Synthesizers have come a long way in the 20 years since MIDI became standard on all keyboards. In the early days of computer music, most synthesizers were mono-timbral, which means they could send and receive MIDI data only over a single MIDI channel. By today's standards those early synths were MIDI challenged, to say the least! But even today some digital-effects units use only a single MIDI channel, so to simplify using these MIDI devices in your songs, Logic provides the Standard Instrument Object.
The Standard Instrument transmits MIDI data over just one channel, which makes it perfect for connecting to an external mono-timbral MIDI device such as a Lexicon Alex reverb, so this lesson shows you how to set up this reverb in Logic. If you have an external mono-timbral MIDI device, follow this section's steps by substituting your device for the Lexicon Alex reverb used here. Even if you don't have a mono-timbral MIDI device at hand, you should still work through this exercise, because it covers MIDI ports and Object icons, which are important parameters common to all Logic instruments. (When you're finished with this exercise, just delete the newly created Standard Instrument Object.)
Setting an Instrument's MIDI Port and Channel
The Instrument Object's Port setting connects it directly to one of your computer's MIDI ports. All MIDI ports are available.
By now, your studio's MIDI devices should be connected to your computer. If not, take a moment to connect them. Pay particular attention to which of your computer's MIDI ports you plug each device in to, because you'll need to know this to correctly set up your instruments inside Logic.
You can also click and drag the MIDI Channel setting to quickly increase or decrease its value.
Selecting an Object Icon
An Object icon provides a visual reminder of an Object's purpose. Logic contains many high-resolution instrument icons that look great and help you tell at a glance exactly which instrument is which (this Object icon also shows up in the Arrange window's Track column after you assign the Object to a track). You don't have to select an icon for every Object you create, but it's a quick and easy way to make your workspace a little nicerand more personalized!
Logic's instrument icons are stored inside the Logic application package. If you Ctrl-click the application package in the Finder window and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu that appears, you can tunnel down into the application package contents and find these icons.
Using Adobe Photoshop, you can create your own custom icons and add them to same folder as the other icons in the application package. Back in Logic, your custom instrument icons will be available from the Instrument Icon menu, just like any of the default icons. All custom icons must be 128-by-128-pixel PNG files, saved with an alpha channel so you can see through the parts around the icon. Additionally, you must name the icons with numbers that are not already taken by one of Logic's default icons (unless you want to replace those icons).