Now that we have our Master MIDI controller (‘Controller,’ ‘Keyboard’, ‘Triggers’, ‘Percussion Pads’, ‘Lighting Boards’ , etc.) connected to the receiving devices (‘drum module‘, ‘tone generator’, ‘lighting system’, ‘keyboard’, ‘sampler’, etc.) we should be able to trigger each receiving device from the Master.  Most receiving devices will have some sort of LED or other indicator to let you know the external device is receiving data.  If we set up as described earlier, changing the MIDI out channel on the Master will send the performance using that new channel.  Each receiving device stays on its designated channel. 

If you are recording, this will allow you to set up each MIDI channel to a MIDI track in your recorder, ‘DAW’ or PC – using internal sounds and ‘plug-ins’.  Track 1 to channel 1, track 2 to channel 2.  If you want to record more than a few times and over periods of time, work out and write down the channel assignment. That way your tracks will follow and will be easier to record and mix in days to come.  

Because drums are on channel 10 by default, that takes care of one!  As a suggestion, for one type of band configuration, set up 1 as the main MIDI chordal instrument sound.  Think main piano or organs.  Channel 2 can be strings or pads, 3 can be brass, 4 can be choir.  You pick what types of sounds your projects normally use and this will help get a recording and playback work flow. 

Most MIDI tone generators can play more than one sound and more than one type of sound at a time.  You may only have one tone generator or a PC that has all your sounds.  You may have many modules for specific instruments like piano or violins or drums.  There are a lot of cool toys for more complex MIDI rigs, and each has a unique ability to process or route data between devices.  Set up the recording templates as desired for the projects you take on.  Use the template to help you get started sooner. 

Once you have recorded each MIDI performance – assigned to individual track/channel – SAVE it!  LOL.  Each track should have its own MIDI channel and when you hit Play, those tracks will recreate the performance and send to all 16 tracks at a time.  As you Mute a track, you stop the playback of that channel. 

Once I ran sound and lights for a hi-energy keyboard heavy band.  I took a portable MIDI recorder and recorded the keyboard players performance.  Then I played each song over and over while I used the performance to sequence the MIDI lighting board we used.  That way when the band played through their set, I would start that song’s sequence and let it do the lights as often as possible, because it reflected what the band was playing better than random or volume based light patterns. (and because it was easy) If they changed the set I would pull up the sequence list and hit play when they started.  

  1. Sam McLean says:

    Great post midimike! Got some good info out of that. Also, I love the idea of what you did with recording the keyboardist’s performances and used the MIDI data for the MIDI lighting board, real-time immersion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. midimike says:

    I am glad that helped. It sounds like you are familiar with using MIDI. There are so many simple uses out there it’s just not often you hear about them. I will post a few more set-ups I have been involved in the near future. Thank you for the comment, Sam, and for the feedback.


  3. Hi midimike. Music sustains me while I write. Thank you you so much for wanting to follow my poetry adventures. So nice to meet you. Peace and Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

    Liked by 1 person

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