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Merging non-destructively?


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Is there a way to merge two or more midi regions in a session non-destructively? If so, does Logic have the capability to recall region parameters of different parts within a merged region. So if I merge three different midi tracks, all with different delay values, the midi notes will somehow maintain that information without physically moving from their quantized positions?





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Yes! There is a method you can use to merge regions "non-destructively".


First, some background... Let's assume the typical case, where you never change the MIDI channel of the output of your controller, and everything you record is on Ch. 1. If the destination of your track is a synth set to play back on MIDI channel 7, Logic automatically channelizes that data on its way to that destination; still, the regions still contain Ch. 1 information.


With that in mind, let's say that your destination synth is an external, non-multitimbral MIDI synth (called "XYZ") and it only receives on Ch. 1. You have three tracks all assigned to the XYZ synth, and a region on each one. You want to merge them so that you end up with only one region (and one track). But you want to maintain some way of distinguishing between the different parts in those regions after the fact. To do this, leave the first region alone. Open the event editor on the second region and change all of its events to Ch. 2; then open the event editor for the third region and change all of its events to Ch. 3.


So now...


region 1 = ch 1

region 2 = ch 2

region 3 = ch 3


They're all assigned to XYZ and will all play back just as you heard it before. This is because Logic channelizes the regions to Ch 1 (as designated for XYZ). So the "internal" MIDI channel of your regions doesn't matter in this case. But what you've done is designated each regin's events by a particular channel number. And now, merge the regions! It will play back just as before.


If at some point in the future you want to remove the data that was originally in, say, your 2nd region (now set to Ch. 2), open the event editor and select any one Ch. 2 event. Use the "select by equal channels" function and all Ch. 2 events will become highlighted. At this point you can delete them, or cut them and then paste them into a blank region for further editing.


Hope that makes sense.

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Ski, thanks for the great tip/workaround on how to merge regions while keeping the ability to de-merge them.


But still, when you merge the regions, you destructively apply all region parameters that are different for different regions.


Glad you like the tip! But indeed, what you say is true... once you start applying destructive operations to that region you can't get back what you had. The only workaround for that would be to first make copies of your regions and merge them. Then mute the original regions and hide the tracks they live on. This way you keep your originals and clean up the overall appearance of the arrange window.


Another way to keep copies of original tracks/regions without creating a lot of clutter (and without having to hide tracks) is to create a folder and move those tracks/regions into the folder. Then mute the folder. The folder then becomes like a "junk drawer".

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