Logic Pro X Fader Data no longer working on MIDI channels other than 1

Sunlending

Logician
The Short Story:
I used to be able to convert(transform) my MIDI Foot Pedal (CC4) to Fader Data on MIDI Channel3 to control the Wah Wah.(first insert slot) I cable this in the Environment between the input and the sequencer.
But now, while I can play it this way and everything sounds fine, it will NOT actually record the data. (I see the data in the MIDI event list while I'm recording, but as soon as I stop, it all goes away) If I change the Fader to Channel 1, it will record the fader data.(but doesn't control the Wha of course) But all other MIDI channels seems to be ignored.
What Happened?

Slightly Long Boring Story For Those Who Live For These Kinds Of Things:
- I don't want to assign the pedal as a controller because I want to use it for sending CC data to other instruments.
- I don't want to have to record this data as automation data because it involves dealing with it for the track instead of the region which is where I prefer to work (And have been able to do so successfully until recently) I wish Logic would allow us to assign CC data to control these things like everyone else does.
- I also don't want to have to put the track in 'touch' mode just to play a wah wah.
- So depending what kind of track I'm on, I need the foot pedal to be able to send either Modualtion CC1 so that I can control vibrato with my foot, or CC4 data to control a filter on a synth, or Expression (cc11) for strings/horns etc.
- I have all this cabled up in the Environment between the input and Sequencer input, with MIDI buttons on my controller to switch and transform the pedal to what I need when I need it.
- I don't know if it was after I upgraded to 10.4 or if it was at 10.4.4. But somewhere along the way, the thing just will not record my damn Wah WAH DATA.
- I hate to be a Cry Baby about it, but something has to be done.
- On the other hand, perhaps some of you are able to do this, and there's something wrong on my end.
- Much thanks for anyone who even knows what I'm talking about.
- Many more thanks, if you have a solution.
 

CSeye

Logician
I don't have answers but I do have questions:
Does it work if you copy the environment setup to a new empty project? Can you rebuild the environment setup in a new empty project to see if it works?

This is from the Resources section:
 

Sunlending

Logician
Thank you CSeye for the assist. I have your answers and a theory.

SHORT ANSWER:
It doesn't work. I'm convinced the Apple Logic Wizards are on to my little tricks and have changed something.

LONG ANSWER
- I opened a blank NEW session (not my template)
- Set up the wah wah as in your example. (This is how I originally did this many many years ago- I'm a long time user from way back in the Potato famine years AKA- No Tater)
- That works. Of course we can see it's not an ideal setup. You potentially have to set up 2 tracks (one for the wah & one for the instrument)
plus as you add more tracks for various things, you have to keep setting up these little objects, cabling them as you go.
- So I had thought instead of setting all these objects for each track, why not set it up once between the input and seq. This way the data is already converted before hitting the sequencer. I'm attaching a simplified version. You can see the the data conversion on the left side. (enters as Controller 4 on MIDI ch1, and is converted to FADER 2 on MIDI ch3
- This used to work fine. It would record the Fader info as if it was controller data. Over the years, I expanded this to include various switches and splitters until I had a fairly complex setup, but very simple to implement and use with only a few buttons on my Keyboard Controller. But it no longer works. Its works perfectly while playing, but it will no longer record the Fader Data.

MY THEORY
- I think it has something to do with Smart Controls. Smart controls seemingly sets out to do what I was already doing. The problem here (as I understand it) is that I have to undo/ redo the Smart Control every time I want to use the foot pedal (or any controller) for something different. Plus, I now have to not only put the track into record, I also have to set the Automation button to 'touch' then Read. All that undoing/ redoing/ Automation switching- just makes things less fun and more convoluted. So Smart Controls will record the data as fader data on midi channels 2-16, but now seems to prevent me from recording that data directly. (unless I use Midi Ch1, which is useless here as far as I can see)

So unless someone understands this better then me and has a solution, it looks like I need a new work flow.
What's the best way to work this scenario?:
You have a template with what you typically use. There is no external audio. It's all Virtual Instruments.
You want to use your midi pedal as a wah wah for the lead guitar track.
Your template usually doesn't use an organ, but for this piece you need to create a new organ track, You now want to use the midi pedal for expression for the organ.
You then decide that the wah track isn't right, and need to go back and change it.
On some other tracks you want to use the midi pedal to control a synth filter, or vibrato, or some other parameter.

Thank you for your time.


Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 6.08.30 PM.png
 

Sunlending

Logician
UPDATE
Ok- It looks like I'm getting the hang of using Smart Controls. I don't think I have to undo/redo to use the same controller for different things.
It's still not the way I like it, but I'll adjust over time I'm sure. Thanks for the help.
 

CSeye

Logician
This is good to hear.
You're mastery of the Environment is much greater than mine. Hopefully, others may jump in with useful information.

Post more questions or solutions as you work through this.

Edit - Not likely but are you filtering controllers in the Project Settings>MIDI>Input Filter?
Regarding the Fader data not being recorded, do you have Monitor objects in key places to see if Fader data is passing through?
 
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Peter Ostry

Administrator
Staff member
Regarding the Fader data not being recorded
I don't use this technique but can confirm the "channel-other-than-1-bug" because I have tried what Sunlending described. Fader events on channel 1 get recorded, other channels not. I could not find a setting to get this working.

Of course you can use other events but without automation they work only for recording, not for playback (maybe suitable for pure audio recordings). To let parameters dance during playback, you would need to feed channelstrip outputs back to the MIDI input, which is cumbersome.



I know that Smart Controls can help a lot, myself I'm not very smart with them. Either they are not fully thought-through or I don't really unterstand them. I ran always into some difficulties and actually don't use them often.

However, I find the Environment mapping/cabling unflexible for this kind of tasks and had similar problems years ago, at a time as I spent much time in the Environment building monstrous patches. Controlling plugin parameters combined with automation is definitely better but has other issues, flexibility-wise.

For me the solution was to use some "middleware", be it MidiPipe, Bidule or Max, or to use a programmable Footcontroller like FC1010 or Gordius. This way you decouple the controller from Logic. You can set some "personal" mapping for MIDI and automation in Logic and use the software or hardware to do what you want on a preset basis. Means, that switches and pedals send different, predefined events.

With a fully (software-)programmable controller like the Gordius you can send different parallel MIDI streams and much more, ideal to control a DAW and additional hardware. Presets change with a single tap. A little scaring: All models on the gordius.be website are marked as disontinued. Looks as if the guy does not want to make new devices, but I did not ask yet.
 

Sunlending

Logician
I apologize in advance for the length, but I'll try to make it as enjoyable as possible.

Cseye - Yeah, at first I thought the same thing about the input filters but they are all unchecked.
Yes, Monitor objects are watching the flow.
Here's the thing- (AFAIK) The earliest possible chance you have of grabbing/altering MIDI data is in the environment between the Physical Input object and the SEQ object.
BUT- Smart Controls are grabbing my MIDI pedal info (CC 4) even earlier somehow, because the first thing I have set up is a transformer converting CC 4 to Fader Data (more on that later), but when I move it to assign it to a Smart Control, it is apparently so "smart" that it sees it as CC4 ! Thereby nullifying anything I'm doing further down the line.

Thank you Peter Ostry for helping to confirm the situation.

So here's the new problem...
... well first, here's the old problem, just to try to clarify what's going on (plus a little history for those following along) because I know these things are hard to describe in text. This is strictly a Midi problem. No actual audio anywhere to be found.

- All I want to do is record a VI instrument with the Logic Fuzz Wah and capture this midi performance as a midi track within a STACK.

Now, Once upon a time around the turn of the century, the procedure for this was the link that Cseye provided above.
Logic uses FADER commands to control the various parameters of a plugin in the INSERT slots and assigns a midi channel to each slot. (the first slot starting with Ch3 for some reason, and so on) The Pedal Position for the wah wah is the 2rd parameter.(on/off might be the 1st, range might be the 3rd, etc)
So you make an object that takes your midi pedal (CC4) and convert it to a FADER on MIDIch3 with a value of 2, and viola you have a wha track.
The downside to this is that you will probably end up with 2 tracks setup in the Arrange Window, one for the Wah and one to get access to your instrument parameters - Although, you only really just need to record on the Wah object track.
If you move the Wah to another insert or if you want to add a wah wah to another track, you need to go back into the environment to make the necessary adjustments.

Everyone on board so far?
What I did, was to interrupt the CC4 between the Physical Input Object and the SEQ object in the environment and did my transforming there. This solved at least two of the problems- As long as I kept the Wah in the first Insert slot, I would be sending Fader ch3 value 2 to any track at any time., and I don't need a 2nd track, it will show up on the same track that the VI is in.
And it shows up as controller data (not automation data) Nice and neat.
This worked great for years.....

....Until Smart Controls took over.
So ok- fine, I succumbed to the idea that Smart Control might be the way to go, and that I would get on board. Not thrilled that I have to contend with it as Automation Data, but I can at least get back to actually making music.
Except that....
(some of you already know don't you?)
.... Smart Controls DON'T WORK WITHIN STACKS! (although they're supposed to)

CONCLUSION.
So, either I:
- take my wah gtr out of the stack and use the smart control which seems to kinda work, but I have to do the Read/Write/Touch/ thing.
or
- Go back to how it was done way back in olden times and cable it up directly.

Sometimes, the old ways are the best. So I think Logic is moving me back about 15 years.
I often wonder how Logic would have advanced if Emagic would have continued to develop it.

Thank you for reading (if you've made it this far)
t
 
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CSeye

Logician
I know that Smart Controls can help a lot, myself I'm not very smart with them. Either they are not fully thought-through or I don't really unterstand them. I ran always into some difficulties and actually don't use them often.
My previous exploration of Smart Controls resulted in mixed impressions. Unlike Quick Controls in another DAW, the left-to-right sequence of control assignments in Smart Controls were not consistent from track to track. My hope was that I could assign controllers from my SL MKll and move fader or rotor #3 as an example on the SL MKll and have it control knob #3 on Smart Controls in any track. Not so! Maybe Smart Control knob #5 or #2 would be manipulated. The inconsistently was a deal breaker. I need to revisit this to see if it has improved. The Gordius is new to me. I looks like a serious device, hope it remains available.
 

Peter Ostry

Administrator
Staff member
Smart Controls are grabbing my MIDI pedal info (CC 4) even earlier somehow
They do this by design. Smart Controls use Logic Controller Assignments like all other assignment stuff in Logic. Controller Assignments are the first MIDI processing step, the Environment is the second. Everything handled in Controller Assignments gets processed and then swallowed and does not reach the Environment. We miss a "thru" option per assignment.
 

Peter Ostry

Administrator
Staff member
The Gordius is new to me. I looks like a serious device, hope it remains available.
I own one since 2014, a marvellous device for a relatively high but fair price: over $400 for the mid-sized version. The maker just managed to upgrade the editor software for the latest OS, we'll see what happens to the hardware.
 

Sunlending

Logician
Cseye - Yes, Thank you. I did see that in my research and I thought, yeah, that sounds great. But as it turns out, that's the way it's supposed to work. And maybe at one point it did, but in 10.4 it seems to be broken.
I did find a couple of people who managed to figure out a work around, but it's only of use if you have a client standing over you and you've got to get it done. It won't work as a matter of work flow.
But if you read that article is does explain how to assign your controller to the specific knobs that you want and the labels will change to the correct parameter.
I was able to get that far with it under the ideal conditions. So I do see some promise there, but it needs more attention and apparently it's just too buggy right now.

They do this by design. Smart Controls use Logic Controller Assignments like all other assignment stuff in Logic. Controller Assignments are the first MIDI processing step, the Environment is the second. Everything handled in Controller Assignments gets processed and then swallowed and does not reach the Environment. We miss a "thru" option per assignment.
Hmmmm- very crafty of them. More like a monkey wrench in my OCD complex of orderly things.
I looked in the Gordius today. On one hand the site is active, on the other hand, it's discontinued. So that's a little perplexing.
The search goes on. Hopefully some fix will come down the Apple tree soon.
 

CSeye

Logician
Now, Once upon a time around the turn of the century, ...Logic uses FADER commands to control the various parameters of a plugin in the INSERT slots and assigns a midi channel to each slot. (the first slot starting with Ch3 for some reason, and so on) The Pedal Position for the wah wah is the 2rd parameter.
So you make an object that takes your midi pedal (CC4) and convert it to a FADER on MIDIch3 with a value of 2, and viola you have a wha track.
The downside to this is that you will probably end up with 2 tracks setup in the Arrange Window, one for the Wah and one to get access to your instrument parameters - Although, you only really just need to record on the Wah object track.
If you move the Wah to another insert or if you want to add a wah wah to another track, you need to go back into the environment to make the necessary adjustments.
Thanks for outlining all of that.
The Environment and its objects are uniquie among DAW. It'll be interesting to observe the trend of Smart Controls and MIDI plug-ins that eliminate the need to go under the hood.
 
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