Forum: n-Track Studio Discussion Forum
Topic: midi mixdown
started by: g8torcliff

Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 20 2005, 5:05 PM
When you mixdown midi tracks to wav tracks, where do the original midi files go?  are they completely deleted?
Posted by Beefy Steve on Nov. 20 2005, 5:15 PM

Uh, I don't know, I never figured it out :(
I don't do a midi mixdown for that reason, I just solo each track and record the audio to a separate audio track. That way you keep the original midi tracks if you need to redo anything.


Posted by learjeff on Nov. 20 2005, 5:40 PM
Frankly, I think it's insane that the MIDI mixdown wizard even suggests deleting the MIDI track.

The MIDI tracks get deleted by default.  (ARRGH!)  This is a rather poor choice, since frequently after rendering and mixing I decide to make a change here or there, and if the original MIDI track is gone, there's no hope.  IIRC, the wizard does clue you about saving the .sng file to a backup, and also allows not deleting the MIDI tracks.  But the default behavior is very counterproductive, and I recommend against using the wizard for that reason.

The better choice in V4 is simply to freeze the MIDI track (if it's a plugin synth), or to play it back while recording the audio (for external synths), or whatever it is that folks with Soundblasters & the like (cards with built-in MIDI synths) do -- recording the synth out, IIRC.

Posted by phoo on Nov. 20 2005, 8:11 PM
Frankly, I think it's insane that the MIDI mixdown wizard even suggests deleting the MIDI track.
This is plain and simple a very distructive bug. There's no way I justify it being caIled by-design. It's a data loss issue and really should be fixed. After conversion to wave the MIDI track should be sitting right there, though muted, in my opinion. Let the user decide when to delete content.

Posted by Billy Hopkins on Nov. 21 2005, 2:53 AM
Ok, during my 1 1/2 years of tinkering with n-track, I have found that if I mix some midi files down to a wave file, the original midis' are still there, under "newsong", with the little red hat. Once I find a file,  I  re-name the midi file. Anyway, look at all of your files in order to determine which ones are the particular midi files you just mixed down.

Posted by John Lucic on Nov. 21 2005, 4:20 AM
I have put the midi track on "solo," set the soundcard settings to record "what-u-hear," and pushed record.
This made a wav file of the midi while leaving the midi track unaltered.

Posted by Bubbagump on Nov. 21 2005, 6:10 AM
If you are using VSTis... forget the wizard and freeze them tracks.
Posted by Mark A on Nov. 21 2005, 11:49 AM
If you are using VSTis... forget the wizard and freeze them tracks.

Agreed, or if you are a control freak like me, solo the midi track and do a mixdown; then import the resultant file.

Also agree that the Wizard shouldn't delete the Midi track.


Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 21 2005, 3:43 PM
i use 3.3.  so the best way is to do as john lucic suggests?  that sounds simple enough....
Posted by theinfamousfish on Nov. 21 2005, 3:52 PM
Or use VSTi's and mixdown, as was suggested. You don't need "freeze" to do that. then save a backup file (doesn't take up much space) and delete the midi and synth tracks in your new version. be sure to save with a new name! :)


Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 21 2005, 5:42 PM
yeah, that will work.  thanx for the responses.  didn't like losing my midi's after all that it took to put them together.  i'm a midi new guy but it is getting easier now that i see what is going on....

cliff   :cool:

Posted by learjeff on Nov. 21 2005, 7:20 PM
We can't answer your question without knowing what kind of MIDI synth you're using.  I gave three options above for the three cases I know of:

- built-in MIDI synth (built into soundcard)
- plugin softsynth
- external MIDI synth

What you do to render a MIDI track is different in each case.  If the Wizard works, I think you must be using a built-in MIDI synth, in which case John Lucic's suggestion sounds right (but I don't have one, so can't confirm for sure).

Beware simple advice!

Actually, there's a 4th case: standalone MIDI softsynth plumbed using MIDIYOKE.  I think "Solo the MIDI track and record what you hear" works for that too.

For plugin synth, best method is solo the track and offline mixdown.

For an external synth, you have to record it.

Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 21 2005, 7:24 PM
plugin softsynth
Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 21 2005, 7:43 PM
Actually I use a Yamaha keyboard to create a MIDI track which I feed to sfz.  The MIDI track shows up in the working folder as Whatever.mid....from now on I will copy that .mid file to another location before I mix it down...or I will do the 'record what you hear' method.  
    I think I like the idea of copying the original midi file to another folder somewhere else.  That way, if I decide I want it (the track)to be strings instead of horns I can import the original, feed it to my soft synth and re-figure it as desired.
    I was caught off guard when it deleted my files when it mixed down.

Still learning....

cliff   :cool:

Posted by learjeff on Nov. 21 2005, 11:50 PM
Best practice:

When you mixdown and see the offer for that wizard, say NO (or Cancel, or whatever) to make it go away forever.  (Good riddance.)

Whenever you're happy with a MIDI track and want to render it to wave, just Solo that track (and no others) and do an offline mixdown.  Name the wave file meaningfully, if you like (I do).  Then import that wave file and Mute the MIDI track.  (I minimize it too, and set the mixer view to hide minimized tracks.)  Now you can apply FX and lots of fun stuff -- much easier volume edits than trying to do it with MIDI volume or on the plugin channel, etc.  Also, the playback is more stable and repeatable: no +/- 8msec variation.

Later, if you want to edit the MIDI track, just do so (mute the audio track first!), and re-render.  You can set the wave file name to be the same as the old one and it'll appear in the corresponding audio track (after asking whether you're sure you want to overwrite an existing file).  Or you can name it something else, delete the old Part (not Track), import it, and move it to the audio track, retaining all those FX and volume edits you set up.

HTH :)

Posted by learjeff on Nov. 21 2005, 11:53 PM
Er, oops, sorry -- I was thinking V3.  For V4, just Freeze the MIDI track!  Bingo!

Or feel free to render it like we "control freaks" do!  :laugh:

Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 22 2005, 12:51 AM
I will make that wizard disappear.....forever!   :angry:

Thanks again for tipping me off to its uselessness..

cliff   :cool:

Posted by theinfamousfish on Nov. 22 2005, 1:37 AM
I'm confused. If you are using SFZ, why are you getting the MIDI to wav wizard? You shouldn't get it if you are sending your track to a VSTi... ??? ??? ???

are you sure you are using sfz right? are you using "output to-> sfz"?


Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 22 2005, 1:40 PM
Let me check for sure.....sometimes I use SFZ, sometimes VSC.  Let me ask this:  Is what you are saying is that I wouldn't have to go through the MIDI to WAV conversion if I used SFZ?  If that is the case, I guess my preference from now on would have to be SFZ.  VSC seems to have more sounds but I would sacrifice them.  
    Like I've mentioned before, I don't know a lot about MIDI, but I thought SFZ and VSC (Steinberg's virtual sound canvas) were both softsynths and behaved pretty much the same.  Aren't they both softsynths and don't they both have to be added as a new VST so you can output a MIDI track to them?  Then, when you mixdown, the wizard tries to convert MIDIs to WAVs?



Posted by theinfamousfish on Nov. 22 2005, 11:27 PM
The midi to wav wizard is for when you are using an internal hardware synth or softsynth like MS Wavetable Synth, SB Synth (or whatever your soundcard onboard synth is, if you have one), etc. These do not operate offline like VSTi synths, so n can't do offline processing. It uses the MIDI to Wav converter to do live processing of each track. If you are using SFZ, then you should be able to do offline processing. (Just a thought... you don't have your settings where you do all real-time processing, and don't mixdown offline do you?) I don't know about Sound Canvas. I know very little about it, so I don't know if it works offline, but my initial thought would be that it would. Anyone else know?


Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 23 2005, 12:15 AM
Alllllriiiiightty then...

I just did a real short test....

Added New VST Channel-SFZ
Recorded 4 note MIDI Track-sent the output to VST SFZ
Added New VST Channel-VSC
Recorded 4 note MIDI Track-sent the output to VST VSC
Sent the output of the 2 synth channels (SFZ & VSC) to my realtec soundcard
They playback fine
Clicked Mixdown song
Offline mixing
Went without a problem (No wizard) &
Left my 2 MIDIs as they were &
Created the mixdown wav of the MIDIs in my working folder.


Did I imagine my MIDIs disappearing before ....nope, I know they did......I was real disappointed...   but,

Seems I don't have that problem (anymore)

That's nice....

Posted by g8torcliff on Nov. 23 2005, 12:18 AM
Thanks to everyone for tipping me off to the disappearing midi phenomonym....its nice to be aware.

(I can't spell 'phenomenym.....phenomynym....)

Posted by theinfamousfish on Nov. 23 2005, 1:38 AM
I bet you didn't have the tracks sent to your vsti's. Easy mistake to make. That would explain the wizard and dissapearing midi files. So from now on, if you see the wizard, you will know to cancel and send to vstis so you won't lose your midi files. That's what I do. :)
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