Mixing MIDI tracks instead of rendering to audio. Is this possible?

Hi, I write mostly large orchestral/hybrid music for film which sometimes utilizes upwards of 100 tracks. In order to mix I have to render each MIDI track to audio, which takes me an entire day sometimes. Programs like Kontakt, for example utilizes up to 16 channels for different instruments, but you cant individually mix or eq each channel, especially with useful eq vsts. There may be a way long available to mix MIDI without having to render to audio that I know nothing about. If so, please tell me. Thanks so much. ( Currently rendering audio for hours and its killing me )

Why do you think you need to do this?

Is it because you are using a large number of VSTi’s and maxing out your computer?

Otherwise you should be able leave the Virtual Instruments alone and include them in your Mix the same as Audio Tracks. Whatever you hear when you play the Project is what should hear when you render the mix.

Sure you can. Just enable additional Audio Outputs in Kontakt & they’ll appear in the MixConsole.


Kontakt is a bit different from others. It can have a very complex routing.

You may have to educate me here, as I am not a strong mixer. But I believe in order to deliver a " final mix" I have to gain stage, eq, plugins etc to an audio track. When i try to apply to a midi track the plugin applies to the entire vst. So If I have an instance of kontakt running 12 instruments, I can’t individually apply compression to one instrument without applying to the entire vst. I’ve always been taught that the mixdown process is always with audio files and not with midi. Adjusting levels, grouping, eq, fx etc etc. But the rendering process is tedious and time consuming. Cubase offers a batch stemming framework, but its not very good at certain details and grouping particular tracks. Which, when I stem its usually a particularly requested format depending on the publisher. Is there a better way? Thanks for your help btw

I will look into this! Thank you

That is true as MIDI has no sound. It is like the conductor of an orchestra - it is telling others what to do but does not generate any sound itself.

Here is the thing:
If you send MIDI to a virtual instrument, the instrument will return sound, let’s call sound an audio signal.
It is this audio signal where you put effects on and mix it with other audio signals.

If you check out the topic that @st10ss has linked to you should be getting those additional audio outputs of Kontakt in no time. Then you have to assign/route the individual patches to the desired audio outputs. This is done inside Kontakt.

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Maybe you can try the example project. I used Halion Sonic since it is included in Cubase.

Multitrack Instrument example.cpr (898.5 KB)

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Are you using Instrument Tracks or MIDI Tracks?

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Thank you! I will look into this. I figured there must be some way to workflow audio routing with midi. :grinning:

I am using Racks and Not tracks. When they first introduced Tracks I remember running into some issue with it, and grouping I think.

Is this a better way to utilize midi ?

Thank you. I’ll check this out!

It’s not better in general, it’s just different.
Instrument tracks are another option worth trying.

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