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Logic 8 automatically selecting presets

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by somethingsoundingringing, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    I'm trying construct a dataset of some synth sounds to use for a research project I am working, and I was hoping to use some of the built in logic instruments as sources. How can I switch presets automatically (internally or externally - i.e. from either sending a MIDI message from an external source or from sequencing a program change internally)? Do the logic instruments accept the program change message (i tried, but maybe i was doing something wrong)? Is there a sysex message or something that can do this? Is there a way to do this through the environment?


  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I don't remember if Logic 8 Express has this function but ...

    Search in the manual for "Performances". You can save Channelstrips as Performances and you can call them by Program Changes on Channel 1. Performances do not switch a Preset but rather exchange all inserts in a Channelstrip at once. Doesn not work seamlessly of course but pretty fast.


    Another method would be to use several channelstrips with different sounds and control the channelstrips by MIDI. Mute, Solo, Disabling the instrument, volume fader, whatever you prefer. Involves some MIDI work in the Logic environment or in an external application.


    Or, depending on the method of your project, make a couple of instrument channelstrips but only one MIDI region at a time, on each track. Then only one instrument plays.
  4. Well, the whole thing is that I don't want to have to manually change presets, etc.... I want to automatically generate the program change messages so I can quickly get a bunch of samples out of logic without much work if I sample all of the presets of all logic instruments in a few different ranges. Hmmmm....
  5. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    If you don't need particular sounds but rather sample all sounds of an instrument, you can use the Key Command "Next Plug-In Setting". Assign it to a MIDI controller in the Key Commands setup window. If you want to include the EXS24 sample player, you may assign the Key Command "Next Plug-In Setting or EXS instrument" instead.

    The Key Command advances the preset list of Logic instruments by one at each hit and works with open plugin windows in focus and it works with closed GUIs on selected tracks. And both of course. By default the track header shows you the selected sound, so you don't need to click on the GUI window, you can select the track of an instrument. Selecting the next track is also available as a MIDI assignable Key Command.

    However, you have to visually control the process or count all presets of each instrument. Otherwise, after the last setting, you automatically start with the first one again.

    Usually Logic instruments start with a default setting which is meant as something typical for this instrument. You can sample this also or start with the first setting of the list.

    With many instruments and included default settings your sampling routine could work like this:

    Start on the first track (= 1st instrument)

    1. do your job —> next setting —> do your job —> next setting —> do your job —> (repeat x times)
    2. Select next track
    3. do your job —> next setting —> do your job —> next setting —> do your job —> (repeat x times)
    4. Select next track
    And so on, until you reach the last track.

    You can of course handle the instruments one by one, without having them on several tracks. And you can avoid the default settings by sending a "next setting" command first, before you start to play the setting.


    If you want to sample only a couple of sounds of each instrument, this would complicate the process. There is no Key Command to jump to a particular setting. If you need a lot of settings but not all and sampling is an automated process, you may prefer to sample the whole instrument and throw away what you don't need.


    I assume you are aware that sampling Logic instruments for personal use is allowed but not if you want to include the sounds in another application.
  6. Ahhh... this sounds promising. Thanks!

    And yes, I realize I couldn't use these sounds in an application. This for an academic research project involving timbre.

    thanks again,

  7. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    As far as I am concerned this is a big weakness with Logic's plugs. It would make things much easier if one instance of a plug-in could store a bank of presets and respond to PC commands (like NI's plugs do). And don't get me started on Channel Strip Performances - Logic only responds to _External_ PC commands (live), not PCs embedded in the track. Useless!
  8. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Send the PCs from the track to a MIDI port, IAC for example. Coming back they count as external MIDI.

    But generally, if you have Performances stored, you may get some surprises when you want to use Program Changes on Channel 1 for other purposes.
  9. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    Oh - that's a good one! But Performances are still rather limited aren't they? I recall there only being 128 you can set up for your system - they aren't stored with your song/project as I remember.
  10. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Performances come quite handy for some people. But they are rather a quickie than something you want to permanently use. For live acts they can make sense. There is no manager for them, you can organize them by numbers in the Mac's Finder. And no, there is no information about Performances saved with the project.

    If you want to switch channelstrips based on MIDI information from a track you better use the Environment. This allows crossfading, controlled layering and so on. The limit is the complexity of MIDI processing you are willing to accept.
  11. xmiinc

    xmiinc Member

    Say what now? That's a huge deal for me, as I prefer to score by instrument rather than by a preset on an instrument. In SVP we just penciled, or played, them in. Just another midi message. Weird how Logic purports to do so much, but misses on some simple stuff. And with former Opcode coders on staff, no less. I guess it has something to do with generating the message from virtual instruments, rather than it already being present in the midi i/o stream from a hardware controller/instrument?

    Thanks for the workaround, Peter! That is a must have capability.

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