Imported MIDI loops create multiple empty tracks

The issue #

There have been reports that some DAW’s treat certain types of MIDI loops differently from others. This results in several empty MIDI tracks being added to a project every time a new loop is added to it.

MIDI File Types #

There are 2 types of MIDI files generally used: type 0 and type 1 MIDI. The main difference is that type 1 can contain several MIDI tracks, while type 0 contains all of the data on a single track. It would stand to reason that when you import a type 0 midi file into a DAW, only a single MIDI track would be created from it. However, that is not always the case.

Meet Bandlab’s Cakewalk DAW. This is the clarification we received from their development team:

“Opening a MIDI file of type 0 will always split each channel into separate tracks. This is because back when hardware MIDI file players were popular, a lot of them only supported type 0, but users wanted to be able to edit them easily by having the tracks split out. Saving as type 0 would combine them again.

However, if you drag a MIDI file of type 0 into an existing project, it’ll keep it as a single clip. So the solution is always to drag/drop MIDI files of type 0 into your project if you want to keep it as a single track.

While some DAWs add multiple empty tracks when faced with type 0 MIDI, others do it with type 1 MIDI.

So, to better serve customers, we are now providing all MIDI loops in both type 0 and type 1 formats. You have a choice to download either one in your account. Generally, type 0 will yield cleaner results, but you may need to use type 1 if getting multiple empty tracks.

So, here are some possible solutions to this issue. #

  • First, create a MIDI track, then drag your MIDI loop onto it from a file browser.
  • Check your DAW’s MIDI import settings. There may be settings available on how it handles importing MIDI files. Cubase has a setting on whether it should split type 1 files into multiple tracks or drop them in as one. Set it to import a file as a single part and not split them.
  • There could also be a setting on whether imported MIDI files should be dropped onto an existing MIDI track or new ones created. Set it to drop MIDI file onto an existing MIDI track.
  • If you are getting undesirable results with type 0 MIDI format, use the type 1 MIDI format files. The chances are that one of them will work perfectly. As mentioned above, you can download all GoranGrooves loops in either of the two formats.