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Using Logic's step input

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Using Logic's step input

Step Input MIDI recording gives you another way to compose MIDI events. This mode literally allows you to step in each event one at a time without recording in real-time. It's useful for a more methodical approach to building parts or chords. It can also be used to make very fast and intricate parts that would be impossible to play in real time. Step Input can be performed with or without an external MIDI keyboard. In fact, Logic has a special pop-up window called, you guessed it, the Step Input Keyboard. Let's open it by going to the Options menu and choosing Step Input Keyboard.

Using Logic's step input

Step Input MIDI recording gives you another way to compose MIDI events. This mode literally allows you to step in each event one at a time without recording in real-time. It's useful for a more methodical approach to building parts or chords. It can also be used to make very fast and intricate parts that would be impossible to play in real time. Step Input can be performed with or without an external MIDI keyboard. In fact, Logic has a special pop-up window called, you guessed it, the Step Input Keyboard. Let's open it by going to the Options menu and choosing Step Input Keyboard.

Then we get a pop-up window here that we can use to manage our step inputting. Across the top of the keyboard, we have note length represented. To the right, we have note velocities represented with musical notations from pianissimo to fortissimo. The ppp is our lowest velocity and the fff is our highest velocity. Of course, we have the corresponding keys below that we'll use to write in our Step Input as we record. We're going to use Step Input to compose a synth sound in our Lead Synth track. To give ourselves space to work in, we first need to draw an empty MIDI region in this track.

Make sure you have a Pencil tool from your toolbox by hitting Escape and click once in the Lead synth track to draw an empty region. With this empty region still selected, we're going to hit Command+6 to open the Piano Roll window. This way we'll see the MIDI event as we make them. In the Piano Roll window, we want to make sure that the In button at the top left is selected. Currently, it's deselected. When we select it, it turns red. This will allow this window to receive incoming MIDI messages as we use Step Input to record. Okay, now we're going to start step inputting.

First, we want to select a note length. We're going to record some quarter notes first. So click on the Quarter Note button and up around the fourth octave we're going to play three notes, G, A and G. (Music playing.) As you can see, they come in one at a time and they're a quarter note in length. Mow we're going to change the duration of the next note. Let's select the Whole Note and let's play the note E. (Music playing.) Cool! We have G, A, G, E. Let's hear how that sounds. Hit Return to get back to the beginning and you hear it along with tracks above in the Arrange window.

(Music playing.) Sounds good. For the next part of our Step Inputting, we're going to try out the MIDI keyboard instead of using notes on the Step Input Keyboard. You can do this too. Deselect the last note by clicking on the gray area of the Piano Roll window. Now let's make a rest. Select Half Note and click on the Rest once. Your play cursor should move ahead a half note. As you see, it's a little bit off the grid. So we're going to move it over a teeny bit, so it gets back on the grid. Perfect, we'll start from there.

Let's go back to choosing quarter notes and on my MIDI keyboard, I'm going to play the notes C and D. (Music playing.) Recording with the MIDI keyboard is a little different because it listens to the incoming velocity from the MIDI keyboard. In that case, you don't select your velocity here. The velocity is set by how hard you hit the notes in your MIDI keyboard. That's why these are different colors. I'm going to play two more notes. Let's go back to Half Note and let's play the notes F and E. (Music playing.) You can also use a Step Input Mode to build chords one at a time.

Let's use the Caps Lock Keyboard to do this one. Open the Caps Lock Keyboard by hitting Caps Lock. I'll decrease the transparency by moving the slider to the right, so we can see it a little better. Then we're going to click the Chord button on the left hand side of the Step Input Keyboard. This will allows us to play more than one note at a time and have them come in together. With the Chord button selected, I'm going to play about four keys at the same time on my Caps Lock Keyboard. (Music playing.) There, I've recorded a chord of half notes. It let me put in more than one at a time.

Step Input can be a valuable tool for composers who prefer to write in their melodies and build complex harmonic chords one note at a time. It's kind of like composing with sheet music except that you get to hear each note as you write it. We used the Piano Roll here to demonstrate Step Input, but you can use any of the MIDI Editors as you work with it, including the Score Editor.

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This video is part of

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Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 27990 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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