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Old 05-24-2012, 07:45 PM
mm8filmmaker mm8filmmaker is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: L.A.
Posts: 1
Question Ghostly White MIDI Tracks Won't Playback

Thanks in advance......
Situation: Mac OS X 10.7.4, ProTools 10

I scored my first short film (HUZZAH!) by recording MIDI data from my MM8 keyboard through its USB cord to different instrument tracks. I added several instrument plug-ins (Mini Grand, Xpand2). Everything was going swimmingly...


I gave the editors the score's WAV files but wanted to also include the actual ProTools project file so they could change parts if they wanted (I can't fade in and fade out MIDI nor lesson the muddiness of the sustain pedal in places.....that's another question for another post). When I emailed it (a 111kb file)..... (Tell me people, is this a BIG NO-NO to email ProTools projects? I later used WeTransfer and it was much faster.) The film editors called and said that the received ProTools file wouldn't fully playback sound. Only one MIDI instrument track was blue (and would playback)....but ALL the REST were whited-out and impossible to playback (even though all the MIDI information(piano notes) displayed correctly on these whited-out tracks). Immediately, I hung up the phone, and opened my ProTools file on my computer (thinking I had accidentally selected only one track and muted the rest).......but, the exact SAME issue appeared on my file. There is one blue (editable) track and ALL the rest are like ghost tracks, whited out and silent. My other ProTools projects are normal (all blue active tracks), so it's only this one project that's affected. Google Search already advised to change options and sync timeline/track and edit selection.....but that had no effect! What do I do?

UPDATE: After freaking out and thinking I had lost all the MIDI information, I instead opened a recovered file where I found all the instrument tracks to be blue, active, and editable. Whew....at this point, I'm just really curious as to what transpired....and how to avoid it in the future Does anyone have experience with this issue?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:14 AM
suicune suicune is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Wolverhampton, UK
Posts: 897
Default Re: Ghostly White MIDI Tracks Won't Playback

You're recording MIDI directly onto instrument tracks yes? Occasionally you may find when you close a session and reopen it Pro Tools will have lost its MIDI routing. This will often happen after a crash, or when your MIDI studio setup has changed in between closing and opening, or sometimes it seems to happen for no reason at all.

It can be fixed though. If you've still got the broken session open it so you can have a go. Go to View>Edit Window Views and make sure 'Instruments' is checked on. Now look for the column instruments next to your track header and scroll to one of the greyed out tracks. It will show a MIDI input, which will normally be 'All', and a MIDI output either below or next to the input depending on the track height. You should find on a broken track this is in italics and a different shade which indicates an inactive output. Now if you open the instrument plugin window for that track in the top left hand corner it will say 'MIDI node' which will tell you what port the plugin should be on. For example the 2nd Xpand2 plugin in your session would be 'Xpand2 2'. Now click and hold on the greyed out output assignment. It will bring up a list of available MIDI nodes. In the example above you would be selecting 'Xpand2 2>channel 1' from the list. You should then see the tracks regions revert to blue. Repeat the process for all the broken tracks.

A much faster way of doing this that will work 99% of the time is to simply drag the plugin instrument from its current insert slot to a different one. This will force PT to re-assign the MIDI channel. Having said that, I definitely think it's worth learning how to manually reassign ports if you intend to be working with MIDI a lot.

On a side note, I always work with separate MIDI tracks which are routed to instrument channels instead of recording straight onto an instrument track. There are a number of advantages to this - eg 1) If you've got your IO view on all the time you can see straight away when the routing has broken, and repair it without having to change the view settings. 2) You can have multiple MIDI tracks going to the same instrument if you want more than one part to use the same sound. 3) You can set up mirrored outputs if you want the same part to play multiple instruments.

Hope that makes sense!
M2 Studios
Wolverhampton, UK
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:11 AM
1m1 1m1 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 702
Default Re: Ghostly White MIDI Tracks Won't Playback

suicune, thank you for your explanation. I've been running into this tonight and it's been frustrating. Finally I came here and your fix had me up and running in just a few minutes.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:05 AM
TNM TNM is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 176
Default Re: Ghostly White MIDI Tracks Won't Playback

Mega necro bump, but I have been going crazy with my aax instr tracks suddenly not playing back or not allowing me to play them and monitor with my midi KB...

That's what it was.. Pro tools literally randomly drops the midi connection.. mine was still stuck on arturia spark from the previous instrument and hadn't reassigned in this case to it's replacement... THANK YOU.. I am on my hands and knees thanking you as now I know how to fix this.. now only if i can fix those darn tempo sync issues with eastwest play..............
As a wise man once said, without music, life is painful.
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