How do I make patch changes in my VSTi MIDI files?

To change the properties of a loaded VSTi you just double click on icon on the bus fader at the bottom of the screen for that SoftSynth (or right click on the icon or name and select Soft Synth Properties…) and the properties window will pop up just like it did when you added the SoftSynth. You can then change any of its properties like the program name (i.e., patch) that a DLS SoftSynth will use or the channel it listens on. If you don’t see the channel dropdown box, then you probably have a version of ACID that is 4.0a or earlier. Please update to the latest version of ACID on the Sony site.

If the SoftSynth can play multiple voices on separate channels you can assign each new MIDI track to a different channel and voice. Here is how it should work:

  1. Drop a MIDI track on the timeline
  2. Add a DLS SoftSynth and set it for the patch you want
  3. The MIDI track should play that patch
  4. Now drop a second MIDI track on the timeline and assign it the same DLS
  5. Call up the track properties and change the MIDI channel in the General tab to channel 2
  6. Call up the DLS SoftSynth properties and change the channel to 2
  7. Assign a new patch to channel 2 in the DLS SoftSynth and the second MIDI track should play that patch while the first track place channel 1’s patch.

You should now have one DLS SoftSynth loaded with two MIDI channels and each MIDI track assigned to one of those channels and playing the appropriate patch assigned to their channel. This is how you would set up any multi-patch softsynth like DLS, SampleTank or SFZ (Soundfont Player), etc.

If you want to manually add program changes into the MIDI stream, you can do this in the List Editor. To get to the List Editor, either double click on the MIDI icon to the left of the Track Header or right click on it and select Properties… and then select the List Editor tab at the top of the dialog. Next right click the event before where you want to add the program change and select Insert. From the Insert dialog select Patch as the Event Type and type the patch number in the Patch field. (of course you can modify the bank number as well)

You should only need to use the insert method for patch changes during a loop, or to set up patches for an external MIDI device (where your SoundBlaster sound card, etc. is consider external because its hardware based and not software controllable).


About John Rofrano

John Rofrano is a Senior VASST Trainer and the author of Instant ACID, a book on Sony ACID Pro software, from CMP Books. He is also the developer of Ultimate S Pro, Vegas Pro Production Assistant, Mayhem, and other software plug-ins including the FASST Apps for Sony Vegas Pro NLE software. John has been a performing musician, singer, songwriter for over 40 years, and programmer and computer architect for the past 28 years. He is also a forum moderator at the Creative COW.