Old 01-12-2019, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default MIDI Channels and ports - SOLVED

I was reading a article regarding midi channels and ports. The article stated that each port has 16 midi channels if that is accurate, if a person had 2 ports A & B then you could have 32 midi channels, would Reaper be able to understand port A channel 1 and port B channel 1 as unique midi channels?

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Old 01-13-2019, 12:31 AM   #2
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I am not sure what exactly you are asking but maybe this helps:

In a Midi stream, each message is attributed to a "channel" (1..16) by the sender, and the receiver can select which channel(s) it want to listen to.

In hardware, you will attach multiple Midi streams (plain old Midi cables, or direct USB connections, or other) which are seen in the computer as "Ports" or "devices". Reaper can route such streams to one or more tracks, and also merge multiple streams to a single track.

Internally in Reaper (when explicitly setting up Midi routing), the "Channel" attribute of any Midi message is enhanced by a "Bus" (1..16) specification, that you can take advantage of when a complex Midi routing is necessary.

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Old 01-13-2019, 12:47 AM   #3
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I am not sure what exactly you are asking but maybe this helps:

In a Midi stream, each message is attributed to a "channel" (1..16) by the sender, and the receiver can select which channel(s) it want to listen to.

In hardware, you will attach multiple Midi streams (plain old Midi cables, or direct USB connections, or other) which are seen in the computer as "Ports" or "devices". Reaper can route such streams to one or more tracks, and also merge multiple streams to a single track.

Internally in Reaper (when explicitly setting up Midi routing), the "Channel" attribute of any Midi message is enhanced by a "Bus" (1..16) specification, that you can take advantage of when a complex Midi routing is necessary.

-Michael
The article I was reading implied that it is possible to have more than 16 channels on a single computer. The article did not detail the exact way a person could accomplish this.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:17 AM   #4
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I was reading a article regarding midi channels and ports. The article stated that each port has 16 midi channels if that is accurate, if a person had 2 ports A & B then you could have 32 midi channels, would Reaper be able to understand port A channel 1 and port B channel 1 as unique midi channels?
In answer to your question, yes. Reaper can distinguish 16 different channels on different ports.

So, if you had a dual MIDI interface (or two separate MIDI interfaces, for that matter) with two multi-timbral synths connected to each you could record and play sounds across 32 (16 x 2) MIDI channels.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
I was reading a article regarding midi channels and ports. The article stated that each port has 16 midi channels if that is accurate, if a person had 2 ports A & B then you could have 32 midi channels, would Reaper be able to understand port A channel 1 and port B channel 1 as unique midi channels?
Yes, that is correct. I have 6 midi ports, and each has 16 channels unique to that port, so I have, in theory, 96 independent midi channels.

If you monitor a midi input using Reapers midi logger, one of the columns in the log is the port number which identifies midi port it came from

In practice, I almost never use more than one instrument per port. As a result, I can always tell Reaper to record and play back all channels on each port in use, and they never play back to the wrong port or 'sound' the wrong instrument. This simplifies things considerably since I never have to worry about what midi channel is being recorded or played back on. One less thing to go wrong...
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:48 AM   #6
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The article I was reading implied that it is possible to have more than 16 channels on a single computer.
That is why Reaper internally uses the concept of Midi Buses which extends the count of separately everywhere accessible "logical channels" to 256.

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Old 01-14-2019, 02:24 PM   #7
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Is there more information regarding "reacontrol midi"? I read what was in chapter 13 in the reaper manual but that was only two paragraphs.

No videos please.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:55 PM   #8
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If you have not seen yet, visit www.midi.org
And in particular: https://www.midi.org/specifications-...f-midi-message

That can be a bit overwhelming/"too technical" at first. But the meaning of MIDI channels, ReaControlMIDI plug-in, MIDI editor, the reason for multiple ports/buses and other related topics will be simple to understand. In fact all that is self explaining once you understand what MIDI is.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
Is there more information regarding "reacontrol midi"? I read what was in chapter 13 in the reaper manual but that was only two paragraphs.

No videos please.
What do you want to know?
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:26 AM   #10
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Reacontrol midi is simply a plugin provided with Reaper. One thing it does is to display a text log of midi events.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
I was reading a article regarding midi channels and ports. The article stated that each port has 16 midi channels if that is accurate, if a person had 2 ports A & B then you could have 32 midi channels, would Reaper be able to understand port A channel 1 and port B channel 1 as unique midi channels?
In a nutshell: I have a RME HDSP9652 which comes with two discrete MIDI I/O, both of which can operate within reaper as a 16 channel MIDI I/O.
I tend to keep my control surfaces operating on one MIDI port & my external synths, etc., on the other.
This is very handy but really only if you have the multiple MIDI port facility on your interface as I have. Otherwise a bit of a pita to set up and monitor IMO.

As far as reaper "understanding" this, you have to think in terms of *channels per port*, then it all becomes a little easier to understand.

Any single MIDI port can function on 16 discrete channels, so port 1 has 16 channels to work with & Port 2 has another different 16 channels to work with.
If you look in either the newbs section or the MIDI section here, I got a useful Roland/Edirol MIDI booklet stickied, which is both weasy to get your head round and accurate as far as information is concerned.

Here it is - apparently I didnt get it stickied. Thought I had.

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=211415
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:53 AM   #12
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Just to add to that ^^^^ (typed while ivansc was editing ):
-- a Reaper track can have 1 MIDI device as its input (e.g. "Port A" or "Port B").
-- the MIDI messages can be on any of the device's 16 MIDI channels.
-- you could have "Port A" as the input to one track and "Port B" as the input to another, then Send both tracks to a third; but messages on the same channel would merge / overlap / interact as all tracks of the "Port" is lost.
-- VSTs only support only 1 MIDI input port.
-- VST3s can support multiple MIDI input ports, so you could have more than 16 discrete MIDI inputs. (Does anyone know of VST3is that make use of this?)

Reaper could emulate that if it supported multiple MIDI Busses as inputs to plug-ins:
-- track 1: Input from Port A, Send to track 3 on MIDI Bus 1
-- track 2: Input from Port B, Send to track 3 on MIDI Bus 2
-- track 3: VST3i getting MIDI from Busses 1 and 2.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:18 PM   #13
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- Using a Menu provided by Reaper, you can define VSTs on track 3 to use either Bus 1 or Bus 2 (or both).

- A JSFX can be done to do different actions on the sane channel coming in on different buses (Similar as described for VST3). It also can send Midi messages to dedicated buses.

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Old 01-16-2019, 06:01 AM   #14
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^^^
I cannot select more than one Bus for a VSTi's MIDI Input. Or did you mean for a VST3i?
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:13 AM   #15
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Yep sorry, it's just 1,2,3...16. I was wrong thinking you also can select "all".

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Old 01-17-2019, 06:48 PM   #16
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After trying midiControl I have come to the conclusion it doesn't do what I had in mind. What I was thinking is I could send external midi device EG. Midi keyboard well that apparently is beyond its capabilities.

The reference to ports seems somewhat of a gray area, is this virtual ports people write of or physical ports?

I started looking at this when I was reading an article that stated a single port can have 16 midi channels, so I started thinking I have an usb3 card that each of its four ports has its own controller rather than just one controller for four ports like most do. My thought I could have 64 midi channels, I guess that is not possible.

The information provided in the responses is very useful for other purposes.

Thankyou for your comments
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:45 PM   #17
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The reference to ports seems somewhat of a gray area, is this virtual ports people write of or physical ports?
it's either, it's just MIDI ports, they can be virtual or physical - each MIDI port can have up to 16 channels, so if you have a USB interface with 4 MIDI ports you will indeed get 64 MIDI channels to play with.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:02 PM   #18
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it's either, it's just MIDI ports, they can be virtual or physical - each MIDI port can have up to 16 channels, so if you have a USB interface with 4 MIDI ports you will indeed get 64 MIDI channels to play with.
I tried but everything I tried did not function. So at this time don't know why.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:26 PM   #19
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what are you trying to do?
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:46 PM   #20
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what are you trying to do?
Just for learning purpose I created two tracks.

1. On each track I placed reacontrol midi.
2. I placed an instrument on track 2 after the reacontrol.
3. I set reacontrol on track 1 to port 1 for input and port 2 for output.
4. I set reacontrol on track 2 to port 2 for input and output to port 2.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:44 AM   #21
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Just for learning purpose I created two tracks.

1. On each track I placed reacontrol midi.
2. I placed an instrument on track 2 after the reacontrol.
3. I set reacontrol on track 1 to port 1 for input and port 2 for output.
4. I set reacontrol on track 2 to port 2 for input and output to port 2.
i'm still not following, what do you mean you set it to port 1 / 2? Port 1 or two of a midi interface?

edit - ok, you were talking about the MIDI buses? as Michael explains below you can set the routing to send / receive different buses.
In your example above, if you set up a send from track 1 to track 2, on bus 2, ReacontrolMIDI on track 1 will send data to ReacontrolMIDI on track 2

Last edited by domzy; 01-18-2019 at 07:56 AM. Reason: i think i understand you now, thanks to Michael
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:11 AM   #22
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A similar example:

You can create four tracks.

Now you set each track's "Midi Input" to one of your devices (ports) and to receive "All channels".

Now you can create a fifth track and in "[ROUTE] do "Add new receive" for each of the four other tracks. In each of those you set
MIDI All -> B2 (by clicking the second "ALL" and select Bus 1 -> B1 (meaning that all Midi messages are to be retrieved from that track and attributed with that bus number).

Do that with track 1 Bus 1, track 2 Bus 2, ...

Now you have all available midi messages in the last track.

Here you can use the ReaControlMidi Log to see the message. But a VST only can see a single bus at the time. So you need to usxe the [MIDI] button in the FX window frame and with "Midi" set the bus you want to see.

In the same way you can use the Midi bus with any VST.

-Michael
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:38 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
Just for learning purpose I created two tracks.

1. On each track I placed reacontrol midi.
2. I placed an instrument on track 2 after the reacontrol.
3. I set reacontrol on track 1 to port 1 for input and port 2 for output.
4. I set reacontrol on track 2 to port 2 for input and output to port 2.
Oh man...

ReaControlMidi can just inject some MIDI messages into the stream. It does not route anything, at least not directly.

* There are "MIDI streams". So a sequence of MIDI messages. Some of that messages have a field called "Channel" (f.e. Note, CC, PitchBend).
Not all MIDI messages have the channel field (f.e. SysEx).
"MIDI Channel" field is fixed size, you can specify 1-16 only. So you can not specify "17" there. Again, one MIDI stream support 16 channels. Not more. Technical not possible, by definition of "MIDI Channel"

* "MIDI streams" are named differently, depends from the software/hardware. For the hardware, a stream normally called a "MIDI Port". Hardware MIDI cable can transport only one MIDI stream. While high rate transports (USB, WiFi, Ethernet) have sufficient bandwidth to transfer several such streams. And they also have capability to extra mark information, so just one USB connected device can be seen as "several MIDI ports".

* In REAPER, hardware "MIDI streams" ("MIDI ports") are named "MIDI Input" and "MIDI Output" or "Hardware MIDI Output". One track can use either ALL (!) Hardware MIDI Inputs or just one (but not a subset of them). A track can also send MIDI to one (! and only one) Hardware MIDI output.

* In REAPER, each track has 16 MIDI streams, called "MIDI buses". While technically they are closer to Audio Channels, they are called "buses" since "MIDI channel" has different meaning. By default, only one stream, so the first Bus is used.

* REAPER has build-in MIDI routing, filtering and channel substitution. For example you can set MIDI Bus 1 as input for plug-in and MIDI Bus 2 as the output (what you have done), set that only messages with "MIDI Channel 5" should be passed, or convert all MIDI messages with a channel information to channel 3.

* REAPER has direct and indirect MIDI sends. If a track is in a folder, the folder track gets all MIDI (all MIDI buses) from leaf tracks. In direct send, you can configure to send (or not to send) MIDI, all or just one Bus/Channel and to which destination Bus/channel.

* only REAPER special scripts and special VST3 can work with several MIDI streams in parallel. Also "can" does not mean "do". I do not have any single VST3 which supports that. "Old" VSTs (VST2) are supporting one stream only (they do not call it MIDI but "Events").
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
Just for learning purpose I created two tracks.

1. On each track I placed reacontrol midi.
2. I placed an instrument on track 2 after the reacontrol.
3. I set reacontrol on track 1 to port 1 for input and port 2 for output.
4. I set reacontrol on track 2 to port 2 for input and output to port 2.
Just to make sure people point you in the right direction, what are you trying to accomplish?

I get the feeling that you might be trying to use separate MIDI ports to connect separate MIDI keyboards to different tracks, but I don't think I've seen that stated explicitly. (If that is the case, you might not need ReaControlMidi unless you are doing something advanced.)

If we know what you are trying to do, we can better explain how to do it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:00 AM   #25
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Just to make sure people point you in the right direction, what are you trying to accomplish?

I get the feeling that you might be trying to use separate MIDI ports to connect separate MIDI keyboards to different tracks, but I don't think I've seen that stated explicitly. (If that is the case, you might not need ReaControlMidi unless you are doing something advanced.)

If we know what you are trying to do, we can better explain how to do it.
I've been trying to do something that is very simple, how could I do anything that is more complex if the simple things won't work.

This is my simple thing that I have tried with no success:
Midi keyboard sending to track 1, set track 1 output port to 2.
Set track 2 to input port 2.

the signal from track 1 never gets to track 2.
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:49 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
I've been trying to do something that is very simple, how could I do anything that is more complex if the simple things won't work.

This is my simple thing that I have tried with no success:
Midi keyboard sending to track 1, set track 1 output port to 2.
Set track 2 to input port 2.

the signal from track 1 never gets to track 2.
can you post a screenshot or describe in more detail? (and are you talking about the MIDI buses in Reaper when you say ports?)
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:51 AM   #27
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It would help to know *why* you want to do this. Can you explain why you want the keyboard signal to go to tracks 1 and 2? Are you trying to use it to control 2 different VST instruments on those tracks? Or something else.

And I'm confused about your use of the word "port" (I wonder if you really mean "bus").

To me, a port refers to the hardware inputs and outputs of your MIDI interface. For example, I have a USB interface with 2 MIDI inputs and 2 MIDI outputs. It shows up in Reaper as two MIDI devices ("MIDI Port 1" and "MIDI Port 2").

From the description of your setup and my interpretation of the word "port", it sounds like possibly you are trying to take the MIDI from the keyboard (on port 1) and send it to a different piece of MIDI hardware connected to port 2. If so, you don't need two tracks for that -- just create a MIDI hardware output send from track 1 to port 2.

But maybe that's not what you are trying to do.

The second most-likely scenario I can think of is that you want to use the MIDI from the keyboard to control 2 different VST instruments (one on track 1, and the other on track 2). If that's the case, you don't need to change the "port". Just create a MIDI send from track 1 to track 2.

If you're trying to do something else, we need more details about what you're trying to do.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:02 AM   #28
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To me, a port refers to the hardware inputs and outputs of your MIDI interface. For example, I have a USB interface with 2 MIDI inputs and 2 MIDI outputs. It shows up in Reaper as two MIDI devices ("MIDI Port 1" and "MIDI Port 2").
i mostly agree with this, but it is a bit confusing when you think about virtual ports like loopMIDI, copperlan, which show up as hardware in your devices etc?
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:06 AM   #29
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Yes ... I forgot about those. I guess I would consider those a "port" (albeit a virtual one).
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:18 AM   #30
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Quote:
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This is my simple thing that I have tried with no success:
Midi keyboard sending to track 1, set track 1 output port to 2.
Set track 2 to input port 2.

the signal from track 1 never gets to track 2.
If I understand what you are trying to do, the way I would approach it would be,

Midi keyboard sending to track one
Track one's bus sends midi to track two's bus
Both track one and track two get the midi coming in only on track one
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:20 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
I've been trying to do something that is very simple, how could I do anything that is more complex if the simple things won't work.

This is my simple thing that I have tried with no success:
Midi keyboard sending to track 1, set track 1 output port to 2.
Set track 2 to input port 2.

the signal from track 1 never gets to track 2.
Well, if after all information in this thread you still can not do what you want, since you have also failed to explain what you want, it can happened that these "simple" things are too complicated for your... I agree, in such case you also can not do more complex staff. The world is not fair
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:24 AM   #32
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Hi,
What is port 1? What is port 2?
There's a real name to these things. I use a shitload of ext synths with reaper on 8 different ports on my midi interface.
I think the op is way confused.
You set midi outputs in reapers preferences. You have to have some hardware with multiple ports to output seperate midi info based on port number. 16 midi channels to a port.
Once set you can use these midi output ports in the tracks output selection.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:25 AM   #33
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Hi,
What is port 1? What is port 2?
There's a real name to these things. I use a shitload of ext synths with reaper on 8 different ports on my midi interface.
I think the op is way confused.
You set midi outputs in reapers preferences. You have to have some hardware with multiple ports to output seperate midi info based on port number. 16 midi channels to a port.
Once set you can use these midi output ports in the tracks output selection.
According to another person in this thread said that a midi port can be physical or virtual port, now your saying it is an absolute physical element. Are they wrong then.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:36 AM   #34
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Well, if after all information in this thread you still can not do what you want, since you have also failed to explain what you want, it can happened that these "simple" things are too complicated for your... I agree, in such case you also can not do more complex staff. The world is not fair
There have been reference to go to specific locations for information about reacontrolmidi,I do a search for reacontrolmidi it comes up with nothing for that subject.

There is a mention in the manual of using reacontrolmidi to control virtual instruments on one track from another but not a single paragraph as to how to do that procedure.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:21 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
There is a mention in the manual of using reacontrolmidi to control virtual instruments on one track from another but not a single paragraph as to how to do that procedure.
to control parameters of a virtual synth from ReacontrolMIDI on another track you need to set up a MIDI send from the ReacontrolMIDI track to the track with the synth on. That's all there is to it really (you just have to select your source, destination & channel, if needed etc.)
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:44 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by DarkStar View Post
Just to add to that ^^^^ (typed while ivansc was editing ):
-- a Reaper track can have 1 MIDI device as its input (e.g. "Port A" or "Port B").
-- the MIDI messages can be on any of the device's 16 MIDI channels.
-- you could have "Port A" as the input to one track and "Port B" as the input to another, then Send both tracks to a third; but messages on the same channel would merge / overlap / interact as all tracks of the "Port" is lost.
-- VSTs only support only 1 MIDI input port.
-- VST3s can support multiple MIDI input ports, so you could have more than 16 discrete MIDI inputs. (Does anyone know of VST3is that make use of this?)

Reaper could emulate that if it supported multiple MIDI Busses as inputs to plug-ins:
-- track 1: Input from Port A, Send to track 3 on MIDI Bus 1
-- track 2: Input from Port B, Send to track 3 on MIDI Bus 2
-- track 3: VST3i getting MIDI from Busses 1 and 2.

So what your saying is it doesn't make any difference, there are only 16 unique channels in midi until vst3's support multiple unique ports / channels.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:50 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
So what your saying is it doesn't make any difference, there are only 16 unique channels in midi until vst3's support multiple unique ports / channels.
(up to) 16 unique channels per port
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:03 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by domzy View Post
(up to) 16 unique channels per port
If I send midi to three different ports on channel 5 to virtual instruments they will be unique?
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:09 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
If I send midi to three different ports on channel 5 to virtual instruments they will be unique?
yes, if you are also sending on 3 different ports.
An analogy - if i wanted to send a letter i could post it to house number 5 in 3 different streets and as long as i had the street and the house number it would get to all 3 recipients.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:43 AM   #40
azslow3
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Originally Posted by cutnpaste View Post
There have been reference to go to specific locations for information about reacontrolmidi,I do a search for reacontrolmidi it comes up with nothing for that subject.
ReaControlMIDI is self explaining. As long as you can understand the meaning of labels in its GUI. For the last it is required to understand what MIDI messages are and how they are used by hardware and software synthes. This plug-in just sends the messages you specify in the GUI in 3 cases: when the plug-in is loaded (when you load the project), when you change something in the GUI (including explicit re-send) or from automations (which is equivalent to any other plug-in). All that was already mentioned in this thread, in different forms.

Quote:
There is a mention in the manual of using reacontrolmidi to control virtual instruments on one track from another but not a single paragraph as to how to do that procedure.
ReaControlMIDI just sends MIDI messages. To its outputs. It has no parameters, internal tricks or something else to do anything apart from that.
But REAPER is a flexibly DAW, so you can send MIDI from one track to another. That is not ReaControlMIDI specific and was described almost in all possible variations in this thread.

Any user software under any modern OS see the hardware throw an abstraction level called "driver" (it is not allowed to access any device directly, the protection is implemented on computer hardware level). Nothing prevents a driver to work without real hardware or a hardware of different type. And so from a DAW (user level software) perspective, there is just "MIDI port". It can be related to hardware MIDI port, so physical 5pin connector, can be related to hardware which represent itself as MIDI (most USB MIDI keyboards) or can be "pure virtual", without any hardware involved.

Finally MIDI can be "injected" into REAPER from not MIDI related devices/drivers (f.e. a mouse). And MIDI from a track can be converted to something else (f.e. MIDIToReaControlPath).
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