Setting up MIDI Controllers in Logic Pro (Volume, Pan, Plugins)
This tutorial will explain how to setup 2 VMeters to control the volume on 2 tracks, and also how to configure the pressure output on one of the VMeters to control a wah-wah plug effect.
Unfortunately, Logic Pro does not send MIDI controller data back out for generic MIDI devices like the VMeter. This means you will not see the LEDs change on the VMeter when you playback automation tracks. Logic Pro does support full bi-directional control for controllers that emulate a Mackie Control Surface, and we're working to find / write software to bridge this gap. One promising option for this is http://www.opuslocus.com/lcxmu/index.php, but we haven't tested it yet, and it's not free.
Controlling Track 1 & 2 Volume with 2 VMeters
Logic Pro is able to distinguish between multiple VMeters, even if all the settings are identical, so there's no need to do anything special with the VMeter configuration.
You do need to make sure each VMeter only has ONE controller output enabled. For instance, make sure you don't have Touch Position output enabled as well as Pressure or Pitch Bend enabled.
- Connect both VMeters (we'll call them A & B).
- Launch Logic Pro
- Create two tracks (1 & 2).
- Assign the Touch Position of VMeter A to track 1's volume.
- Open the "Controller Assignments" window by pressing Command-k
- Select Expert View
- Now, using the mouse, move the control you'd like to map first. In our case, move the volume on the fader for Track 1.
- Press Command-2 to bring up the Mixer.
- Press Command-L to start Learn Mode, or press the Learn button in the lower right of the Controller Assignments window.
- Now touch VMeter A. The Controller Assignments window should detect this and look something like the following:
- Before you do anything else, press Command-L again or click the "Learn Mode" button in the bottom right to disable detection. Otherwise any changes we make manually could be overridden.
- Now make the following change the parameters:
- Change the Control Name to vol 1 so you can identify the parameter in the control list (optional).
- Make sure Channel Strip says "Fader Bank". Change it if it says something else like "Selected Track". (You may actually want Selected Track in the future).
- Make sure "Parameter" says "Volume." If it's blank, you'll need to repeat this procedure because this setting is made by first adjusting a parameter, and then pressing Command-L or "Learn Mode".
- Make sure "Value Change" looks similar to B0 14 Lo7. If you're using a controller number other than 20 on channel 1, these may be different. Just make sure the 3rd word is "Lo7." If it's not, Logic detected a single button rather than a slider. Just change it to Lo7 manually.
- Change "Format" to "Unsigned".
- Change "Mode" to "Direct".
- You should now be able to touch VMeter A to change the volume on Track 1.
- Note: in our setup, the handle on the fader doesn't move, but the volume is indeed being changed, as you can see the number is +6.0, even though the handle is at the bottom.
- Now repeat the procedure for VMeter B and Track 2.
- In summary:
- Move the fader for Track 2 with the mouse.
- Press Command-L to go into Learn mode.
- Slide VMeter B.
- Immediately press Command-L again to exit Learn mode.
- Adjust the parameters in the expert view of the Controller Assignments page (command-k).
Control Two Parameters with One VMeter
Now we're going to setup the pressure output of VMeter A to also control a wah-wah plugin effect.
The key to mapping two outputs from a VMeter, is making sure only one output is on during the "learning" or mapping stage.
Logic Pro can create and save templates, which can then be used as starting points for new projects. Templates store the number of tracks, their names, the effects created in them, window positions, and just about every aspect of your project except for the Audio and MIDI itself. Making good use of templates can dramatically increase workflow speed.
This guide details how to map knobs and sliders in the Logic Pro mixer to the knobs and sliders on a MPK or MPD controller and then how to save these mappings as part of a template.
Connecting an MPK or MPD and launching Logic
- Connect the MPD or MPK series controller to a USB port on the computer.
- Choose a preset on the MPD or MPK to use with Logic in every session.
- Press the PRESET button on the MPK or MPD controller.
- Rotate the Value Knob until the display reads GM Drums (Preset 15) This is the preset that will be used in this example.
- Press the Value Knob down (like a button) to confirm the preset selection.
- Launch Logic Pro.
Create the basis for the template
- Create an number of Audio, Software, and/or External MIDI tracks which will cover a typical workflow when using Logic.
- Add inserts and effects.
- Name tracks, order them, and create a work space that will be a good starting point for future projects.
MIDI Map controls in Logic's mixer to controls on your MPK or MPD
- Select the Window menu at the top of the screen and choose Mixer (CMD+2).
Window > Mixer (CMD+2)
- In Logic, select the Logic Pro menu at the top of the screen, choose Preferences, then Control Surfaces, then Learn Assignment (CMD+L).
Logic Pro > Preferences > Control Surfaces > Learn Assignment (CMD+L)
- To map your first control, click and drag the volume slider in the first channel in Logic's Mixer window.
The Controller Assignments window will register that you are assigning a control to this first volume slider, and will begin listening for MIDI input from any connected controllers.
- Now move a knob or slider on the MPD or MPK controller to associate it with the volume slider on the screen.
The Controller Assignments window will list that the Volume control on the first channel in your mixer has been Learned.
- Next, click and drag the volume slider in the second channel in the Logic Mixer window.
- Move a different knob or slider on your MPD or MPK controller to associate it with the volume slider on the screen.
- The Controller Assignments window will list that the Volume control on the second channel in your mixer has been Learned.
- Repeat the above steps with any knobs or sliders on the Logic Mixer you'd like to map to the MPD or MPK controller.
- If you make a mistake, you can click any entry in the Control column in the Controller Assignments and press the Delete key on your computer keyboard to remove the assignment.
- When the setup is finished, close the Controller Assignments window. The knobs and sliders you mapped in the steps above should now respond to movements on your MPD or MPK controller.
Save your template
- Select the File menu at the top of the screen and choose Save as Template.
File > Save as Template...
- In the window that opens, name the new template Default and click Save.
You'll likely create many of your own templates as your recording work flow develops, grows, and changes over time.
Use the saved template when creating new projects in the future
- The next time you want to start a new project in Logic, select the File menu at the top of the screen and choose New (CMD+N).
File > New (CMD+N)
- In the left hand side of the window that opens, select My Templates.
- On the right hand side of the window, click the template that was saved earlier!
- A new project with all the tracks, effects, and MIDI controller mappings that were saved in the template will be created. A prompt will immediately appear asking you to save this new project somewhere on your computer.
Begin your new recording session!
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