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Topic: Assign different instruments to one channel?

  1. #1

    Assign different instruments to one channel?

    Hello, I need to assign several different instruments to one single MIDI channel, so that I can switch instruments within one track with the "program change" MIDI command. Is this possible? I haven't found any way to do it - each instrument gets assigned to a different channel.
    If this is impossible to do, is there another way to change instruments "on the fly" within a single MIDI track?
    I have GigaStudio 3.0 and CubaseSX 2.2. The sound card is an ECHO Gina 3G, and I'm using the Vienna Symphonic Library instruments.
    Thanks for any help you might give me!

  2. #2

    Re: Assign different instruments to one channel?

    Here are a few of the ways that you can change sounds on a single GigaStudio channel:

    * MIDI Program Changes.
    * Multi-instrument gig file with key switches: Just play a certain piano key and change the instrument.
    * Stacked instrument with key switch: Stack a few instruments on the same channel and they all play. Add a keyswitch to the stack, and you can change instruments with piano keys (or any MIDI controller, like mod-wheel and such)

    Each stacked instrument is automatically assigned a unique bank/program number. You can make it active on any channel with a program change.

    Any instrument loaded into memory is available to all ports and channels with no overhead.

    One limitation compared to good hardware synths: Upon a program change, the previosly held notes are all muted. On my Kurzweil PC88 it keeps playing the previous sound, until I lift my fingers. Tascam has no current plans to improve this.

    Also, I found that in 3.04 program changes were a bit slow to respond. Keyswitches and other MIDI-controlled changes are near instantaneous. I haven't yet tested program change speeds in 3.10 to see if they are faster. Program changes in v2.5 were also instantaneous.

    I hope this info is helpful. Giga's flexibility in this area isn't perfect, but it's clearly superior to Kontakt in this domain.


  3. #3

    Re: Assign different instruments to one channel?

    I reread your post, and I see that you're asking for technical help, rather than a "should I buy" thing.

    Here goes: Load a few instruments into Giga by double-clicking them. They will end up on whatever channels. Now, take a look at the lower right hand corner of the Giga screen. You will see all of the instruments listed with port, channel, bank and program numbers. If you send a program change request to any port/channel that corresponds to one of those bank/program numbers, that instrument will end up on that port/channel.

    I don't use Cubase, so I can't tell you how to insert a proper program change command. If you need to know about Sibelius or Sonar, I can help...


  4. #4

    Re: Assign different instruments to one channel?

    Hi JF, thank you very much for your reply! It seems that stacked instruments are what I need. Anyway, I tried to create a stacked instrument... But then all the instruments of the stack play together. How do I add a keyswitch to select which of the instruments has to play?
    Thanks again!

  5. #5

    Re: Assign different instruments to one channel?

    First off, you need GS3.1, as it's a new feature.

    I'm not at my Giga PC right now, but as I recall, you click the small downward pointing arrow for the pull down menu, then click stack properties, or something like that.

    There is a "learn" button on the stacked properties page. Click it, then play a note or move a MIDI controller, and Giga will detect it, and select it as your control.

    Make sure to stack things in the order that you want them to be organized. You can't change the order, after they're loaded, as far as I can tell. It's no problem if you plan for it.


  6. #6

    Re: Assign different instruments to one channel?

    Hi JF,
    thank you very much for your help! I installed the update and I have found out how to use the stacked instruments and keyswitches! Thanks again!

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