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Logic 7 & earlier Layering Audio Objects

Discussion in 'Logic 7 and older Versions' started by troubadour, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. troubadour

    troubadour New Member

    Is it possible to layer audio objects with Logic 7.2?

    I know it's possible to play several instruments simultaneously by setting 2 or more tracks to record, but I'm wondering if there is some way to layer instruments in the environment.
  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Can you be more specific about what you mean by "layer audio objects", and "layer instruments"?
  4. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    The easiest way is this:

    * Create a new Instrument in the environment. Use this as your track instrument in the Arrange Window. Set it's MIDi channel parameter to ALL.

    * Cable this instrument into each of the instruments you want layered.

    That's pretty much it. Use this "dummy" instrument in the Arrange Window, and you will hear the layered sounds of all the instruments that it is cabled to in the Environment.

    You can get creative and create either velocity or key range splits by adjusting the velocity and key range values in the instrument parameters of each of the individual instruments.

    PS: This does not apply to audio tracks, only to external midi or software instruments. You cannot layer audio tracks in this manner. Audio tracks are "monophonic" in that they can only play one audio stream at a time.
  5. troubadour

    troubadour New Member

    I guess I didn't phrase my question very well. There is more than one kind of audio object. So, instead of asking: Is it possible to layer audio objects, I should have asked: Is it possible to layer audio instruments in the environment... just as you can layer MIDI instruments (as described by Mr. Krantzberg). The goal of course is to play several instrument sounds simultaneously, in real time, with a MIDI controller that has no onboard sound module.

    Apparently the answer is: No.

    So, as it stands, I know of only one way to use my MIDI controller to play, for example, piano and strings simultaneously; and that is to set 2 tracks... a piano track and a string track... to record mode.

    Since I can create the effect I want in the arrange window with 2 or more monophonic tracks, I don't understand why I can't cable together several monophonic tracks, or their channel strips, in the environment.

    Also, I don't understand why I have to have a MIDI controller with an onboard sound module, in order to use MIDI instruments. Are there no software sound modules? There doesn't seem to be any way to route a MIDI signal from Logic's MIDI instruments to a software sound module on the computer.
  6. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I'm still a bit confused.

    I thought what Eli said answered your question.

    You use just one (MIDI) instrument in the arrange. This is cabled to software instruments in the environment (e.g. piano and strings) to play simultaneously.

    Another (less easily controllable) way to use layers in EXS24. e.g. you open the editor in an EXS piano, copy all the zones or groups, then paste into the editor of a EXS with strings. This way you have "layers" in one software instrument and no need to do any cabling.
  7. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    No you don't need an onboard sound module. Are you asking about a GM set of instruments? The Quicktime GM synth module is available from within Logic. Just choose New>Internal>Quicktime. This is a multitimbral GM sound module.

    If you are asking about stand alone software sound modules yes it's entirely possible to use with Logic, I used to do this with Vienna standalone.

    I haven't done this for years so am a bit hazy on the details, but IIRC you use a MIDI IAC bus in and out of Logic. However I will let someone else go into specifics.
  8. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    First, the Environment is everything, all channelstrips, MIDI and audio routing, other environment objects and handling of input- and output ports. In former days, the Logic Environment WAS Logic and in large areas it still is.

    If you talk about sending MIDI to several software instruments simultaneously, this can be done by drawing cables in the Environment. Either from the Physical Input, from an instrument icon (as Eli described) or from a custom Environment patch. You cable directly to all instrument channelstrips which should sound. To record your MIDI, you may need an additional cable to the sequencer input.

    There are numerous configuration possibilities, to let us recommend a specific method you would have to tell exactly what you want to do. Number and kind of input, ports, recording or not, how many instruments, switchable or not, handling of controller messages, all the stuff and as precise as possible. MIDI processing in the Environment work is not like using a patch panel but rather programming via a graphical interface.

    Just to make it sure: Audio cannot be routed via Environment cables. At least not directly.
  9. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Huh, now you tell me!
  10. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I removed my statement to avoid telling you about the fun :)
  11. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    The answer is YES; as both Pete and Peter have confirmed.

    Logic's Midi instruments are specifically designed to communicate with outboard MIDI hardware. To trigger software sounds, you use a software instrument with the sound loaded in. Simple. That's it. End of story.

    If you want to use a MIDI instrument to trigger a software instrument, cable the MIDI instrument to the software instrument and use the MIDI instrument in the Arrange Window.

    To layer two software instruments together, use a MIDI instrument as a "dummy" track object (as described repeatedly in this thread) and cable it to the software instruments you want it to trigger. You do this in the Environment. It's really not complicated.
  12. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    There's one thing that can be confusing and to understand we need to look at the evolution of Logic.

    Before Logic was a DAW, it was just a sequencer and the term "Instrument" meant only one thing. An "object" in the environment that addressed an external sound module via a MIDI port on your MIDi interface (or the actual computer if it was an Atari). The external sound module was either standalone or built into a keyboard. The audio signal stayed outside the computer.

    Once Logic became logic Audio, we were able to have Software Instruments (AKA Virtual instruments) with audio sounds within Logic. These are channel strop "objects" with faders, inserts and sends.

    Confusion arises because these days the use of Software Instrument channel strips is probably more prevalent, and we use the term "Instrument" when referring to the more usual Software Instrument. However for some reason, the environment menu still refers to the older purely MIDI Instrument as "Instrument", whereas I think it should now be called "MIDI Instrument" or something else to avoid confusion.
  13. troubadour

    troubadour New Member

    Okay, apparently there are two ways to cable a MIDI instrument to a software instrument in Logic 7.2's environment. One works; the other doesn't:

    1) Open a new project, and create two new tracks in the arrange window. Open an environment window, and, if necessary, create a new layer. Create a MIDI instrument, set its channel to ALL, name it, and drag it to one of the new tracks. Create an audio object and insert a software instrument (Channel Strip Setting). Drag this new channel strip to the other track in the arrange window. Cable the MIDI instrument to the audio object/audio instrument/software instrument/channel strip, with its new channel strip setting (or, as we used to call it, program or program change) designating a new instrument sound: piano or strings, for example. A dialogue box will appear saying, "Cable and Channel Port is set! Do you want to remove the channel's port setting?" Remove the port setting. Then click on the MIDI instument track in the arrange window. The record button will turn red. Play your MIDI controller.

    If your version of Logic is anything like mine, you will hear NO SOUND. As in, NADA. ZIP. El zippo. Zilch. Or, to be more specific: Zero. Zed. Or, not even a peep.

    In other words (for those who are deaf to slang):

    The traveling waves of oscillating pressure transmitted through surrounding solids, liquids, and gases are not composed of frequencies within the range of human hearing, and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, due to the fact that the normal organs of human hearing are not sufficiently stimulated by these vibrations.

    On the other hand, I can click on any of the default instrument (audio instrument/software instrument) tracks, insert a software instrument, and play it, no problem. (Thanks Eli, for cluing me in about the difference between MIDI instruments and audio instruments.)

    So, what's going on here?

    Well, for one thing, I notice that there is a huge difference between the menu options for default audio instruments and audio instruments that are newly created in the environment.

    The insert menu for default audio instruments lists, for example, a Choir & Voice section. There a 10 different options in the Choir & Voice submenu. All but one (Female Vocal Shouts) is a choir sound. There are NO sounds emulating solo vocalists. This is a problem for me because I want to be able to play chords made up of individual vocalists. Chords where each note is an entire choir quickly become murky, unclear, and indistinct.

    By contrast, one of the menu options, for a newly created audio object/audio instrument in the environment, is a Voice menu with seven submenus, each with a sub sub menu. Among the submenus are male and female vocals, each with 13 options in their sub sub menus.

    Unfortunately none of these options appears to be available to me. None of them work; they are all unplayable. No sound. Nada. El zippo. Zilch. Zero. And for those who are deaf to slang: No MIDI signals are converted to audio signals.

    Please show me that I'm doing something wrong because I would love to be able to play "Female Ambient Lead Vocal, Female Backing harmonics, Female Ballad Lead Vocal, Close-Up lead Vocals, Creamy Lead Vocal, Pop Vocals, Rock Vocals, Whisper Vocals, etc. etc.

    2) The second method for using a MIDI instrument to trigger one or more software instruments (as explained by Mr. Krantzberg) is to create a new MIDI instrument on the Audio layer and cable it to one or more of the default audio object/audio instrument/software instrument/channel strips (with their channel strip settings, formerly known as programs or program changes).

    This IS working for me. Thank you.

    Nevertheless, is there some way to access and play the other software instruments listed in the menus, sub menus, and sub sub menus of newly created environment audio objects/channel strips?

    Also, I'm wondering: Is there an easier way to audition software instruments, without having to drill down through menus, sub menus, and sub sub menus that disappear the moment you make a choice... or plod sequentially through unnamed channel strip settings via the "Next Channel Strip Setting" function? I'm thinking of the always-open menus in Garage Band. Does Logic 8 have always-open menus? Or Logic 9? Maybe it's time for an upgrade.

    Thanks again for all your help,

    Song of Songs
  14. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Troubadour,

    Let's get our language in order here, so we know what we are talking about. There are audio tracks and software instruments. These are two different types of audio objects. You must use software instruments in order to trigger them with MIDI. Audio tracks are used explicitly for recording or playing back audio files.

    There is a settings filed at the top of each kind of audio object that allows you to call up channel strip settings .These function differently on software instruments and audio tracks.

    On software instruments, the channel strip settings call up a software instrument with some effects processing in the plug in slots. On audio tracks, they call up only effects plug ins in the insert slots.

    Does this help clarify things at all?

    If you create a software instrument track, and then create a regular "instrument" object and cable it into the software instrument object, and then use the "instrument" as your track object in the Arrange Window; there is no reason it should not work. Although there is also no real compelling reason to do this in the first place, when it is easier to just use the software instrument and be done with it!
  15. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    For cabling and track assignment watch the video linked below.
    It is Logic 9, but basically it works the same in Logic 7.

    1) Play two software instruments separately.
    2) Create an environment instrument.
    3) Cable the instrument to channelstrips.
    4) Assign the instrument to another track.
    5) Play the instrument and hear both sounds on the other tracks.
  16. troubadour

    troubadour New Member

    I watched the video, but I had already figured out how to do that, thanks to Eli's earlier explanation. However, my problem is a bit more complicated than that. I will try to explain it as simply as I can.

    Try this little experiment:

    Open a new project. Open an environment window. Create a new layer. Name it My Layer. Click on New, and choose an Audio Object from the drop down menu. In my version of Logic, a channel strip labled Audio Object magically appears. Rename it My Audio Object.

    Now go to the arrange window. Click on a track. A menu appears with a list that includes My Layer. The sub menu for My Layer is labled Audio Track, and the sub sub menu has My Audio Object in it. Choose My Audio Object, and set the track to record.

    Click on My Audio Object's Inserts button. A menu appears with a list that begins with "Next Channel Strip Setting." Further down the list are several categories of instruments: Voice, Drums, Accoustic Guitar, etc. Choose one of these instruments, and play your MIDI controller. Do you hear a sound?

    I don't.

    By contrast, if I click on one of the default software instrument tracks, and insert an instrument sound (channel strip setting), it works just fine. So, what's wrong with the method described above? I do not think I am confusing a software instrument with a MIDI, or "regular," instrument.

    My reason for wanting to create a software instrument from scratch on a new layer in the environment is so that I can use all the software instrument sounds (channel strip settings) that are listed in its Insert menu. This list of sounds is completely different from that of the default software instruments. In particular, there is a much wider selection of vocal sounds, which I would very much like to be able to use.
  17. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Why should I, this cannot work. According to your description you create an audio channelstrip and then try to feed it with MIDI notes. This does nothing. You need an instrument channelstrip for that, with a software instrument.

    Let us again synchronize our technical language:
    In this case and in Logic 7, "Audio Object" and "Channelstrip" means the same. An audio channelstrip was called "Track" or "Track Object" in Logic 7. An instrument channelstrip was called "Instrument" or "Audio Instrument Object" in Logic 7. This was not an ideal naming convention but we have to live with it.

    Did you forget to mention it in your description or did you forget to set the type of channel? Or don't you know that you have to set the type of channel?

    Logic 7 Reference Manual
    – Chapter 6 "Logic's Mixing Facilities"
    –– "Object Parameter Box"
    ––– "Channel"
    The Channel parameter determines the type and channel of the signal controlled by an Audio Object.
    The various options are:
    • Track (see “Track Object” on page 295)
    • Input (see “Input Object” on page 297)
    • Instrument (see “Audio Instrument Object” on page 298)
    • Bus (see “Bus Objects” on page 302)
    • Output (see “Output Objects” on page 301)
    • Master (see “Master Object” on page 304)
    • Aux (see “Auxiliary Object” on page 303)

    In Logic 7, "Track" means an audio channelstrip. The wording was not very good in this version. But you can process audio and there is no "Audio" type in the list, so the only one that fits must be "Track", ok?

    However, if you want to select an instrument in an audio channelstrip, you won't be lucky, there is only a list of available inputs. Vice versa, if you look for an audio input in an instrument strip, you find only a list of instruments. This should make clear, that the two types of channelstrips are very different.

    Eli already explained the difference between audio- and instrument strips and I am not going to repeat that. But once and forever: Audio channelstrips take and emit audio signals. Instrument channelstrips take MIDI and emit audio. Channelstrip settings are just a bunch of plugins, they do not change the type of the strip. Thats it.

    If you feed an audio channelstrip with MIDI notes, this is for personal amusement, but will only produce relaxing silence.

    I believe the basic problem in this discussion is that you are not yet aware about the difference between audio- and instrument channelstrips. Some suggestions here failed the target just because nobody expected that but rather thought about a particular technique or problem.

    There is only one setting list for instruments. If you see another list, you are not on an instrument channelstrip.

    What, wider selection of vocal sounds? I don't assume that you expect a software instrument singing for you. There are no vocal settings in an instrument channelstrip, you obviously try with an audio strip. If you want your stunning vocals, you have to feed such a track with a voice. From a microphone, synthesizer, audio file, whatever. But audio, not MIDI.

    I hope this is clear now because I begin to run out of words. If you want to play a software instrument, set your channelstrip to the type "Instrument". If you want to record and process audio, set the channelstrip to "Track". I don't know what else to say.

    Be assured that we don't have a go at you. I myself sat in front of Logic 4, had no keyboard and no microphone. I understood nothing and there was no help but the manual and I heard no sound for a couple of days. At least not the sound I expected to hear. This is complex software, it wants to get explored, not just operated.

    In case you lost your manuals, here is the download link:
  18. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    "Maybe it's time for an upgrade..."

    An upgrade to 9 from 7.x is only $199. Not sure why you are hanging onto 7. I have perused these posts three times now, and found both questions and answers reminiscent of my foibles with Logic's 5.51 environment. Beginning with Logic 8, creating the sorts of things dealt with here became incredibly easy, compared to previous versions. The environment is still there, but the user interface and templates eliminate a lot of confusion. And relative to this thread, the huge library of free sounds and the free virtual instruments are more than worth the upgrade price. Time to trade up.
  19. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Troubadour,

    Just to add to your confusion: You are referring here to the channel strip settings, NOT the insert menu. The insert menu is for inserting effects plug ins into to process the sound. A channel strip setting is a preset combination of insert plugins with specific presets in each.

    Logic 7 was the first version of Logic to use channel strip settings. And they were a well kept secret! Not a lot people knew about them or used them. They weren't a very prominent part of the interface like they are now. It was "version 1.0" of channel strip settings :)

    Your confusion obviously stems from the fact that both audio tracks and audio instrument tracks (Logic 7 language) both contain channel strip settings. Hopefully you are on your way to a clearer picture of it all at this point.
  20. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Eli, do you really remember all the details after years or do you still run this version? It was Logic 7 where I did most in the environment, up to a kind of Mainstage application that broke down with the next major upgrade. But for this discussion I had to download the manual. Wasn't sure what we were talking about.
  21. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Peter,

    No, I'm not still running Logic 7. I don't remember all the details. But I do remember the introduction of channel strip settings. I remember people very rarely talked about them on any of the major discussion boards; including the old LUG. The interface made them seem more obscure. Unless you knew specifically where to look for them, they didn't stand out and stare at you in the face like they do now at the top of the faders. I remember that whenever I showed them to Logic clients, they would stare at me in amazement - like they had just discovered a long lost synth module that was stored away in a cupboard somewhere :D

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