Accessing Virtual Instruments for Keyboard Controller


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I'm a jazz / fusion player. I have several virtual instruments that I'd like to use for live performance. Currently I'm using a Dell Laptop with Sonar and Project 5. The only way I'm able to access my virtual instruments is to physically move the cursor (inside the program) and move it to the instrument I want to play. Is there anyway that I can set the virtual instruments to different Midi channels and access them all from my keyboard? Is there any software out there that will allow you to do this? The instruments are great but for live performance it is a headache trying to reach over to the computer and move to the instrument I want to play.

Thanks

Paul
 
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Plogue Bidule is the best tool I've found for this; it's advantage is that it's endlessly customizable, and they seem to be making a really solid product too. Splitting to different instruments by channels or other factors is pretty easy.

Right now I have mine switching instruments when I press buttons which send program change messages; one of the advantages of this set up is that Bidule can stop the instruments you aren't using from using up any CPU resources. The MIDI Switcher in the Routing category lets you set up a layout like this.

It's in open beta right now, so you can try it out for free.
http://www.plogue.com/


A simpler solution is Cantabile; it still looks be to nice and customizable, just not as endlessly so as Bidule is. :) You can load up you plugins and then go to Tools->MIDI Filter and restrict each one to only one channel. As long as you don't need more than 4 instruments I think the free lite version should work for you.
http://www.toptensoftware.com/cantabile/


Those are the pieces of software I've tried out for this. Hope they help!
 
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