Ardour Instrument Plugins!

Good day,

I took a closer look at the included instrument plugins, tried them out and have a few questions.

  1. Instrument plugin SimbleSynth: With this instrument plugin I can branch tracks. A criterion that is very important, helpful and sensible. What else can I do with it?

  2. Instrument plugin General Midi Synth: This plugin is the highlight of the included plugins. Because there are all the instruments I need to create a song. Is there a way to branch tracks here as well? I miss that. For drums that would be very helpful and useful. Just like the instrument plugin Black Pearl and Red Zeppelin DrumKits.

Can you explain what you mean by the term “branch tracks”? That is not a term in common use in Ardour, so it would be good to know exactly what you are trying to do.

I guess—from the pictures—that he means the possibility to redirect multiple audio outputs to single tracks (like in AVL Drums).

I would use a MIDI filter plugin to route any specific channel to an audio track.

Although personally I find it more practical to separate at least the class of instruments (patch): a MIDI track for brass, another for strings or piano and so on. Definitely a dedicated one for drums.

It all depends on the sort of music, I guess.

Good day,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

For example, if you select Black Pearl Drumkit Multi as the drum instrument, you have the option to change the pin configuration and additionally split the drum instrument into 9 channels in order to change each drum module (kick, snare, hi-hat and so on) separately with effects. That’s a great thing.

If you could do that with the drum module in the General Midi Synthesizer, that would be unbeatable.

Is that all the community has to say about this? Don’t you remember?

That would be great progress. Even if you use other drum plugins.

Nothing, it is just an example how to write your own synth using Lua. It was accidentally included in release builds.

No, you cannot fan-out multi-timbral plugins by sample.
It could in theory be possible to have a dedicated stereo output per MIDI channel though.

For drums perhaps check out

You can add audio output ports to a track or bus. But that won’t add audio outputs to the plugin.

For plugins with a single stereo output, just use multiple instances on additional MIDI tracks. They can share the same playlist for convenience, and use MIDI channel or note filtering.

Many thanks for your quick answers.

That sounds interesting. Which x42 filter do I use for the channel assignment and do I have to use the General Midi Synthesizer in every additional Midi track for this success?

You can use any MIDI instrument this way. And I believe Ardour has always supported MIDI channel filtering natively. Edit Window, right-click a MIDI track, choose Channel Selector.

You can use x42 MIDI Channel Filter to do the same thing. Or if they’re all on the same channel, MIDI Key-Range Filter to only play back a specific range of notes. The descriptions on that plugin page should be self-explanatory.

Good day,

Thank you for your help and for the valuable explanations.

My idea is to create a Midi track with the General Midi Synthesizer and route the contained instruments from the General Midi Synthesizer to 7 other tracks via the channel assignment, without having to insert the General Midi Synthesizer in the 7 other tracks.

What settings do I have to make to accomplish this great project? Which additional filters do I need for this?

As others already said, if the plugin has only a stereo output, you cannot add extra outputs (to it).

If you really want to use only one track, you can do the following (caution, lot of work ahead):

Compose your MIDI track using different channels for the various “instruments”, thus seven MIDI channels (let’s say number 1 to 6, plus number 10 for the drums).

You then need multiple times a MIDI filter plugin (e.g. x42 MIDI channel filter) each set to the appropriate channel (1 to 6 and 10).

After that put the general MIDI (several instances, in your case 7).

Use manual pin configuration for that: in the picture I have an example with two channels/two instances. Add inputs and outputs as needed.

At the end, route the audio outputs of the MIDI tracks to your other audio tracks.

What I would do instead, is to use one track for each group of instruments (see my previous comment above). You will get a lot more clarity and a way easier automation.

Hope that helps.

Good day,

Thank you for the valuable time you took for me.
Your visuals look great.
This is of great help. I will experiment.