Some virtual midi instruments provide more than stereo outputs. This allows (for example) a drum instrument to provide a separate output for each virtual “microphone”.

Mixbus provides 2 multichannel “drum” instruments: “Black Pearl Drumkit Multi” and “Red Zeppelin Drumkit Multi”.

Some examples of third-party multichannel drum instruments include Native Instruments Kontakt, Toontrack’s EZDrummer, or Melda’s MDrummer.

The different plugin formats behave differently for multichannel outputs. AU instruments can have a variable number of outputs; while VST instruments, and Mixbus’s bundled LV2 instruments, pre-define how many channels they can support.

When a multichannel instrument is created, you want each sound to appear on its own mixer strip in Mixbus. Rather than make these connections yourself, it is much faster to let Mixbus do these connections for you. Mixbus calls this feature “Fan Out”.

Setting up a multichannel instrument with fanned-out tracks:

To utilize these plugins in multichannel mode, it is necessary to initiate the operation from the “Add Track” dialog:

And then in the “Plugin Setup”, select ’9 Channels’ and ‘Fan Out’ (these are enabled by default)

…this will result in 9 additional tracks. In the bundled drum plugins, each resulting bus will be labeled with the drum it represents (kick, snare, etc). In third-party plugins, the resulting buses will be numbered 1….N.

Other operations and their effect on multichannel instruments:

- If an instrument plugin is drag-copied from one channel to another, it will be configured as a stereo-out plugin.
- If you drag an instrument from the “favorites” list in the mixer window, it will be configured as a stereo-out plugin.
- If the default stereo “fan out” isn’t desired, then disengage the “fan out” checkbox. The instrument will still be created multichannel outputs, but no resulting buses will be created. The user must manually create buses and/or tracks to receive the separate outputs of the instrument track.

Printing your tracks:

Once the arrangement is complete, you can print the instrument outputs by record-arming the tracks, record-arming the master rec-enable and rolling through your song. Once you’ve printed the tracks to audio, you’ll need to switch the track monitoring from “IN” to “DISK”. The fan-out process forces the monitor to INPUT so you can hear the tracks without having to rec-arm them.

(old version shown; some details have changed)


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