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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Track automation settings and iPad iXY app as controller
    I've been using the iXY iPad app to control two parameters of a MIDI track. The track is already recorded, and the parameters are changing in real time via my iPad wirelessly - pretty neat! However, I now want to record that automation permanently. I am following Martin's chapter on automation from Logic 101 (core Logic).I'm doing everything he says to do in the Track Automation Settings window, but it's not working. Is this because I'm using an x-y type controller, instead of two knobs, as Martin does in the video? Is there another way to accomplish this so that the automation can be recorded permanently onto the track? I should also mention that when the iPad is being read properly and manipulating the chosen parameters as desired, I'm running DSMIDIWiFi, and cabling that to tow transformers which transform the incoming MIDI data from the iXY controller to the desired parameters. I tried recording the automation permanently first with those cables still connected, and then with them disconnected. Any thought or suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks.
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    Hey Adam, I've yet to try out the iXY iPad app... Thanks for the recommendation :) With environment objects involved in the chain you won't be able to write automation unless you specify this feature within a transformer object. What I tend to do is place a transformer towards the end of the chain and in the Transformer's Mode (when you open it up) choose the Mode as: "Track Automation Splitter (true -> top cable)" This should enable the automation to be written to the track, of course you need to have the track in Touch/Latch or Write mode... other that it should be all good to automate... mmmm... XY pad on the iPad... gotta check this out this weekend!! Thanks Rounik
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  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    I'd like to offer an alternative suggestion... Record the MIDI data into the track as a region. Then, use the function "move all region control data to track automation". The region will now be empty (which you can delete) and the data now resides in track automation. Using this procedure will save you the trouble of having to custom-configure your Environment (potentially on every single project you work on). Now, don't get me wrong, I totally l-o-v-e the Environment, but here's a situation where I think you might save a little bit of work by using the above procedure. One comment... you said that you want to record this information "permanently". But recorded MIDI data in a region is equally as permanent as data recorded to track automation. (As an aside, data recorded into regions is less susceptible to accidental editing which can sometimes occur when track automation is displayed and you click in the arrange area to select things). Anyway, the action of region-based MIDI data on the target instrument (or plugin) is exactly the same as it is if that data lives in track automation. The main difference lies in how the data is accessed. So it would be great if you could clarify what you mean by "permanent". HTH, Ski
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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    Thank you Rounik and Ski for your helpful replies. Rounik - yes, the iXY app is very nice - it's free, so you can't go wrong. You'll need to download the DSMIDIWiFi from here: [url]http://code.google.com/p/dsmi/downloads/list[/url] Some info on it can also be found here: [url]http://dsmi.tobw.net/index.php?cat_id=1[/url] The app itself is pretty simple. You can have 5 different layouts with the option of have either one or two virtual x-y pads on each layout. I have found using an already available Wi-Fi network to be barely functional, as there is quite a bit of latency. Setting up a computer to computer network is much, much better. I will try your suggestion probably later today. It's funny, even though I use transformers frequently, I usually use only one or two modes, so I forgot about the Track Automation Splitter - that should do the trick. Ski, by "permanently" I was really just trying to differentiate between using the iXY app to execute real time manipulation of parameters (for live performance) on the already recorded MIDI track that would not be saved, and therefore would not be permanent because the track was not in 'write', 'latch', or 'touch' mode. I have done that successfully. It was when I attempted to use one of the above mentioned automation modes to record automation data to the track, so that the effects of the recorded automation would permanently be recorded, that I ran into trouble. The Track Automation Settings window (in preferences) was not 'learning' the controls properly from the iXY app. Clicking in a region and accidentally changing automation data was not the issue, although your suggestions regarding that are well taken. It's possible also that I misunderstood some of your reply. But Ski, please do feel free to respond in any way to any of my posts. I'm sure I will appreciate and benefit from your thoughts. Thanks, Adam
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    Hey guys, I like Ski's suggestion too! Love the way you can achieve same/similar thang using a different workflow. :)
    Reply
  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    Agagag wrote: [b]Understood. But if you record that MIDI data on a track just like any other MIDI data it will be just as permanent as if you had written that data directly to track automation.[/b] One way to facilitate this is to use the "new track with same channel strip/instrument" function which simply creates a new track that points to the same plugin as the original. This gives you a free space to overdub parts on. This is my preferred way of working, recording overdubs on separate tracks (as opposed to the same track, which creates a mess of overlapped regions). So as long as you're getting MIDI data into Logic from your iXY, you can record it on a track. Then, if you want to push it to track automation you can use the function I mentioned in my post above. Agagag wrote: [b]It was when I attempted to use one of the above mentioned automation modes to record automation data to the track, so that the effects of the recorded automation would permanently be recorded, that I ran into trouble. The Track Automation Settings window (in preferences) was not 'learning' the controls properly from the iXY app.[/b] The track automation prefs (checkboxes) only determine whether or not different kinds of control movements are recorded directly to track automation. Sends, plugins, volume, mute, and so on. If you're recording MIDI data into a track (like any other MIDI data) then those settings have, essentially, no bearing on whether that info can be recorded or not. So in short, my suggestion is to simply record your iXY data on to a MIDI track, as described above, and then push it to track automation afterwards if you want to.
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  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    (...and apparently I have a lot to learn about how to use the quote function on this forum LOL! )
    Reply
  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    Hi Gentlemen, Rounik, have you had the opportunity to have some fun with the iXY controller? Your solution to my question works like a charm! Thank you. Ski, I may be missing something, but it seems that I have to use transformers to convert the iXY data into the data necessary to manipulate the plug-in parameter that I want (the Microphaser's Intensity). You clearly have much to offer, so it may be me just not getting it. When I set the iXY controller to cc7 and cc10 (volume and pan) for example, everything works exactly as you say - beautiful! But is there a way to control the Microphaser's Intensity (or any plug-in parameter) other than with a transformer? Even though Rounik provided a good solution, I certainly would appreciate learning about any alternate methods of accomplishing this in Logic. You have piqued my interest, and forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you. Thanks, Adam
    Reply
  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    AHA! I see what's going on... :-) You're looking to accomplish two different things: 1. record data generated from your iXY (which is output as CC's) 2. manipulate the parameters of a plugin effect with that data. Rounik was suggesting using transformers (set up as "automation splitters") to record the CC data to automation tracks (to which I suggested an alternative). But regardless of which of our methods you opt for to record the information, what you need to do is get Logic to take your CC's and convert them to a type of data that can be used to manipulate the Microphaser's parameters. That requires some extra steps... When you want to manipulate Logic plugin parameters, you have three choices: a) if the plugin in question is one that already offers direct MIDI control (such as EXS-24) then all you need to do program your iXY to output the desired type of MIDI message. For example, if you want to control Cutoff with CC#4, you'd program the iXY to output CC#4. Then you'd program EXS so that Cutoff reacted to CC#4 messages (as well as make other necessary adjustments to EXS's filter section). And with other synth plugs (ES-2, Sculpture) there exists "hard-wired" control of various parameters to various CC's. And those CC's would (usually) be recorded to a MIDI track just like other data. Where a plugin doesn't offer the above kind of functionality, you can do one of two things: b) use Logic's "Learn" function to (part of the Control Surface facility) to detect the CC(s) of your choice and use them to directly control plugin parameters. Or... c) use transformers to facilitate the same action. Using the Learn function makes easy work of assigning just about any kind of MIDI events to control plugin parameters. The downside is that Logic's control surface preference files are notoriously flaky, and the assignments you make via the Learn function today could be gone tomorrow. So by using transformers to create the connection between MIDI CC's and the types of events needed to control plugin parameters (more on this shortly), you ensure permanence of your iXY-to-plugin parameter link. So... Logic's plugin parameters react to a special type of MIDI-like data called "fader events". They're unique to Logic (same with meta events, which you may have heard of). Thus, you need to convert the MIDI messages you generate from the iXY to the specific fader messages for the parameters you want to alter. And this is done using transformers. Before I continue, please let me know if I'm on the right track here.
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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Re: Track automation settings and ...
    Yes, Ski, that's what I mean. Rounik's solution works very well for me because I can just set the transformers as "automation splitters" and have the desired parameters manipulated whether I'm recording the automation, or just 'playing' the parameters in real time, or both! I understood about the 'special fader data' used by Logic, but when you made your first comment in this post, it got my attention because of it being another way to accomplish this. I should have clarified about the iXY controlling fader data in my initial post. Your suggestion was not at all lost, though, Ski, because I'm sure the occasion will come up for me to employ those methods in the future. I can see you, for example, doing some tutorial work as mentioned in this forum a few days ago, and showing how we can have expressive control over the instruments you've mentioned (EXS24, Sculpture, ES-2) in order to create more life-like simulations of real instruments. This would be the perfect opportunity to employ external controllers to effect those expressive changes through the manipulation of the on-board parameters of those software instruments. I think that's what you had in mind in your choice 'a' above, and I'd be very interested to see - and HEAR - how you'd go about adding realism in this way. Do you use x-y controllers of any kind to do this? It seems to me that would afford the player much more power and flexibility of expression since two different expressive parameters could be controlled at once, and with just one finger, to boot! This iXY app enables you to have as many as three separate x-y controls on the same virtual pad, so that theoretically you could have three fingers of one hand manipulating each of those three x-y controls simultaneously and independently of each other. So six separate expressive parameters could be controlled at once, with one hand, while the other hand could be playing a line on a keyboard that could wind up having a lot of realism! To address your choice 'b' and 'c': I have experienced the flaky behavior you mentioned with the learn function, and my most recent attempt to use it, as well as your and other peoples' comments, have affirmed this. This is why I tend to go to the environment as a first and best course of action. I have come to really value the environment and view it as a world of almost endless musical possibilities. But what I've found with transformers, especially when using them in live MIDI applications, is that they provide very reliable, rock-solid transformation of MIDI data into the desired result every time. So, yes, Ski, your answer is very much right on the money. Many Thanks, Adam
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