My question comes after reading this passage from Paul White's Basic Midi book:

"Most modern synths and PC soundcards are capable of playing back up to 16 different sounds at once, each controlled by a different midi channel, and so even a single synth will allow you to create quite ambitious sequences."

I have a Korg MicroKorg that I'm trying to sequence using an Alesis MMT-8 midi recorder, and right now I'm able to record on multiple channels and playback on one patch (or voice). What I want to do is have the synth play back multiple patches at the same time, as described in the quote above.

  • That might not be possible with the MicroKorg. I'm not sure it's a multitimbral instrument. Can you play back two independent sounds simultaneously without using MIDI?
    – endorph
    Dec 28, 2016 at 20:58
  • I can create two timbres on the same patch, but I don't know about playing those separately. Dec 28, 2016 at 21:07
  • Actually, that gives me an idea. When I change the midi channel on the synth, it applies to all patches, but maybe it will work separately for different timbres on the same patch. Dec 28, 2016 at 21:10
  • 2
    The MicroKorg is not multitimbral, so it won't do what you want to do. I suspect the book you are quoting is old and out of date, because today many synths are more often based on classic designs that are not multitimbral. Electronic multitimbral keyboard instruments with these kinds of features are sometimes called "workstations" today, and they can be pretty expensive. Dec 29, 2016 at 1:33
  • Yes, the book is a bit dated. So if I wanted multitimbrality, but wanted to avoid the cost of a workstation (I've seen those price tags, whew!), should I look into something like a midi module, or a keyboardless synth? Dec 29, 2016 at 2:27

1 Answer 1


You want to look for a multi-timbral module. Often times you can find a 'General MIDI' compatible module that is capable of doing this, often times with rather bland sounds. Casio Porta-Studios are known for this; they have multi-timbral capability but their sound-sculpting capability is extremely limited. There are also some sound modules offered by Yamaha and Alesis that were geared towards the orchestrator that will work towards what you want. Also Roland.

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