Change the instrument for several tracks at once?

I’m opening some of Ashton Gleckman’s MIDI files, in this case the Interstellar one that he did with the Royal Albert Hall instrument, since I just bought that same instrument.

Several of the tracks use it, so I would like to assign Kontakt 7 to them. I thought about creating a track preset, but soon realized that when I was assigning that track preset, it was changing the name of the track to that of the track from where I saved the preset. So that way is a no go.

So is there a simple way to just assign one specific instrument plugin to several tracks at once, as opposed to doing it track by track?

No. But if you’ve got a bunch of Tracks it might be easier to Duplicate the Track(s) with the desired VSTi so the number of Tracks grows geometrically - 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.

That might be fine if I wanted to just create a lot of new tracks with Kontakt 7. In this case it doesn’t because I’m opening a project with tracks and MIDI regions already created, so I have to add Kontakt 7 to all of them without changing anything else in the track.

The good thing about Cubase is that it loads the MIDI file and shows the names of the tracks. Logic Pro X assigns a channel strip, which I think is like a track preset in Cubase, but it always assigns the Steinway Grand Piano or similar.

Also remarkable is that I downloaded a bunch of MIDI files for Bach’s Toccata and Fugue (why they put part of the name in Italian and the rest in English is something I’ll never understand), and Cubase assigned the Halion One church organ to most of the tracks, and this is especially remarkable to me since the creator kind of put his “signature”, and named some tracks with his name and the date he finished the project, which was August 1996. So Cubase in fact opened a MIDI track created almost 30 years ago, not only naming the tracks correctly, but also assigning the more or less correct instruments. That’s pretty amazing for a simple MIDI file, not even a Cubase project from 1996.

the following seems to work for me in Cubase 12.0.60 in Win10:

  • select all of the desired tracks, so they are highlighted
  • click on the current target Instrument for the first selected track
  • in the resulting selection dialog for VST instruments: hold ALT-SHIFT and click on the desired new instrument

All of the selected tracks should now point to the new instrument.

Yes, Cubase and HALion have supported the SMF (standard midi file) standard and MIDI GM (the standard assigning defined instruments to specific midi program change numbers) as long as I can remember.

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