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MIDI Channel 2 not working - breath control


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I have used my TEControl 2 BBC2 breath controller successfully for over a year in Logic. To date it has always worked seamlessly with many Audiomodelling SWAM instruments and Sample Modelling Trumpet 3. This morning I thought I would try to use it to control expression in Logic's standard supplied Hammond B3. I did get it to work OK but it was a little clunky to use and behaved slightly strangely - which I did not think anything of at the time.


Then I tried to set up a new track in the same project for my SWAM Bari Sax. The control panel for the sax would not recognise CC2 (breath controller) as expression.


In the TECcontol BBC2's dedicated management softwareI can see that the BBC2 is doing its job, and sending data to the computer. Moreover I can see in Logic itself that MIDI date is reaching Logic. The little white button that appears up in the project information panel in the control bar lights up appropriately for each controller as I activate it. This includes the breath controller. But now, for the Sax and Trumpet, there is simply no reaction when I try to use CC2 as a breath controller. Strangely, the other parameters such as vibrato control (CC1 and 12) are still working as they are supposed to. I am used to getting this all working, so I should have been able to make it work this time. I have tried turning the computer on an off, closing and reopening projects. Nothing rectified the problem.


What is really messing with my head though is the fact that the Logic B3 still works with the BBC2. I just re-opened it tried it now. The B3 expression knob is going up and down as I blow into the BB2. If computers and plugins were alive and had personalities I would think that the B3 has just grabbed that BBC2 breath controller out of spite and won't give it back.


Just to check if the "evil computer B3" could be a "thing" I started a new project, set up Logic's stock Rhodes, and tried to get Logic to "learn" that the BBC2 was assigned to control tremolo rate. I can see in the list in the Learn window that the BBC2 has now been assigned to the Rhodes tremolo but it has no effect. Yep...the little MIDI dot in the Control Bar comes on as expected when I blow, but there is no reaction in the Rhodes plugin! It's the same as the sax and trumpet plugins.


As we say in polite conversation over here in Australia.....I am buggered. Does any one have any idea what could be the problem? It looks like a Logic issue. Do I just have a malevolent B3 who has grabbed the breath controller and won't let go? How can I get it back?

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Thanks both of you.


David - when I use the "bypass all control surfaces" the SWAM and Trumpet 3 instruments, opened in a separate project, work as normal again.


Also when I load up a SWAM sax in the project I was working on, it now plays normally. However now, the organ, opened in the project I was working and which previously allowed me to control expression with the breath controller, does not respond to the breath controller now. When I try to "relearn" breath control of the expression knob I am prevented from doing so because "control surfaces are bypassed" (to be expected I suppose). So.... I have done the test and it has produced some results....but what am I to make of it?


DanRad - looking at the event lists - I am not really knowledgable about the event lists. I can see the far right column "length/info" lists the BBC2 control movement (breath, mod etc). It is a bit confusing to me. When I am able to successfully record a breath control, it is there. However, yesterday I was able to successfully control the organ expression and now, after bypassing control surfaces, I can't. Also when I look at the event list for yesterdays successful use of the BBC2 for expression, there is no data there that indicates the use of the breath controller - but it did happen. I may be getting confused now as I did try several tracks of organ on that project but none of them shows breath controller data.


Watching the event lists this morning, as I successfully recorded the SWAM instruments, they behaved as I expected and showed the BBC2 data coming in.


Also - the "length info" column in the event list sometimes shows columns of figures and sometimes shows words so I am not sure what I am seeing there. When I am successfully recording the SWAM instruments it shows the CC in words.... "Breath"... "Modulation" etc.


Thank you both so much for taking the time to respond. It is morning in Australia now here so I expect you chaps have gone to bed. So while you recline upon your virtuous couches (as my mother used to say) I am going to go now and see if I can find anything in David's Logic Pro X 10.3 book, of which I have a hard copy here, and study up on "event lists".

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I have spent most of my day trying to get the Logic B3 working with some sort of expression controller. Studied your book David, and went online to learn as much as I could about the events list, but I did not crack it that way. At one stage I gave up and tried to use the organ on the Nord Stage, but I can't get that to sound as nice.


So late in my day I have gone back the to Logic B3. I thought I had cracked it when I was able to use my normal expression pedal to get the "expression" knob in the B3 to move appropriately. I played through and recorded the B3, and sounds as I played swelled and faded appropriately to my movement of the foot expression controller.


BUT....when I stopped recording and played it back there was no swell and fade in the recorded sound. In fact the expression pedal still controlled the played back sound i.e. if the expression pedal was set to fade no sound came out of the B3 on playback but I could then get the playback sound if I pushed down on the pedal. I checked in the MIDI draw window. There was no expression data recorded.


So there is definitely strange something going on with this plugin that I don't understand.


I have turned the computer on and off today several times. Would this have cancelled the command to Bypass Control Surfaces? How does that command work and what does it actually do anyway? I was sort of stunned when I did what you suggested and bypassed them, only to find that my breath controllers then worked! I thought it, being a control surface or sorts, had been bypassed!

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The "Bypass..." command resets every time you start Logic. To "record" those "swells" you need to enable latch or touch on the track and record the expression knob movements as automation. When using Logics controller assignments (as you did when using the B3) you stop that midi from reaching the sequencer (and the instrument), so that's why your SWAM sax never receive the breath control.
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Thanks JakobP


Just to be clear, when I started out yesterday, I was not trying to use the breath controller to control the SWAM sax, but to control the B3 expression. At first it did control the B3 expression while playing (although no breath breath control data was recorded for the organ) but only then, after I had used the breath controller to control the organ, did I then try to load a SWAM Sax and found that the breath controller was not able to control the sax any more.


Is that consistent with what you are suggesting?


I just did an experiment and recorded a single note with the B3 using "latch", with an interesting outcome. When I open the region I recorded in the MIDI draw window it does not show any expression controller data recorded. However, on the region in the track it very clearly shows data that was recorded. Also when I play back this region the expression data is played, the sound swells and fades appropriately. So that will work as a fix for at least getting some recording done. However, I am mystified why the data does not appear in the midi draw window, and this is significant because I often want to edit this sort of data. I have attached two screen shots that show the data is on the region but does not appear in the MIDI draw window.


Also, in the past, I have never had to use touch or latch to get the breath controller to operated the sax expression control. I just play the sax (once it has recognised the breath controller as the expression control, and the expression control data is automatically recorded. I do feel though that there is something in what you are suggesting because the act of assigning breath control to the B3 seems to have changed something for the sax.


I am wondering if the breath controller can actually be used to control the organ expression knob?



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Basically you're "hijacking" your midi breathcontrol when assigning it to something in Logics controller assignments. Instead of assigning breath to the expression knob, you could insert a Modifier midi fx on the B3 channel strip and set its input to breath and output to expression. Doing so you can use your sax as normal.BreathToExpr.thumb.png.0226d6291afbc765dddc9476f7c57762.png
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Wow! Thanks so much JakobP. I will give that a go and it might be very useful indeed.


If I may ask, do you know of any resources that I can access or buy to get some more advanced training in Logic? It's such a deep program. I did have the Macpro Video series a few years ago and it got me a long way down the track. I also have David's book from a couple of years ago and I have found it a good source of learning, but it would not have taken me to this information that you have just given me. I have watched endless hours of video online, read articles and delved into the Help info on Logic, but those sources are either fragmentary or the same old (not too advanced) stuff most of the time.


Also you often don't know what you don't know, or don't know enough to ask the right question or look up the best source.


I would love some hints on how you obtained your deeper, more advanced Logic skills?

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