MIDI RECORDING -VST INSTRUMENTS: MIDI OR INSTRUMENT TRACK?
When it comes to midi recording the most of your recording is with vst instruments and some external instruments afterwards. Vst instruments are software synthesizers that we can use via midi. These instruments contain sound banks that we can choose sounds to record to a specific channel. In this post we’re about to define what kind of channels do we need to record vst instruments
In Cubase you can use the vst instruments with two different ways: The first one is by selecting a vst instrument in Vst instruments window, which is in Devices menu.
Once you select it, a window appears with empty slots. You can click in one empty slot and a window with all the available vst instruments you have, appears.
After selecting a vst instrument a new window appears that asks you if you want to create for you a midi channel.
If you haven’t created a midi channel yet, then proceed to create one. A midi channel is created with the name of the vst instrument and added to the track list of your song. Your vst instrument is assigned to that channel and is activated to record the instrument you want. You can change the sound of the instrument by clicking the Edit instrument button on the midi inspector.
The second way is by creating an instrument track. An instrument track is a combination of a midi track, a vst instrument and a vst instrument channel. How can you create a vst instrument? Very simple and fast! On the Project menu you select the Add track submenu and then the Instrument option.
You can also create instrument track if you right click on your track list and choose add track from your context menu. By selecting to add an instrument track a window appears that asks you to choose an instrument from a pop up window.After selecting the instrument you want , an instrument track is created with the sound that you just selected.You can always exchange the sounds of your instrument by clicking Edit instrument on your midi inspector.
And here comes one of the most usual question that my students often ask me and they seem to be confused. What is the best to use? Midi or instrument track? What is the difference between midi and instrument track? The answer is simple! It depends on what you need for your recordings. Let me explain with some simple words and I think you’ll find my examples very helpful. Instrument track is most common method of working, because instrument track is easy , and efficient. Instrument track you might say that is a midi track with a vst instrument already connected to it! For example you want to record a piano. You create an instrument track you choose from the pop up menu the instrument you want and that’s it! You’re ready to record.
Let’s say you want to record some strings ensemble. You have already assigned to Vst instruments rack the desired vst instrument and in our case that will be a very familiar vst instrument Orchestral by Edirol.
Then you have to create 3 midi tracks as I told you earlier. At your left , to your midi inspector you have output routings for each track. There is where you have to assign the vst instrument for all three tracks
.If we open the interface of Orchestral, you can see that it has 16 different slots for different instruments and the reason for that is midi supports 16 midi channels. You can think of it like a tv remote control with 16 different channels. So,in midi track 1 we have a violin, you can rename it with the instrument you record, in channel 2 you have viola and in channel 3 you have cello.You can always create 3 different vst instruments (3 orchestral) but in that way you drain from your system resources and that would be very annoying especially if you have an older computer. Now, we are ready to record a single sound of this vst instrument to every midi track.
Another example is when you want to program some drum parts for your song using vst instruments but you want to record each part of the drum kit separately. We’ll use for this example Groove Agent One that comes with Cubase.
We have already assigned the instrument to the Vst Instruments rack and we’re about to create 3 midi tracks again. We assign Groove Agent One in each midi track and now we’re ready to record every drum part. In track 1 we’ll record kick in track 2 the snare drum and in track 3 the hi hats.
So I can easily edit every part of my drum kit.There are more differences between midi and instrument track but I think that it’s better to analyze them in another part of tutorials coming soon called “Advanced midi recording”.
I hope that kind of posts and videos like the next one, will be very helpful. If so, please, leave a comment and you can always e mail me for any questions that you may have.
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