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BOOK I

INTRODUCTION
Sequencing Technology focuses on using Apple’s Logic Pro X, a digital audio worksta-
tion (DAW), or also known as a Software Sequencer for the MIDI language used to con-
trol the music sequencing of software. MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument
Digital Interface. It is a communications protocol similar to the Master Device/Slave
Device protocol used in synchronization systems. MIDI is not the sound of an instru-
ment, sound does not travel through MIDI connections. MIDI is the instructions that
tell keyboards, sound modules, sequencers, drum machines, samplers, and many
other MIDI devices how to control their sound. Whether playing a note or a series of
notes, turning up or down volume, opening or closing filter controls, panning around
the stereo spectrum, or just about anything else you can hear.

Although it is incredibly popular in music production, MIDI is certainly not limited to


recording industry. Over the decades, it has proven itself to be just as useful in stage
and theatre lighting, animatronics, robotics, industrial audio and video playback sys-
tems, and many aspects of live and event production.

Week One begins our exploration of the MIDI Language which we will begin to put it
into practice as we explore Apple’s Logic Pro MIDI Sequencing/Digital Audio Worksta-
tion software. We’ll look at the basic concepts of Logic Pro, it’s setup and operation,
and MIDI functionality.

You will demonstrate your ability to create a working Template for MIDI Production
during the first week which can be used as the foundation for the remainder of the
Logic Projects due in the coming weeks. This Template will first be used to show us
your ability of simple MIDI recording and arrangement.

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COURSE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

As of this writing, the Electronic Music Industry is almost completely computer-based,


with software recording, sequencing, and instrumentation becoming the norm, while
hardware was almost a niche market, it has gained a resurgence with affordable gear.

I believe that you will have a good understanding of what MIDI is capable of through
our study of Apple's Logic Pro, but not knowing exactly what each of you will be doing
in the real world, I feel we must also understand how our language came to be, what
traditional keyboards and sound modules do and how they communicate with MIDI,
and also what is happening ‘behind the scenes’ of your MIDI sequencer. This way, if
you find that you (or a client) prefer the sound of hardware over software, you can con-
nect, control, and perform with the same degree of skill that you can with any software
program or instrument.

So, we first need to look at MIDI’s beginnings, how it works, and how we connect
MIDI keyboards or sound modules to our sequencer for maximum usability.

At the beginning of Week 3, we will look at how MIDI works in much more detail, and
how its messages integrate with hardware, software, and of course, a MIDI Sequencer.

Welcome to Sequencing Technology.

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C H AP TE R 1

MIDI HISTORY

In the 1970’s, electronic keyboards and synthesizers were becoming as much a part of
studio and live music production as electric guitars, basses, pianos and organs had in
the decades before. Keyboard players typically used several keyboards in their arsenal,
as technology was so limited at the time that each keyboard was only capable of a spe-
cific type of sound. Early synthesizers could only play one note of sound at a time
(monophonic), and the performer had to move multiple knobs, sliders, and buttons
every time he or she wanted a new sound. Polyphonic programmable keyboards (ones
that could play more than one note at a time (chords) and could ‘memorize’ and recall
different sounds) were very expensive at the time and only available to the more suc-
cessful (or wealthy) players until technology advanced near the end of the decade, al-
lowing more affordable and functional models.
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Prior to MIDI, electronic keyboards could communicate with others via a control volt-
age (CV) and gate signal, The control voltage providing pitch, while the gate would
turn the note (or keyboard key) on and off. To connect one keyboard to control an-
other, you would have to take the CV and Gate Out of the keyboard you want to physi-
cally play, and wire it to the CV and Gate In of the keyboard you want to trigger or
hear. This connection was monophonic (one note at a time), required both cables to
work correctly, had no dynamic (velocity sensitive) capabilities, and could only control
one device at a time.

Many electronic music manufacturers tried to follow a loosely established standard for
control interfacing of electronic instruments. which consisted of a logarithmic one Volt
per-octave pitch control with a matching separate +5 volt gate signal. The unfortunate
reality is that many would utilize their own standard specifically designed to interface
only with their own manufactured instruments, accessories, and hardware. Examples
include the R. A. Moog company's ‘Switch Trigger’ gate standard (which was incom-
patible with other manufacturer’s +5 voltage gate without modifications), and Korg’s
one Hertz per-octave standard for pitch control, which was completely at odds with
every other manufacturer. Only well-off players could deem the endless array of con-
version interfaces or modifications to their musical equipment a necessity. Change was
needed to make this work more efficiently...

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S EC T I O N 1

MIDI BECOMES A STANDARD

Dave Smith was the owner and founder of Sequential Circuits, one of the more suc-
cessful electronic music manufacturers in the industry. At the 1981 January NAMM
(National Association of Music Merchants – a trade industry event) show in Anaheim,
California, Smith made an informal proposal to his peers calling for a ‘connections
standard’ between electronic music manufacturers. His ‘Universal Synthesizer Inter-
face’ proposal at the 1981 November AES (Audio Engineering Society) show garnered
the attention of American manufacturer Oberheim Electronics as well as Japanese
manufacturer Roland Corporation (Ikutaro Kakehashi), both of whom were work-
ing on digital communication interfaces for their own products. Of the two protocols,
Roland’s DCB (Digital Control Bus) was the most promising and became the blueprint
for the emerging standard.

During the January 1982 NAMM show, Sequential Circuits and Roland organized a
meeting for electronic music manufacturers, of which a large portion of failed to at-
tend as they were still committed to the fact that they could produce much faster pro-
prietary interfaces exclusively for their own equipment. In the summer of 1982 the pro-
tocol was agreed upon by the Japanese manufacturers (Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Ka-
wai.) with Sequential Circuits as the only American company. The official designation
would be called MIDI, a term coined by Smith for the new protocol. When Bob Moog
(the elder statesman of synthesizers and electronic music) made an editorial announce-
ment in the October 1982 issue of Keyboard Magazine about the necessity of MIDI, his
‘endorsement’ influenced almost every electronic music manufacturer to commit to
the MIDI standard.

At the Winter NAMM Show in January 1983, synthesizers made by two different com-
panies (a Roland Jupiter 6 and a Sequential Circuits Prophet-600 to be specific) were
hooked up together with the protocol – allowing complete communication between de-
vices with simple cabling and no special modifications or interfaces. The following

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year, there were several dozen devices with the new protocol installed, and by 1985 it
blossomed into several hundred. MIDI had become a standard.

The MIDI standard graced manufacturers with a new era of compatibility. Yet even
though there was a common language available to all of them, there were still a few in-
consistencies in how each manufacturer interpreted the language and wanted to imple-
ment it into their equipment. A few companies also expressed concern that one of the
‘founding’ companies (Sequential Circuits and Roland) would claim ownership of the
new protocol and demand steep royalties from the users. The supporting companies
approved the formation of a pair of governing bodies to insure that the MIDI language
was interpreted consistently for every manufacturer. They created two ‘divisions’ to
oversee MIDI implementation in different parts of the world. The Japanese MIDI Stan-
dards Committee (JMSC) maintains Japan, China, Korea, and the remainder of the Pa-
cific Rim, while the Americas and Europe are governed by the MIDI Manufacturers As-
sociation (MMA). Both divisions work in unison to coordinate, promote, and define
the MIDI standard, and are collectively known as the IMA, or International MIDI Asso-
ciation.

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S EC T I O N 2

COMMUNICATION PORTS

The MMA has defined three ports of communication available to MIDI devices.

The MIDI OUT port is where a MIDI device transmits its messages, allowing it to act
as a Master Device. Therefore, we generally consider any device we are playing or ma-
nipulating (like a MIDI keyboard, drum pads, or fader pack) a Master MIDI Device.

The MIDI IN port is where a MIDI device receives MIDI messages, allowing it to act as
a Slave Device. Slave Devices can be keyboards, sound modules, drum machines,
lights, or even motors for stage movements in theatrical performances.

The MIDI THRU port is where a MIDI device passes the message(s) that it receives
from its own IN port on to the next Slave device’s IN port. Simply put, the MIDI
THRU is a direct copy of the data that appears at the MIDI IN port.

The MMA considers the MIDI THRU an optional connection port, although most
manufacturers include a MIDI THRU on their products for convenience. Also be
aware that some MIDI devices have a MIDI port that can toggle between MIDI OUT
and MIDI THRU. You can change the function of the port within the parameters of the
device itself – if you encounter a device with this capability, consult the device’s docu-
mentation for details on how to toggle this function.

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S EC T I O N 3

MIDI CONNECTIONS

MIDI is a serial protocol. This means that information travels in one direction and
down a single cable from Master Device to Slave Device.

The cable that is used to connect MIDI devices together is called a 5-pin DIN cable.
The DIN (Deutsch Industrie Norm) connector was chosen because it was relatively un-
used in the American music industry and would likely not be confused with any other
type of connector, like an XLR mic or 1/4” guitar connector.

Although there are 5 pins on the connector, only 3 of them are actually used: pins 2, 4
and 5. Pin 5 is where the actual digital data (binary information) of messages travels
through. Pin 2 is ground wire. Even though MIDI is a digital protocol, it is transmitted
my standard electrical wiring, which requires a ground wire. Pin 4 is a +5 bias voltage,
which is essentially a reference signal. Pins 4 and 5 work together to ensure that the
digital signal is intact from transmission to reception.

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Through testing, the MMA found that MIDI messages traveling through a cable would
work as specified as long as the cable length did not exceed 50 feet in length. Beyond
that, the signal would start to degrade, as audio or electrical signals do when traveling
a long distance. Over the years, manufacturers have developed specialized amplifica-
tion devices called ‘repeaters’ to allow for longer cable runs, but for the most part the
50-foot cable limit has worked out just fine.

The MMA specifications define that MIDI is a serial form of transmission. This means
that data travels through a MIDI cable bit-by-bit, one behind the other. You can think
of a train traveling down its tracks as an example of serial transmission.

The data transmission rate (or speed limit, if you like) of MIDI is 31.25 KBaud (K is
short for Kilo, or 1,000) - or 31,250 Baud. Because we are utilizing data transmission,
Baud Rate is defined as the number of bits per second that can be transmitted through
a cable in communication standards.

The initial MIDI tests tried using parallel transmission (multiple simultaneous data
paths with a faster baud rate), but it was found that the cabling runs had to be much
shorter for adequate transmission. Because it was assumed that MIDI would be used
on stage as well as in the studio, the longer cable runs of serial transmission were
deemed an acceptable tradeoff.

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C H AP TE R 2

MIDI COMMUNICATION

Device Definition
Similar to a synchronization system, MIDI uses a Master Device / Slave Device Rela-
tionship. MIDI devices come in only two types:

Master Devices, which only transmit MIDI data.

Slave Devices, which only receive MIDI data.

Master Devices are essentially anything you can touch, control, or play, such as key-
boards, drum pads, or control surfaces. MIDI Master Devices are commonly referred
to as MIDI Controllers.

The USB keyboard controller that came with your computer and software is a MIDI
Master Device; pressing the keys and moving the knobs, sliders, and buttons transmits
MIDI data.

Slave Devices receive data from a Master device and follow its directions. If you
press a key on a Master Device (like a C), the Slave Device plays the exact same key. If
you move a knob or slider on a Master Device, the Slave Device follows those move-
ments and responds accordingly.

The Software Instruments we will be using in Logic are Slave Devices; they respond to
the keys, knobs, and other MIDI commands on your USB keyboard controller, or any
other MIDI Controller connected to your computer.

It is possible to have both a Master Device and Slave Device in one unit. More about
this when we talk about Local Control and Multitimbral Mode.

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S EC T I O N 1

MIDI COMMUNICATION

Out In

MASTER SLAVE

Out In Thru In Thru In

MASTER SLAVE 1 SLAVE 2 SLAVE 3

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C H AP TE R 3

MIDI WIRING
The simplest connection is one MIDI hardware device to another. If we had a MIDI
keyboard with a piano sound on it and another MIDI keyboard with a string sound on
it, and we wanted to hear both sounds at the same time we could take a single MIDI ca-
ble and connect the MIDI Out from our ‘piano’ keyboard and connect it to the MIDI In
of the ‘strings’ keyboard. Now whatever note or notes we play on the ‘piano’ keyboard
would also play the exact same note or notes on the ‘strings’ keyboard, and we would
hear them both simultaneously.

Remember - MIDI does not contain any audio signals, just information. In order to
hear sounds coming out of our keyboards (or other MIDI devices) we would have to
connect their audio outputs to either a mixer or audio interface.

Daisy Chaining
Another method of MIDI connection is called Daisy Chaining. Daisy Chaining is per-
fect for a simple studio or a ‘Live Rig’ setup where no more than 3 slave devices are
needed.

Daisy Chaining uses the MIDI Thru port to pass MIDI information to multiple Slave
Devices. We start by connecting the MIDI OUT port of a Master Device to the MIDI IN
port of the 1st Slave Device just like the example above. We can then wire the MIDI
THRU of the 1st Slave Device to the MIDI IN of the next Slave Device.

Why the Thru port? Remember that the MIDI Out Port transmits information from a
Master Device and the MIDI Thru port is an exact copy of information arriving at a
MIDI devices’ In Port. If we had connected from the Out Port of the 1st Slave Device in-
stead, we would actually have to play that device to send MIDI Data. By using the Thru
Port, we are just copying the MIDI information that is arriving at the 1st Slave Device’s
MIDI In Port. So why is there a maximum of three Slave Devices past our Master De-

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vice? This is because the MMA has determined that wiring more than three MIDI de-
vices past a Master Device by Daisy Chaining can result in a noticeable delay of the sig-
nal arriving at the next Slave Device. This is because the IN ports of any MIDI device
are Optically Isolated to prevent ground loops from entering the sound engine. Optical
Isolation ensures the ground from one MIDI device will not connect to the ground on
the next MIDI device, eliminating any hum, buzz, EMI or RFI interference. This delay
(or Slew Rate as it’s technically called) can occur because of the conversion from a
pure electrical signal to an optical signal and back to electrical again at the MIDI In
port.

If we need more than three Slave Devices past a Master Device, there is a hardware de-
vice called a MIDI Thru Box that will multiply any MIDI data arriving at its IN ports
and copy it to all of its THRU ports simultaneously.

MIDI Channels
The MIDI Specification allows for up to 16 independent channels of information to be
transmitted down a single MIDI cable. These channels allow us to control the target-
ing of MIDI data from Master Devices to Slave Devices. Each has its Basic Channel,
which is the channel by which it transmits and/or receives MIDI messages.

In keeping with the example we used above, we can set our first Slave Device to receive
on channel 1, the second to channel 2, and the third to channel 3. To control the first
Slave Device, we need to set the Master Device to transmit MIDI channel on channel 1.
This way, only the device that is set to channel 1 will respond to the MIDI messages
sent from the Master Device, while the other Slave Devices will ignore them (as they
are set to receive on different channels). Think of MIDI Channels like a television or ca-
ble box - if MTV broadcasts on channel 25, selecting channel 25 on your TV only
shows that network and not the others. So, if we change the transmit channel on the
Master Device to 2, then it will only trigger Slave Device 2. If you set all Slave Devices
to the same receive channel as the master, we can now play all three sounds from the
Slave Devices simultaneously. This is how players get huge ‘stacked’ sounds from their
keyboards or sound modules.

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S EC T I O N 1

LOCAL CONTROL

Local Control is the direct connection between the physical keyboard and the internal
sound engine of a MIDI synthesizer keyboard.

When Local is turned “On”, the keys transmit directly to the sound engine inside the
keyboard, and usually the MIDI Out Port as well. There are a few early MIDI key-
boards that will not transmit to the MIDI OUT port when Local Control is On – Kurz-
weil and Yamaha devices from the early- to mid- 1980‘s being the biggest offenders.
Double-check the manual or MIDI Spec Sheet if you are buying a Master Keyboard to
be sure it does what you need it to do.

When Local is turned “Off” the keys transmit directly to the MIDI Out port only. This
is the most commonly used setup for MIDI sequencing, since the keys and other con-
trols on the keyboard will transmit to its MIDI Out Port and the internal sound engine
inside the keyboard will now receive MIDI data from its MIDI In Port – We now have
a Master Device and a Slave Device in one unit.

A basic rule of thumb is if you only have one keyboard and want to hear the sounds
from it, make sure Local Control is On. If you are using your keyboard for MIDI Se-
quencing, then turn Local Off because MIDI data coming back from the sequencer will
also trigger the keyboard you are physically playing, creating a ‘flanging’ effect from
double triggering.

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S EC T I O N 2

MIDI MODES

The MMA has defined four Operating Modes that all MIDI Devices can receive on.

1. Omni On Poly

2. Omni On Mono

3. Omni Off Poly

4. Omni Off Mono

Omni On means that a MIDI device will respond to any or all MIDI channels at the
same time while Omni Off limits the device to only one channel. Poly means that the
device will play more than one note at a time while Mono limits the device to one note
at a time. The number of notes the MIDI keyboard or sound module can play at once
depends on its design - refer to its manual or MIDI Specifications for more info on
this.

Of these four modes, Mode 3 (Omni Off Poly) is the most commonly used, and the
other three are very, very rarely needed.

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S EC T I O N 3

MULTITIMBRAL MODE

At first, MIDI technology was so limited that MIDI keyboards offered only a single
playable sound from their circuitry. It was common to have stands full of keyboards to
create a song, with each keyboard dedicated to a specific sound. This meant that early
MIDI Studios needed lots of space and a lot of monetary investment. Over the next few
years, manufacturers realized that with the power of MIDI a composer or player could
use only one or two physical keyboards for actual note or control input and then send
that MIDI information to tabletop or rack-mountable Slave Devices via their MIDI In
ports. No keyboard and a reduced chassis meant smaller, cheaper sound modules.

At the same time, technology had progressed so that manufacturers could provide
MIDI keyboards and modules with the power of multiple tone-generating devices,
which was dubbed Multitimbral Mode. Roland was the first to debut a Multitimbral
MIDI device at the 1985 NAMM show with their MKS-7 Super Quartet,which incorpo-
rated 3 independent synthesizers and a sample-playback drum module in a two-space
rack unit. All four of these sound generators were connected the same MIDI In port on
the back. By choosing the receive channel for each of the Multitimbral Parts, each sec-
tion could play independently of the others (essentially incorporating the sound engi-
ne(s) of three MIDI keyboards and a drum machine in a single device).

Since the late 1980’s, almost every MIDI keyboard or sound module has had the capa-
bility to play back 16 independent parts over all of MIDI’s 16 available channels. This
means that just one modern MIDI keyboard or sound module can play back up to 16
sounds at one time, which is like having a 16-piece band at your disposal.

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S EC T I O N 4

MULTITIMBRAL PARAMETERS

These are the eight functions that any multitimbral MIDI device should be able to control
independently for each part in order to work with the greatest efficiency.

Multitimbral Parameters

Channel Assignment

Timbre Assignment

Volume

Panning

Output Assignment

Tuning

Notes Ranges

Channel Enable/Disable

Channel Assignment lets us determine the MIDI receive channels for each of the Multitim-
bral parts. Typically we would have Part 1 assigned to channel 1, Part 2 assigned to chan-
nel 2 and so on, but we could assign multiple Multitimbral parts to receive on a single
channel making it easy to create a layered sound.

Some devices may have a fixed Channel Assignment. This means that each Multitim-
bral part is permanently assigned a MIDI channel, and cannot be changed.

Timbre Assignment simply allows us to assign a different sound to each of the Multitim-
bral parts.

Volume and Pan allow you to adjust the level (or volume) and stereo position of an individ-
ual Multitimbral part respectively.

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Output Assignment allow us to send individual Multitimbral parts to additional audio out-
puts rather than the main stereo bus. Assigning parts to multiple outputs will allow you to
EQ or effect them differently than those coming out of the main outputs.

Tuning allows you to change the overall pitch or tuning of an individual part. A good exam-
ple might be when trying to mimic a brass section. If you assign trumpets to part 1, trom-
bones to part 2, alto sax to part 3, and tenor sax to part 4 and have them all playing back
the same notes (using the layer trick shown in Channel Assignment above would be a fan-
tastic way to do this) you could “detune” each part slightly to add a bit more richness to
the sound, behaving more like a real brass section.

Note Ranges adjust the region on the keyboard that a sound will play. Using note ranges
will allow you create one of three possible keyboard setups:

A layer is created when two or more sounds play simultaneously on the same channel,
across the entire range of the keyboard. If you press a key on your keyboard and hear the
sound of a piano and strings together, you would be triggering a layer.]

A split is having two or more sounds with note ranges that do not overlap. You could as-
sign a bass sound to the lowest two octaves, while having a piano across the rest of the
keyboard. A drum kit is the most common split, with each drum sound limited to a single
or small group of keys.

Zones are a combination of a split and a layer. Assigning a piano across the entire length
of the keyboard, but also adding a string part on only the upper two octaves would be an
example of a Multitimbral Zone.

Channel Enable/Disable allows you to choose which channels a Multitimbral MIDI device
will respond to. If you have a 16-part Multitimbral device, but only want to use 8 of the 16
parts, You could “switch off” channels 9 through 16 using Channel Enable/Disable so it
would only respond to the first 8 channels.

Not every Multitimbral MIDI device will be capable of every single parameter listed
above, especially an older keyboard or module. Check the manual (most are avail-
able on the Internet for free if you do some searching) and a good understanding

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which of the parameters are most important to you or your client will be helpful in
choosing a piece of new or used MIDI gear.

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S EC T I O N 5

POLYPHONIC VS. POLYPHONY

Polyphonic is the ability of a musical instrument to play more than one note at a time
(chords). This is opposed to Monophonic, which is the ability to play only one note at a
time. The earliest synthesizers were monophonic with polyphonic models appearing in
the mid-1970’s. Modern keyboards and modules are polyphonic with the ability to pro-
gram an individual patch to perform as monophonic if desired.

Polyphony is the maximum number of notes an instrument can play at once. Think of
it like this: a guitar is polyphonic, but typically having only six strings, can only pro-
duce six-note polyphony. A piano can play back all of it’s 88 notes simultaneously
since it has 88 sets or strings and hammers.

Modern MIDI instruments have 128 notes of total polyphony, which sounds like an in-
credible amount. Keep in mind, however, that this polyphony will be divided amongst
its Multitimbral parts. Additionally, some sounds create extra thickness by stacking 2
or more voices of polyphony together for each note played. In this case an eight note
chord could really use 16, 24, or even 32 voices to play back. Some older Multitimbral
MIDI devices require you to choose the polyphony that will be used for each part, al-
though modern MIDI keyboards and modules include a technology called Dynamic Al-
location, which distributes notes of polyphony automatically to each part as they are
required.

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C H AP TE R 4

SEQUENCING BASICS

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S EC T I O N 1

MIDI INTERFACE

Basic MIDI connection and Daisy Chaining are primarily used for live performance or
smaller MIDI keyboard setups. For sequencing (and most modern touring applica-
tions), we need a MIDI Interface to connect our external MIDI gear to our computer.
MIDI Interfaces are available as a simple 1-in /1-out interface, to a massive 8-in /8-out
rack-mountable workhorse, and will have an assigned port number based on it’s con-
nection.

The connection between the MIDI Interface and the computer is called a dual serial
connection, as it allows bi-directional communication between the MIDI Interface and
the computer. The USB keyboard controller that came with your LaunchBox contains
its own MIDI interface and the USB cable you use to connect it with your computer is
a dual serial connection cable. Although you may find different connector types used
with a MIDI Interface that connects to your computer (USB, FireWire, Parallel connec-
tor, Mini-DIN, etc.), they are all Dual Serial connections.

The smartest way to connect external MIDI hardware to a traditional MIDI Interface
is called Handshake wiring. This is simply connecting the MIDI Out of the device to
the MIDI In of one of the numbered ports on the MIDI Interface, and then connecting
the same numbered MIDI Out port on the MIDI Interface back to the MIDI In port of
the device. This ensures that each MIDI device is in total communication with the
MIDI Interface and the computer will now handle all of the MIDI routing and commu-
nication of our MIDI devices through its Dual Serial connection.

Signal flow with a MIDI Interface is different with the computer in control. Instead of
a Master Device sending MIDI information directly to Slave Devices, the MIDI data
from the Master Device is routed directly to the computer. The MIDI Sequencing soft-
ware allows us to redirect the data to whichever device we want to control via MIDI In-
terface port as well as MIDI Channel. That information is then be re-routed back out

22
to the Interface and directly to that specific MIDI port, channel, and device that you
choose.

This means that our MIDI sequencing software becomes the hub of our MIDI studio -
it not only allows us to record, edit, and playback MIDI data, but also routes this infor-
mation to whatever device, channel, and sound that we want to use.

Note: Don’t forget that you have to connect the audio for each keyboard in order to
hear them - you’ll probably need a mixer or audio interface if you have more than
one external MIDI instrument.

There are still MIDI keyboards, synthesizers, sound modules, and interfaces being
manufactured. However, as computers and software become more and more powerful
the virtual studio is becoming the status quo and your LaunchBox setup is a perfect ex-
ample. With your MacBook Pro, USB controller keyboard, and DAW software, we will
show you how you can have what was once the domain of multi-thousand dollar studio
facilities right in your backpack. First though, we need to look at the power of the
MIDI sequencer.

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C H AP TE R 5

THE SEQUENCER

The Sequencer has become one of the most powerful tools in the musician’s arsenal.
Sequencing and MIDI are pretty much synonymous with each other. MIDI’s capability
to control nearly every aspect of sound with the ability to record, edit, and playback
that information has radically changed the landscape of music and media production,
and continues to do so with every new musical genre since its inception.

There are two types of sequencers available to the MIDI universe. The stand-alone
MIDI sequencers are usually called “dedicated” because they are hardware that is ex-
clusively designed to record, edit, and playback MIDI data. Many keyboards have
some kind of MIDI sequencer built-in, and are often referred to as “workstations” to
distinguish them from other instruments without MIDI sequencing capability. As of
this writing, the major remaining hardware sequencers available are Akai’s MPC-
series, Roland’s MV-series, and the sequencers found in hardware Workstations like
the Roland Fantom and Jupiter series, Yamaha Motif and M-series, and the Korg Kro-
nos. There are niche manufacturers of dedicated MIDI Sequencers as well, usually de-
signed similar to the old analog step sequencers. A web search will uncover many of
these ‘boutique’ designers and companies.

Computer based MIDI recorders are called “non-dedicated” sequencers, because the
computer hardware they run on can be used for other functions such as word process-
ing, spreadsheets, surfing the Internet, and many other purposes. The computer-
software sequencing setup has been around since the early 1980‘s, and has slowly
pushed the dedicated MIDI sequencer into the ‘old school’ niche for composers and
performers.

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S EC T I O N 1

HISTORY OF THE HARDWARE

The sequencer has actually been around for over 60 years. Composer/Inventor Ray-
mond Scott developed his ‘Circle Machine’ during the 1950’s to create sounds
needed for the radio and television commercials he was doing sound design for. The
Circle Machine used lights and corresponding photoreceptors to send voltages to the
custom-built electronic instruments and circuits Scott used. Before the formation of
his own company, Bob Moog and his father assisted Scott with his ‘automated music’
ideas by building circuits and modules for him. Scott claims that Moog coined the
word ‘sequencer’ by using the term in a description on a technical diagram for one of
Raymond’s ideas. Many of the ideas that Moog worked on for Scott were improved
upon and incorporated into sequencers for Moog’s modular synthesizers in the 1960’s
and 70’s.

Simply put, a Sequencer is a hardware device that, when connected to a synthesizer,


would automatically play a repeating or looped sequence of notes.  At this time synthe-
sizers were analog devices and the majority relied on the CV/Gate method we spoke of
earlier.  In a voltage-controlled analog synthesizer, the pitch of the note played is
equivalent voltage sent to the Oscillator.  Thus a hardware analog sequencer produced
an output voltage level whose step changed at the start of the next 'note' in the se-
quence. This is where the term ‘step sequencing’ came from. Because of circuitry limita-
tions, hardware sequencers were very basic and allowed for only the simplest of pat-
terns. These limitations included:

Limited length of the note sequence (8, 12, or 16 total ‘steps’)

Usually Restricted to only a single sequence.

Note timing typically consisted of equal note lengths.

25
Despite these limitations, sequencers were prevalent in early electronic music either
by producing a riff that might be difficult for the performer to play manually, or most
likely providing a rhythmic background as the basis of a composition.

Don Buchla incorporated rudimentary sequencers into his early synthesizers, and
both Moog and Arp offered sequencers as options or additions to their ever-growing
stable of synthesizer systems. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, a number of manu-
facturers began incorporating built-in sequencers into their synthesizers to add to
their feature set and enhance their capability. Sequential Circuits’ Pro-One and
Roland’s SH-101 are two such examples.

Note: Many synthesizers and MIDI sound modules include an Arpeggiator. An Arpeggi-
ator is not actually a sequencer per se, but generally a circuit that rhythmically plays
back the sequence of keys that you press on a keyboard. Modern arpeggiators can have
some of the power of their sequencing brethren, like customizable patterns and compli-
cated rhythms, but are generally not as adept at controlling many devices or editing as
a typical sequencer is. You may find an arpeggiator plugin or function available on
many software MIDI sequencing packages.

26
S EC T I O N 2

ADVENT OF THE SOFTWARE

The MIDI revolution coincided with the Personal Computer revolution, and the two
could not have been a better match for music making.

The widespread adoption of MIDI in the mid-1980s opened the way for a wealth of
computer-based software applications for the music studio, the foremost being the
MIDI sequencer.  This is an application that allows multi-part music to be created, ed-
ited, stored and played back. Using a Personal Computer running a MIDI sequencer
opened up tremendous possibilities for studio composition, allowing the songwriter to
easily create a track or score and edit, re-edit, and hone the track to perfection without
the need for costly studio time, tape costs, or even an entire band...

Software sequencers allow the artist to have total control over music composition and
production, with abilities far beyond what its hardware counterparts could ever
achieve. With the visual nature of these programs you do not even need to play a note,
since they can be entered in graphically. In fact, with software sequencers there are sev-
eral different ways to input and edit MIDI data: If you have a musical background
there is a notation or scoring editor. If you have more of a programming background
you might prefer the “Piano Roll” or Key Editor display. Most software sequencers
have dedicated Drum Grid or Matrix editing which lend themselves more towards
drum machine-style recording and editing. There should be dedicated Controller edit
windows as well. Lastly, the Event or List Editor resembles a large hardware
sequencer-type display, but shows every bit of MIDI data that has been recorded on
one page.

27
S EC T I O N 3

THE GRID RESOLUTION

The resolution of a sequencer is how accurately it records the timing of your perform-
ance. Unlike recording on a multitrack tape recorder, which can record anywhere the
tape passes the recording head, sequencers have a limited ‘Grid’ they can record and
edit to. This Grid is defined as PPQN or Parts Per Quarter Note. PPQN are the incre-
ments or points on the grid between quarter notes. In 4/4 time there would be 4 sets
of PPQN ranges to a bar or measure. The Timing Resolution of every MIDI Sequencer
is measured in PPQN.

You can use the analogy that PPQN to a sequencer is the same as Megapixels to a Digi-
tal Camera – the higher the Megapixels, the higher quality picture the camera takes.
The higher the PPQN within a sequencer, the better it will capture what you record
into it, and the better it will allow you to edit what’s been recorded.

To navigate where you are at within your track or song, almost all sequencers utilize
Bars, Beats, and Ticks as a time reference. Ticks are the smallest increments between
beats and coincide with the resolution in PPQN. The more increments (or higher
PPQN) a sequencer has, the better its timing. The better the timing, the more accu-
rately the sequencer is reproducing the recorded performance and rhythmic variance.
In fact, this is one of the major drawbacks to Dedicated Sequencers – not only do they
tend to have lower PPQN resolution, but also there is usually a very small screen to
view your edits, with all MIDI data points represented as numbers instead of graphi-
cally.

A good example of the difference between PPQN values of hardware and software se-
quencers is Akai’s MPC series. Most MPC’s have 96 PPQN resolution, whereas the low-
est known PPQN value for a software sequencer is currently at 480. Many will argue
that this fairly crude resolution is what gives an MPC its ‘groove’ or ‘feel’. However,
most MIDI programmers can imitate an MPC feel by adjusting the grid resolution of

28
their sequencer, but an MPC user cannot duplicate the higher resolution of Pro Tools,
Ableton Live, or Logic Pro with the limited resources Akai gives them.

29
S EC T I O N 4

TEMPO & METRONOME

Whether using a hardware or software sequencer, the click or metronome is an neces-


sity for recording. The first thing to do when prepping to record is to set your tempo as
close to whatever you want your songs speed to be.

One of the major benefits of sequencing with MIDI is because you are only recording
the information and not the actual sounds, changing tempos after you have recorded
only speeds up or slows down when the notes and MIDI data are triggered – it does
not affect the pitch or overall sound quality. This is great for composing difficult pas-
sages, as you can slow down the tempo and slowly input the notes you want, and then
return the sequencer to it’s original tempo to have it play back at the correct speed.

Most sequencers have some kind of metronome click built-in, and almost all will also
allow you to assign the metronome to an external MIDI instrument if you or your cli-
ent would rather have some other noise to follow than the ‘tick-tock’ of a standard
click.

30
S EC T I O N 5

EDITING FUNCTIONS

In the pre-MIDI days, if you recorded your performance to tape, it had to be perfect or
you’d have to track it again (usually again and again and again...) With MIDI Sequenc-
ing, it no longer had to be perfectly played. Since you have complete editing capability
within the sequencer, you can change your performance after it was recorded. You
could alter note lengths, transpose notes, shift them later or earlier in time or even de-
lete unwanted notes. You can think of these capabilities as ‘Word Processing for Mu-
sic” (anyone remember the typewriter?) :)

But the single greatest advantage to MIDI sequencing (and one that audio editing has
yet to catch up with) is the fact that the sequencer records just the performance of
what you play and not the actual sound itself. This means that if you recorded a MIDI
track using an Electric Piano sound, you can change it at any time to any other sound
you want! Only after you have finished polishing up the MIDI performance (sounds,
tempo, editing, quantization, transposition, etc.) do you even need to then record it as
audio in order to put in on a CD.

Quantization
Quantization moves notes to a predetermined grid by dividing the PPQN into common
note value divisions. This is the ‘auto-correct’ functionality that can make MIDI se-
quencing rock-solid. Quantizing every track, part, or note, however, can make it seem
like you’ve removed the feeling of your track. Not to worry, as later we will discuss solu-
tions to correct imperfect timing without changing too much of the musical perform-
ance.

Most users will apply quantization (located on the Region Inspector) after they have
completed a take or track recording. Input Quantization allows you to automatically
quantize in real time as you record MIDI info. This means the MIDI note data will be
moved onto a specific note grid when recorded. This is great when you are just laying

31
out ideas for an arrangement and you want everything to quantize automatically to the
grid without having to do it afterwards.

Destructive vs. Playback Quantization


Logic Pro uses Playback Quantization for all of its MIDI data. The advantage of Play-
back Quantization is that your data remains the same as you recorded it, but is only
error-corrected on playback. This means you can change the quantization value any-
time you desire, giving you more options for feel and groove. Once you are satisfied
with your quantization settings, you can choose to make the settings permanent if you
like, but it’s not necessary.

Other MIDI sequencers use permanent, or Destructive Quantize. You may be able to
undo the last quantization setting, but if you have been going through a quantize list
searching for the right feel, you might be spending more time finding the right feel
rather than concentrating on the music. Playback Quantization is an awesome func-
tion, and many other DAW’s have added this to their feature set.

Transposition
Transposition allows us to change the playback pitch of a single MIDI note or group of
notes. Because we are just dealing with MIDI Data, we are not actually changing the
pitch of the note itself, but what pitch is being played back by the Sequencer. This
means we could record a part in one key, and then copy that part to a new place and
Transpose this new part to a completely different key. Because we are only changing
the notes that are being trigger by MIDI, we don’t lose any quality as we might from ac-
tual audio pitch shifting.

32
S EC T I O N 6

RECORD MODES

MIDI Sequencers have many different record modes to accommodate many different
styles of recording. You may be able to choose a recording mode on the track itself, or
you may have to look in the MIDI preferences of the program to change this. The most
common modes are:

Mix, Merge, or Overdub Mode: Each pass will combine the new MIDI informa-
tion with the old MIDI information already recorded onto the track. This is the most
commonly used record mode since you can let a part ‘loop’ around and around, adding
extra parts at your own pace. Usually used to add additional percussion parts to an al-
ready recorded drum beat.

Note: Some sequencers stack the next pass or ‘loop’ as a new region on top of the previ-
ous one, meaning you could have multiple regions on one track rather like a deck of
playing cards. This is a powerful function, but can cause confusion when editing since
you may only be looking at the last pass when selecting that region in a graphic edit
window. Sequencers that provide this function (like Logic Pro) have either a prefer-
ence for automatically merging the data into one region, or have a ‘merge regions’ or
‘join’ command that mixes the regions together. Remember, always read the manuals
that come with your gear to learn the most about your hardware or software!

Replace, Overwrite, or Destructive Record: Each pass will overwrite the pass be-
fore it, permanently erasing previous MIDI information. A good place to start, but un-
less you absolutely want to get a part exactly right, the Overdub modes are usually bet-
ter for recording.

Step Record: Usually happens in a MIDI Edit window but can be done on the Ar-
range Page as well, Step Record allows you to use a pencil tool to input notes or to de-
fine a note value and manually ‘step’ each note in via a MIDI Master keyboard or other
device. Very useful for parts which might be too complicated to play at the desired
tempo, or to compensate for playing ability, like drum parts.
33
Capture as Recording: Our absolute favorite recording mode, and a Logic Pro origi-
nal. This command allows you to capture anything you play on the keys while the se-
quencer is playing back as a recorded region. No more ‘Darn! I wish I had it in record
when I played that’ moments...

Capture as Recording

Shift + R

34
C H AP TE R 6

INTRO TO LOGIC PRO

Installation
Installing Logic Pro X is a straightforward process, and you should have it installed on
your computer by now. If you don’t, then using the download code provided to you,
open the Apple’s AppStore application (located under the Apple menu in the Menu
Bar at the top of your computer) and from the Store menu, Sign in (using your Apple
ID), click ‘Redeem’ from the ‘Quick Links’ Menu on the right. Enter your Redemption
Code and Logic Pro should authorize to your account and start downloading.

Since Logic Pro is an Apple product, it will always let you know when there is an up-
date ready to be downloaded and installed. This guarantees that you are using the lat-
est version available.

IMPORTANT: For this course, make sure that you download the “Essential Sounds”
for Logic Pro content once you install Logic Pro. The remaining content is optional,
but very useful to have!

Note: Logic Pro X will ask for the admin password for install, once it’s downloaded.

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35
S EC T I O N 1

LOGIC PRO HELP

Even though these course-books have been designed specifically for the Full Sail Uni-
versity Sequencing Technology Course and will be of the most use to you as a student,
Apple also provides help for Logic with two integrated systems.

The first is the Help Menu in the Menu Bar, with searchable help at the top, along with
direct links to the Logic Pro Manual, Instrument and Effects guides, and Control Sur-
face support. You can also reference Logic Pro help from your Web Browser here:
https://support.apple.com/logic-pro

The second system is Logic’s Quick Help, introduced in Logic Pro X. Quick Help is ac-
cessed from the Question Mark (?) button located to the top left in the Control Bar,
and is displayed in its own Inspector window (more on this in Section 6). See Figure
below. Quick Help will automatically display descriptions, uses, and even Key Com-
mands for any button, menu item, or function in Logic Pro X. This means that you
never have to leave Logic to figure out what a particular item is or does, and it helps
you keep your focus when working with Logic. An excellent addition to an already stel-
lar DAW.

36
S EC T I O N 2

AUDIO-DRIVER SETUP

Logic Pro does not require any external audio interface to work properly. For the most
basic setup, we recommend using the 1/8” audio output (headphone out) on your
MacBook Pro. When using the Mac’s built-in audio driver, select the “Built-in Output”
and “Built-in Input” from the Output and Input the devices of the Devices window.

Navigate to Preferences > Audio > Devices

37
To use an audio-interface, choose the manufacturer’s device name under the Output &
Input Device drop-down menus.

Example: Scarlett 2i4 USB (2 In, 4 Out)

For detailed information, consult the the devices user-manual to ensure you under-
stand how to use your device correctly.

For more info: https://us.focusrite.com/get-started

38
S EC T I O N 3

MIDI KEYBOARD SETUP

Keyboard Controller Setup


The MIDI Controller Keyboard that came with your LaunchBox is the easiest thing to
install. Plug the included USB cable into the USB port on the back of the Keyboard
Controller, then plug the other end of the USB cable to an available USB port on your
MacBook Pro. The keyboard is considered ‘class compliant’ and no software drivers
are required for the Mac’s operating system.

If you own a MIDI keyboard (or other controller) that has USB connectivity, it should
work just like the controller that came with your LaunchBox. Keep in mind that you
may have to install driver software for it to work properly - check your manual or
manufacturer’s website for more information and current driver downloads.

IMPORTANT: Always make sure that you are installing the correct software for
your type of computer and operating system! Installation of software that is for an
operating system other than the one you are using can cause usability issues and can
even damage your computer.

If you want to use an external MIDI keyboard that does not have USB connectivity,
please refer to the chapter in this course-book on the MIDI Interface and recom-
mended connections. There is also a video in Week 1 that shows connection of external
MIDI devices and setup within Logic Pro X.

39
S EC T I O N 4

EXPLORING LOGIC PRO

When it launches, Logic will automatically open the ‘Logic’ window as seen in Figure
below. This window allows you to choose one of Logic’s ready-made Templates, open
Recent Projects, or choose one of the Templates you have created (My Templates). No-
tice that with Details revealed, you can also adjust Audio, Tempo, Key and Time Signa-
ture, as well as Format Settings for your Project in the bottom half of the window.

You can create new Templates for just about any type of production you need, and
they can be saved in the ‘My Templates’ folder highlighted to the left of the window
above. More on this shortly, but for now, Click on the ‘Empty Project’ file at the bot-
tom of the window and press ‘Choose’ the the bottom right.

40
Once you choose your Template, Logic will open the New Tracks window.

With the New Tracks Dialog Box, we can choose what kind of Track we want to create,
the number of Tracks desired, the parameters available for each Track type, and again,
adjust the Audio Output settings so we can hear Logic’s built-in Instruments or any
audio that we import or record.

Software Instrument is for using Virtual Instruments like software synthesizers or


instrument plugins.

Audio is for Tracks that we will either record or host actual recorded audio like a vo-
cal or guitar part.

Drummer uses professionally recorded drums from top studio drummers to allow
you to instantly create drum tracks of various styles and complexities. These are audio
recordings that dynamically change depending on the settings you choose, and always
lock to the current tempo.

External MIDI is for connecting with hardware MIDI devices, typically through a
MIDI Interface.

Guitar or Bass is an Audio Track that automatically loads amps, pedalboards, and
other effects that are useful for guitarists and bass players.

41
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Library

Patch category

42
S EC T I O N 5

NAVIGATING MENUS

Logic Pro uses two menu types for accessing different functions within the program.
At the top of the screen is the Menu Bar, which is part of the Finder and usually con-
tains the same options from program to program. Logic’s Menu Bar options will re-
main the same in in all Logic Pro windows: Logic Pro X (Program Menu), File, Edit,
Track, Navigate, Record, Mix, View, Window, Screenset (the Number), and Help.

The Tracks Area Menu Bar contains local menus as well as Tool Menus. You will find
controls for showing Track Automation, Flex Mode, Catch Playhead, Snap and Drag
pop-up menus, Waveform Zoom button, and Zoom sliders.

43
S EC T I O N 6

THE MAIN PAGE

The Main Page is Logic’s main window, and where you will spend the majority of your
time when sequencing. It consists of the top Control Bar (with Transport), the
Tracks Area (with Timeline and Track Lanes), the Inspector (with Channel Strip),
and the Library. Take a look and familiarize yourself with the four major sections be-
low. Reveal or hide windows as needed so you can focus on editing regions.

Library Control bar

Inspector Tracks area

44
S EC T I O N 7

THE CONTROL BAR

The Control Bar is located at the top of the Main page. The Control Bar contains con-
trols for Windows and Editors, Transport and Navigation, and Media and Browsers.
We’ll look at the Control Bar from left to right.

The left-hand side of the Control Bar allows you to toggle the windows for the Library,
Inspector, Quick Help and Toolbar. Smart Controls, Mixer, and Editors are the next
tools on the Toolbar. Just to the right of these controls is the Transport section with
buttons for Rewind, Forward, Stop, Play and Record. If you click and hold the Record
button, you’ll see a shortcut menu and a arrow in the lower corner for Recording Set-
tings…

Inspector Toolbar Mixer

Library Quick Help Smart Controls Editors

Rewind Forward Stop Play Record

45
The very center section
shows Display section, Loca-
tion (in Bar/Beat/Div/Tick),
Tempo, Key Signature, Time
Signature, Display Mode
menu (down-arrow). Display
Mode determines what infor-
mation you want shown in
the Display, as shown to the FIGURE 6.1 Recording Settings…

left. You can also open a sepa-


rate Giant Beats Display or Time Display. We recommend “Custom” so that you can
see all MIDI activity and the CPU/HD monitor.

Location (Bar/Beat/Div/Tick) Key Signature

Tempo Time Signature

46
Directly on the right of the Display section are buttons for Cycle, Tuner (available for
Audio Tracks only), Replace, Solo, Count-In, and Metronome.

The last section on the far left of the Control Bar contains buttons for the List Editors,
Note Pads, Apple Loops, and Browser. These windows will pop out of the right hand
side of the Main Page when toggled.

The Control Bar can be customized by control-clicking on the Control Bar and select-
ing “Customize Control Bar and Display...” or click the Display Mode drop menu and
select Customize Control Bar and Display...

47
BPM
Double-click on the tempo value (Logic defaults to 120) to type in a new BPM
value or click-and-drag up or down on the tempo to change it to a selected
value. When click and dragging, notice that you can click on a digit and
change just that value (e.g.: to change from 120 to 130 - just click and drag up on the
‘2’ of the 120) or choose the rightmost digit to go up by single digits.

Metronome
Logic Pro automatically activates the metronome while recording, and turns
it off while playing back. Logic also adds a one-bar count-in so you can get the
feel of the tempo before you start recording.

Tip: To activate the metronome during Playback, click on the Metronome button in
the Control Bar to toggle it on or off. Press K on your Mac keyboard to toggle the met-
ronome on and off as well.

Activate the metronome as described above and the press the Spacebar on the key-
board or hit the Play icon on the Transport. You should hear a metronome playing
back (in Quarter-Notes) at the tempo you entered. Hit the Stop button (or just hit the
Spacebar again) after you hear the metronome working. Pressing Return on the com-
puter keyboard will take you back to the beginning of the song, (double-clicking the
Stop button on the Transport will Return to Zero as well).

Remember that following the metronome as closely as possible while recording makes
arranging, editing, and quantizing easier.

48
Smart Controls lets you adjust the sound of the selected track using a set of on-
screen controls. Depending on the loaded software instrument, a new set of controls
may appear in the tracks area.

To manually show or hide the Smart Controls, click the Smart Controls button on the
Control bar, or press B on your Mac keyboard to reveal the Smart Controls for the se-
lected instrument-track.

IMAGE 6.1 Preferences


*Note: If you are miss-
ing any tools or win-
dows, then Show Ad-
vanced Tools

Logic Pro > Prefer-


ences > Advanced >
Show Advanced Tools

49
S EC T I O N 8

THE TOOLBAR

To show the Toolbar, click on View > Show Toolbar from the menu or press the Tool-
bar button from the Control bar.

The Toolbar button on the Control Bar contains shortcuts for commonly used
functions and commands, nudge values, and even zooming and color selec-
tions. The Toolbar can even be customized by control-clicking on an empty
area of the Toolbar and choosing “Customize Toolbar...”

50
S EC T I O N 9

THE LIBRARY

The Library is where you can choose Instruments, Effect Settings, or Channel
Strip Settings (Instruments with effects included). Logic Pro has a variety of
channel strip presets covering just about every instrument, style and genre
you might want for a production. When you save your own Presets or Channel Strip
Settings, they can be easily recalled in the Library as well. Keep in mind, you’ll use
more resources (RAM & CPU) because of the channel strip presets and may not need
every plugin from the pre-
set.

You can also type in a


sound type or description in
the ‘Search Library’ box to
have it find specific sounds
Search field
or presets without having to
search through a catalog of
folders.

We recommend you close


the Library window (press
Category & Y) when not in use, so that
Patch list you have more working
space and can focus on the
Arrange window.

51
S EC T I O N 10

THE INSPECTOR

The Inspector contains the Region Inspector, Track


Inspector, and the Channel Strip.

We recommend you learn to load instruments from the In-


strument slot instead of the Library so you’re not using
Channel Strip presets. Use the Arrows next to the Inspec-
tor name to toggle windows you don’t need to see to give
you access to more functions.

Note: you can drag


out the Quick help
menu for the float-
ing Help menu.

52
S EC T I O N 11

THE REGION INSPECTOR

The Region Inspector is in the top upper left-hand corner of the Inspector. This box
allows us to alter the parameters of any recorded or imported region.

You can rename Regions by selecting a Region and double-clicking it’s name (Inst 1,
Audio 1, etc.) next to “Region:” at the top.

The Quantization menu allows us to auto-correct timing


errors.

Remember that Quantizing is non-destructive in Logic Pro,


so you can always choose another value or switch back to
your original performance’s timing if desired.

To quantize a MIDI region: Select the Region want to quan-


tize. The Region will have a light-colored outline and Title Bar when se-
lected.

In the Region Inspector Box (the upper-left box on the Main Page to the
right of Quantize), click Off. A drop-down will appear showing all of the
available quantize values.

Select a value, such as 1/16th note. Remember you can always come
back here to try a different value since Logic uses Playback Quantiza-
tion.

Logic Pro allows you to change the playback pitch of notes using Trans-
position. To do so, first make sure the part you want to transpose is se-
lected. In the Region Inspector Box you will see Transpose (just below
Quantize and Q-Swing). By clicking-and-holding the number, you can
transpose by semitones (half-steps). If you click the two up and down ar-
rows to the right of the number, you will see octave selection (12, 24,

53
36). This feature is also non-destructive and can be changed at anytime.

There are other functions available in the Region Inspector, although not as commonly
used.

Mute will turn off the selected Region so it does not play back.

Loop will repeat the original region to the end of the song length (130 measures by de-
fault).

Q-Swing is advanced Quantization parameter we’ll talk more about in Advanced Quan-
tization techniques.

Velocity will scale the overall volume or level of a region’s playback.

There are also additional parameters available by clicking the small triangle next to
the word “More”. We’ll talk more about these functions in upcoming chapters.

FIGURE 6.2 Advanced Quantization

54
S EC T I O N 12

THE CHANNEL STRIP

The Inspector also contains the dual Channel Strip.


The strip on the left side will show the current selected
track in the Arrange window and allows you to adjust vol-
ume, panning, and other parameters per track.

55
The channel strip to the right will change depending on
the selection. Generally you will see the Stereo Output
(mix bus). By double-clicking a Send/Bus (example: Bus
9) from the left channel strip, the channel strip on the
right will display the corresponding Auxiliary channel
(Aux 3). Clicking Stereo Out will toggle back to the Stereo
Out strip. Leave the Stereo Output level at unity-
gain.

56
S EC T I O N 13

TRACKS

The Tracks area is where you will spend the majority of your time with Logic; creating
Tracks, recording Regions, and working with the Arrangement as a whole.

The Tracks area encompasses the Track Headers, Workspace, Timeline, and Global
Tracks, with its Local Menu, Automation and Flex functions, Toolbox, and Snap, Drag,
and Zoom controls bordering the very top.

The Tracks lane are where new Tracks are created with the New Tracks... options un-
der the Tracks menu in the Menu bar, or by using the Plus button at the top left.
Tracks will always correspond with the Regions directly to their right in the Work-
space - if you move a Track higher or lower in the Lanes, it’s Regions will move with it.

Show/Hide Global Track


New Tracks… Duplicate Track

New Tracks Shortcuts


New Tracks… Option-Command-N

New Audio Track Option-Command-A

New Software Instrument Track Option-Command-S

Rename Track Shift-Return (or Double-click Track Name)

57
Track Header
The Track header is used mute or solo the selected track on the channel strip. You can
also arm the track for recording, adjust volume or pan.

Tracks can be renamed by double-clicking


on the Track Name (Software Instrument,
Audio Track, etc.) or by pressing Shift-
Return on the Mac keyboard.

Mute (Entire Track)

Solo (Entire Track)

Record Enable

Input Monitor (Audio Signal throughput


for monitoring input levels).

The slider at the far right controls the Tracks volume, and corresponds with its Chan-
nel Strip in the Inspector. Track buttons and functions can be customized by Control-
clicking on the Track and choosing Track Header Components.

58
S EC T I O N 14

THE TOOLBOX

The Toolbox changes the cursor into different tools for certain functions and editing
modes. You will always find the Toolbox in the upper right hand corner of any edit win-
dow.

There are primary (left-click tool) and secondary (command-click tool)


tools available. The main tool is on the left, while the right-hand tool
can be accessed by holding the Command key.

A brief description of each of the tools in the Toolbox:

The Pointer Tool is the default tool. The mouse also


takes on this shape when making a menu selection or
inputting a data value outside the working area. Within
the working area, the Pointer is used for selecting (by
clicking on Objects or Regions), moving (by grabbing
and dragging), copying (by holding down Option and
dragging), and editing lengths (by grabbing the
bottom-right corner and dragging). Grabbing and drag-
ging anywhere on the window background allows for
the selection (rubber banding) of multiple Regions or
Objects.

The Pencil Tool is used to add new Regions. You can


also select, drag, and alter the length of Regions while
the Pencil tool is active. It is also used for creating
notes in the Piano Roll or Score Editors.

The Eraser Tool deletes selected Regions and Ob-


jects. When you click on an Object, Region, or Note with the Eraser, they will be de-
leted.

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The Text Tool is used to name Regions or to add text in the Score Editor.

The Scissors Tool is used to split Regions or notes, allowing individual sections to be
copied, moved, or deleted.

The Glue Tool performs the reverse operation of the Scissors tool. All selected Re-
gions or notes are merged into a single selection, which is assigned the name and track
position of the first Region on the time axis.

Clicking on a Region with the Solo Tool allows you to listen to the selected Regions in
isolation during playback. Please turn off Solo once you’ve finished editing in
solo mode. Leaving solo enabled will use more resources then necessary and defeats
the purpose of isolating instrument sounds if multiple tracks are in solo.

Clicking on a Region with the Mute Tool prevents it from playing. To indicate that it
is muted, a dot is placed in front of the Region name, and the Region is shaded in grey.
You can unmute the Region by clicking on it again with the Mute tool. If multiple Re-
gions are selected, the setting of the clicked Region applies to all selected Regions.

The Zoom Tool allows you to zoom in on a rubber-banded section up to the size of
the entire window. You can revert to the normal zoom level by clicking anywhere in
the background with the tool.

The Crossfade Tool is used to fade in or out Audio Regions. Activate the fade by
clicking outside the Region then dragging over the portion that needs to be faded

The Automation Select, Automation Curve, and Marquee Tools are used for
Audio tracks and files and will be discussed at a later point.

The Flex Tool provides you with quick access to fundamental flex editing functional-
ity, without having to turn on Flex view in the Arrange window. The Flex Tool works
only with Audio Regions.

Tip: The T key always brings up a Toolbox where your cursor is. This lets you quickly
select a new tool without having to move the mouse all the way over to the Toolbox se-
lector.

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S EC T I O N 15

THE TIMELINE

The Timeline is a ruler that shows where you are in a song or arrangement, and is
usually shown in Bars or Measures, although you will see smaller divisions such as
Beats and Ticks if you zoom in close enough (We’ll talk more about this with the Grid
and Timing Resolution in the coming weeks). The Timeline can also show Hours, Min-
utes and Seconds (or both) if you need to work with time code for a film or video pro-
ject.

As Logic Pro is recording or playing back, you will see the Playhead also known as
Song Position Line (SPL) move across the Regions and Timeline to show you exactly
where you are in the song.

Playhead

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C H AP TE R 7

RECORDING & EDITING


MIDI
Record MIDI
Create a Software Instrument Track from the menu: Tracks > New Tracks or use the
key command for New Tracks: Command - Option - N.

Load a Vintage Electric Piano onto the Software Instrument Track. To


do this, click on the ‘Instrument’ box in the left-hand Channel Strip
from the Inspector.

From the Popup Menu, choose Vintage Electric Piano > Stereo

The Vintage Electric Piano window will load. You can close it by press-
ing the close ‘X’ in the top left corner -
we don’t need it for this exercise.

Ensure that the track is Record Armed


(the ‘R’ in the Track is red)

Play some keys on your MIDI key-


board. If you hear sound, you’re good
to go. If you don’t hear anything, check
that your volume is turned up, and
that your Audio Preferences are correctly set and
your MIDI keyboard is connected. You can press Play
in Logic Pro and toggle the Metronome on (or press
K on your computer keyboard) to make sure you have
audio routed properly through your system.

Don’t forget to toggle the Metronome off

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again before recording - remember, Logic Pro automatically enables the Metronome
when you are recording.

Click the Record button on the Transport Bar or press the R key on the com-
puter keyboard.

You should hear 4 clicks (Count-In) before recording begins. You will see the Timeline
turn red, and the playhead will also turn red and move from left to right in the Main
Page when Logic Pro is recording.

Play some keys again to record the MIDI data. Press Spacebar or the Return key to
stop recording.

You should now see a Region in the Main Page. This is the MIDI information you just
recorded. To play back what you did, drag the playhead back to the beginning of the
Region or you can press Return on your computer keyboard twice. Then press the
Spacebar to begin playback.

Remember - the Spacebar on a computer keyboard will always toggle between Play
and Stop in Logic Pro.

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Removing or Deleting Data
To remove data in Logic Pro, select the Eraser tool from the Toolbox and click on the
Region you want to delete. You can also simply select the Region(s) you wish to delete
with the Pointer Tool (a Region will always be outlined and have a white bar at the top
of it when it’s selected), and hit the Delete key on your computer keyboard.

Recording More Tracks


To record another track, you can simply create a new Software Instrument track by
clicking Command - Option - N as we did above, or you can click the Add Track Button
(+) at the top of the Tracks Lane; either will bring up the New Tracks window.

When creating Software Instrument tracks, be aware that you will have to add the In-
strument as described in steps 2 and 3 above. We will explore Logic Pro’s built-in Soft-
ware Instruments in the next chapter, but feel free to choose any Instrument that you
like.

Cycle Mode (Loop)


Press the Cycle button on the Control Bar (it is the first button to the right of the Trans-
port in the Control Bar marked by circling arrows). You can also press C on the key-
board to toggle the Cycle on and off.

To set the Cycle Selection Area, click and drag from left to right in the top portion of
the Timeline (the bar ruler across the top). The yellow shaded area will now cycle. Set
a 4-bar cycle by dragging your cursor in the ruler, from Bar 1 to the beginning of Bar 5.

*Tip: Shift - R will take you out of Record mode and continue playback, even in Cycle
mode. Pressing R again will resume Recording.

We’ll talk a bit more about Cycle Mode Recording at the end of the course-book.

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Input Quantization
If you want to quantize your performance while recording, Logic provides an Input
Quantization function.

Ensure you do not have a Region selected by clicking on any blank space in the Main
Page so the Region Inspector Box will display “Region: MIDI Thru” instead of the Re-
gion’s name.

Move the SPL to where you want to record.

Select the grid resolution desired in the Quantize pull-down menu and press Record.
All recorded notes will snap to the selected resolution.

Tip: Input Quantization is still non-destructive and can be adjusted as using Region
Inspector Box.

Copying Data
To copy data into Logic Pro:

Select the part you want to copy.

Choose Copy from the Edit Menu in the Menu Bar.


(or use the quick key Command - C)

Position your playhead to the position where you want to paste and select Paste from
Edit Menu again (or press Command + V). Make sure you are at the exact place you
want to copy or paste at the current playhead position.

Tip: An alternative (and quicker) method is to hold down option-click and drag Re-
gions to copy them. Make sure Option is still held when you release your mouse.

We recommend using “copy” for MIDI regions so that you can make changes to indi-
vidual notes without affecting another region (unlike Alias/Looped regions).

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Repeating Regions
There are several ways to quickly create multiple copies of a region quickly:

1. Select the part you want to copy.

2. Move your Pointer tool to the upper right corner of the region until you see the Loop
symbol (it looks like a circle with an arrow).

3. Click and Drag the end of the region to whatever length desired. This process creates
loops that is a reference to the original region. It’s a quick and easy way to repeat a
region, but doesn’t allow for a lot of control over the looped sections. Let’s show you
a smarter way to repeat objects:

4. From the Main page, navigate to Local menu > Edit > Repeat Multiple... The Re-
peat Regions/Events dialog box will appear. Or press Command-R.

If you just want to Repeat a single Region (or Group of Regions, Command-R will auto-
matically repeat them after the selected Region.

5. Choose the Number of Copies you want.

6. Leave Adjustment to Auto.

7. You can choose either Copies or Aliases

8. Click OK and you will have multiple copies of the same Region.

Copies are exact duplicates of the region selected.

Aliases will make references to the original region. The advantage of this is that modify-
ing the original region will affect all the copied aliases.

66
Tip: Multiple parts can be selected by rubber-banding (click and drag around ob-
jects) or Shift-clicking on them.

Double-clicking an Alias in the Arrange page will bring up a dialog box allowing you
to convert that Alias to a copy of the original, which can then be modified on its
own...

Creating Structure
Once you have recorded in a few parts, experiment with copying and removing Re-
gions, Looping or Repeating, Quantizing and/or Transposing different regions, and
adding new tracks to build up a quick arrangement. You’ve just taken your first steps
into how songs are written and arranged.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself missing dinner because you’re having too
much fun - it happens to us all the time... ; )

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S EC T I O N 1

CYCLE RECORDING

Cycle Recording is a great way to ‘build-up’ recorded MIDI Regions - as the Cycle
loops around, you can add more notes as you like. This makes it great for drum parts,
complex chords, or any other section that you might find too difficult to play in real
time.

By default, Logic Pro will Join your Regions together when using Cycle to Record
MIDI information. You can change this setting by going to Logic Pro X > Preferences>
Recording. You’ll see how you can work with Overlapping Recordings for MIDI
and Audio recordings. Note that different settings can be used for both Cycle On and
Off.

IMAGE 7.1 Overlapping Recordings

68
Personally, we like to use Create Take Folders for overlapping recordings, but Merge
and Overlap/Merge both have their advantages (we’ll get into this later in the month).
Some experimentation will find the Mode that works for you.

Take Folders have some cool features over Merging, but also a few things you need
to be aware of. Take Folders allow you to record over and over for a Cycled area, with
each pass kept as an individual Region. This means you can try out new ideas every Cy-
cle, or just try and perfect the passage you want to record.

When you’re finished, you will see the Region has both a small Disclosure Triangle and
a Number at its top left. If you click on the Disclosure Triangle, all of your passes will
be shown as Subtracks underneath the Main Track. You can play the Cycle back and
click on any of these Subtracks to hear what you recorded on them.

When you click on the Number in the Region. The pop-up Menu lets you choose each
Region (just like clicking on them), but you can also Rename Each Take, Delete certain
Takes, Flatten the currently selected Region (which will automatically delete the other
Takes and keep only the one selected), and you can also Unpack or Unpack to New
Tracks.

IMAGE 7.2 Take Folders

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When you click on the take Number on the upper right-corner of the region, you select
each Region (just like clicking on them), but you can also Rename Each Take, Delete
certain Takes, Flatten the currently selected Region (which will automatically delete
the other Takes and keep only the one selected), and you can also Unpack or Unpack
to New Tracks.

Unpack will convert all of the Takes as new Regions on Duplicates of the current
Track. The selected Take in the Subtracks will be unmuted, while the remaining Takes
will be automatically Muted.

Unpack to New Tracks will create new tracks from the unpacked the regions, but does
not Mute any of the Regions.

One of the things to be aware of when using Take Folders is that they must be Flat-
tened or Unpacked before you can Quantize, Transpose or perform any other MIDI-
based editing on it.

IMAGE 7.3 Take Folder Expanded

70
If your select a Region in your Project and the Region Parameter Inspector has no se-
lectable items in it, check to make sure that you are not trying to edit a Take Folder Re-
gion that has not been Flattened or Unpacked.

Take Folders have additional functions that work with Audio Regions as well - we’ll get
more into that at the end of the month.

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