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Logic 8 How to stack or layer instruments in Logic Pro 8?

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by gmoore96, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. gmoore96

    gmoore96 New Member


    I recently moved from Reaper on PC to Logic 8 on Mac. One thing I am unsure of how to do in Logic is how to stack or layer instruments, so that you can use one midi channel to control many instruments at the same time.

    In Reaper you would create a track, create a midi object on the track, then add instruments as inserts.

    You could just keep adding as many as you want until Computer Says No...

    How could I do something equivalent in Logic 8?

  3. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    Hi Greg,
    You need some midi pre processing tool or scheme. In Logic this can be made in the Environment and must be patched between the Physical Input and the Sequencer Input to behave as midi PRE.
    There are a few methods to copy/duplicate midi path and channelize, so I will show one of them. For example you can create a few new transformers in the Environment layer "Click & Ports" and cable them from the Input View monitor object. Each cable will duplicate the original path !
    Open the transformers and set them as I show in Fig.1. So if your ext. controller is set to global ch.1 it will be duplicated to ch.2,3 etc...
    Go to Settings ->Recording and check "Auto demix if multi channel recording" which will switch Logic in live play mode. Arm your instrument tracks and play.
    This is a very simple example but you can update the Logic Environment till schemes which can behave as Midi Plugins - see one of my new Midi Plugins collection "Advanced Midi Tools" shown in Fig.2 ( I guess you need something like that ) ? The collection is under test period and I have not released yet...
    The tool shown in the picture is a Harmonizer ( adds 4 Midi Paths), Channelizer, Humanizer, and Real Time Scaler, which supports up to 32 presets which can be changed using Program Change messages ( custom assign ), CC# etc... All parameters can be controlled via CC# messages and stored in a Preset in real time ( while Logic is running ). The "Presets" header supports internal clipboard, so you can manage copy/paste your presets from one position to other, modify etc...
    Hope to announce the collection soon...


  4. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Tangra's solutions will certainly work,but there are some easier ways.

    1. Create a new 'dummy" instrument in the Environment. Cable it to several instruments that you want layered together. Use this dummy instrument as your track instrument.

    2. Click the record enable button on several instruments and they will all sound together when you play your keyboard. When you record, alias' wil be placed on each track.
  5. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    Right, there are many easier ways, but they always will be dummy...
    I focused on the Pre Sequencer channelization since if you decided to record and use "Autodemix by midi channel if multitrack recording" everything will be autodemixed to its Instrument track which is comfortable for later editing and project order. It behaves like you play multiple ext. keyboards set to different ch....
    I gave an example using transfromers, but it can be done with Standard Instrument objects which are set to "No Port" ch.2, 3. etc... as shown in the pic below. By the way using the transformer scheme or Instruments one you can control Transposition, Velocity etc... for each duplicated path. By the way using this method you can use each Instrument parameters to set custom Transposition, Velocity etc... for each duplicated path.

  6. bonython

    bonython New Member

    Am I only the only noob who looks at this and thinks WTF?

    Logic's Environment seems amazingly flexible, but extremely un-user friendly for musicians (or producers coming from other gear, e.g. Reason - just put as many synths as you want in a Combinator) who just wanted to get ideas into the box.

    Since there are plenty of tracks available, couldn't you just copy and paste the midi data (notes and automation etc in the region) from one track to the next and have it then play two instruments at once? (And repeat for more?)

    Surely this will work and take 2 seconds for those who aren't familiar with the environment window and therefore allow more music creation and less fiddling?
  7. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    If you follow the topic carefully we are talking for Live play realtime methods not for post processing.
    And "those who aren't familiar with the environment window" is equivalent of if they are not familiar with the Piano Roll, Sample Editor etc ...
  8. bonython

    bonython New Member

    Fair enough - my bad! I have to say I'm still a bit miffed that Logic doesn't have something more straight forward / seamless to do this, like an Ableton Live Instrument Rack (or the aforementioned Combinator in Reason). For people that are doing this sort of real-time layering often, do you recommend saving a set-up as an environment layer template or something so it's there for quick access again and again? (Haven't quite got my head around the steps to do this yet).

    I have to say I disagree with this. Piano Roll and Sample Editors, while they may have their nuances in Logic, are more "universal" concepts for midi and audio editing. I find it reasonably easy to move from one app to the next as I need and still be able to use these functions without much trouble. The Environment is not so familiar and I know I don't find it intuitive to use or a quick and easy way to work. That said, I love most of Logic so I'm going to educate my self with a concerted effort. Thanks to users with the experience like yourself I'm inspired to get my head around it properly and not treat it as something "under the hood".
  9. bonython

    bonython New Member

  10. camden_guitarist

    camden_guitarist New Member

    Just so that I get this right, would it be possible to play your master keyboard like Vangelis like this, without the whole custom Zylkus setup? I mean, using just 1 or 2 midi channels and adding instruments (or subtracting) with pedals for example? Just wondering out loud.


  11. Leon Gilroy

    Leon Gilroy New Member

    old topic but incase somebody stumbles on this....

    easiest way for me is go to the enviroment window...you see the track objects lined up like the mixer....cable the first instrument to the next one you want to stack...then cable that one to the next one you want to include then cable the next one you want to include.
    just make sure you write your midi data to the first instrument in the chain when you play or click it into the arrange window/piano roll.

    the OP sounded like he just wanted the exact midi data from one channel controlling other channels.

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