Any best practices assigning MIDI channels to multiple controllers?

Warning; Kind of an unimportant question, but an inquiring mind just wants to know :grin:

I know I can change the MIDI channel assignment at will both for my controllers and in my plugins.

I have a two-controller setup:

  • Main keyboard, an Arturia Keylab MkII 88, at the bottom. For me it feels natural to let that
    one occupy MIDI channel 1.
  • Second keyboard, my old Nord Electro 2, on top. Feels just as natural to let that
    one occupy MIDI channel 2

I own the Blue3 organ plugin, which initially uses Channel 1 for the upper manual, channel 2 for the lower manual and channel 3 for the pedals.

I can easiy change this to conform with my personal liking. I just wonder; Is this some kind of best practice, used by all organ plugins?

As long as you have both keyboards connected separately per USB, they are recognized by Gig Performer as separate devices, thus you can have both of them set to channel #1 with no problems - there is no need to have them hardware-wise set to diffrent channels, you should do this within GP.

In the wiring view, just insert a MIDI-IN block for each hardware controller (Arturia and Nord) and then use the channel mapping feature to map the incoming channel #1 to any other channel you need:

(see item 5)

You also could do keyboard splits in a similar manner.

My general advice would be: Let your hardware be set as simple as possible and instead use the capabilities of Gig Performer for any mapping and splitting.


I set all my controllers to channel 1 and they’re distinguished by device.

So in your case, …

Never mind, @schamass already answered


Thx, @schamass and @dhj!

Didn’t think of that one.

It also seems to work even if they aren’t both connected separately through USB.

The Nord is connected via 5-pin to the Arturia MIDI IN which is set to send the signal through to the USB port of the Arturia. You don’t get the name of the keyboard, but I suppose the Nord is the one turning up as (MIDIIN2 (Keylab MkII 88)) below (Keylab MkII 88)?

I don’t actually know, but i guess that the Arturia then exposes two diffrent MIDI “devices/ports” via USB- one for the internal MIDI source and another for what comes in from the outside on the 5-pin jack. You can check the available MIDI sources in the options/Midi-sources settings of Gig Performer.

Yeah, they’re both there, along with my Focusrite and the Local GP.

There might be quite a few questions from me the rest of the day :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve already used GP without problems at 2 gigs without problems, but I want everything to be top notch by tomorrow evening. The amateur big band I’m playing in will have a seminar, followed by a concert on Sunday, with the norwegian band leader and trombone player Jens Wendelboe. He’s been living in the US for 20 years, been with Blood, Sweat & Tears for 8 years and been Donna Summer’s band leader.

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Cool! Then “break a leg!” for your gig…
…and if i was in your place, i wouldn’t make any changes on the good running setup before those gigs are done! :wink:

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I agree, but I’ll have to add some synth bells and strings.

I have downloaded the free BBC SO Discovery, and suppose that will do for the strings.
As for synth bells I don’t quite know where to look.

I don’t think I’ll be using organ this time, but I’m using the rackspace from your Blue3 gig file, so there may come some questions.

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It’s often said that synthetic bells are the realm of FM-synths, so i would check plugins like FM8 or Dexed (which is free)…
But i also remember that the good old Korg M1 (and most probably Triton too) had good bell sounds - but aside from bell-sounds, these Korg plugins are worth a closer look anyway…
Maybe other users have other recommendations?

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Thank you for the recommendations!

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I have only on song where I need synth bells (Enjoy the Silence) and if I remember well I found some very nice synth bells in Arturia Pigments.


Yeah - great synth! It is what we Germans would call a “Tausendsassa”. :smiley:
(Which means “a jack of all trades” - that’s what google says)


This is my setup too: I have an 88-note stage piano for my lower keyboard, and a Novation Impulse for my upper keyboard, and I run a MIDI cable from the MIDI out of the lower keyboard to the MIDI in on the Impulse, and then USB from the Impulse to my computer. The upper keyboard shows up in GP as “2- Impulse”, and the lower keyboard shows up as “MIDIIN2 (2- Impulse)”. I just let the keyboards send on whatever MIDI channel they default to and then do all the tricky stuff within GP (including mapping the input from the two keyboards to two different channels when I want to use both manuals on a Hammond plugin).

When I went to buy the 3-foot MIDI cable, the guy in the store was like “MIDI to USB?” and I was like “no, MIDI to MIDI”… hey, no shame in using 40-year-old technology when appropriate!