How to "bake" in midi plugins to piano roll


I’m from a blender background and in case you don’t know what baking in is, Is that it makes a plugin that was previously non-destructive and apply it destructively to the object.

So for example let’s say I have a transpose or a chordz VST plugin, is it possible to “bake” / apply the change to the piano roll?

Agreed, typically a non-destructive workflow is best and also thoroughly appreciated by me.

Allow me to explain the composing workflow I want to use. Feel free to suggest me a better workflow that can do the same thing.

Musical Target Workflow

  1. Create chord progressions using a chord plugin
  2. Record the created chord progressions
  3. Tweak the chords to improve the chord progression

Now that you say the MIDI output of VST plugin can’t be baked into the piano roll and can’t be recorded into the piano roll, here is an implementation idea that should work (at least in theory):

Idea of Implementation:

  1. Use a VST host to contain VST plugins assisting with composing, such as a piano roll and a chord generator. Route the chord generator MIDI out put to the output of the VST host
  2. Use a MIDI out plugin to make the VST host appear as a MIDI instrument to the OS
  3. Create a MIDI track in Ardour, configure its input to the MIDI output of the VST host

Now I can play on my physical midi keyboard single tones, the chord plugin replaces single tones with chords. The chords are sent to the piano roll in Ardour where they are recorded. Once I have recorded the chord progression I am happy with I delete the others. Next I can tune each chord, say I want the second one to be more bright and so I can augment it. This second pass tuning were not be possible if I could not record the chords in the piano roll.

The output of the VST host does not show up as MIDI instrument in Ardour. I use FL Studio as VST host and I configured its build in MIDI Out. I am assuming I have overlooked some configuration settings somewhere. Please advise.

P.S.: Is it possible for Ardour to record it self as in there is a midi out on one track and a midi in on another to achieve the same effect.

It is not currently possible to do this. 95+% of actions in Ardour are non-destructive intentionally.


The simple solution is to just record the MIDI track to another MIDI track (and then potentially delete the first track).

In Ardour 6.0 (which has no release date scheduled but is under development), you will be able to move the capture point for recording so that the MIDI track can actually record the output of the plugin.

Why would you want to? In case the plugin is not available in the future? I was thinking about that for instrument plugins and the solution to that would surely be to record the output of the instrument in a audio track. You can do this as insurance against unavailable plugins, obviously at the expense of more space.

I also saw a similar technique suggested for cases where you’ve had to route signals out of ardour to some complicated jack setup which you may not care to set up again next time you open the session.