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(Re-)recording MIDI notes and dynamics in Logic?

Vik

Scandi Member
I've never found a good way to re-record dynamics/vibrato (etc) info in Logic. There's something with the workflow which doesn't make sense to me. For instance, I sometimes ending up with stuff like this:
Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 15.45.52.png


Also, both region based automation and track based automatons seem to have shortcomings. Are any of you having a good workflow for this? Do you use track automation or region automation? Do you ever re-record your mod wheel (or other controller) data while keeping your notes? Do you use any of the automation modes (Touch etc)? Do you use replace mode? ....and so on.

Thanks in advance.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
Good discussion. First of all, the picture you posted looks like two takes of automation recorded on top of one another, if that helps.

If we're talking about recording dynamics and vibrato etc, then I never touch the automation controls. As of newer versions of Logic, midi CC data by default is displayed as "region automation." If all you're doing is driving VI controls with midi faders, then you can safely ignore any of the automation modes and simply leave it in "read" mode. Despite the semantics, it's easier to think of your midi CC data as part of the midi performance rather than automation. To add, I don't think Logic treats any moves you make on midi faders/mod wheels as writable events in touch/write mode anyhow.

I'll admit it's a slightly confusing concept. Older versions of Logic made a distinction between midi CC data and "automation" whereas now it's displayed under the same banner. IMO, it's still easier to work "old school" style with your midi CC data: "Record" it and let Logic display it as region automation.

My workflow revolves around the "capture as recording" key command. So if I've only recorded notes, I simply play back the track whilst working the mod wheel etc. If I like my performance, I "capture as recording" and the midi CC performance is merged into my existing region as "region automation."
 
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charlieclouser

Senior Member
What I usually do is to "Create New Track With Same Instrument" and then record CC info into new regions on that track, and then merge them into the base track and remove the extra track when I'm done. That way if I need to re-do a messed up pass, I can just delete the whole region and go again because the notes are on a different track.

It's a little clumsy but it's fast if you have key commands set up. If I'm going to draw any CC events in the Key Editor then I merge first so I can see the CC events under the notes they go with.

I'd actually prefer to use Automation with modes like Touch / Latch because then you don't get results like in Vik's pic, but I'm still on Logic v10.2.4 and I'm not sure if this Region Automation thing that Alex is talking about is something that came after v10.2.4 or what. If it's included in my version perhaps I should investigate....
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
I'd actually prefer to use Automation with modes like Touch / Latch because then you don't get results like in Vik's pic, but I'm still on Logic v10.2.4 and I'm not sure if this Region Automation thing that Alex is talking about is something that came after v10.2.4 or what. If it's included in my version perhaps I should investigate....
Hey Charlie. It's 10.4 onwards.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
First of all, the picture you posted looks like two takes of automation recorded on top of one another, if that helps.
Yes - but I also get it when that's not the situation - a problem which may be related to something discussed in another thread, where apparently Native Instruments needs to do something to get make things work as expected. But the problem may also be related to something which changed in Logic 10.4.
IMO, it's still easier to work "old school" style with your midi CC data: "Record" it and let Logic display it as region automation.
Sure, but I still haven't found a good way to simple rerecord new fader data over the existing one. Touch mode etc doesn't do anything for region automation, replace mode not only erases all existing data in the revenant area, but also has other bugs. I wish there was a way to rerecord CC only, and keep the notes (etc) unchanged.
 

jacobthestupendous

not that stupendous
The cool stitch shape happens from CC curves at different resolutions. The easiest way to avoid it is to delete old info before rerecording new CCs.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
Well, that’s one of the reasons this can happen, but unfortunately not the only one. And if this is a Kontakt problem, it should happen in all DAWs - in which case it’s hard to understand why NI hasn’t fixed this yet.

OTOH: this a result no users ever want. If I record eg CC1 on MIDI channel 1, and such info already exists in that region, my DAW should either warn me or see it as a way to modify the curve that’s already in that region.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I don't use Logics automation, just simple midi CC recording. Never thought about region or track automation or Kontakt problems. I record notes and CCs on the same track. I always have an event list window open. When I have to re-record CC data I click on one event in the list (i.e. CC1) and use the key command for "selecting similar events" which selects all CC1 events of that region. Then I delete them. I do that so often it takes me two seconds.

Without event list: Alt-click in the piano roll into the space beside the CC curve selects the complete curve. Alt-click-delete: done.

But most of the time I don't look at the CC curves. Either they are good or I re-record them. I edit only for little bumps or overlapping regions.

For re-recording CC data I watch the track in the score window so I can follow the notes when playing the dynamics. Score editor set to black chain symbol keeps the content visible even while recording overdubs.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
One may also remove only some of the region automation of the track, of course. But Logic already has touch mode (which doesn’t work for region automation) and a way to replace existing events only when you record something (which can’t be used to replace only CC data either).

And then there’s the problem that if a Kontakt library comes preassigned with both types of automation, things go wrong (as discussed in several other threads).

In good consoles, there’s an option to keep an automation take, but modify/trim it by recording another curve on top of it. The software is smart enough to understand how to make a new shape out of the old and the new shape. I wish Logic had something similar.

And I really hope NI will fix Kontakt - which apparently is what both Apple and Spitfire think they must do, since part of the problem here has been a known issue for a very long time now.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
One may also remove only some of the region automation of the track, of course. But Logic already has touch mode (which doesn’t work for region automation) and a way to replace existing events only when you record something (which can’t be used to replace only CC data either).

And then there’s the problem that if a Kontakt library comes preassigned with both types of automation, things go wrong (as discussed in several other threads).

In good consoles, there’s an option to keep an automation take, but modify/trim it by recording another curve on top of it. The software is smart enough to understand how to make a new shape out of the old and the new shape. I wish Logic had something similar.

And I really hope NI will fix Kontakt - which apparently is what both Apple and Spitfire think they must do, since part of the problem here has been a known issue for a very long time now.
If the issue is really bothering you, there's a round-about way to use host automation to drive dynamics, vibrato etc in Kontakt. It would save you some of the issues you're describing, but would probably add a few more.

Regarding the other issue with Kontakt/Spitfire/Apple. IMO, all the parties involved could claim that their design choices are correct. That's probably why it's not been addressed with any urgency.

That's the nature of the beast. Ultimately, it's best to adapt your workflow to the available tools and move on.
 
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Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
Thanks, Alex! I certainly both want the tools to improve and to adapt my workflow to current limitations, but it's still interesting to hear how others workflows are.

There are also the SmartControls option - which actually could be smarter new than last time I tried it, which sa while ago. From what I have seen on this board, it seems that not many VI-users use Smart Controls (yet).

And yes, the issue(s!) are bothering me. I also found that the Content Punch function (under the Replace button) is buggy. That function could, with some improvements, help the CC automation to get a better workflow.
What I found was that it seems to exist only to replace MIDI notes, not other data. It also starts to erase stuff before I play something.

I started by trying out host automation initially, but based on my and others' experiences, region automation seems like better solution. Too bad that we don't have same functionality for Region Automation which we have for Track Automation.

Btw, I can't 'move on', since I haven't stopped moving. :) I already use the existing methods in various combinations, but was (and still am) very curious about which workflow other members here have.
 
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