Logic Pro (X) Keeping pedal sustain when switching tracks

Eric J

New Member
I’m wondering if anyone can help me find a solution to a live performance conundrum I am having with Logic? I realize that Logic is primarily a DAW and not designed for live performance; however, with the addition of the Live Loops feature in 10.5, I would love to use Logic for my method of doing live performances.

In short, I like to perform with software instruments (live) while also playing on an acoustic piano. While I use Logic as my primary DAW, I currently use a Novation Launchkey keyboard and Ableton Live to control a variety of software instruments (Kontakt, Omnisphere, etc.) for performance purposes. One of the things I like doing in a live performance setting (or just when messing around and coming up with ideas) is to use the sustain pedal to hold down an evolving pad texture or an arpeggiated chord, and then switch to another instrument (on a different track channel) without losing the sustained sound so that I can layer additional parts and sounds. This behavior works in Ableton, but I can’t get it to work in Logic. I can assign the buttons on the Launchkey to switch tracks in Logic, but Logic always sends a pedal-off command once a new track channel is selected, effectively ending the sustained sound. Is there any way to change that behavior so that I can effectively switch track channels and keep the sounds sustaining (if I hold the pedal down before switching)? Ultimately, I’d love to be able to do this with the Logic Remote app on my iPad using the track selection buttons in the Live Loops grid (combining live sustained sounds with prerecorded loops), but again, if I select another track/instrument then the pedal-off effect kills the sustain. Also, I realize that I can assign a different MIDI input channel to each track, then record-enable all tracks and change which software instrument I play by changing MIDI channels on the keyboard controller. But changing MIDI channels on the Launchkey is super awkward in a live setting (requires holding down two buttons and then pressing one of the buttons multiple times to get to the desired channel) and there is no way to assign different MIDI channels to the different controller buttons. Are there any workarounds (perhaps with the Logic environment) to prevent the pedal cutoff effect when simply switching tracks?
 
I’m wondering if anyone can help me find a solution to a live performance conundrum I am having with Logic? I realize that Logic is primarily a DAW and not designed for live performance; however, with the addition of the Live Loops feature in 10.5, I would love to use Logic for my method of doing live performances.

In short, I like to perform with software instruments (live) while also playing on an acoustic piano. While I use Logic as my primary DAW, I currently use a Novation Launchkey keyboard and Ableton Live to control a variety of software instruments (Kontakt, Omnisphere, etc.) for performance purposes. One of the things I like doing in a live performance setting (or just when messing around and coming up with ideas) is to use the sustain pedal to hold down an evolving pad texture or an arpeggiated chord, and then switch to another instrument (on a different track channel) without losing the sustained sound so that I can layer additional parts and sounds. This behavior works in Ableton, but I can’t get it to work in Logic. I can assign the buttons on the Launchkey to switch tracks in Logic, but Logic always sends a pedal-off command once a new track channel is selected, effectively ending the sustained sound. Is there any way to change that behavior so that I can effectively switch track channels and keep the sounds sustaining (if I hold the pedal down before switching)? Ultimately, I’d love to be able to do this with the Logic Remote app on my iPad using the track selection buttons in the Live Loops grid (combining live sustained sounds with prerecorded loops), but again, if I select another track/instrument then the pedal-off effect kills the sustain. Also, I realize that I can assign a different MIDI input channel to each track, then record-enable all tracks and change which software instrument I play by changing MIDI channels on the keyboard controller. But changing MIDI channels on the Launchkey is super awkward in a live setting (requires holding down two buttons and then pressing one of the buttons multiple times to get to the desired channel) and there is no way to assign different MIDI channels to the different controller buttons. Are there any workarounds (perhaps with the Logic environment) to prevent the pedal cutoff effect when simply switching tracks?
Hi Eric...did you get an environment solution to this..? IM keen to do the same..Ged
 
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Normally you do not change tracks in Logic live applications. You rather go to the Environment, cable input ports directly to channelstrips and control data flow and processing by MIDI and Environment objects. There may be problems with recording all MIDI of your performance in Logic and you must be aware that the Environment is poorly supported nowadays. You may consider Mainstage instead, which is a kind of a hybrid – Logic without tracks.
 
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Normally you do not change tracks in Logic live applications. You rather go to the Environment, cable input ports directly to channelstrips and control data flow and processing by MIDI and Environment objects. There may be problems with recording all MIDI of your performance in Logic and you must be aware that the Environment is poorly supported nowadays. You may consider Mainstage instead, which is a kind of a hybrid – Logic without tracks.
Thanks Peter and thanks for your reply..Its not for a live situation..I simple want to hold/sustain a drone..then change tracks to access another instrument and jam some ideas over the sustaining drone.....its more of a compositional tool....environment might be the answer but not sure how to set up what it is i want to achieve..
G
 
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Well, I'm not discussing complicated environment patches anymore, but I think what you want to do can be achieved with a relatively simple intervention and without special software.

Logic can layer different sounds. Usually you use Track Stacks for that. The advantage of this is that you only need one input track to play all the instruments in the stack. So the track change problem is already gone.

But you also want to choose the playing instrument. This is possible via the MIDI channel (perhaps also via the MIDI port, I don't know exactly). With a Track Stack, you switch instruments not by changing the track, but by changing the incoming MIDI channel. While playing, you always stay on the "container" track of the track stack in Logic.

Track Stack:
  1. Select the tracks with the instruments you want in the stack.
  2. Then right click on a track, select "Create Track Stack..." and in the dialog window "Summing Stack".
  3. Voilà. Logic creates an Aux Channelstrip and busses the instruments to it. You can collapse and expand the stack.
  4. To be able to select a certain instrument, you need to set the instruments to the respective MIDI channels in the Inspector.
  5. For playing you always stay on the "container" track. Same for recording. You can edit the recorded region or distribute to regions on each track by channel, where individual editing is easier.
Untitled_4_-_Tracks.png



Sustain to all:

Now we need the sustain pedal, because you don't want to hit multiple pedals at once to send sustain to all instruments. We do that in the Logic Environment.
  1. Open an Environment window. In newer Logic versions, Apple has hidden the Environment call. Either hold the alt key and select "Window > Open MIDI Environment" in the main menu or just press the default shortkey cmd-0 (zero).
  2. In the Environment window, select the "Click&Ports" layer at the top left.
  3. Create a new "Transformer" and insert it between Physical Input and Sequencer Input.
  4. Configure the transformer according to the screenshot below. Done.
Pasted_Image_20_09_22__13_57.png


In my example, I play two keyboards on channels 1 and 2. The sustain pedal is on channel 1. The Transformer only duplicates the sustain pedal on channel 1 and sets the channel of the duplicate to channel 2. It doesn't care about any other events. With this I always send sustain to both instruments and it is also recorded that way. If you need more channels, you put several transformers in a row, each of which duplicates the original channel to the new channel.

If you have only one keyboard that cannot switch channels or cannot be splittet, it goes a little more complicated and less reliable. Either use MIDI software before Logic or directly switch channels in the Logic Environment with some hardware buttons or a fader. Or click the mouse in an Environment window.

Hope that helps!
 
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Well, I'm not discussing complicated environment patches anymore, but I think what you want to do can be achieved with a relatively simple intervention and without special software.

Logic can layer different sounds. Usually you use Track Stacks for that. The advantage of this is that you only need one input track to play all the instruments in the stack. So the track change problem is already gone.

But you also want to choose the playing instrument. This is possible via the MIDI channel (perhaps also via the MIDI port, I don't know exactly). With a Track Stack, you switch instruments not by changing the track, but by changing the incoming MIDI channel. While playing, you always stay on the "container" track of the track stack in Logic.

Track Stack:
  1. Select the tracks with the instruments you want in the stack.
  2. Then right click on a track, select "Create Track Stack..." and in the dialog window "Summing Stack".
  3. Voilà. Logic creates an Aux Channelstrip and busses the instruments to it. You can collapse and expand the stack.
  4. To be able to select a certain instrument, you need to set the instruments to the respective MIDI channels in the Inspector.
  5. For playing you always stay on the "container" track. Same for recording. You can edit the recorded region or distribute to regions on each track by channel, where individual editing is easier.
View attachment 2478


Sustain to all:

Now we need the sustain pedal, because you don't want to hit multiple pedals at once to send sustain to all instruments. We do that in the Logic Environment.
  1. Open an Environment window. In newer Logic versions, Apple has hidden the Environment call. Either hold the alt key and select "Window > Open MIDI Environment" in the main menu or just press the default shortkey cmd-0 (zero).
  2. In the Environment window, select the "Click&Ports" layer at the top left.
  3. Create a new "Transformer" and insert it between Physical Input and Sequencer Input.
  4. Configure the transformer according to the screenshot below. Done.
View attachment 2480

In my example, I play two keyboards on channels 1 and 2. The sustain pedal is on channel 1. The Transformer only duplicates the sustain pedal on channel 1 and sets the channel of the duplicate to channel 2. It doesn't care about any other events. With this I always send sustain to both instruments and it is also recorded that way. If you need more channels, you put several transformers in a row, each of which duplicates the original channel to the new channel.

If you have only one keyboard that cannot switch channels or cannot be splittet, it goes a little more complicated and less reliable. Either use MIDI software before Logic or directly switch channels in the Logic Environment with some hardware buttons or a fader. Or click the mouse in an Environment window.

Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for this..Ill check it out..!
 
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