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In Logic Pro 9 Essential Training, Scott Hirsch explains how to harness the power and flexibility of Logic Pro, Apple’s popular songwriting software, to record, edit, and mix music. The course includes instruction on how to compose in Logic Pro, and spend more time being creative and less time dealing with technical uncertainties. Scott focuses on setting up a workspace, recording with both live performers and digital instruments, editing and arranging, and mixing and mastering a composition. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recording MIDI in Logic is like recording audio, except that there are some more possibilities and options to know about when you overdub. Remember that MIDI events are tiny in file size and unlike sampled audio they're stored inside your .logic project file. Let's learn how to set up and record MIDI. You're either going to record live MIDI from your attached MIDI keyboard or via the handy Caps Lock Keyboard. Either way the concepts are the same. Here we have a simple project. The two tracks above are audio backing tracks for the MIDI lead we're about to record.
A Lead Synth track software instrument has already been made. It's using the ES2 as a software synthesizer. For software instrument tracks there's no need to record enable the track manually. As you see, once the track is selected it already pops into record enable on its own. Let's play some notes to make sure we're getting MIDI input from our MIDI keyboard. (Music playing.) Now let's check our settings. Go to File > Project Settings > Recording. We can set count-in to give us some time before we are actually ready to record so that we can get into the song.
1 bar should be enough and we can choose more or less here if we wanted to. Now we have the playhead at the beginning of our song. All you need to do is hit R to start recording. I made this song in the key of C so most white keys will work if you're playing along. (Music playing.) Cool. We've just recorded a MIDI region.
Let's zoom on it a little bit to check it out. Ctrl+Opt+Right Arrow. Notice the region is called Miami Lead. Why is it called that? Here is something to know about MIDI region naming. Logic called it Miami Lead because that's the name of the patch in the ES2. Let's check it out. Double-click on the ES2 in the Channel Strip. The name of the patch or the preset is called Miami Lead. Remember you can always select your track and hit Opt+Shift+N to rename your regions according to your track name. Here is a few more things to know about setting up your input when you record MIDI.
Remember MIDI isn't just notes. It could also be continuous controller messengers. Depending on the controller you're using, there are other MIDI messages that can be transmitted, like after touch or pressing down on notes a second time after being held will trigger MIDI events, or pitch shift or other controlled changes that might be done with the knob on your keyboard controller. These can be filtered out along with even the notes themselves by going to File > Project Settings > MIDI. Click on the Input Filter tab. Here we can filter out any of these MIDI messages while we record.
Clicking on Pitch Bend, for example, will filter out any Pitch Bend messages coming in from your MIDI controller while you record. Just like audio as we've learned in the video punching in, it is possible to punch in a record over sections of MIDI but you must take care. Since old and new MIDI can be merged in real time, if you want to replace a section, you must click the Replace button in the Transport. That's this button here. If you don't, Logic will merge together your new part with the old part, something that can't even be done in audio recording. Let's check out how to make a punch.
It's just like audio. Click the Punch button in Transport window, select the area that you want to punch in, and hit the R button to record. (Music playing.) Cool. I'll just replace that section there. Notice that when you're done with punching, you don't get multiple regions like you do with audio but rather one merged region with the new MIDI notes. Let's disable Punch Mode.
Finally, let's go over one of Logic's best-kept secrets. If you're playing around or auditioning a MIDI performance and you weren't actively recording, Logic always keeps the last thing you played. Let's check that out. Let's go over here and hit Play. I'm just going to play some keys in the keyboard but we're not actually recording. (Music playing.) Just say we really loved that and we want to get it back. The sneaky key command for this is to hit all three modifiers, Ctrl+Opt+Command+R. Logic remembered what you've last played even though you weren't recording and brings that right into the track.
Let's hear it. (Music playing.) Now we've gotten started on MIDI recording. Don't worry if you aren't that good of a performer. As we'll see, the cool thing about MIDI is that once you get your performance recorded, you can tweak the notes, the feel, and the timing to your heart's content.
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