Assigning midi instruments to channels

Discussion in 'General Sequencing' started by voice of god, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. voice of god

    voice of god Prodigal Pyjamas Pervert Staff Member Super Mod

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    Do certain midi instruments like being assigned to certain channels?

    Drums are always channel 10, I know that.

    What about bass, keyboards, or strings?

    I assign mine from order of importance:-

    bass thru channel 1
    then keyboards or strings from 2 upwards, whatever instrument is more prominent in the song gets the lowest number.

    Is there a correct channel for each instrument?
  2. sheffers

    sheffers New Member

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    Other than drums on 10, there doesn't seem to be any standard. Ive seen some folks use ch1 for bass, like yourself. I've also seen ch1 commonly used for piano (or primary keyboard) and some folks reserve it for the melody line. ;)
  3. eojeda

    eojeda New Member

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    Very good and IMPORTANT question.

    Your sound source has a given number of polyphony voices, for example, 64 voices or 32 voices or 128 voices.

    Now, every time you assign a voice to a channel, you SHOULD know how many PATCH sound are required to reproduce the "sound" you are using.

    For examlpe, a very simple piano might use 1 or 2 patches but a very complex piano might use 5 or 6.

    1 or 2, or 5 or 6 are the number of polyphony voices required by your sound source to reproduce the piano you want.

    So, if you are going to record a sequence that requires 16 channels (extreme example considering all 16 channels will sound together at a given point in time in your sequence) and each channel uses 5 patches, that's 80 voices. If your sound source is ONLY 32 voice polyphony what happens ?

    Your sequence is going to sound incomplete. Why ?

    Because the majority of sound sources use a thechnique called "Voices Stealing".

    In other words, a sound source that can reproduce a MAX of 32 voices WILL play "first come, first served until I have voices left".

    Your sequence starts with a piano chord, DO Major, 3 notes, DO, MI and SOL (C, E and G). Each note requires 6 voices. THAT'S 18 voices out of 32.

    Before your first piano chord finishes, you play another guitar chord that required another 18 voices.

    What happens ? 36 voices required vs 32 available.

    Your piano chord will continue to sound until your guitar chord will steal 4 piano voices.

    Some sound sources have a "Voice Reserve" feature.

    Commonly, channel 1 will reserve more voices than channel 16.

    Check your sound source.

    IT DOES NOT matter what channel order you follow.

    Follow what you like when you assign channels to your sounds.

    What matters is the ACTUAL number of voices you are playing at ANY given point in time in your sequence.

    Try to never exceed the max number of polyphony voices of your sound source.

    If you have to, use voice reserve for those sounds that you really require.

    I hope this helps.

    Ed.
  4. eojeda

    eojeda New Member

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    I forgot one thing. Percussion sounds DO NOT have a strong "voices stealing" effect vs other sounds. Why ? because they require very small time voice allocation.

    Example, snare drum.

    Every time a snare drum is played, it might require 100 to 500 milliseconds to be heard vs a LONG piano chord.

    So percussion sounds should not be a concern regarding voice reserve or voice stealing.

    Some sound source editors distinguish percussion sounds (Chann 10) vs the rest in terms of voice reserve and voice stealing. So is the same for sound sources.

    Ed.
  5. voice of god

    voice of god Prodigal Pyjamas Pervert Staff Member Super Mod

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    wow

    I think I understand.

    But what about this with regards to the drums
    If I enter in a cymbal hit that is a very long note, will it ring out longer than a cymbal hit that is a very short note?(both same velocity)

    or do they ring out exactly the same amount of time, every time, regardless of the length you make them?

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