MIDI Instrument Sub lanes/tracks

Multiple lanes of MIDI notes running in parallel on a single Instrument Track. As distinguished from MIDI comping which would result in one lane of notes playing at a time, this feature could be more accurately described as akin to staves of notes which represent different parts played at the same time on the same instrument.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Currently in Bitwig Instrument (and Hybrid) tracks can have one lane of MIDI clips in the arranger and clip launcher. This means additional notes have to be recorded into existing clips. Allowing multiple lanes of MIDI clips would allow layers of MIDI notes to be combined into a whole part. For example a lead line and a harmonising part for the same instrument could be represented in two separate lanes of notes which can be individually muted, soloed, edited etc.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Multiple lanes of automation are already provided in order to allow automation for various parameters to be represented independently of other automation. Controls for toggling the display of all automation lanes already exist. Similar concepts could be extended to the MIDI lane to permit more than one to exist per instrument track.

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

  1. Create a group track. Put your instrument on the group track master.
  2. Create an instrument track within the group. Set the output for the instrument track as Notes to Tracks → Group Master Track. The ‘notes to tracks’ section is right at the bottom of the track output drop down.
  3. Duplicate this instrument track as many times as needed

You can also save group routings as presets by creating a clip within a group track structure, then dragging the group level ‘metaclip’ to your browser, saving it as a clip. When you drag that group clip preset back out into a project, it will retain its internal routing. In this manner you can have a preset saved with a single instrument track routing its MIDI to the group master, and just drag this preset out whenever you want to use this routing setup, duplicating the instrument track as many times as needed for the given situation.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?

Not in the sense of actually adding multiple note lanes to a single instrument track.

Could it be provided by an STV or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?

Perhaps some pattern sequencing plugins might be able to handle multiple concurrent patterns with one instrument, but is likely to be less flexible than using Bitwig’s piano roll sequencer and would allow the use of other Bitwig features like operators.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Reason has allowed multiple note lanes for instruments for quite some time.


11 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] MIDI Instrument Sub lanes/tracks