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Mod Wheel Works to Control Synth But Not Recorded


jproxy
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Hi, I got Logic to learn to control a cutoff in a synth with my mod wheel. It works great and I can expressively control the parameter from my keyboard. 

But when I record, all that’s captured is the performance of notes, not if the mod wheel performance gets recorded. 

How can I keep the parameter assigned to my mod wheel but also capture the performance?

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If you've used controller assignments to learn your mod wheel to a plugin parameter, then by design, this MIDI data will not reach the sequencer, and cannot be recorded.

In effect, you're "hard-wiring" the mod wheel to the plugin parameter, so you use the automation system to record changes to plugin parameters, not recording the MIDI of the mod wheel in a region.

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36 minutes ago, des99 said:

If you've used controller assignments to learn your mod wheel to a plugin parameter, then by design, this MIDI data will not reach the sequencer, and cannot be recorded.

In effect, you're "hard-wiring" the mod wheel to the plugin parameter, so you use the automation system to record changes to plugin parameters, not recording the MIDI of the mod wheel in a region.

Thanks for the clarification. How do you then, in my situation control a parameter with hardware for a performance but then also capture that performance?

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For me, if it was a mod wheel to filter thing, and I wanted to play it while recording as a performance feature, I'd likely want it recorded among the notes, so I wouldn't use Logic's controller assignments, I'd use the synth's own modulation routings to route the mod wheel to the filter. Most synths should be able to do this internally.

That way, you're only sending, and recording performance MIDI data into regions, and don't need to mess with learning MIDI controllers to plugin parameters.

I'd tend to use the controller assignments/automation thing for other parameter changes that weren't part of a performance, and more of a mixing-type thing, using the automation system.

But you can do it either way - if you want to stick to the way you're doing it now, while also going into record mode, you'll need to be in automation latch mode as well to record the plugin parameter changes you're doing in the performance, and as you're recording track automation, you've got two sets of data in different places to be careful of when editing afterwards.

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49 minutes ago, gacki said:

Hardware synth? Software synth? Is the Modwheel data shown in the input display?

It’s a simple iRig hardware keyboard controlling a Logic plugin synth. It seems to be a weird (known?) thing where assigning a hardware control to a soft synth parameter now means the control data isn’t available to the track for recording?

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1 minute ago, jproxy said:

It seems to be a weird (known?) thing where assigning a hardware control to a soft synth parameter now means the control data isn’t available to the track for recording?

It's not a weird thing, it's by design. It's how controller assignments work, intentionally, to make sure control data generated by control surfaces *isn't* recorded into regions (which would otherwise be a disaster).

Which Logic synth are you using?

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3 minutes ago, des99 said:

For me, if it was a mod wheel to filter thing, and I wanted to play it while recording as a performance feature, I'd likely want it recorded among the notes, so I wouldn't use Logic's controller assignments, I'd use the synth's own modulation routings to route the mod wheel to the filter. Most synths should be able to do this internally.

Yeah, that was my first thought, that you could “tell” the cutoff filter in the synth to respond to the mod wheel, but I couldn’t figure out that option. I’m trying to control that very old bright green synth that’s been part of logic for a while. Is it maybe that it’s such an old plug it doesn’t support that?

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2 minutes ago, des99 said:

It's not a weird thing, it's by design. It's how controller assignments work, intentionally, to make sure control data generated by control surfaces *isn't* recorded into regions (which would otherwise be a disaster).

Which Logic synth are you using?

ES 1 Synthesizer 1

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13 minutes ago, des99 said:

ES1?

Yes, this absolutely supports routing the mod wheel to the filter cutoff, no MIDI learning or controller assignments required:

SCR-20220926-9t.png.ed22e1d41f453520ecc1fe6712e12533.png

Thanks. I just removed the mod wheel as a learned controller thing and then switched that radio button in your red circle. The mod wheel now seems to vary the depth of the LFO, not merely remotely adjusting the cutoff.

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1 minute ago, jproxy said:

Ah, I needed to set the LFO to DC. That worked! Thanks for all the help.

Yeah sorry, I haven't actually rigged this up for some years so sometimes some little details don't immediately come to mind! I recommend these kind of mod routings in the synth, so you can record the MIDI directly as a performance, over the way you were doing it before. 👍

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Yep, and there are additional complexities with region-based versus track-based automation, and some problems recording with region-based automation while recording because there isn't a region yet that exists for the region-based automation to get recorded to, and other complexities that I really didn't want to go that deep into.

I don't actually know the exact behaviour of that option offhand, so I'll read up on that a bit - thanks for the pointer.*

I still think that synthesis modulations like this, mod wheel to filter, as a performance, are best kept to the instrument and MIDI, and out of the automation system for a bunch of reasons, and just gave fairly easy to understand examples as what I think is likely the best approach for this.

But if the OP wants to explore the various complexities and options of the automation system, go for it. 👍

Edit: Ok, it's fairly self-explanatory. I think though it doesn't get around the main problem using region-based automation like this, that's come up here in the past - RBA requires a region to record *into*. When you are recording a MIDI part, a region doesn't yet exist, so you *can't* record RBA at the same time as recording a MIDI performance (as there is no region created until after you hit stop).

(Ill check in the current version with this behaviour is still the same.)

If this is still the case, you are therefore limited to TBA with this method, which again, is not a good fit for a synth performance where the filter cutoff changes are integral to the notes, and makes editing problematic.

Edited by des99
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41 minutes ago, polanoid said:

You don’t need an existing MIDI region for this (can’t you just try the feature *before* actually criticizing it

I did say, I'll check out the behaviour to see whether they've changed it, but I was basing my comments on how I knew it worked when it came up before - I just got roped up in something else and am not in front of Logic so haven't checked yet. I hope they have indeed fixed it, because the implementation previously was problematic...

Edited by des99
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8 minutes ago, des99 said:

but I was basing my comments on how I knew it worked when it came up before

Record Automation with MIDI regions has *never* worked differently since it was introduced in 10.5.0, more than two years ago.

Edited by polanoid
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6 minutes ago, polanoid said:

Record Automation with MIDI regions has *never* worked differently since it was introduced in 10.5.0, more than two years ago.

Not quite what I was talking about - I'm not saying that feature in the menu has changed or works differently, I'm talking about how recording RBA while recording MIDI in the past required a region to record RBA into, meaning you couldn't record RBA at the same time as MIDI. *That's* the possible behaviour change I'm talking about, not the "Record automation with MIDI regions" (the behaviour of which is still unclear to me, all I currently know is what the manual says).

Now it could of course be my memory is faulty, but I do remember threads about this - but for which versions of Logic it was, I'm not sure, and whether that feature was around then, or whether that feature changes the behaviour, I don't know offhand without trying it myself and getting clear on what's going on. From the manual of that particular feature, the only change inferred is that using the "Record automation with MIDI" you now no longer have to set an automation mode to record RBA at the same time, unless I'm reading it wrong. But it might have wider behaviour differences than just that.

Are you saying that with this unchecked, Logic works as I remember, and you need a region to record RBA into, and with this feature checked, you *don't* need a region to record RBA into? Or something else?

 

It's quite possible that the threads I remember were pre-10.5, so when I can I'll check the behaviour in 10.4.x, so I can be clear on how it works now, and whether my recollection is correct or incorrect.

But *anyway* these kinds of complexities was why I recommended my favoured approach to the OP, and didn't go into further detail on the automation stuff, because rathole etc.

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3 minutes ago, des99 said:

Are you saying that with this unchecked, Logic works as I remember, and you need a region to record RBA into, and with this feature checked, you *don't* need a region to record RBA into?

If it's unchecked, no automation (aka fader) data can ever be recorded, you can only write it using the Touch/Write/Latch modes. Of course for Touch/Write/Latch to work, you do need an existing MIDI region.

If it's checked, on the other hand, and you're in Read automation mode, you can input Fader data as you like while recording MIDI and this data will be recorded with the region (which of course does not yet exist) and show up as RBA afterwards.

Quite straightforward really, and solves the problem that RBA can not be written while recording MIDI notes. Very handy if you're using control surfaces a lot.

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I replied because you mentioned a feature that you're suggesting has implications on a behaviour I thought worked a particular way, and I said thanks for the pointer, I'll investigate to see how it works - because the old RBA behaviour was something that I found annoying, so if this has been changed/fixed/whatever in the meantime, a) that's great, and b) I need to update my knowledge on that topic, which is also a good thing.

Or if I'm just remembering it wrong, which is certainly possible without digging out the threads, also b).

Perhaps you took this as being argumentive, or dismissive of your input. If you did, that wasn't the intent.

I did clarify my position that I don't think automation is the best tool for the OP's case though, and why, which I stand by...

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16 minutes ago, polanoid said:

If it's unchecked, no automation (aka fader) data can ever be recorded, you can only write it using the Touch/Write/Latch modes. Of course for Touch/Write/Latch to work, you do need an existing MIDI region.

Ok, that's the "old" behaviour I was talking about. Good.

16 minutes ago, polanoid said:

If it's checked, on the other hand, and you're in Read automation mode, you can input Fader data as you like while recording MIDI and this data will be recorded with the region (which of course does not yet exist) and show up as RBA afterwards.

Great - and if this feature was added in 10.5, this probably explains why earlier versions *only* behaved in the way I described above. (I was stuck on 10.4.8 for a long time, and only managed to get to 10.5.x after I hacked my machine to run Mojave), so that feature wasn't available to me for quite some time after it was introduced, hence why it's not high on my radar.

16 minutes ago, polanoid said:

Quite straightforward really, and solves the problem that RBA can not be written while recording MIDI notes. Very handy if you're using control surfaces a lot.

Exactly, good to know the problem I described is fixed with that feature... it was indeed annoying. Knowledge updated - thanks!

Edited by des99
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2 minutes ago, des99 said:

Perhaps you took this as being argumentive, or dismissive of your input.

Indeed I did. Record Automation with Regions works completely flawlessly AFAICT, and it's also very uncomplicated and intuitive (it just does what the menu option says it does), so there's no reason not to use it.

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Both approaches are different and each has its own time and place in my opinion. I still think of automation and MIDI CC as different animals, and they behave quite differently. For example:

  • If I'm programming a patch for the ES1 and feel that it would be great to be able to adjust the filter cutoff anytime I use that patch, then I'll most likely set it up in the ES1 routing matrix. For another patch on that synth or another synth, I may determine that I'd like the mod wheel to modulate something different, and I can program each patch independently of any global controller assignments. 
  • On the other hand the automation has the advantage of always chasing the current value, which is a bit more complicated with MIDI CC (which is actually buggy in the current Logic version). It's also much easier to re-do a section of automation that was poorly performed, while that's more challenging to do with MIDI CC. 
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4 minutes ago, David Nahmani said:

It's also much easier to re-do a section of automation that was poorly performed, while that's more challenging to do with MIDI CC. 

Note that in that case you need to use Touch or Latch, of course. "Record automation with MIDI region" would result in conflicting automation.

Edited by polanoid
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