation abilities?

3.) Lastly, does it make sense to import midi files into Pro Tools that contain NO DYNAMICS and are all exported at the same volume and pan settings? I figure this couldn't hurt, since I am simply mixing the MIDI files and then re-recording them in Pro Tools on their own audio tracks. If you guys use Sibelius to compose and then dump MIDI files into Pro Tools, how do you guys do it?

I would appreciate any answers you can give me!! Please e-mail me at jay@jayterrien.com!!

Cheers,

Jay

www.jayterrien.com (http://www.jayterrien.com)


Another way of utilizing both techniques is with multi-timbral VIs.

I create an instrument track and put something like Plugsound Pro or Miroslav Philharmonik on it, load up a number of different patches on separate MIDI channels and routed to separate outputs.

The first sound will be routed to the instrument track's MIDI channel and audio input. I will then create separate MIDI tracks and auxes for the other patches, assigning the MIDI outputs to the respective channels on the VI and the Aux inputs to the corresponding outputs on the VI.

This gives me one instance of the instrument but individual tracks for programming and mixing, keeping CPU down and not wasting instrument tracks, which are limited to 32.

Of course, this will only work with multi-timbral VIs (the two mentioned above, Reason, Sampletank, BFD, Kontakt are examples of others). Xpand would not work in this fashion for instance.


Peace


Sonny

filosofem
07-14-2007, 08:35 PM
3.) Lastly, does it make sense to import midi files into Pro Tools that contain NO DYNAMICS and are all exported at the same volume and pan settings? I figure this couldn't hurt, since I am simply mixing the MIDI files and then re-recording them in Pro Tools on their own audio tracks. If you guys use Sibelius to compose and then dump MIDI files into Pro Tools, how do you guys do it?


I'm curious as to why your exporting Sib. SMF's with no dynamics. How are you Inputing? Flexi-time, Alphabtic or Step-time input?








filosofem

Jay Terrien
07-14-2007, 10:28 PM
I simply did a global dynamics filter and I deleted them out of the actual Sibelius score (and then exported the midi file).

My impression was that whatever is NOT in the score, does not get exported with the midi file.

filosofem
07-15-2007, 12:36 AM
Do you find that thee addition of dynamics in Pro Tools is better than that of Sibelius?







filosofem

Jay Terrien
07-16-2007, 03:03 PM
I do everything in Sibelius and of course, hope for the best once it's in Pro Tools.

If anyone can answer my MachFive related MIDI questions, let me know!!