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Logic 8 Automating cc's

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by Jay Asher, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    The EXS24 has long been my "go to" becuse if its seamless inegration with Logic and its CPU efficiency. but more and more I am relying on libraries that require Kontakt and Play..

    Logic does not deal all that well with multi-timbral instances as all the instruments in one Kontakt or Play multi go to one core and any CC7 automation on MIDI tracks affects the whole AU. This is why East West recommends using separate instances and with K3 soon to have the ability to aces as much RAM as you have over 5 GB, as does Play and EXS24 already, and computers with more cores getting more powerful, not using multis makes more and more sense.

    I prefer to work with Software Instrument tracks to MIDI tracks anyway as you can add plug-ins to them, which you cannot do to a MIDI track.

    There is only one drawback to my working this way. A lot of the Kontakt libraries I like use Mod wheel modulation, CC1, to switch between samples to get an effect, i.e. a brass instrument getting edgier as it gets louder, which I like to control fom my Expression pedal.

    Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no way to use Logic's real time TBA to automate CC1 or CC11 on a Software Instrument track. So presently I have to create and use MIDI tracks to do this in real time with Hyperdraw (RBA).

    Any thoughts?
  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I do not understand how the EXS reacts to CC1 because it has no dedicated "Modulation" parameter so far I know. But it reacts and modulates "somehow". However, automation can normally only work on existing parameters of loaded plugins and instruments. For modulation of the EXS you can still use your ModWheel and record it to the region as usual. Editable via Hyperdraw. But it makes no sense to move that to track automation later, because it has no target there (no parameter in the instrument).

    Generally you have to use the parameters supplied by the plugin, which are linkable to your input devices via Controller assignments. This is of course not as easy at it sounds because your desired effect "edgier brass" may be approached by multiple parameter changes, unless you have velocity layers with the appropriate sound. Same is valid for Kontakt, but this has the expressive layers and MIDI-learn built in.

    Region automation went into the background as track automation was introduced but actually region automation has big advantages. I play for example Kontakt strings with a keyboard and a R2M. The latter is processed in the environment, splitted into modulation and volume messages with different scaling and expression curves. Together with Kontakt's crossfeed instruments (is that the name?) I get an adjustable amount of expression over the full R2M length. This is not possible with track automation via Controller Assignments and only one continuous input device, unless you use a patch in the environment that makes automation data. But why? Hyperdraw is fine and the region automation moves always with the region (no hassle with orphan nodes like TBA).

    For me the best way is to let instrument automation in the regions and use track automation for effects and global stuff. I don't know if this answers your question but you asked for thoughts, not for a solution. ;)
  4. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Indeed, I did. I am aware of how it works and that there is no real solution. I just wanted to know if it bothered anyone else the way it does me, as I am not a big fan of Hyperdraw, as the only way you can see more than one lane at a time is in the Hyper Editor.

    BTW, what is an R2M?
  5. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Jay,

    I feel your pain, using Kontakt multi-timbrally is far from elegant in Logic. I don't have Kontakt myself, but was helping a client with it recently. AFAIR, it has an automation window where you can, relatively painlessly, map an unused CC to control the part volume on each of the 16 parts.

    Once you create one "gesture" of RBA with that parameter and then convert to TBA, it will then be available as a fully functioning TBA automation parameter. This should work fine with a 16 part multi-timbral software instrument.

    If you wanted to, you could set up a template that has this CC event created in advance and converted to TBA mode so you won't have to do it each time you want it. Delete the event and the parameter definition remains. I just tried it on a regular software instrument track and it worked perfectly.

    What do you think?
  6. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Hi Eli, thanks for replying. (Also, thanks, Peter.)

    First of all, I do not use Kontakt multi-timbrally as when you do all the loaded instruments go to 1 core when you do. This is the same with Play BTW, as you probably know, which is why East West recommends using separate instances.. When K 3.5 comes out and can address the extra available RAM, multi-timbral workflow becomes even more irrelevant IMHO.

    When I convert the RBA to TBA, it does no show up as there is no target lane as Peter has written. What are we missing?
  7. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Jay,

    It seems to work here. here's a screen shot of a random CC I chose, automated with hyperdraw, then converted to track automation. And it now appears as an automatable track based automation parameter.

    Attached Files:

  8. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

  9. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Wow, that is not happening here. I took the liberty of emailing you small Logic project.
  10. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Jay,

    Not at home at the moment (loggin in from my GF's); but will take a look when I get home in an hour or two.
  11. Hi,

    First off: With CC 1 transfering automation data from RBA to TBA does indeed not work as most often the parameter isn't assigned to any target in TBA mode anymore. I just gave that a try with several synths and while the data is showing up fine in TBA view, it does not have any affect on the synth at all.

    Then, to Jay: Why would you want to transfer CC data to TBA? I mean, really, I find CC "automation" to be much more convenient on so many accounts. Just as an example: You can easily copy, stretch, mute, loop and do whatever with CC data - nothing like that is possible as easily with the TBA. Personally, I find myself moving data from TBA to RBA all the time, just because of all those conveniences. I even find the TBA to be like a once introduced, potentially fine thing which was then treated like a long forgotten step-child, simply because of the various things it's lacking of when compared with RBA. If possible, I try to stay away from any TBA actions as much as I can.

    Fwiw, I have a dedicated KC to instantly bring up CC 1 (which I use a lot) in hyperdraw mode, so there's no slow downs compared to using TBA, either.

  12. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Mostly because you can only see 1 Hyperdraw lane at a time unless you are going to keep the Hyper Editor open, and I do not relate well to bar graphs as I am not a visual guy. I like notes and numbers :)

    I do agree however, that Logic's automation has always felt half-finished.
  13. Ok, I see. But for CC1 one parameter at a time should be fine (as it's just CC1).
    Fwiw, I do all my hyperdrawing duties straight in the arrange, I usually only use Hyperedit for drum programming and the likes.

    - Sascha
  14. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Yep, me too:

    • Related to playing, region-specific -> RBA
    • Related to mixing, not region specific -> TBA
  15. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    OK, after some help from Eli and more testing I can state that Eli is correct, it does work.

    I see why it did not work for me, which is because I did not have Hyperdraw visible in the Arrange, only in the Piano Roll.

    If the info is in the region, why should Logic have to have it enabled in the Arrange? Dumb!

    So, if you i.e. load an instance of Kontakt 3 with an instrument that has Modwheel crossfading between samples, which is CC1, you can indeed convert the RBA to TBA and the behavior is identical.

    As Peter said, this will come in handy at the mixing stage for me.

    Thanks Eli.

    BTW, is it just me, or does the new LUG seem to have a much more favorable ratio of knowledgeable and helpful users to whining doofus users?

    Seriously, this forum is going to be a valuable resource. Kudos to all.

  16. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Just to reiterate what I wrote to Jay in a private email:

    The whole thing is sort of "sneak in through the back door" method.What I noticed is that once it's converted to TBA and you delete the nodes, you better not switch automation parameters in that same lane - or the new automation definition will disappear! Further evidence that it wasn't really designed to work this way.

    But at least it's a fairly useable workaround for now - as long as you leave that automation lane available :)

    PS: And yes - I agree about the new LUG. The content seems to be way more consistently higher quality.
  17. Hm, this is weird. At least it doesn't work with, say, Zebra 2 at all. Maybe it's all about how CC1 is handled internally by the plugin in question and maybe once transferred to TBA, there's no adressed parameter anymore in some plugins (as said, with Zebra this defenitely doesn't work).

    As far as the S/N ratio goes, just make sure to wait until I join the first anti-Apple thread ;)
    (but seriously, I'll try to stay more or less civil, at least for a while to come).

    - Sascha

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