Split MIDI track


I know this had been asked before here but I couldn’t find a suitable answer.

I have a midi track for drums. That track contains all instruments in it. I’d like to have a way to split it in multiple tracks to edit each instrument separately.

Right now I’m just duplicating this track and copying and pasting regions. I can’t accept that this is the best way to handle this.

Thanks everyone.

Pierre Dechery

I would do the following:

  • make a new MIDI track
  • set the input to your original track with all the drums, arm to record
  • put a MIDI-note filter plugin on it (I think there is one from Robin)
  • duplicate the new track as many times as you need (one per instrument)
  • in every track, adjust the note filter plugin to the note corresponding to the instrument you want on the track
  • record.

There are maybe better ways, I don’t know.
Hope that helps.

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Hi Piergi,

Your idea seems to me a very intuitive way, since the issue is about splitting midi notes, so a plugin made for that seems to be the right choice. I thought there was a way to do this with routing but maybe not. I don’t know.

Speaking about plugins, I have to confess that even using Ardour for about three years now I find it an hard subject. Everytime I search for plugins I find everything either much technical or misleading. Currently I use just a few but I know there’s way more out there.

I will go after the one you suggested.

Thanks a lot,


If your original midi (all instruments) is in a single region, you could also select all the instances of a particular note ( <- shift+click on a note on the keyboard in the track header), then copy and paste in an empty region in a new track. But the other method is more flexible, IMHO.

Well, this is routing: you are routing a filtered version of your midi track to new tracks :wink:

I have now found a similar thread from 7 years ago: Split MIDI by Pitch

Did you get the MIDI file from somewhere else, or was this track created entirely in Ardour?

Hi Paul,

It was created entirely in Ardour.

Hi Piergi,

I’ve found the plugin here and installed it by the instructions on the Q&A page. It is in the right folder but when I run Ardour I can’t find it there.

I saw the other thread, it speaks about the same plugin (midifilter) but I think they’d found another issue with it there.

I am now at home in front of the computer, and I can give you better instructions.

Midifilter.lv2 is a collection of MIDI plugins. It is not a single plugin, therefore you cannot find it with this name.

In the same collection (midifilter.lv2) there is another plugin called MIDI Key-Range Filter. With this one you can include/exclude/bypass a range of notes—as per my original post.

I recall now, that when I did the drum-track split myself, I had a track with just kick, snare and hi-hat. So I selected the corresponding notes (shift+click on the keyboard on the track header) and assigned the MIDI channels 1, 2 and 3 to the respective instruments. After that I filtered not the notes, but the channels, with MIDI Channel Filter. Also they were all in a single region.

There will be for sure other methods, at the moment I can’t think of something better.


Your answer gave me hope and I decided to take a look inside the “midifilter” folder. Here’s what I’ve got.

This is the content of the .tar file available on the website, Linux 64bit option.

In the same website there are these installation instructions:

Unzip the .tar file, move the lv2 plugin to $HOME/.lv2/ and the application to $HOME/bin. A Linux installer is in the making.

Well, the contents in that folder are getting me a bit confused. It doesn’t seems to me that there’s either an app or plugin file there.

And I’ve rechecked in Ardour for the MIDI Key-Range Filter plugin and there was nothing to be found.

I didn’t give up hope, nonetheless. After all, I believe in this way of making things and I love working with Ardour.

OBS: Just in case someone asks I’ve created the .lv2 folder in my home directory as well as I did all the other steps in the installation instructions.

If you use Debian or derivates, the kxstudio repositories have the package: https://kx.studio/Repositories

Hi Piergi,

Thanks a lot! I installed x42-plugins via Synaptic and now the whole collection appears in my Plugin Manager :grinning:

It seems that these are fantastic tools, can’t wait to explore it all.



I’d just like to thank @Piergi for the MIDI filter idea! It will help my workflow enormously! (And thanks pdechery do posting the question. I’ve been copying and editing for a long time.)

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I also do my drums like this (ie compose in one track, then split to separate tracks for kick, snare, HH, etc for the final mix). I’ve seen @unfa compose in a single track then send these to other tracks based on midi channel but I need to watch it again. Seems everyone is on YouTube but I learn better by reading. Hehheh

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I’ve seen @unfa compose in a single track then send these to other tracks based on midi channel

Hi @nSpud3

I saw the same video, and he uses one of those plugins from the “midifilter” package (in that case, the “channel filter” one).

Since my goal from the start was to add processing to the audio of the drums’ parts (like adding reverb and compression to the kick, for example) I had to do one final trick: after filtering the drum parts to individual MIDI tracks I’ve created other audio tracks to receive audio from these tracks as input. So I could add any plugins I like to these audio tracks.

I don’t know if my explanation was clear enough, maybe I’ll put a print here to clarify. But it worked, the only drawback being the growing number of tracks in your project.

By the way, I’ve published my song with the results of this process. The drums in this track were made with the “General MIDI Plugin”, in which I’ve chosen the “Standard Drums” instrument. Since I wasn’t comfortable with the sounds of the kick and the snare I’ve processed both following the process I’ve described.

Listeners are welcome :grinning: :guitar: :drum:

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