70. Can I use more than one MIDI channel to play drums?

By default, only channel 10 is used as the drum channel, however with many synths you can use a SysEx message to assign more than one channel to drums. Two reasons you might want to do this are: (1) It allows you to use more than one drum kit simultaneously, and (2) it allows you to affect individual drum sounds with certain MIDI controllers (volume, pan, etc.) if you have split your drums to separate tracks.

The following SysEx messages will allow you to set channel 9 or 11 to drums (in addition to channel 10). This will work for Roland GS compatible devices such as the Roland VSC and Roland SD-20. As long as you send the appropriate SysEx message, you could do this for any channel. You could check the documentation for your synth or do a search for "system exclusive" on the internet for more information.

  • Set channel 9 to drums: F0 41 10 42 12 40 19 15 02 10 F7

  • Set channel 11 to drums: F0 41 10 42 12 40 1A 15 02 0F F7

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Alyssa - PG Music