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Re: [fluid-dev] Fluidsynth Channels

From: Aere Greenway
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Fluidsynth Channels
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 19:24:44 -0700

Craig & David:

I have been doing something similar with Fluidsynth and Rosegarden. 

I simply add additional Fluidsynth 'engines' (done at the bottom of the Qsynth window). 

Each such engine independently handles 16 MIDI channels.  In Rosegarden, I add additional General MIDI banks/devices.  I assign 16 MIDI channels to one, 16 MIDI channels to the next, etc. 

If you have a fast enough processor, you could easily add enough Fluidsynth engines for the 100 or so instruments in a symphony orchestra. 

If your processor is not sufficiently powerful, but you have a Soundblaster (or Audigy) sound card with the emu10k1 processor, it gives you 4 hardware synthesizers (16 ports each, = 64 simultaneous instruments), with very little processor overhead. 

You could also connect to multiple external synthesizers. 

Another way, is to do 16 MIDI tracks, then record it to an audio track, then do the next 16 MIDI tracks playing with the audio track.  This process can be repeated.  Beware of latency, which can get you in such a process.  It's no problem if you are improvising/playing against what you hear, but if you are going from notation, it could be a problem. 

You can use the "Jog Right" segment command, but that is only approximate, and in my experience, can cause worse latency problems. 

- Aere

On Wed, 2011-11-30 at 08:45 +0100, David Henningsson wrote:
On 11/29/2011 09:14 PM, Craig wrote:
> My question is, gleaning the fluidsynth source and docs it appears that
> fluidsynth can handle midi channels above the 0-15, given that
> information, how does a midi file format hand of a midi event with a
> standard note on ->  144 + midi channel, message1, message2, and time
> stamp.  If I increas the 144 + midi channel, I end up in 160 land which
> is a different midi event.
> I am a 50 year old man who write symphonies.  I would love to have
> access to more that 16 channels.  How does fluidsynth do this?

Hi Craig and thanks for your interest in FluidSynth!

The MIDI file format does not support more than 16 channels - this is a 
limitation in the MIDI file format, not FluidSynth. You'll have to use 
special API calls in order to make use of more than 16 channels.

That said; XG level 2 and level 3 seems to support more than 16 
channels. Does anybody know if there is a MIDI file meta event that 
would switch "group of MIDI channels for this track" or something? I 
haven't found anything myself, but it would be very useful if it existed.

Also, please ask questions on the mailinglist when everyone can benefit 
from the answer. Thanks!

// David

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