Logo MIDI Tape Recorder Documentation

Perfectly and effortlessly record and play MIDI


Thanks for taking the time to read through this documentation.


Once you understand how to connect MIDI Tape Recorder (MTR) to your gear and plugins, and what the buttons do, you should not have to read it again. MTR was designed to be fun, intuitive and unobtrusive.

MIDI Tape Recorder can record any MIDI channel voice messages that it receives and reproduces those perfectly upon playback.

Note: MTR will not record any MIDI system messages.

Making Connections

Since MTR is an AUv3 plugin, you need to first make a connection to one of the MIDI Inputs, and then another connection from one of the MIDI Outputs.

MTR comes in three AUv3 plugins types:

MTR was designed to operate as a MIDI processor, but only few hosts and DAWs support this plugin type and allow input and output connections to be made freely.

Therefore, a Music Effect and Music Instrument plugin types are also available but they usually prevent full MTR use because hosts either don't handle the MIDI output from these plugins or don't allow other instruments to be placed on the same channel or track. However, using MTR as a Music Effect or Music Instrument can be useful to record and/or play MIDI files in certain situations. Examples are recording the MIDI output from Animoog Z in Logic Pro X using MTR as a Music Effect plugin, or recording live loops from GarageBand to export as MIDI files using MTR as a Music Instrument plugin.

The rest of this documentation assumes that MIDI Tape Recorder is being used as a MIDI Processor (MIDI FX) plugin.

Controller to Recorder to Synth

Typically you will connect a physical MIDI Controller (like LinnStrument) or a MIDI Controller App (like GeoShred) to a MIDI Input and connect a MIDI Synthesizer (like Animoog Z, Model 15, Minimoog Model D) to a MIDI Output.

MTR Connection 1

In order to hear what you're playing on the Controller, you'll have to enable Input Monitor for the appropriate track in MIDI Tape Recorder. This passes the MIDI that's received immediately through to the output, even when MTR is not playing.

Input Monitor Enabled

To verify that MIDI is being received and sent correctly, you can play your controller and check the activity lights inside MTR on left and right edge of each track. If they flicker green, MIDI is going through correctly.

Activity Lights Both Sides

Each DAW and plugin host has their own way of making MIDI connections, please refer to the manual of your preferred host for details.

As an example, this is what the MIDI routing could look like inside the AUM host on iOS.

Routing AUM 1

Synths that are also controllers

Some plugins can both act as MIDI Controllers and MIDI Synthesizers (like Animoog Z), in that case you can connect the same plugin to both the MTR MIDI Input and Output.

MTR Connection 2

Now, make sure to disable Input Monitor for the appropriate track in MTR because otherwise similar messages will be used twice by the same synthesizer, which can lead to unexpected results.

Input Monitor Disabled

Each DAW and plugin host has their own way of making MIDI connections, please refer to the manual of your preferred host for details.

As an example, this is what the MIDI routing could look like inside the AUM host on iOS.

Routing AUM 2

Multiple MIDI input connections

MIDI Tape Recorder supports a newer AUv3 feature where multiple virtual MIDI Input cables can be used for a single plugin. As of this writing the only host that supports this is AUM v1.4.0 beta and later.

When your host supports multiple input cables, MIDI Tape Recorder has four independent MIDI Input ports available for connection.

By tapping on the 1 ▶︎ 4 toggle button, you can change it to 4 ▶︎ 4 and have MIDI Tape Recorder use the four MIDI input ports.

Routing 4 To 4 Illustration

Routing 4 to 4

Tapping 4 ▶︎ 4 will change it back to 1 ▶︎ 4 and MIDI Tape Recorder will go back to only using one MIDI Input port.

Routing 1 To 4 Illustration

Routing 1 to 4

By using the four separate inputs you can keep different controllers connected and routed to dedicated synth plugins. However when routing the first input to all four tracks, the same controller can easily be used for all the synths you're recording. It's really up to you to decide which configuration is the most appropriate for what you're trying to achieve, they both are useful.

Make a Recording

Now that everything is connected and that you've verified that the input activity lights are working, press Record Enable on a track and press Record Arm in the toolbar.

Record Armed

As soon as you start playing on your controller or press the Play button in the toolbar, MIDI Tape Recorder will record your performance.

Note: you can also press Play in your host and MIDI Tape Recorder will automatically start recording at the same time.

Recording Active

When you're done, press the Play button to stop recording and press Play again to hear what you've recorded, or press the Repeat button while recording to immediately start looping in case you want to play or record over it with another synth.

Playback After Recording

MPE Support

MIDI Tape Recorder was designed specifically for MPE controllers and MPE synthesizers.

Not only does MTR preserve the exact timing and order of all the MIDI messages, it also provides support for the standard MPE Configuration Message (MCM) and MIDI RPN 0 Pitch Bend Sensitivity message.

When a track is set to Record Enable, any MCM and RPN 0 message that's received, will be remembered. When this is the case, MTR will display an MPE Indicator button in the top-left corner of the track.

MPE Indicator

By default, each time playback starts, the MCM and RPN 0 will be sent to the output, ensuring that the synthesizer receiving the MIDI recorded messages will be configured exactly as it was when you were recorded your performance.

Tip: Tapping the MPE Indicator will immediately send out the MCM and RPN 0 without waiting for playback.

Note: MPE zone details can be displayed in the MPE indicator by enabling this in the settings.

MPE Indicator Details

Sending the MCM from your controller

Every MPE compliant device is required to support the MPE Configuration Message. Each controller has its own way of enabling and sending out the MCM.

Below are two examples, check the manual of your controller to know how and when the MCM is being sent.

Animoog Z

Send MCM in Animoog Z


Send MCM with LinnStrument

The MIDI Tape Recorder GUI

This section contains a complete reference of the MIDI Tape Recording GUI.

Annotated Track and Session Controls

Track controls

Session controls

Annotated Recording UI

Recording UI

Annotated Session Tools

Session Tools

Annotated Track Tools

Track Tools