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Safest, most conflict-free way to drive Logic using MIDI commands


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Hi Logic Pro Help boards, I've learned so much over the last couple months from this forum! Can't thank you enough.


I now have a semi-automated live setup working in Logic, using the Environment, control surface setup, and multiple custom MIDI scripter plugins I wrote.


Through sending MIDI codes around in Logic (driven by a multi-pedal foot controller), I can:

- select tracks

- record arm multiple tracks at a time

- turn off/on MIDI notes on a track through the MIDI scripter (more efficient for performance than simple track mute)

- toggle the main Record button on/off

- set dynamic pitch splits for multi-track recording based on what part of the song I'm at (also MIDI scripter plugin)


I don't want to be long-winded, but I want to be thorough so you can give the best advice. I'm using MIDI CC's for all these automation tasks, and just realized that CC #7 turns MIDI instrument volume off by default, which is a hell of a bug in the context of the system I've built. Very unwanted behavior, but according to threads I've read here, it's not something I'll want to mess with.


I expected conflicts might arise, and it's no problem to refactor my code and setup. But here's my big question:


What type of MIDI commands should I use for the least amount of conflicts? Should I use Program Change instead of CC? As you can imagine, I probably have 100+ commands flying around at this point for all the automation I'm handling.


I want to have a clean slate to make things easier for programming tasks. For example, I send a Control Change command on Ch.4 which is my custom record arm on/off channel, and use CC number 7 to select track 7 (and Ch4., CC#8 to record arm track 8, and so on...). If I can't use a really simply numbering scheme, my head will probably explode trying to automate my songs.


If some numbers are reserved and I have to call tracks 1-30 by using MIDI CC codes 50-80 to avoid conflicts, it'll be a nasty mind bender for me to get simple things done.


Any advice?


As a side note, I'm using some very low MIDI note commands to control some things too but that also seems like it could get me into trouble if phantom notes play when I'm just trying to send automation commands.

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Ok, so I did more testing and have found out some things:


Here's a handy list of reserved MIDI CCs, and which ones are probably safer to use: http://tweakheadz.com/midi-controllers/


I also found that Program Changes carry a "channel" and "number" parameter but not "value", which means one less slot to do stuff with!


I guess there's really no choice but to have weird numbers to call tracks, and live with it, so I can rest easy knowing I'm not going to accidentally screw up my software synth sounds in the middle of a gig.

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Atlas007 -


I originally thought so too, but Mainstage doesn't really "do" MIDI from what I've read. I'm using things like smart quantize on the track for note timing, and region looping on the track. With the Scripter plugin on tracks, I can mute MIDI notes selectively. So I can essentially turn loops on/off after I record them.


I'm also using the Scripter to dynamically set pitch splits based on where I am in the song. If the Piccolo plays a low part at one point, but I need it only in the high notes later, I can do that easily in Logic.


I've tried to understand what software does these things apart from Logic. It seems like Ableton might be more "readily constructed" for what I'm doing. BUT, at this point I've got Logic whipped into shape pretty good, and since I used Logic to write the music, it's actually pretty efficient to now use it live w/ loops I record on the fly, etc.


My goal is no pre-recorded stuff, which is what has been the hardest to achieve, but I'm nearly there!

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