Activating Logic's Sequencer
Logic's Environment is a virtual representation of the physical environment in your recording studio. It's the gatekeeper connecting Logic to the outside world, because all data entering or leaving Logic must pass through the Environment. While Logic's Environment does contain some MIDI signal processors that change MIDI data as Logic plays (the Arpeggiator, for example), the Environment primarily listens for incoming MIDI information and also sends MIDI information back out to your synthesizers and samplers.
The Environment you're working in is currently not set up to receive MIDI data. It's missing two important Environment Objects, a Physical Input and a Sequencer Input.
The Physical Input Object This Object monitors all of your computer's MIDI input ports. If it hears a MIDI signal, the Physical Input grabs that signal and brings it into Logic's Environment.
The Sequencer Input Object This Object transfers MIDI signals from the Environment to Logic's sequencer. From the sequencer, MIDI signals are directed to the track currently selected in Logic's Arrange window, which allows you to record MIDI Regions or trigger MIDI devices.
Logic comes preconfigured to correctly receive MIDI signals, but for the purpose of this exercise, the MIDI input path has been intentionally broken to give you a chance to explore how MIDI passes into Logic from the outside world. Also, please note that you're free to place your Objects anywhere within the Environment window, so your newly created Objects may not appear in the same places as the Objects in the following figures.
Let's create these two Objects and use them to activate the sequencer.
From the Environment's local menu bar, choose New > Physical Input. A Physical Input Object appears.
Drag the Objects by their names and reorganize the Environment so that it looks like the figure below.
In Logic Express, the Physical Input looks like a small rectangle, similar in size to the QuickTime Synth Object.
Drag a cable from the Physical Input's SUM output (arrow) and drop it on the QuickTime Synth.
Play the controller keyboard connected to your computer.
If you don't hear sound, try pressing the Caps Lock key to open Logic's Caps Lock Keyboard. If you hear sound when playing the Caps Lock Keyboard but not when playing your MIDI controller, you know the problem is a disrupted MIDI chain outside Logic (try a new MIDI cable, or if you're using a USB keyboard, re-install your keyboard's driver). If you don't hear sound when playing the Caps Lock Keyboard, then the problem is with your audio interface or speakers, because if you've followed these steps correctly, the Caps Lock Keyboard is definitely playing the QuickTime Synth. MIDI is now passing from the Physical Input straight to the QuickTime Synth, and you hear the sound of a piano. Great! You have just verified that MIDI signals are coming into the Environment through the Physical Input. However, getting MIDI into the Environment is just half the battle; next you need to pass that MIDI into Logic's sequencer.
The Physical Input's SUM output collects the MIDI signals from all your computer's MIDI ports and combines them. The listings under SUM correspond to the individual MIDI input ports available to your system.
From the Environment's local menu bar, choose New > Sequencer Input. A Sequencer Input Object appears.
Drag a cable from the Physical Input's SUM arrow and drop it onto the Sequencer Input. This breaks the connection between the Physical Input and the QuickTime Synth Object, and instead connects the Physical Input to the Sequencer Input. With this cable in place you've just connected Logic's sequencer to the outside world, and Logic can now record MIDI data.
Play your keyboard.
Do you hear anything? No. Logic makes no noise, so how do you really know that MIDI data is coming in? The easiest way to find out is to create a quick visual test using the Environment's Keyboard and Monitor Objects.
From the Physical Input's SUM arrow, drag a cable to the Keyboard Object.
This breaks the connection between the Physical Input and the Sequencer Input, but only temporarily.
The Keyboard Object should still be connected to the Monitor Object. If it isn't, connect it now.
Drag a cable from the Monitor to the Sequencer Input.
MIDI events are now coming in through the Physical Input, which sends them down the cable to the Keyboard, Monitor, and finally the Sequencer Input.
Play your controller keyboard.
The keys on the Environment's Keyboard play, and the Monitor updates a list of incoming MIDI events (in this case, notes). But do you hear anything yet? No, because Logic currently has no instruments to play. Let's change that.
Playing an Instrument
With the Sequencer Input connected to the Physical Input, MIDI signals are now passing from the outside world into Logic's Environment, and then through to the sequencer. Using the Arrange window, you can redirect those incoming MIDI signals to any MIDI device connected to your computer, including the QuickTime Synth.
Close the Environment window (Cmd-W).
The Arrange window is now the only one open.
In the Arrange window, click and hold the top track on the words No Output.
A hierarchical menu called the Instrument List appears. This list is used to assign Environment Objects to tracks.
Choose Click & Ports > QuickTime Synth. The track's name changes from MIDI Click to QuickTime Synth.
Play your controller keyboard.
If you don't hear QuickTime's piano, save your song and quit Logic. Then restart Logic and open the saved song. The QuickTime Synth Object will be re-initialized and should now work properly. You hear QuickTime's piano. Great news!
This experiment reaffirms the important point brought up earlier: All Arrange window tracks play through Objects in the Environment. But we'll continue exploring that later. There's a lot more to learn about the Environment, so let's open it back up.
To open the Environment window once again, press Cmd-8.
Moving Objects Between Layers
Earlier you saw how the Environment uses layers to hold Objects. How you organize your Environment layers is up to youany Object can be placed on any layer. But as a general rule of thumb, Objects of the same type are usually placed on the same layer. For example, so far in this lesson you've been working in the Click & Ports layer. This layer holds a MIDI Click Object that clicks and Input Objects that connect Logic's sequencer to your computer's MIDI input ports: Click & Ports!
Earlier in this lesson you created a QuickTime Synth Object on the Click & Ports layer. The QuickTime Synth Object is not a MIDI Click or a portit's an instrument! So it makes a bit more sense to put the QuickTime Synth on a different layer.
Click and hold the Layer menu, and choose **Create!**
You can also create Environment layers by choosing Options > Layer > Insert (from the Environment's local menu bar). And don't forget, if you create too many layers, you can delete the unnecessary ones by choosing Options > Layer > Delete. An unnamed layer is created. Unnamed layers don't tell you much about the Objects they hold. In a moment you will transfer the QuickTime Synth Object to this layer, so give the layer an appropriate name.
Double-click the Layer menu.
A text input field appears. Type QT Synth, and press Return.
Click and hold the Layer menu, and reselect the Click & Ports layer.
In the Click & Ports layer, select the QuickTime Synth Object.
Hold down the Option key, then from the Layer menu select the QT Synth layer. The QuickTime Synth layer appears, and the QuickTime Synth Object automatically jumps to its new home.
You can also cut (Cmd-X) and paste (Cmd-V) Objects between Environment layers.
Select the Click & Ports layer one last time.
Notice that the QuickTime Synth Object is now gone from the Click & Ports layer.