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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    For recording a band all at once, I want to record different midi inputs at once -- such as a drummer (electronic kit through USB), piano (electronic keyboard through USB), and a saxophone played through a midi controller (USB). Each of these is using a separate sound bank in Logic: drums, piano, sax. Each midi stream needs to be recorded on a separate channel. (Multiple audio channels would, of course, be recorded simultaneously, as well, such as bass, a couple vocals, and guitar.) Can Logic do this? My experience so far is that all midi signals being created at any one time will be recorded on any midi track that is set to record. So, whatever the drummer does will get recorded on the drum track, but whatever the piano player does will ALSO get recorded on the drum track (although it will sound like miscellaneous drums), and everything the midi controller does (a sax line, in this case) will also be recorded on the drum track, also sounding like miscellaneous drums. It will be a total drumming mess, ruining whatever the drummer played. This same mixture of the three midi streams will happen for the piano track and also for the sax track. All three tracks will be garbage. I can only imagine that Logic can route separate midi inputs to separate midi channels quite easily. Please help.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 365
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    Hi Frankenstrudel - You are correct, the best current approach to this does involve MIDI channelizing! With the right Project setting, and the MIDI channels on the controllers and Instruments matched, even though Logic may appear to be recording all the different Instruments on one track, you will hear them separately, and as soon as the recording is done the appropriately channelized Regions will appear on the correct Logic Instrument tracks. This link is to an article on the MPV/Ask.Audio website that explains it all—the relevant part for multitrack MIDI recording starts about halfway through, at the heading "The band plays on".. https://www.macprovideo.com/article/logic-pro/logic-pro-x-a-guide-to-multitrack-midi-recording?afid=E470KLQ7r9
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    Joe, I'm so glad to reach you. Oh the anguish I've gone through on this! I just read your article. Please let me describe the situation further. What you describe -- MIDI channelizing -- is a solution I tried to pursue, but, as you say, it depends on being able to specify MIDI channels from the devices themselves. My devices should be pretty good -- new Roland drum kit, new 88-key weighted keyboard from Casio, and a standard M-Audio MIDI controller. But I couldn't find how to set each to a different transmitting MIDI channel. (They all connect directly to my Mac Mini via USB.) Here are the exact devices: DRUMS -- Roland TD-1(M)-KV -- https://www.roland.com/us/products/td-1kv/ KEYBOARD -- Casio Privia PX-350M -- https://www.casio-intl.com/mea/en/emi/products/px350m/ MIDI CONTROLLER -- M-Audio Keystation 49e -- https://www.guitarcenter.com/M-Audio/Keystation-49e-USB-MIDI-Controller-Keyboard.gc Is there a way (actually reaching Roland, Casio, and M-Audio???) to find out what MIDI channel these devices transmit on? Couldn't find it in the manuals. Or is there likely some obvious way I haven't discovered to set the channel? As far as I could discover, the devices choose a channel automatically. You address this pitfall in your article. You describe how we might have to use Environment. Please let me list two Environment solutions I've tried so far. - (7 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itmnt-BAM6M. This guy figures out a way, using Environment, to individuate the MIDI inputs. But the tracks don't record! MIDI guys can jam together, but nothing will get recorded. After praises in the comments, people start pointing that out. Video is from a couple years ago. - (7 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck7mF7B0YXw. Same guy two years later. He gets the separate MIDI tracks to record. I implemented this and was psyched. But guess what? If you add an audio track (I plugged in a guitar), the MIDI all stops recording. (He didn't notice this because he doesn't record audio.) The MIDI tracks are individuated, but they don't record. The audio track records, but that's all. I'm thinking this is the solution you describe at the end of your article. Hopefully I'm wrong! On another YouTube video, I saw a "Channel Splitter" tool in Environment. The guy was teaching how to use Logic as a soundbank for Reaper. I haven't tried that tool yet, and the above videos don't mention it. Your article doesn't list that exact tool. What do you think? Restatement of problem (in my studio) as it currently stands: I can get multiple MIDI devices to record separately simultaneously, but not multiple MIDI devices simultaneously with any AUDIO inputs. It all goes down the drain once audio is added to the jam. Main question: 1) Is there a Logic solution? Or 2) Will I have to do a master/slave thing with Reaper, Ableton, or some other program? (And why hasn't Logic been on this? Seems weird to not be able to record a rock band with a few MIDI inputs real easily.) Thanks so much, again, Joe. Please help me a bit more if possible! Frank
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 365
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    Hi Frank - Usually there's a MIDI Utility page on a controller/drumkit where you select the MIDI transmit channel—I'd expect that at least some of those instruments you cited would let you change it. However, if it turns out that you can't channelize enough for the easy method to work, I can vouch that the Environment approach can work, or at least it has in the past—I've done numerous sessions where I recorded a combination of audio tracks (vocal, guitar) and MIDI/Instrument tracks (drums, bass) at the same time, using the Environment. If I remember correctly, I think you have to have a MIDI/Instrument track selected for all of them to record. Quick update: I just tried it with 1 Instrument track & 1 Audio track—I first selected the Instrument track, played a few notes to get the record-enable button to light up solid, and then record-enabled the Audio track. Both were recorded successfully, with either just the Instrument track selected , or with both selected.. Unfortunately I don't have multiple MIDI controllers to test with, so you're going to have to be the tester for that aspect! :-) I'm just out the door now, but I'll check in again tonight..
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 365
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    Hi Frank - Ok I did another test: 2 Instrument tracks, 2 MIDI devices inputting MIDI data transmitting on ch1 & ch2, with the 2 Instrument tracks set to receive on ch1 & ch2 respectively (set in the Track Inspector, changed from "All"); and 2 audio tracks, with the "Auto Demix by Channel.." Project Setting enabled.. And it worked—after recording, when I hit Stop, the ch1 data showed up on the 1st Instrument track & the ch2 data showed up on the 2nd Instrument track; both audio tracks recorded fine, and thanks to the "Demix" setting the correct Instruments were triggered during recording & playback. You may have to wake up the MIDI input for each Instrument track (usually by tapping a note on each track, so the Record button lights up red), & have one of the Instrument tracks (the 1st?) selected during recording. It is a little finicky but it does work without any Environment cabling—but of course the key is to be able to set different MIDI transmit channels in each device's MIDI Utility page.. * * AFAICT, the Roland transmits on MIDI ch 10; the M-Audio lets you select the MIDI transmit channel; and the Casio *seems* to be able to transmit on different MIDI channels (though the manual is a bit confusing on first look, maybe it's more straightforward with the keyboard in front of you), but even if it doesn't it probably transmits on channel 1, so you should be able to separate all thee successfully..
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    Joe, thanks a million. I REALLLY appreciate you taking the time to check and double-check this. I believe I can dive into it today, but I'm a lot less familiar with everything than you, so I'll have to go slow. It's Friday so I won't have the evening available. But I'll do the full test soon -- this weekend or Monday -- and post an update. THANK YOU, man. So great to know that the channelizing solution should work. (THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESEARCH!!!) Frank SIDE NOTE (key fact in this difficulty): I had never used "External MIDI." It's an option for a track, on the level of "Software Instrument" or "Audio" or "Drummer." I'm pretty sure it's for having Logic control an external MIDI device, maybe on stage. Logic tells the device what notes to play. For this discussion, here's what's so striking: When creating an External MIDI track, the user can specify the exact MIDI device right there in the same window. Turn on my Keystation 49e, boom, there it is, "sb," in a list of devices to choose. Turn on my Roland kit, boom, it's now there, too, "TD-1." In short, Logic is fully capable of recognizing a MIDI device in the same window for "Software Instrument." You can tell Logic, straightforwardly, where to send a MIDI signal, but you can't tell it where to receive one!
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 365
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Recording multiple midi devices simultaneously
    It is a little kludgy, but I think you'll be able to get it working! :-) Recording multiple MIDI tracks has always been somewhat confusing, probably due to the fact that all MIDI data passes through the Environment—if they implemented a simper (more familiar) per-track select-the-MIDI-input-source menu, maybe it might break older (more complex) Projects...at least that's one guess as to why they haven't gone that way after all these years.. Let us know if/when you do get it happening! :-) Btw, an External MIDI track is like the External Instrument plug-in—it's actually designed to record MIDI data in the Track but use the sounds from the external hardware instrument rather than a plug-in Instrument. I assume that's not what you need to do— I gather you're using external MIDI controllers to play internal Instrument plug-ins and just want to separate the incoming MIDI performances appropriately..
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