How do I add/play multiple external instruments with Logic Pro X?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by snerkler, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #1
    I'm very much a newbie starting out with Logic Pro x and at the moment I'm trying to use my Roland TR09, TB03 and Korg Kontrol Keyboard with logic and get them all to play at the same time. I am connecting each instrument directly into the Mac using USB cables.

    I finally figured out how to get one instrument play by going to preferences>audio>input device and then selecting either the TR09 or TB03 etc as the input, and then output device as the output so that it plays from my Mac speakers rather than the instrument. However, this instrument then plays on all tracks that I have external instrument selected.

    Is there a way so that I can have the TB03 playing as track 1, TR09 etc etc and if so how?

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. bassjunky macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I don't know much about your hardware, but they probably need their own midi channels assigned. You can look in the channel strip of each instrument and change the midi channel from All to 1-16. I have to do this when I play two different keyboards simultaneously.
     
  3. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Great thanks for your help. I didn't see the option in the channel strip to assign midi channels but I've now opened up the dropdown to reveal this info. So I've now got instrument 1 assigned to midi 1 in track 1 and instrument 2 assigned to midi 2 in track 2 but how do assign the actual said instruments to those channels?
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #4
    First...if the Korg is just a MIDI controller it won't provide an audio input to the Mac. You'll have to use it on a virtual instrument or to control one of the other midi devices.

    Give this a shot...

    In short, close the Logic Pro X app and use the Audio MIDI Setup app to create a new, Aggregate Device and check off everything that you want to use for input. Then...open Logic and set your audio preferences Input Device to the Aggregate Device you just created. See if the Inputs show up on an audio channel. They may just say "Input 1" etc.
     
  5. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Thanks very much, I shall give this a go later. Yeah the Korg will just be used to control the virtual instruments, but the TR09 drum machine and TB03 bass synth I want to play direct through logic, and record them as audio instruments if possible. At the mo I've only got them to record as midi but then the midi track doesn't obviously play those instruments if they are not plugged in. I want to record audio so that I can listen and tweak it without the instruments.
     
  6. giffut macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2003
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    Germany
    #6
    You can record the audio out straight into Logic, by creating an audio track, not an (software/midi) instrument track. By that you record the sound coming from the drum machine straight in and then can adjust the tonal range as you wish via EQ or others.

    If your audio interface has midi in/out, you can connect both of those to your drum machine, if it has midi in/out ports, too. You then can record the analog sound and the midi track at the same time -if you wish to do enhanced midi score editing via logics interface.

    You also can create several audio tracks in logic and record the different drum beats/sounds of those Rolands singled out (high hat, bass, clap etc.), as like in recording a classic drum set via several microphones.
     
  7. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #7
    OK so I tried this and at first I couldn't get it to work, I either had sound from one but not the other, or sound playing from on though logic and one through the instrument, and then logic wouldn't trigger the TB03 but would the TR09 but finally through more luck than good judgement I got it to work. I set up the aggregate device as suggested and in preferences set up the input device as the aggregate device. I then had to go to file>project settings>synchronisation>midi and set the TR09 as destination 1 and TB03 as destination 2 and then it worked. Logic starts and stops both external instruments and both play through the Mac speakers. I'm not sure if I've done things right, and I'll run into problems if/when I start connecting other MIDI devices as that synchronisation setting I referred to only had destination 1 and 2. Whether more destinations appear automatically if I add another device I don't know?

    I will try connecting my Korg Kontroller 49 tomorrow, but as that is a control surface rather than an instrument I'm not sure if that will need setting up the same, and whether I'll need more 'destinations'. I prepared for more head scratching a pulling my hair out tomorrow. I know it's just early teething problems trying to figure out this very complex piece of software, but I kinda thought it would be a bit more plug and play in terms of connecting instruments :confused:

    Thanks for the advice much appreciated. That all sounds a bit complex at the moment, but definitely sounds like something I'll want to do in the future. I don't actually have an audio interface, I'm just connecting straight to the computer using usb. I don't really understand what an audio interface is tbh, other than it allows you to be able to connect midi to the computer. Do you still need one if the instruments have USB? Using USB does allow me to record MIDI.

    If using as an audio track rather than instrument is there a way to sync the speed automatically or do I just need to make sure that instrument's tempo is set correctly to match? Will it work through USB or will I need to use the audio out to connect it to the computer?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions :oops:
     
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #8
    An audio interface usually provides: Audio inputs - possibly multiple, extra/better audio output(s) as well as Midi in/out (of the old-fangled 5-pin DIN socket variety).

    However, most 'modern' synths (or modern remakes of classics) can also do MIDI-over-USB, which is more convenient than old-school MIDI cables, and it looks like the ones you have also send back audio over USB so you don't really need an audio interface, at least to get started.

    Not all synths send back audio over USB - so if you add new instruments or want to use guitars or mics, that's when you'll need an audio interface.

    Oh, one warning with Logic X and external instruments - any MIDI input to Logic gets merged together and sent to the sequencer and, if you're not careful, gets sent back out to the instruments, so you get a MIDI "feedback loop" that just gums everything up. If you hit this problem (typically, set-up plays a few notes grinds to a halt) you might want to do some reading around on MIDI feedback loop issues in Logic for how to fix it.
     
  9. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #9
    Thanks for the reply. All three of my devices (Roland TR09, TB03 and Korg Kontrol 49) all work via USB, although I don't seem to be able to get the Rolands to work as an audio instrument, only MIDI so is it the case that you can't send audio via USB and therefore need an audio interface if I want to do this? I want to be able to record the TR09 and TB03 directly onto Logic as an audio track so that I can listen to it when away from home At the moment I can only record as a MIDI track and of course if I don't have an instrument plugged in then obviously there's no sound. That being said, the recorded MIDI track doesn't control the TR09/TB03 anyway, not sure if this is possible?

    I'll definitely google that feedback loop thing as I've already experienced some weird feedback issues. Obviously I'm a complete newbie so it's more likely user error but sometimes it goes completely out of sync as as it's going out of sync the sound just becomes sort of an interference sound rather than the sound of the instrument.
     
  10. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I currently have the E-MU 0202 audio interface that I bought years ago, could I use a mini jack from the output of the TR09/TB03 into the audio interface and then into the MBP and get it to record as audio? If I put two inputs in would logic recognise these as two separate instruments and therefore be able to record one on one track and one on another?
     
  11. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Looking at the Roland web pages, the TR09 and TB03 have built-in USB audio & MIDI interfaces - and based on your first post you've already established that the audio works, but Logic will only let you hear one at a time.

    Thing is, while Logic will happily let you choose a different MIDI interface for each MIDI/External track, it will only let you select two audio interfaces - one for input, one for output - although each of those can have multiple channels.

    @BrianBaughn had the right solution to this - use the separate Audio/MIDI setup utility, ignore the MIDI side and create a new "aggregate interface" with (say) the TR09 as input channels 1/2 and TB03 as 3/4. If you then select this new virtual audio interface as the input in Logic you'll be able to create either 2 stereo or 4 mono audio tracks that record just those channels. Alternatively, if you create an external MIDI track with "Use External Instrument plug-in" selected you'll be able to select the correct audio input so that the sound from that instrument is played via that track - I'd regard that as a 'convenience' feature - creating a regular External MIDI track without the plug-in and a separate audio track to capture/monitor the output is more flexible.

    You also need to make sure that the audio channels have input monitoring and/or record enable selected as appropriate (and to tell the truth I still get in a mix with those & how they interact with the 'auto monitor' option...)

    Ought to work, but your instruments have built-in audio interfaces so it shouldn't be needed.
    You might try a Roland support forum (I'm sure they exist) to see if there are any "wrinkles" to configuring the instruments to work this way.
     
  12. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #12
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure what all that means yet but clearly it's newbie error and I can't set up an audio track properly. I'll do some more trawling on youtube to see if I can figure out how this is done.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #13
    OK, so new problem. The Roland TR09 is triggering every other instrument track (apart from the TB03), how do I stop this from happening? What I mean is, if I have my TR09 plugged in and set to play in say track 1, if I have say the ESX24 in another track the TR09 is triggering the ESX24 and you can see dots flash on the piano roll where it's triggering.
     
  14. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #14
    We all like to jump into super complicated applications...but have you even looked at this?
     
  15. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Thanks for this, exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. God knows why I didn’t see it :oops::oops::oops:
     
  16. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #16
    The easiest thing should be to turn off 'record enable' (the red 'R' button) on all the MIDI or instrument tracks.

    If you want to 'record' MIDI using your TR09 or TB03 as an input device, then only record-enable one MIDI or instrument track.

    If you want to simultaneously record a MIDI performance from multiple external instruments to multiple MIDI tracks then you may be out of luck (unless a High Wizard has a way of doing it in the MIDI environment editor).

    Generally Logic assumes that you only use one MIDI input device at a time and capture a MIDI performance one track at a time - if you want to record a multi-instrument performance then you'd usually do it as audio.

    NB: Apart from the instructions @BrianBaughn pointed you to, there's a lot of Logic help, tutorials etc. out there on the web that go into more detail, with videos and pretty pictures, than you'll get here.
     
  17. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #17
    Thanks, that's very useful to know. I didn't have the record enable highlighted, but as soon as I highlighted a track so that I could play that instrument with my Korg Keyboard the TR09 triggers it.

    I've certainly got a lot of learning to do. No matter how much I've searched though I've not found a video on youtube that goes through exactly what I wanted it to. However, I have learnt how to add my TR09 and TB03 as audio instruments so I will just do that and then use the inbuilt software instruments as MIDI.
     

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16 October 2, 2018