Multichannel synths and Live (again)

Having been defeated by Blue Cat Patchwork to have a credible way of getting multichannel midi into Live (it won’t do this IMHO, in spite of Plugin Boutique’s video) I decided to explore both other methods, and also to determine if Live also ignored port data as well as channel data.

[Sadly I inherited a time wasting personal drive to keep going with problems rather than just letting go. This was in spite of having decided that Instacomposer (along with Captain Chords, Jammer, Band in a Box et al) really didn’t help with what I wanted to do musically.

For other reasons, I explored Cantabile in more depth (having been using it continually as a lightweight VST3 host) and found that it would indeed achieve the goal, which I share for information in this post.

Cantabile can host multiple VST’s which you can wire together graphically (say for example the midi of multiple Scalers to a multi-timbral synth like Onmnisphere
fig 1a

This is great for sketching things out but the challenge was multiple midi tracks in Live.

So I wired up Instacomposer to two virtual midi ports (didn’t do it with all 5 Insta tracks because it made it harder to see what was happening). I happened to use Bome MIDI Translator Pro | Bome Software but there are free alternatives.

In Cantabile you can then configure the ports
fig 2

and then for each link set the parameters by right clicking on the wire

Critically you can route any source to any output as well as setting other characteristics of the through traffic. There is a filter mechanism, plus a midi monitor on each wire for checking what’s happening.

Now with Instaghastly fired up

You can get it into Live

The two tracks have their input set to the relevant port (having remembered to tick the port boxes in ‘Preferences’, but the key thing is everything is being done as multi-track midi, without the fiddling by using the multi octave trick suggested on the web for Insta - plus it works for any multi-timbral source.

{1} Live does recognise Port numbers
{2} In the unlikely event I’d want to use Insta, I have a way of doing so.

It also looks like it would be possible to so a sort of Divisi function with BBC SO with their rules, but I have to investigate more.


Thanks for sharing, Yorkeman
I use the same system in Cantabile and Gig Performer to separate midi channels in Ableton Live. Only I use Loopmidi (which is free, or donation)
loopMIDI | Tobias Erichsen
As you mentioned, it is also possible to separate the channels to do something similar to what Divisi does in BBC Orchestra.
The only problem is that you have to send first to midi tracks (without an instrument) that receive from Loopmidi with their channel number, and that the instruments then receive from that specific channel through the named midi channel.
You can also make an Instrument Rack in Live, separating the different channels by octaves
With Opus Orchestrator I also use this system on Live.
However, I have to say that in Reaper all this can be done directly. It is the cheapest DAW I have and the one that can best route midi channels