Is Anyone Else Having Big Problems with Kontakt MIDI CC and Track/Region Automation in Logic 10.4?

Discussion in 'Your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)' started by Lotus Lake, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Hi folks,

    I've been having some serious issues with automation/MIDI writing in Logic Pro 10.4.1. I think there may be several issues I'm encountering, some of which may be a potential misunderstanding of how Logic 10.4 handles MIDI CC Region Automation vs Track Automation, and some of which seem like they might be bugs that are happening since Logic 10.4.

    (I used letters to break this up so anyone responding can use them to help refer to specific sections.)

    Okay. I have a instance of Kontakt (5.8) player on a instrument track in Logic Pro X (10.4.1, macOS 10.13.5) with a Spitfire Chamber Strings Cello instrument loaded and I'm using the default MIDI mappings with a CME UF80 keyboard. I record one take playing a few notes and moving the mod wheel, which is sending CC1 and controlling the dynamics.

    A
    I stop and play back the region with the Piano Roll open and the automation lane visible at the bottom. In Region mode I can use the "Cycle Through Used Parameters" shortcut to see what I've written, and it switches between Note Velocity and Ch. 1: Modulation, both of which have visible MIDI data, which makes sense.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 11.30.23 AM.png

    When I switch to Track mode at the bottom of the Piano Roll, however, it shows me "Dynamics - d - Celli - Long CS", as though I've written automation here but there's no visible track automation information written on the lane. When I play back the region with Track mode visible, I can see the fader under "Dynamics - d - Celli - Long CS" moving, even though there's no Track automation written here. It's following the information I wrote with the modulation wheel's MIDI data in the Region, which makes sense, but I don't understand why Logic is sort of behaving like there's track automation there.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 11.30.37 AM.png

    B
    Much more frustrating is that when I have the new "Autoselect Automation Parameter in Read Mode" option checked and I put the automation lane in Region mode to try and edit my mod wheel CC data with my mouse while the track is playing, the lane keeps switching back to Track mode: "Dynamics - d - Celli - Long CS" making it impossible to make edits to the MIDI data in real time with the autoselect option on. So I'll turn that option off.

    C
    Next step! Im not quite happy with my mod wheel performance on the dynamics, so I want to re-record it. If I'm in Track Automation and put the track in Touch mode and play back the region while moving the mod wheel slowly up and down, the data it writes is not what I'm playing. It has some strange ups and downs. I'm pretty sure what's happening here is that I still have the mod wheel MIDI data embedded in the region that's it's reading at the same time that I'm trying to write conflicting information about the dynamics in the Track Automation. If that's the case, that makes sense. So I'll go back a step and pretend I didn't try to write the automation in Track mode.

    D
    Instead, I'll try and re-record my mod wheel performance in Region mode. Putting the Track into Touch mode doesn't work in Region mode (I guess because of the distinction between MIDI data and DAW automation?). So the only way to do this, it seems, is to hit record and overwrite my MIDI region. (I have overlapping MIDI regions set to "Merge" in my preferences.) So I hit record and start to move my mod wheel when my first note hits, but when I do, the notes and my prior mod wheel data disappear from the piano roll, so I can't see what my curve was before, or where my notes are going to start and stop, which makes it tough to time my performance right.

    So I resort to using the pencil to draw in my new curves, which is fine, but I feel like there should be a way to rewrite my performance with the mod wheel easily.

    E
    I close the piano roll, and now I'm just looking at my region on my track. I have automation visible, and I'm back in Track Automation mode, and my track is in Touch mode so that I can write some other parameters. The current parameter being shown is still "Dynamics - d - Celli - Long CS", from before when Logic made this track automation parameter visible after my initial MIDI CC mod wheel performance. But, like before, there's no data written on that track. I start to play the track back, and Logic start's writing information into the "Dynamics - d - Celli - Long CS" lane COMPLETELY by itself. I'm watching it, and it's totally following the information that's in the Ch. 1: Modulation lane, and writing a (strangely, really rough and blocky) version of it. Remember before, up in section A, that after I wrote my initial Ch. 1: Modulation information in the region, Logic for some reason made "Dynamics - d - Celli - Long CS" visible in the Track Automation lane. There wasn't any data there, but the fader in the automation lane under the Piano Roll would move. So now, when I'm in touch mode, that fader that's moving is writing that data into the Track Automation. Not cool!

    Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 12.42.46 PM.png

    Even a little weirder about this is that when it's in the middle of automatically writing this data on its own, if I switch from Track mode to Region mode, and then back to Track mode, there's a big gap in the data where it didn't write anything while I was in region mode. So it's only doing this when I'm in track mode watching the fader move.

    F
    I have a hunch that there's a conflict between Logic's host automation and MIDI CC data happening here, so trying to solve this issue I open Kontakt and go to the Host Automation settings. The first 14 are assigned to controls in my Spitfire Cello, which Logic has done automatically. I delete the first one, which is dynamics. This totally solves the problem of the automatic writing of Track dynamics information. Now when I play back in Touch mode, nothing happens unless I hit a control. That's good, but does that mean I have to delete the host automation parameters from every instrument before I use it? That definitely doesn't feel right.

    If I'm remembering correctly, these issues just started happening after I upgraded 10.4, so it seems like they could be related to a conflict between Host Automation and MIDI automation. But I don't know because I've never had to go into the Host Automation section of Kontakt before, so I don't really understand how that section works. I always used the built in MIDI CC mappings for virtual instruments until now, and I never seemed to have any problems like this until the reorganization of Track/Region/MIDI data in Logic 10.4. Is there a place in Kontakt or Logic where you can globally remove Host Automation to avoid this problem?

    Lastly, (I promise this is the last thing) is that this really all started for me after 10.4 when I was pretty sure I was seeing Kontakt instruments receiving MIDI data when I wasn't sending any I would just play back and see several MIDI channels' red lights constantly flashing in the MIDI Automation menu. It was really intermittent, like it would happen in one project but not another. And if I would record on a track while it was happening a bunch of information would be written by itself. After really digging into this problem with the stuff above, I'm wondering now if it was related to this, where maybe there was some automation information that had been written without me knowing it that was causing the problem, just like above. It's totally possible, but if anyone out there has had Kontakt writing on its own or receiving MIDI messages like that, I'd love to hear about it.

    All of this, by the way, has been duplicated in two totally separate studio setups with different sample libraries, and I've definitely tried removing all external MIDI controllers from the equation to make sure those weren't causing the problems.PLEASE. School me on something if I'm totally missing part of the equation, or share any similar experiences you've had. This is driving me completely crazy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  2. Strangely enough, I experienced item C & D recently. I found that I needed to either choose "write" for the instrument track, or simply view the modulation data, lasso it, then delete (and re-record the MOD wheel). Kind of a PITA.

    How are you drawing the CC1 curves with the pencil? Are you able to draw it freehand, or is just the series of straight lines?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    Thanks for the response, Wolfie! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in at least a couple of these items so far. To draw I'm just clicking and dragging to draw a curve freehand, resulting in a series of points that make up a smooth curve, like so:
    Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 1.52.56 PM.png
     
  4. Thanks! I'm doing something wrong, going to try this again when I'm back in the studio.
     
    Lotus Lake likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    I'll look forward to hearing what happens, Wolfie. I'd love to know if you come up with any solutions!
     
  6. procreative

    procreative Senior Member

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    Mar 12, 2013
    United Kingdom
    This might not be relevant but some thoughts:

    1. Logic can read both Track and Region automation as they are separate data, there is a preference in Logic where you can set whether one takes priority over the other if both exist.

    2. If you have data in the region automation and switch to track automation it will still be transmitting but you wont see it as it exists in the region mode.

    Maybe what you are saying is something else but could not quite understand the point so maybe I am talking crap.
     
    Wolfie2112 likes this.
  7. mc_deli

    mc_deli n trepreneur

    2,258
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    Feb 22, 2015
    E you should send to Apple feedback.

    I am having trouble following to be honest with video.
    Have you checked in the Event List and e.g. Step editor to check what and how many different automations are being written?
     
  8. Mike Newport

    Mike Newport New Member

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    Sep 20, 2018
    Hey Lotus Lake!

    Is there any chance you managed to find a solution to this?
    I am experiencing the EXACT issue you describe, and have been for about the same amount of time (never used to have the issue, then it started happening). It was a relief the day I too discovered the Host Automation section of Kontakt, but not a long term solution!

    Really hope you've managed to sort it - and I'm surprised more people don't seem to be experiencing this issue!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  9. LowweeK

    LowweeK Loïc D

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    117
    Oct 12, 2015
    Paris, France
    Had this too (with cc1)
    Erratic fader jumps because of automation conflicts between region & track.
    The event editor was useless.
    I ended up deleting all automation values in the region and rewrite it.
    It also seems more frequent if you copy paste regions to other tracks (ie instruments playing the same line) and change automation on a copy.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    Hey y'all! Thanks for keeping the thread going! For the last few months I've been avoiding writing data in touch mode and have mostly just been using controllers on my initial record and then drawing in any edits manually, so I haven't been experiencing the issue since then. But I think I have figured out that what was causing my issue is indeed a conflict between region and track midi data, like LowweeK said. I just tried this experiment: Create a software instrument track (in this case a spitfire instrument where the mod wheel controls the dynamics), record a midi region with one note and some mod wheel data that controls the dynamics. Now open the automation lane and switch to Track view. Turn on touch mode, hit play, and Logic starts writing Track data for "Dynamics" which follows the exact shape of the mod wheel data in Region view. If you try to move your dynamics CC controller while touch is writing to track mode, the shape you're drawing will be some weird mix between your fader's movements and the shape of the mod wheel data on the Region track that's conflicting with it. I added some expression data to the region lane as well, went back to the track lane and hit play in touch mode, and it started writing data for expression, too. So I feel relieved to know the problem, but now I'd really like to find a solution. It seems crazy that you can't have region automation data and then use touch mode on the track automation lane without getting duplicates of the data in the region lane. I also feel like there have to be some other folks, especially folks who are writing in Logic daily, who have experienced this issue and found a solution (or have discovered that there is no solution, in which case I will totally make a screen capture and send it to Apple).
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    Also, thanks procreatve for the suggestion about the Region/Track automation priority option in project settings! It's a good suggestion, and one I'd really hoped would make a difference. Unfortunately, for me at least, whether I have that box checked or not, Logic still writes track automation when I have region data. :(
     
  12. Mike Newport

    Mike Newport New Member

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    Sep 20, 2018
    Hey Lotus Lake -

    Yep the Region/Track automation priority option doesn't fix the issue for me either.

    I really prefer writing in automation in touch mode, be in volume rides or automating other plugin parameters - but if there's any CC data in the midi (which is most of the time as I use a lot of orchestral samples with Mod Wheel as dynamics) this crazy issue happens. The only workaround I have is to use 'write' mode for automation - however, you can only do this once, else you'll write over previous passes of other automation parameters.

    Very frustrating. This never used to happen, and I'm certain that it is a bug and shouldn't be happening as it is totally illogical and counter-intuitive. I guess we should probably all file a bug report, and hope it gets on the radar!

    Though I am surprised more people aren't talking about this issue (it seems like a major flaw to me), so I wonder if for some reason our systems have a common thread which creates this bug.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    I'm with you. Workarounds are fine for now, but it definitely seems like something that shouldn't be happening. I wondered if it was something with my system causing it too, but when it started happening (which I'm pretty certain coincided with the 10.4 update that included changes to how Logic handles midi region vs track automation) it was in my personal home studio, and then on both of the systems at the studio where I work, which are totally different setups than my own. And now that it's happening with at least a few other people on this thread it makes me think it could totally be a bug.
     
  14. Mike Newport

    Mike Newport New Member

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    0
    Sep 20, 2018
    Yes, sure sounds like a bug if it affected all of those systems. I filed a bug report earlier today - perhaps you should to and we'll cross our fingers!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

  16. babylonwaves

    babylonwaves Senior Member

    711
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    May 9, 2015
    did you try Logic 10.4.2 ...?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    Not yet! I did head straight to the Automation section of the release notes to look for anything related to this, but didn't see anything. I'm going to update in the next few days. If no one else beats me to testing for this, I'll post what I find!
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Lotus Lake

    Lotus Lake Member

    Nope. 10.4.2 didn't fix it. :thumbsdown:
     
  19. Hunter123

    Hunter123 Senior Member

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    Feb 9, 2017
    I'd be really grateful if someone could help me paste midi cc1 and cc11 automation from one track to another track. Is this even possible?
     
  20. samphony

    samphony Senior Member

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    Nov 19, 2013
    The easiest way doing that is by recording your cc onto a separate track pointing to the same instrument.

    Create a track with the same channel strip or instrument assignment
    1. Select the track in the Tracks area.

    2. Do one of the following:
      • Choose Track > Other > New Track With Same Channel (or use the corresponding key command).

      • Option-click the Duplicate Track button [​IMG] above the track headers.
    A new track is created below the selected track.


    If you’ve already recorded cc into an existing region you can open the list view and filter the view to show only cc data, highlight and copy, select the target region and paste.
     
    Hunter123 likes this.

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