A Better Way to Work With Multiple MIDI Channel Data on Single Tracks (long overdue)

Say I have a dual channel synthesizer (Nord Wave) where, I might be controlling CC74 on Channel 1 and Channel 2 using an external controller like a Novation 25SL MKII, and I’m recording that MIDI to a single track in Cubase.

Currently, unless I’m not aware of it, there is no way to tweeze apart CC74 data on Channel 1 and Channel 2. It is instead summed into a sort of glitched out single Omni CC74 where Channel 1 and Channel 2 fought against one another.

My current workaround is to have two MIDI Tracks, Track 1 filters out Channel 2 data, and Track 2 filters out Channel 1 data.

I get by just fine with this workaround, but it might be nicer to improve single track multi-channel editing and data display.

Protocol Change - MIDI Editor CC Lanes should change
CC Lanes in the MIDI Editor should change a bit.

The whole CC Menu should change, it should be more of a GUI window.

In this GUI window, there should be an ‘Active’ column, an ‘Added’ column, and the CC Index.

These CC’s should no longer just be non-descriptive in regards to their channel…

If I open the GUI Window, and Add ‘CC8’, there should be a MIDI Channel Menu selector, and so it creates a ‘CC8 Ch2’ to the lane selection menu.

So you would no longer have just non-described CC8… you would have
CC8 Ch1
CC8 Ch2
CC8 Ch3
CC8 Ch4
CC8 Ch5
CC8 Ch6

If there is a plain non-described CC8 in the menu, it means it is just Omni or Track based.

If I record CC74 from my keyboard and it’s Channel 3, then that would show up in the Used/Active CC Lane menu as CC74 Ch3

So the CC Lanes could display multiple CC8 for different channels.

New Channel Display Mode both in MIDI Editor and Arranger Window
As it stands, multiple MIDI Channel notes and such are combined, and the only way you can tell them apart is by selecting them and looking in the Info Line, and or changing the MIDI note/event colour to ‘Channel’.

To better improve how things currently are, I think the Left Zone in the MIDI Editor should have some sort of channel selector/filter. If I only want to see Channel 2 notes, I could do that. If I want to see both Channel 1 and Channel 2 notes, I could do that.

But I’m also imagining a new Display Mode that is non-destructive and essentially flips between the current protocol and a new one where everything gets splayed out and separated - very similar to how stacked events and lanes work.

This new view mode would essentially give the MIDI Editor its own ‘Track List’ like in our Arranger, except it’s a ‘Channel List’ and is more akin to the In-Place-Editor - imagine having multiple MIDI Tracks in the Arranger with Edit-In-Place enabled for all of them.

There would be Mute/Solo buttons, and the user should be able to minimize/hide Channels.

In the Arranger Window, I think MIDI Tracks should be given a new button that enables also a new track view mode, that essentially ‘unfolds’ MIDI Tracks into multiple channels similar to Lanes, or how a multi channel Instrument Track works.

In full respect for, and realization of the merits of your request, I’m wondering if this might not help you out some until your ideas for improvements might become a reality.

  1. In MIDI/CC Automation setup configure things so the record destination for incoming CC goes into the MIDI Part (rather than on a track automation lane).

  2. Record your stuff onto a single track as desired with the track channel output set to ANY.

  3. Right click the track and choose select all events.

  4. Goto MIDI/Dissolve Part

  5. In the Dissolve Part Dialog that pops up choose “Separate Channels”, tick “Optimized Display”, and tick “Dissolve to Lanes”.

At this point you get a fresh event blocks sorted out by MIDI channels, each on fresh lanes in the project view.

You can control more easily which channel(s) show up in the Key Editor by selecting the ONE you want. If you need to work with both at the same time, you can hold ctrl and select more than one event block in Project View.

Also note that if you simply right click and do ‘select all events’ for the track, you can easily activate/deactivate which lanes can be edited in the key editor (while still having a visual of the other lanes present).

I merged a 16 channel SMF down to a single track, dissolved the track lanes, and now find it pretty easy to get at things to edit regardless of the MIDI channel.

Some other tips/options that might come in handy. Worth a little experimentation.

MIDI Logical Editors are great! Sometimes it pays to just quickly extract what you want to a fresh track, touch it up there in an uncluttered fashion, and merge it back together later. One could even build key-bound macros to automate the process. Even better, some edits you just do with the Logical Editor itself, and don’t even have to bother with the mouse drags/key-pokes/clicks.

Another option you might find interesting is to convert the CC lanes into note expression events. That binds them to specific notes (you double click a note in the key editor, and a box pops up where you can edit the controller events. They get bound to the notes rather than floating as independent channel events, and subsequently can be quantized or moved around with the note). It’s not too hard to transform back and forth between the note-expression method and channel CC method as needed.

This is why I record CC to a completely different track, and record each channel to it’s own track, then rout those to where they need to go. If I have 4 channels of MIDI I end up with 8 performance MIDI tracks. MIDI 1 Note Perform, MIDI 1 CC Perform, MIDI 2 Note Perform, MIDI 2 CC Perform…etc. Then I rout the notes to where they are needed and the CC to where they are needed in the given Kit, and I have it all bused through a Group (and FX) to an Audio track where the result is recorded.