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Getting Workable MIDI data from a Natural Piano Performance in Logic Pro X


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Hi, first time user. 🙂 Hope I am posting this to the correct sub-forum. If not, mods please feel free to move it to the right one.

I have used Logic Pro X very, very sparingly and very, very casually these last 6 years. (Emphasis on "sparingly" and "casually".) However, I really like it and plan to use it regularly in the future!

I am a classical pianist, and one of my interests is in capturing a proper performance as MIDI data. I have all the equipment to do so - a Yamaha CP4 digital piano connected via USB to my 2015 iMac, and Pianoteq 7. Everything works perfectly.

What bothers me is that - while I can record my raw performance in Logic Pro X, and it can be played back flawlessly - it creates a total mess on the software interface. Even if I were to specify the correct time signature and tempo beforehand and adhere to them as I play, I am bound to speed up and slow down, apply ritardando and rubato, etc.

I don't want to play like a robot; it is futile to my ends. I want to play naturally, but have something that makes a bit more sense on my computer screen afterwards. 😅

I am unsure what other pianists do. Is there a way to do this more elegantly than simply recording the performance and not "giving a hell" what it looks like afterwards, as long as it plays back fine?

Hope I am not asking for the impossible.

Thank you all!

Jules

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turn off 'quantize'. turn off the metronome. and just use logic as a 'free-time' recorder. but what you see is what you get; the midi information onscreen IS what you played (and can, of course, be edited).

LP10.7.4 • os12.5b • 3.2GHz i7 imac • one plugin short of perfection  upstatebrooklyn

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Perhaps apply beat mapping once you’ve finished recording? 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure what your goal is here - if it's to record and capture your performance, so you can play it back or render to audio, it doesn't really matter what it looks like, it only matters what it sounds like.

If however your goal is to produce a readable score, for instance, then recording a real time interpretaion with all kinds of natural tempo changes is probably not the best way to do about it. A score is a more bare bones instruction set, leaving the performer to decide on the performance aspect according to the score instructions.

If you want Logic's project tempo to adapt to your free time tempo in your recording so that Logic's grid lines up with your played tempo, so you can add further parts on the grid, Logic has a number of tools for this, but no software can always perfectly automatically deduce musically "correct" bar lines from your intentions and what you played, depending on the precise nature of the music - as you know, classical tempo is fluid at best, whereas sequencers are precise tools - so it usually requires some finagling or trying different approaches to find the best fit - this can range from straightforward to frustrating.

What's the need to align Logic's grid to your classical piano recording? You want to add drum machines and sequencer parts and stuff on your pieces?

Edited by des99

mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

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Posted (edited)

Dear all, thank you for your replies. (And so prompt! 🙂)

@fisherking

I think that would work! I'll see what else I can find out about it.

@des99

Sorry, if I didn't explain myself too clearly earlier. Yes, I am aware that as long as it sounds good that's technically ok, and that even if it is a mess onscreen, I can still add more instruments and develop the project further (if I want to). I just need to "synchronise with myself" while recording other parts, the same way one would with other performers when playing in a band, etc.

No, my intention is not a readable score. I think for those purposes one is better off with a proper score-writer, like MuseScore, Sibelius or Finale, right? I suspect Logic Pro's score generator is more of an assistive feature and not intended for printing or proper formatting. Furthermore, I just really want to create music right now, and am far less bothered about scores. That might be something to look into in the future, but certainly not now.

The reason I asked about this is because I thought that simply recording onto Logic Pro X while disregarding the set tempo, time signature, key, etc. is the "incorrect" way of doing it. If this is what other musicians do (i.e., not fuss about bar positions, etc.) that I guess that makes it perfectly OK and I can go ahead without worrying too much about it!

Edited by Jules DeMalte
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Posted (edited)

Many people use DAWs as straight audio/MIDI recorders, completely ignoring any click tracks or sequencer tempo - this is fine!

You can even change the timeline to display time, rather than bars/beats, which is more helpful for this kind of work. Honestly, I'd only worry about beatmapping a free time recording if there is a specific need to do it - otherwise, I'd say just use Logic as a recorder and don't worry too much about it!

Edited by des99

mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

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Thank you des99. I will look up the function to remove the bars and beats, as that will work perfectly for me.

This place looks swell! 😃 I doubt I'll ever be a "post whore," but I'm fairly certain I will be returning, even if I lurk for a while. Perhaps when I know the ins and outs of the software myself I'll be able to help somebody else in the future.

Off-topic, but I've joined a lot of forums over the years only to fizzle out and never post again after a couple of submissions. The only one I've remained active on is the first one I ever joined back in 2006! A shame that internet boards are going the way of the dodo, but this place seems active and exciting!

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Posted (edited)

It's File -> Project Settings -> General -> Use Musical Grid (uncheck this).

It's a project setting, not a global preference, so if you want to use this a lot, it makes sense to configure this in your startup templates so it's always set how you like when you start something.

Welcome btw! We're all super nice (even fisherking sometimes! ;) ) and fun to have tea with here - hope you stick around!

Edited by des99
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mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

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Would love to have tea with you both. :-) Never was a coffee guy.

Quote

It's File -> Project Settings -> General -> Use Musical Grid (uncheck this).

Just tried it. Peeeeeerrrrfect!!

Exactly what I needed. It even affects the piano roll!

(OK, so score is still notating things exactly ... but we just won't click on that tab now, will we? 😇 )

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Posted (edited)

Indeed, all the "sequencer" type functions like scoring, quantising, tempo-synced effects and so on are all tied to Logic's grid - working off grid won't allow you to effectively use those functions, as the notes, tempo and bar lines of your free recording won't line up - as I said above, if you *do* need to use those functions, that'll be the time to look at the remapping workflow. ;)

Edited by des99

mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio | Legacy Logic Project Conversion | Logic 10.7.4, MBP 16" M1pro

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