How to collapse midi regions into one?

I have one simple midi track, with several layers. How to combine all the notes into one single layer? If I select all regions, then right click context menu -> Selected Regions-> Edit-> the Combine option is greyed out. That would seem the right idea, but maybe that is for audio tracks only.

How to do this function?

We discussed this extensively 3-4 years ago, and we could see benefits and drawbacks to both the “there’s just “one region” and all notes are in it” vs. the current design. We decided that a consistent set of operations for both audio + MIDI beyond copy/cut/paste was worth breaking the tie between the two choices. Not sure if I necessarily want to defend this choice too strongly.

You can’t do it - you have to re-record the output of the track in another track.

Combining MIDI regions is extremely difficult because the result has still to contain editable contents (unlike audio, where Ardour never allows changing the contents of a region). We will add “Bounce” for MIDI at some point, which will generate a new file and a new region.

In general, you don’t want to do layering with MIDI in a single track (some people would argue the same is true of audio, actually) - use different tracks wherever possible. THe workflow in Ardour needs to improve a lot in this area (MIDI in general)

@mangoland You can do it in qtractor (select two regions, right click, merge). Its handled there is the same way that Paul describes ‘bounce’.

I am coming from Sonar, and the combine function is there also. What would really help, would be if my keyboard technique was really awesome…and could do things in one take.

I don’t have luck with Qtractor being reliable enough yet. Ardour is more stable in my short testing.

Been looking for the answer to the same question. Indeed, currently there’s no way possible to bounce or combine MIDI regions, yet there’s a pretty simple workaround: just create a new MIDI track, set its MIDI in to the out of your multi-region track (see the “Ardour Tracks” tab of the MIDI input window), turn recording on and play back the whole session - now you’ll have all your regions combined in the new track. Combining regions is quite useful when composing tracks in a part-after-part manner, especially if these are sostenuto tracks which require ends of notes to overlap slightly. Otherwise this can be done only when playing a pre-written score.

I know the MIDI workflow is still being developed, so I thought I’d throw this out there: Wouldn’t a reasonable approach be to do away with MIDI regions altogether? Regions make some since for audio snippets, but I’m not sure that MIDI sequences benefit from this. In a sense, MIDI notes are themselves like micro-regions: they can be moved around, edited, overlapped etc. So the idea encompassing them in another region (as it is currently realized in Ardour 3.5.380) is redundant. The way things are done now might be acceptable for recording a flawless MIDI sequence in a single take (something that never happens with me), but it is very inconvenient for composition, e.g. “I just want to put some new notes here and give it a listen”- a nightmare with overlapping regions.

I for one DO see the benefit to having the current design…until I need to overdub the heck out of a keyboard take with a bunch of non-repeating lines (Chick Corea I ain’t…) Recording the midi notes on to a new track works well enough for now. Having the “Bounce” for midi online will be a welcome addition, when it comes. :slight_smile: