I'm looking for a list of DAWs that supports editing MIDI of multiple instruments in one single track.

For example, if I had a group of cellos playing slightly differently, I could separate them in different MIDI channels (preferably color-identified) and edit them as one unified track, as opposed to being split in multiple tracks / clips.

Just for illustration, basically imagine the dark-red notes are one instrument (ex: cello), the pinkish-red as another (ex: viola), and the palest-red is yet another instrument (ex: flute).

A mockup of what I mean (in Ableton Live)

Again, this is just a mockup screenshot. In Ableton Live, those note-color variations actually signify the strength of the velocities for each note in that given MIDI instrument track (unless, otherwise you cleverly layer an instrument-rack in multiple keyboard split ranges, but that's not a solution here).

Does any DAW exists (preferably Mac compatible) that can do this?

  • 1
    I'm not quite sure and can't test it right now, but I think I also did this kind of editing in Reaper already. Mar 29, 2012 at 13:35
  • Yeah from what I experimented last night, looks like each notes can be assigned an individual channel. One visual issue though, they look the same color - so it can get confusing which one are which instrument / part . Maybe if they can be assembled in one track with enough octave separation, but transpose their MIDI output back to a normal range usable by the VST / patch it's associated to... takes much more preparation and careful keyboard-range adjustments.
    – bigp
    Mar 29, 2012 at 13:45
  • 1
    Are you looking for the ability to process their audio together (which you can do with a track group or submix in most DAWs), or are you looking for a way to edit MIDI together in one visual interface?
    – Warrior Bob
    Mar 29, 2012 at 14:18
  • MIDI together in one visual interface yes. I understand how to route the audio (in most DAWs) from the resulting virtual instruments into one Audio track, but I'm asking here about how to trigger the MIDI notes of individual instruments within one track (so that nudging, moving, stretching, cutting and inserting can be done in one pass as opposed to opening each individual track and risking to do inaccurate / out-of-sync alterations to each MIDI tracks).
    – bigp
    Mar 29, 2012 at 14:44

3 Answers 3


It's now possible to do this in Ableton Live using a Max for Live device from Chaos Culture:


Cubase and Sonar will both let you alter parameters of groups of tracks as well as single tracks, so you could group all your cellos and fade them all in using one control if required.

In fact you could do the same with any parameter, and automate the entire thing.

I've used both for many years - probably current preference for usability is Cubase, but Sonar isn't far off in terms of functionality.


Logic allows you to select multiple MIDI regions simultaneously and edit the notes within them all in conjunction. This allows you to do much of what you want, while still keeping the individual tracks separate.

  • Which version(s) of logic please fluffy? From a quick scan of review on Logic Pro X, it would appear that viewing multiple 'lanes' of MIDI piano roll is not possible. Given your post is in 2012 I would think this would be before Logic X. I have logic 9 and was considering Logic X but it seems that capability is not present from what I gleaned from the reviews. Sep 17, 2014 at 12:06
  • @therobyouknow It still exists in Logic X. I use it all the time. Also, Logic X adds some functionality that makes it less necessary in the first place (for example you can have an instrument stack which allows you to send some notes to all instruments in a group simultaneously).
    – fluffy
    Sep 18, 2014 at 16:54
  • thanks @fluffy but I'm going on the review in SOS: "it's just that I think most Logic users I know would have preferred to be able to see multiple lanes of MIDI Draw at the same time, or have better surround support." - soundonsound.com/sos/sep13/articles/pro-x.htm - can you commment on what they said - are they correct or wrong? Sep 19, 2014 at 10:10
  • @therobyouknow They mean that you can't edit multiple tracks in separate piano rolls. But you CAN edit multiple tracks simultaneously, just in a single lane. I do it all the time. Also you can use the score editor to get multi-lane editing, if you're okay with using the score editor instead of the piano roll. They just get layered on top of each other instead of being separate.
    – fluffy
    Sep 20, 2014 at 2:38
  • @therobyouknow also keep in mind that SoS's review was published DAYS after Logic X came out and it's quite possible that the reviewer didn't get a chance to learn the more "Logical" ways of doing things. There are many ways you can do what the OP was asking for in Logic X.
    – fluffy
    Sep 20, 2014 at 2:41

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