Can a VSTi have more than 16 midi inputs?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRian
805 posts since 15 Dec, 2004

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:32 am

Hi. I have been wondering myself if is possible for a VSTi have more than 16 midi input channels (32, 64, etc). Why? By example, the Kontakt player2 standalone i use is able to manage up to 64 midi channels (from four diffrent midi devices). But the same Kontakt player, as VSTi, only report 16 midi inputs to any host i load it (and inside of the plugin, port B, C and D are "unavailable".) I have heard, that, by example Rewire report more than 100 midi channels (im ok?)
So, im wonderng if this is a VSTi format limitation, or what.

Any information about this i will thank.

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KVRAF
9383 posts since 17 Sep, 2002 from Gothenburg Sweden

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:57 am

I don't think you can have more than 16 midi channels unfortunatley. I have'nt deepstudied the VSTSDK in the midi department but i believe 16 is the max.

KVRist
107 posts since 24 Nov, 2004

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:50 am

16 channels is old skool, its about time some1 changed the times, kontakt with unlimited parts/channels would be nice

KVRian

Topic Starter

805 posts since 15 Dec, 2004

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:38 pm

Thanks your answers. So, if i want more channels, DirectTV is the only solution ;)

KVRAF
1936 posts since 16 Aug, 2004 from Vienna, Austria

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:04 pm

jupiter8 wrote:I have'nt deepstudied the VSTSDK in the midi department but i believe 16 is the max.
I have. Unfortunately, there's no possibility to use more than 16 channels.
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KVRAF
4101 posts since 8 Mar, 2005

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:29 pm

You CAN access more than 16 channels at once. Each port offers 16 channels (max), and some samplers offer multiple ports. For example, Gigastudio 3 Orchestra has 8 ports, and with each port carrying 16 midi channels, you have access to 128 unique channels. This doesn't mean you NEED 4 hardware ports to get access to those 128 channels. Maybe there's software out there that can emulate ports? Or software that can thru data from one port to another (just like Gigastudio 3 can do via port linking).

Banned
6657 posts since 10 Oct, 2005 from Toronto, Canada

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:45 pm

There are only 16 MIDI channels. Blame MIDI.

KVRAF
8384 posts since 11 Apr, 2003 from now on the flat

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:50 pm

As it goes, when the spec was defined, 16 was quite generous, and was comfortably ahead of the technology when most available equipment was 8bit...

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Last edited by duncanparsons on Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Banned
6657 posts since 10 Oct, 2005 from Toronto, Canada

Post Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:52 pm

Also, channels are essentially meaningless in a modern host environment. You can route whatever to whatever. You have an infinite number of MIDI "cables", so you don't need to multiplex a bunch of channels on any one "wire".

Still comes up of course (MIDI guitar being a good example), but, much of the traditional need is gone in the virtual studio.

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KVRAF
9383 posts since 17 Sep, 2002 from Gothenburg Sweden

Post Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:03 am

It is such a weid limitation. What does midi have to do with host to vst connections? I don't get why they based it on midi in the first place. It made sense when the midi spec was first drafted but now ? Why on earth would you want to limit yourself to 16 channels.
By just using a regular int you'd have 4 million channels. It's not like quadruple the dataflow would take the host down or anything.

From a computer science perspective that is just silly.How many channels could one realistically ever need ? A thousand ? Ok,we use ints. That'll do it. 4 million channels. The over head from using that is just nothing in todays computers.

Banned
6657 posts since 10 Oct, 2005 from Toronto, Canada

Post Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:06 am

MIDI is from 1983. Change it and you can't use any of your old gear anymore.

The host isn't limited in any way. MIDI channels are roughly the equivalent of modern MIDI tracks, and you can have unlimited numbers of those.

KVRian
865 posts since 30 Jul, 2004

Post Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:13 am

More to the point, it's a shame that Steinberg didn't provide some kind of "port" abstraction, the way DXi does. I suppose one could create some kind of FrankenVSTi that clones itself into multiple instances that coordinate to behave as a single instrument with multiple MIDI input ports, but that would be an awful lot of trouble for such a basic capability.

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KVRAF
9383 posts since 17 Sep, 2002 from Gothenburg Sweden

Post Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:14 am

AdmiralQuality wrote:MIDI is from 1983. Change it and you can't use any of your old gear anymore.

The host isn't limited in any way. MIDI channels are roughly the equivalent of modern MIDI tracks, and you can have unlimited numbers of those.
Well yeah. But adding another protocol like OSC for example should'nt be that much work would it ? That way you could get over the silly limitation of the early 80ies. Most keyboards comes with USB ports today and they too are limited by midi.By having another standard you could overcome that easily. Just imagine the freedom of having a controller with 32 bit channels times 32 bit controller numbers sending 32 bit float controller values. It's not like USB could'nt handle that.

And since most (all?) keyboards comes with midi ports too backwards compability isn't an issue. Could'nt cost more than a buck to add midi to keyboard these days.

Banned
6657 posts since 10 Oct, 2005 from Toronto, Canada

Post Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:15 am

Well then make another standard and sit there waiting for a second product to come out that you can use it with. (Ah, reminds me of how when MIDI first came out and all you could do was play your JX-3P from your DX-7's keyboard and we were SO happy!)

A wiser-assed person than me once said, "The great thing about standards is there's so many to choose from." :lol:

Seriously though, I'm not sure what's broken about MIDI? Why do you need floats to describe which piano key you're hitting? There's only 88 of them. Even with a couple extra octaves, a 7 bit number (128) does fine.

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KVRAF
9383 posts since 17 Sep, 2002 from Gothenburg Sweden

Post Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:24 am

AdmiralQuality wrote:Well then make another standard and sit there waiting for a second product to come out that you can use it with. (Ah, reminds me of how when MIDI first came out and all you could do was play your JX-3P from your DX-7's keyboard and we were SO happy!)

A wiser-assed person than me once said, "The great thing about standards is there's so many to choose from." :lol:

Seriously though, I'm not sure what's broken about MIDI? Why do you need floats to describe which piano key you're hitting? There's only 88 of them. Even with a couple extra octaves, a 7 bit number (128) does fine.
Yeah i know.All firms had to implement it to be of any use. It's just so bloody annoying to see that even if i use a USB controller i have the limitations of midi for no real reason.

And i was talking about controllers.Obviously you don't need a float to describe which key you're hitting. :lol:
Instead of having 128 controllers with 7 bit resolution you'd have 4 million of them with 32 bit float resolution.

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