Samplitude Academy – Preparing MIDI/VSTi recordings

In Samplitude MIDI files are recorded in almost exactly the same way as audio files. Each time you want record something you need to create an object and then define which parameters the MIDI synths will use to play sounds. After this is done you can then arrange and edit your MIDI object in lots of different ways.

midi_vorbereiten2_enStep 1:
To prepare the track for MIDI recordings click on the “MIDI” button in the Track Editor.
The MIDI section will automatically expand.

Step 2:
First, select the recording device (MIDI in) you want to use. Simply choose you input device (e.g. MIDI keyboard) from the MIDI In drop down.

If you have more than one MIDI device connected to your system select <ALL>.








Step 3:

For your MIDI output device, select the MIDI port (e.g. the MIDI output for your soundcard, VST instrument or external MIDI module), you are using from the MIDI out slot.

If you don’t hear anything when you press the keys on your keyboard, you probably haven’t activated monitoring yet. Turn on monitoring by clicking on the speaker symbol on the track you’re having problems with.






Step 4:
By right clicking on the “Mon” button in the transport console you gain access to extra options that determine the behavior of the recording and monitoring button.





If you activate the “Automatic MIDI record switch on the current track” and “Automatic MIDI monitoring (thru)” the selected MIDI track will be activated for recording, and monitoring for the input signal will be switched on. If you want to record multiple MIDI tracks simultaneously, deactivate the option “Automatic MIDI record switch on current track”.

midi_vorbereiten7_intIf you still don’t hear anything when you press the keyboard make sure the MIDI out channel on your keyboard is the same as the “channel in” you selected in the track editor.

midi_vorbereiten8_enStep 5:
Make sure that the MIDI synth is routed to the same track as the “channel out” in the track editor.


If you’re unsure simply select “all” for the channel out, this will guarantee you hear the MIDI synth no matter which channel it’s routed to.

Important: Lots of drum machines are routed to MIDI channel 10, as this is the preferred drum channel. Often the drum machine is created specifically for this channel according to GM1 (General MIDI) specifications.

midi_vorbereiten9_enStep 6:
If, however, you do want to use a VST instrument, click on the MIDI out slot and select “New Instrument” from the menu that appears.

You should now see a list of all available virtual instruments. For this tutorial we’re going to select Samplitude’s own synth “Vita”.

Clicking on the instrument will open the VSTi’s interface.


Step 7:

Using the VSTi manager in the docker we’re going to open the routing setup window. These settings control the behavior of the connected software instrument.



Here you can choose from three options: simple, multi-timbral and multi-channel. The first keeps audio and MIDI together on the same track, the second allows you to route the audio returns to a new track separate from the MIDI track, and the third option creates a new track for instrument outputs.
We are going to choose the simple option „Simple: Audio and MIDI together on the same track“, to ensure the same track sends MIDI commands to the instrument and receives the instrument’s audio signal.

midi_vorbereiten11_intStep 8:
You can now see that the MIDI output is routed to our VST instrument, it should light up to indicate that a VSTi has been loaded. You will also the same VST in the plug-in slot and in the track editor.



midi_vorbereiten12_intYou can switch the VSTi on and off by clicking; click once to turn it off and click again to turn it on.
Click on the “X” to close the VSTi interface and hide the window.


Right clicking on the instrument in the track editor or in the track header will reopen the VSTi interface.

Step 9:
We want to record 8 bars, so we need to draw in an area in the grid toolbar.








Step 10:

As we’re going to be using the same MIDI object to record and mix multiple times we need to change the MIDI recording status in the transport console from “Normal” to “Overdub”.


Step 11:
Activate the loop mode to make the section play over and over again.


Step 12:
Switch the metronome on using the “Click” button.


When you press play you will hear the metronome click at the selected tempo.

midi_vorbereiten17_enStep 13:
If you right click on the “Click” button a window with the metronome settings will open.
Select „Active while Playback” and „Active while Record” and set the number of precounts to 2.


Use the volume slider to adjust the metronome volume.

If you want to use different metronome sound for the “first beat” and “beats” simply click on the folder icons and select the sounds you want to use.

Now all the preparations are done we are ready to make our first recording.

Step 14:
Click on the track header of the MIDI track you want to record and begin recording using the “R” key or by clicking the record button in the transport console. After using the “Stop” button to end the recording you will be asked if you want to keep or delete the recording. Confirm that you do want to keep the recording by choosing “OK”, your recording will then appear as a MIDI take in the VIP.




Next time we’re going to be dealing with MIDI drum recordings. We hope you enjoy preparing MIDI and VSTi recordings in Samplitude. Until next time!

The Samplitude Team


About Falk

Product Manager Samplitude / Music Studio / Cleaning Lab / Plug-ins Guitarist / Songwriter / Musician 28 years, Berlin

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