Saturday, 01 October 2022
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Please forgive my lack of correct terms; I worked a lot with sequencers and MIDI back in the ‘90’s and am pretty rusty, but I will try and be as specific as I can about what it is that I am trying to achieve:

Please note that I will be talking about something I successfully used in 1998. It worked. Period. So, I don’t really need someone to explain to me how I don’t know what I’m talking about and how this would never work. It did, I promise. I just want to know how to get there again.

Note #2: I know what VST’s are, I know that MIDI is a set of instructions for music and not a signal to amplify, I do not want to run this through a DAW, I do not want to run this through a mixer. I do not want it on a boat, I do not want it on a goat, I just want different pitched signals playing in multiple locations within a room, Sam-I-Am. ?

This is a classroom setup for a virtual orchestra so I can train young conductors how to cue separate sections of the orchestra in a rehearsal/performance space. When a young conductor cues a section of the orchestra (like an entrance or a cutoff), they need to look and gesture toward where those musicians are in a room. Too many times, I have a kid look over at the trumpets when gesturing to another section, like the violins. This gave them a much better idea about communication in a performance. It helped a lot when it worked.

I need a sound module (or a chain of modules) to take MIDI information from a computer using a notation program like Finale or Sibelius to separate out each MIDI channel, generate an instrumental sound for each of these channels and send out each signal (4 in all or more if possible) to a separate powered amplifier.

For instance, I play a piece written for wind ensemble out of Finale using my computer. Using MIDI and sound modules, I have 4 different instruments, let’s say flute, clarinet, oboe, and saxophone. Maybe I put the “flute” speaker in front of me to my left and the “oboe” speaker to my front right. I then put my clarinet sound behind me to the left and saxophone behind me to the right. I am now standing in the center of a room surrounded by virtual instruments playing from specific areas in a room.

Any advice? A few rules:

1. It has to be MIDI because this thing needs to be versatile and switch instruments and music often. It doesn’t have to be the prettiest sound as I’m more going for a conducting/teaching tool for a classroom. I know how to set up the software and computer to send MIDI information.

2. I am an expert in sound application and live sound. I already know how to amplify signals. I am aware that there are mixers and DAWs that exist that could also help in this, but I do not want to multi track record every single musical file I will be using because it would be time prohibitive.

3. I think what I did originally in the ’90’s was to use 2 keyboards as sound modules, panned each sound hard left or right, played MIDI channels 1 and 2 from one keyboard, MIDI thru to a second keyboard for MIDI channels 3 and 4 panned hard left and right respectively. I ended up with 4 different instruments playing in 4 different locations. Was very cool.

I have been trying very hard on different forums to achieve this result and nobody seems to be able to help. Thank you in advance for any little bit of direction you can offer!
Charles set the type of the post as  Technical Question — 1 year ago
6 months ago
Hi Charles,

I think you have answered your question.

A MIDI enabled computer running a sequencer with four tracks on separate MIDI channels connected to two multitimbral sound modules with their own stereo amplifiers with each track coming out of a separate speaker placed where you want them.

The easiest way is the computer would connect to the sound modules via USB (with USB drivers they would be seen as a MIDI device in the sequencer) and I think you already know how the audio will function. Problem solved.
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