How do I record new midi notes to an existing midi part?

For example I have some midi part I want to refill. I want to hear old notes and record new notes, using the same instrument. It’s not comfortable to make a new track, load the same instrument (especially for hard instruments) and record. Is it possible to record new notes in the same midi event with hearing old and recording notes? If no, what suggestion to do?

It’s not yet possible.

one common solution: Use 2 midi tracks.

The first one will serve as “MIDI Bus” it will have the instrument plugin and you’ll never record to it. Set it to monitor “In” explicitly.
The 2nd Track one will hold the actual data that you record and not have an instrument plugin (midi in, midi out). Set it to monitor “Disk” .

Now, connect your keyboard to both channels. And connect Track2 out -> Track 1 in. et voila.

PS. I meant to say “connect your keyboard to both tracks”.

It will directly trigger the Synth on Track1. It will be recorded (but not passed though) on Track2. Existing notes on Track 2 will be played (disk monitor) and reach the synth as well.

Big thanks, @x42!
Must be comfortable idea. I’ll try. I didn’t think about midi bus, it’s interesting to test)
Just one more question.
If I’ll record few leyers of midi, can I consolidate them after? Or must only copy notes from a new layer to an old one?

You can’t consolidate MIDI regions. You can bounce a time selection, which is similar (but involves creating a new file on disk).

Thanks, Paul!
I’ve tasted it - works). It’s not a problem to have some more midi files in session folder, if you mean that. I’ve no regret about few waste bytes HDD.

Hi Robin,
sorry for revival, but i have question regarding this topic;
Is midi overdubbing something that is being considered in near future or not?

Thank you in advance

See this thread: midi overdub

sorry but i cannot find answer there

There’s no real definition of “near future”, but I can say that we are not working on it and will not be a feature of the 7.0 release. And note: you can do MIDI overdubbing already, you just cannot record new MIDI data into an existing region (you can add it by hand, or paste it in).

Hi Paul,
first of all, i’m not sure we are talking about same thing;

how can you do midi overdub, while not being able to do so? to my understanding, midi overdub is having one midi clip (read region), and being able to record new midi material to that same clip multiple times?

midi overdubbing definition says:
When MIDI Arrangement Overdub is enabled, new MIDI clips contain a mix of the signal already in the track and the new input signal

also midi overdubbing in other daws, which does exactly that. (add newly recorded notes to already existing midi clip)

please correct me if i’m wrong here, but i really am confused.

The more i try to utilize Ardour/Mixbus, i drift a lot from making music, instead i end up ranting numerous times… which is the direct result of not responding (ignoring) my questions… but that’s whole another topic…

second: thanks for the clarification about short-term roadmap.

What happens in Ardour is that if you record over an existing region, you actually end-up with 2 layers. the notes from the second take are in a different file/region but if you play, both will sound simulateously, so it’s really a “practical” difference:
Take a look at the scrrenshot below. One track, two takes on the same track, most recent being on top:

The drawback is that if you want to move this region around, you have to move both layers … if you want to make operations on the notes, these operations cannot be relative to the notes in the other layer, etc …


Hi @timetre ,
Thanks for your effort, but i am already aware of current state, hence my initial question - whether this is something in the works, or being considered at all.
I’m really tired of endless debates, philosophy behind someone’s personal approach at making music, why someone calls non-existant function - the working one… etc… i would call it a day here, no hard feelings. I’m just tired for dedicating my time to software development at times instead of just making music. :slight_smile: Cheers

The drawback is that if you want to move this region around, you have to move both layers … if you want to make operations on the notes, these operations cannot be relative to the notes in the other layer, etc

You can consolidate the layers into one region when you’re done and happy with your recording. This way you don’t have to deal with moving multiple layers around or having layer-specific access to the midi notes.

let’s say i have 4-5-6-7-8 overdubs - every ovderdub requires small midi adjustment

so what you are saying is: i should reposition regions like 10 times to adjust midi material, or consolidate after every overdub? :smiley: great workflow suggestion i’m speechless :smiley:

Nobody here ever suggested that the MIDI workflow is perfect. I explained above that it is possible to overdub in exactly the same sense as you can with audio. I am perfectly aware that for many (probably most) people, that model isn’t what they want when working with MIDI. We will change that, but there’s no timetable for this change.

There are some workflows where the way things work right now are precisely correct. They just turn out to be less common that “I recorded a bunch of stuff, now I want to add a bunch more stuff that that same stuff, by doing more recording”. Note that nobody does this with audio, it’s a MIDI-only concept.


all i ever asked was:

  1. if this is going to be implemented ‘soon’ - which i got response for (ty Paul)
  1. why did you claim that the exact feature is available, while it is not (it’s possible to do it manually, which involves several steps, rather than play + overdub, and nothing more than that)

the workflow topic is response only in essence to everyone who mentions workaround (which involves too many manual steps). Unless you know how people use DAW or adopt certain functions, you cannot improve that ‘MIDI workflow’ you are talking about. I never complained about MIDI in ardour/mixbus, Instead i was curious if this function is going to happen soon… But you’ve chosen to write some nonsense instead

this topic is regarding midi only, i do not understand why you bring audio at this point at all?

Where does the word “overdub” come from? Correct: audio recording.

In the days of tape, “overdub” meant one of two things:

  • recording new material on a different track (of the 4-24 that might be available
  • recorrding over the top of existing material, obliterating what was there

Now you’re here insisting that since Ardour cannot do what you want, which is something entirely different than either of those two operations, that you cannot “overdub” MIDI. I never tried to say that Ardour could do what you want. You are insisting that “overdub” has only a single meaning - I am pointing out that it is more complicated than that.

Yes, Ardour cannot do what you want at this point in time. Meanwhile, you can “overdub” MIDI in the original sense of that term, which for some people is just what they need.

I’ve already indicated that we are aware that this doesn’t work for many/most workflows and that we hope to do something about it in the future. What more can I possibly say?

well, in broad term sense - yes, but since we are talking about midi only (and this topic is regarding midi only) - i even provided available midi overdub examples (within bitwig and mpc software)

I even provided Live (ableton) definition of overdub

so no one should deviate into something like history of ‘overdubbing’ and the broad-term overdubbing…

Nothing really, but you implied that the midi overdubbing feature (which i asked for) was already there, while at the same time - claiming that is not present, nor being considered in the next major release. It would be great to prioritise given topic, instead audio industry philosophy in general…

disclaimer: i’m not trying to provoke anyone, nor insult. This is clear example of how time is being wasted on this forum. Endless pointless debates… :slight_smile:


If you believe I claimed that the feature you want was already there, you are misreading what I wrote and/or I did not write clearly enough.