This is my first post and have a fun question for you. Is there a way that we can get a chord’s components assigned to different midi channels? Currently when I write chord structures, I tend to use a VST (for example, Cinematic Studio Strings) which has a polyphonic full ensemble. However, I want the performance to have legato for each part and my VST doesn’t support polyphonic legato, and thusly I always have to go through the process of splitting that MIDI track to these sections (vln 1, vln 2, viola, cello, bass, plus say, 1 divisi per section), with each section assigned a midi channel in my Kontakt stack (I have 9 to support the 5 sections, with 1 divisi each for section except bass).
As you can see, that’s a lot of work just to split up a chord to assign to each part. Yes, I do realize this is part of what a good orchestrator does (and really, good for my craft), but I was wondering if Cubase can help with automating this somehow.
Yes this is how to do it. I have four LE Presets - one sets the lowest note to Channel 4, another the 2nd lowest to Channel 3, etc. (see attached example). Put all 4 in a macro, assign to Key Command and you can easily split your parts into channels with a single key.
This works great if each chord contains 4 notes with similar lengths. But if you have a situation where all the notes change between chords except one note sustains so it is in multiple chords that can cause the LE to get a bit confused about counting from the bottom. When this happens it might require some hand cleanup afterwords.
Setting the Key Editor to color notes based on Channel rather than the default Velocity is helpful when doing this. Also the LE counts position from the bottom up starting with 0 for the lowest note, 1 for 2nd lowest, etc.
If you are doing this kind of stuff another type of LE Preset you’d likely find useful is to build a set of Presets that mutes & un-mutes based on channel number. This lets you listen to each voice in isolation or in combination with another line(s). Easy to listen to voice leading and singability that way.
I just discovered that when you record the output from the chord pads played live, the resulting MIDI also gets split into channels 1 to 4, which you can see if you set the MIDI editor to color by channel. Oddly, when you drag a chord from the chord pad to your MIDI track, the notes do not get split this way. Or if you create MIDI from chord events, the output is also just on one channel.
This seems a little quirky to me but possibly useful if you don’t mind playing in from the chord pads.
Just as a hint - since you were talking about “what a good orchestrator does”… for a natural sounding string ensemble it is highly recommended to record the individual lines one at a time instead of playing chords. I do know that this is much more work, but it is for sure something that will add to the quality of your arrangements (since the lines can move independently concerning note-lengths and also concerning “emotion”/expression) and of your recordings.
Having said that, of course the way you are starting is common practice - as a shortcut so to speak.