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Posted: 07-17-23 10:14 am
by MikeInProcess
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that, no matter what MIDI output channel my keyboard is set to, that channel gets remapped to a particular channel within Synthesia and I have no control over that.

Often, that means that when I play along with a song, the instrument I hear isn't the one I expect to hear based on the part tied to falling notes. It is distracting to expect to be playing piano and to hear a bass come out.

Please give the ability to change the channel of my input keyboard so it actually has an effect on what I hear. This can be a default setting in Settings, and also as a song-specific setting, since songs have parts on varying channels.

It could also be set by default to play whatever instrument is tied to the falling notes.

Posted: 07-17-23 2:19 pm
by Bavi_H
If I understand you correctly, it sounds like you might be using Synthesia's "Watch and Listen" mode to have Synthesia play some music, and then you enjoy playing some additional accompaniment on your piano keyboard to supplement whatever music Synthesia is playing. But you'd like to control what instrument sound is made when you play your piano keyboard. In other words, you want to control what MIDI channel Synthesia sends your piano keyboard notes to.

I agree that could be a useful feature for Synthesia to add. In the mean time, see if one of the following workarounds will work for you:


Method 1 - Practice the Rhythm and Right Hand

In the Settings, go to the Gameplay screen. Find the setting called "Play My Parts in the Background, Too" and enable it.

Pick the song you want Synthesia to play, then go to the "Hands, Colors, and Instruments" screen. Look over the parts available and decide which one has an instrument sound that you want your piano keyboard to make. Set that part to be "Right Hand". Then make sure all the other parts are set to "Background".

Go back to the screen to choose which game mode to play the song. Choose the button for "Practice the Rhythm".

With these settings, Synthesia will send the notes you play on your piano keyboard to the MIDI channel used by the part you set for "Right Hand". In the "Practice the Rhythm" mode, Synthesia doesn't care if you play the "Right Hand" notes in the song incorrectly, it will just keep going. And Synthesia will still play the "Right Hand" notes from the song itself because the "Play My Parts in the Background, Too" setting is on. (If the "Play My Parts in the Background, Too" setting is off, Synthesia will omit the "Right Hand" notes from the song because it expects you to play them when prompted to.)


Method 2 - Watch and Listen and Channel 1

When you use the "Watch and Listen" mode, it looks like Synthesia always sends your piano keyboard notes to MIDI channel 1.

If you know how to edit MIDI files, then you can re-arrange the channel assignments in the MIDI file so that channel 1 is used for an instrument sound that you'd also like your piano keyboard to make when you play along with it.

Also, in Synthesia's Settings, go to the Advanced screen. Find the setting called "Force Unique Track Channels" and turn it off. This will make sure Synthesia will use the same channels specified in the MIDI file. (When the "Force Unique Track Channels" setting is on, Synthesia may sometimes decide to re-assign the parts in the MIDI file to different channel numbers.)

Now you can play the song in the "Watch and Listen" mode and your piano keyboard notes will go to MIDI channel 1 and make the instrument sound you want.


Caveat: Any method you use will work best if the MIDI file sends all the Program Change commands at the beginning of the song, and only uses one Program Change command for each channel. (If the MIDI file sends Program Change commands after the beginning of the song, then the instrument sound you hear for a particular channel may not be consistent for the entire song.)

Posted: 07-19-23 9:59 am
by MikeInProcess
"When you use the "Watch and Listen" mode, it looks like Synthesia always sends your piano keyboard notes to MIDI channel 1."
"If you know how to edit MIDI files..."

I have quite a few MIDI files. I know how to edit them, but would prefer not to have to edit them all.

I can't imagine the reason Synthesia would have for locking down my keyboard's behavior in this way. The piano track in a MIDI file could appear on any of 16 channels. Why go off the assumption that the piano sound is always on channel 1?

"Drums are on channel 10" is a pretty safe bet.
"Piano is on channel 1" is just an arbitrary restriction that breaks my ability to play along with a song, see what keys should be played, and hear the right instrument as I attempt (and fail) to play them.

"I agree that could be a useful feature for Synthesia to add."

Thanks. I suppose it can be thought of as a "feature", though I see it as reversing a remapping/restriction that never made sense in the first place. Even if the remapping were removed, that would at least give me the ability to change the MIDI output channel of my own keyboard and work around the issue. That would be a huge improvement. As it stands, I'm locked in due to an internal remapping I can't control/disable.