How do I remove all effects from a file-imported midi track?

Hi. I’ve been creating backing tracks by importing large numbers of MIDI files into individual Ardour sessions. I replace the default reasonable synth with a-FluidSynth and apply a soundfont to each track I want to keep.

This works well 95% of the time, but occasionally, I’ll either hear an effect (like reverb) or the volume on the track will be low despite the track mixer level being at max and note velocities at or near max. I go into a-FluidSynth settings and everything is at the defaults. I’ve never moved a single slider there, just applied instruments.

My workaround has been to get the midi notes into a new track (apart from the default import-generated track). Once I do that, everything’s fine; reverb (etc) and volumes seem normal.

What is going on? What am I missing? What is applied to these import-generated tracks that’s adding effects and messing with volumes?

Thanks in advance.

You would need to look at the relevant automation/CC (controller) lanes/tracks. Click on the “a” button in the track header in the editor and select “Show existing automation”. If there is any CC data in the MIDI file (such as for the pan controller), new automation/CC lanes/tracks will appear to display it.

Alternatively, you could use a tool like midicomp from the command line to convert the MIDI file into text, and then browse it in your favorite text editor.

... stereo cable to my subwoofer ...

What you describe seems like a stereo 3-conductor signal plugged into a balanced (and mono) 3-conductor input. It could also be a shorted stereo cable.

Make sure you understand the wiring of the jacks on your equipment, and test your cables. My bet is that once you fix it, everything will sound better.

Ok so on this bass track with low volume, I can mess with the LR pan and get loud bass. Since I’m using a stereo cable to my subwoofer (instead of mono), my guess is the midi track’s bass is panned all the way to one side while my subwoofer is getting only the other side (i.e. nothing). Hmmmm.

So now I guess the question is, MIDI notes have individual L/R pan? Or… the mid-file-imported track had a pan and ardour preserved it? Not sure how this is happening. Any clarification would be helpful.

I just noticed something on a track with inexplicably low volume. The middle meter bounces very low. The left and right meters look normal. I’ll investigate further, but this seems like a good lead.