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Why no inserts on External Midi tracks?


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I just pulled my synth rack out of storage because of the cpu hit the logics soft synths were causing and the core audio overload problem. And i must say that i was pretty pumped about the possibility of patching in some old analogs and processing them with the logic eq and effects plugins. But after adding them to the audio midi setup and creating a few external midi tracks, I quickly noticed that there were no inserts or sends in the inspector. Is there any way around this?


I would really appreciate any help.



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I have a motu 24 I/O and I just have individual Midi Channels and individual Audio Channels for each instrument which offers more possibilities for me. You just have to create a new audio channel and select the apropriate input and output and then you can select the insert you want and work in realtime with your external synths and the effects etc. of logic. With my motu 24 I/O it still works with 24 channels in 96 khz and 24 bit, it´s amazing.





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Ok, now i'm uber confused. There is the "external midi" option type in the new track window that is in addition to the audio track or an instrument track. Then... there is an external instrument plugin that can pulled up as an i/o option on an instrument track.


AND now i read, here and elsewhere, that some people create audio tracks for their external midi synths.


All i want to do. is trigger my external synths with midi data from logic (as a sequencer) and bring it back into logic through my ultralight interface and see inserts on the inspector that i can apply to the raw sound.


i don't know why i'm not getting a hold on this. but i would appreciate it if someone could give it another try.




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In the 'old school' style of routing you'd create an external MIDI track, which is just a fancy term for a MIDI track which is going to transmit to an external instrument (i.e. some midi device outside of Logic), transmit MIDI from that track to your hardware synth, and then route its audio into Logic either onto an aux track, or audio track for recording. Note that here 'external' simply means external from Logic, and not necessarily external from your computer. You could, for instance, route MIDI on an 'external' MIDI track to an IAC bus and into another DAW where it's soft synths could receive that MIDI.


Anyway, that's one way of doing it. IMHO the better way is to use the external instrument plugin. It basically makes an external MIDI hardware device operate just like a softsynth in Logic. You create a software instrument track and instantiate the external instrument plugin on it. You configure the plugin to xmit MIDI to the port your hardware synth is listening to, and configure it to receive audio on the inputs your hardware synth is transmitting to. Any MIDI on the track now goes to your external device, and the audio it makes can be heard through the software instrument track. There is no need to create an aux, input, or audio track.


Once you've done that you are at liberty, just as with any software instrument track, to instantiate Logic/AU effects or even use channel settings on the software instrument track. You'll hear the effect immediately and if you want to record your performance simply route the output of your software instrument track to a bus, and route the input of an audio track from the same bus. You can then record on that audio track.

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Great Tip, I was wondering how to do this myself.


The problem I seem to be having is that I'm getting MIDI echo when I have both the MIDI Destination and the Input selected. If I deselect the Input OR bypass the External Instrument plugin, then all is well, but if I enable the Input then I get MIDi echo.


If I disable the Input then I cant use Logic's built in effects.


This appears to be because I'm hearing both the realtime input monitor as well as the output. i have Local Control disabled on my synths.


Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a latency issue?

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UPDATE: So If I disable all the outputs in MOTU CueMix, then I can get rid of what appeared to be MIDI echo. Essentially, it appears that I can control all my routing directly in Logic without resotring to my audio interfaces built in software, which is fully dope.


However, the MIDI latency appears to be rearing its ugly head, as all the parts I have are way behind the rest of the sequence.


I'm going to see if i can fix this by playing with the delay options. Hopefuly this isnt the PDC issues thats been discussed at length on the other threads.


EDIT: OK, I finally got it working. I had to do a little hacking by using negative MIDI delay to MIDI output, but thats not a huge deal.


So now, not only can I use my MIDI synths in real time along with my audio tracks, but I can route them to Logic's built in FX, insert or send, and get real time spectrum analysis on incoming audio from MIDI synths.


This program F***IN RULES!

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syncsailor - you're right, I'd not noticed that limitation before. I don't know if this would work, but you could try creating an instrument in the environment (new > instrument) on the mixer layer. Then drag a cable connection between it and the channel that has the external instrument instantiated on it. Then with the instrument you created selected, in the inspector panel you can select MIDI program changes which I believe will be transmitted over the cable to the channel with the external instrument.


What happens next I'm not sure. Hopefully, those MIDI messages will get picked up by the ext inst plug in and forwarded out of Logic to whatever device the ext inst has been configured to play. I'm not in a position to test it in my studio at the moment unfortunately so I can't confirm. Might be worth you giving it a shot to see. But yeah, it would be good to see program changes added directly to the ext inst plugin as a new feature.


Eric J - yeah, there can be an issue with latency when using the ext inst. But I'm surprised you experienced the ext MIDI data lagging the rest of your tracks. Usually it is the other way around - the ext inst plugin can't do PDC because there is nothing reporting back to it with a delay value that it can tell Logic about. It has no idea about equipment outside of Logic. So it does nothing in terms of PDC. Meanwhile, all other plugins inside Logic can tell logic about their respective delay values, and Logic happily compensates for those numbers by delaying all the tracks in logic. Therefore it is usually the case that you find external gear is playing *ahead* of your PDC tracks because it was never delayed. But either way, you got it figured out so that's good.

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