Audio/MIDI multitrack recording software
Manual : MultitrackStudio Instruments

MultitrackStudio Instruments

The MultitrackStudio Instruments are a General MIDI compatible instrument collection. It contains over 100 instruments including a drum kit.

Note 1: Most instruments do not have any reverb, so a Reverb effect should be used to add reverb.

Note 2: You can play back a MIDI track containing multiple streams ("instruments"). However, it is recommended to click the track's file name box and choose "Split Streams". This gives you more control over instrument sounds, levels and reverb send levels.

MultitrackStudio Instruments window (Acoustic Grand Piano)
MultitrackStudio Instruments window ("Acoustic Grand Piano")

The Instrument box lets you pick an instrument. The instruments appear in five categories: Keyboard, String, Wind, Percussion and Synth. You can type (part of) an instrument name in the Search box to find an instrument quickly.

The Controls section contains knobs, drawbars or buttons which control the sound of the selected instrument. Not all instruments offer controls.

The Effects section contains three effect slots. Some instruments use one or more effects by default.

Keyboard instruments

Acoustic and electric piano's feature a Color knob. Higher values causes the sound to be 'harder' and brighter. '5' is neutral position. The Dynamics knob controls how sensitive the piano is to key velocity differences.
The electric piano's Bass and Treble are tone controls, as found on amplifiers or even some electric pianos.

The Percussive Organ is percussive even if another note is playing. Drawbar Organ follows the traditional style.

String instruments

Violin Section, Violin Section 2, Viola Section, Cello Section and Contrabass Section are specialized versions of String Ensemble 1. There are two violin sections in order to lessen phasing problem with unison notes. Bowed strings feature a Vibrato knob similar to the winds (see below).

Wind instruments

Most wind instruments feature a Vibrato knob. Vibrato is applied automatically depending on the musical context (especially note duration). The knob controls the amount of vibrato. You can avoid vibrato on certain notes by programming MIDI controller #1. The value at approx. 300 ms after the note onset is the value that counts. It's not possible to add vibrato where the automatic system thinks it's not appropriate.

Percussion instruments

The Drum Kit uses MIDI channel 10 in order to be compatible with General MIDI. A suitable channel is picked automatically when you load an instrument, so you typically don't need to pay attention to the Channel box.

If you'd rather hear the Drum Kit from the drummer's perspective you can use a Stereo Imager effect with the Reverse Stereo preset.
You can use per-note pan controllers for detailed panning of the Drum Kit. It's probably best to set the Width knob to zero, so all panning is done with per-note pan controllers.


Almost all synth sounds use the same synthesizer which comes in three versions: square, sawtooth and triangle. The bottom-right corner of the Controls box shows the version. The sawtooth version is used for most sounds.

The four drawbars control the level of four oscillators. 8' is the root note. 8'D is a slightly detuned version. 5'1/3 is a fifth and 4' is one octave up.

The Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release knobs represent a classic ADSR envelope. If Sustain is higher than "5" the level will rise during the decay phase. The pad sounds use this swelling effect.

Muting notes

Some instruments, like Harp and Drum Kit, ignore note-off messages. A sustain-off message will mute all sounding notes for which a note-off message has been received, so you can use the sustain pedal to mute harp strings or cymbals etc.


A few instruments support MultitrackStudio Articulations:

  • Overdrive Guitar / Distortion Guitar: Normal, Muted, Harmonic
  • Electric Bass (finger): Normal, Slap
  • Violin / Viola / Cello / Contrabass: Bowed, Pizzicato

MIDI Implementation

Tip: the Controller Editor's VIEW button lists all MIDI controls supported by the current instrument.

The MultitrackStudio Instruments respond to Volume (#7), Pan (#10), Expression (#11) and Sustain (#64) controllers. Pitch Bend is also supported.
Acoustic pianos respond to Sostenuto (#66) and Soft (#67) pedals, and they support 'half pedal' sustain (values 64..95 are 'half').
Bowed strings and many winds respond to Legato (#68).
Brightness and Treble knobs respond to #74. Vibrato knobs respond to #1. Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release knobs respond to #73, #75, #79 and #72 respectively. Drawbars and drum level knobs respond to #12, #13, #14 etc.

The MultitrackStudio Instruments respond to poly aftertouch and MIDI 2.0 per-note pitch bend and release time.
The synths respond to MIDI 2.0 per-note brightness, timbre, attack time and decay time. Per-note brightness and timbre control the filter cut off frequency and resonance respectively.
For attack time and decay time the value at note on counts. For release time the value at note off counts.
Drum Kit and Timpani respond to per-note pan.
Synth Drum responds to per-note decay and per-note pan

GM compatibility

The MultitrackStudio Instruments are largely compatible with GM level 1. Some notable differences are:
  • Most "Sound Effects" programs (Gun Shot etc.), are not available.
  • A couple of percussion instruments are not available: vibraslap, guiro and cuica.
  • The MultitrackStudio Instruments contain a couple of instruments which are not part of GM. The MIDI file will contain a program number which matches the sound closely. For example: if you pick "Violin Section" the MIDI file will contain the "String Ensemble 1" program, so the file plays back correctly using any GM player.
  • The MultitrackStudio Instruments are typically limited to the 'real' instrument's note range. Violins, for example, won't play notes below the open G string.

Under the hood
The MultitrackStudio Instruments use a highly optimized sound synthesis engine, they don't use samples. This allows for each note to have a unique sound which reduces "machine gun" effects. All 65535 MIDI 2.0 note velocities can have a unique timbre, which makes the instruments more "playable".