This exercise walks you through setting up and playing a Multi Instrument and then finishes by showing you how to use programs to select synthesizer sounds.
If you don't have an external synthesizer, don't worrythe QuickTime Synth you created earlier is a multi-timbral MIDI device! Even though the QuickTime Synth is software on your computer, it works just like any other multi-timbral synthesizer and provides a good example of how to use Multi Instruments. Work through this exercise using the QuickTime Synth, and then apply what you've learned to setting up Multi Instruments for your other multi-timbral MIDI devices.
Setting Up a Multi Instrument
In the Environment, select the QT Synth layer.
Create a Multi Instrument, and name it QuickTime GM.
Enable subchannels 116 (by clicking all the buttons on the Multi Instrument's surface).
From the Output arrow in the Multi Instrument's top right corner, drag a cable to the QuickTime Synth Object.
This arrow represents the Multi Instrument's MIDI output. Dragging a cable from this output to another Environment Object creates a MIDI signal path. All MIDI data passing through the Multi Instrument will now go directly to the QuickTime Synth Object.
Logic asks if you want to remove the Port setting. Select Remove.
You want this Multi Instrument to send MIDI data to the QuickTime Synth only. Clicking Remove turns the Multi Instrument's Port setting off, and MIDI data will now transmit only through the virtual cable to the QuickTime Synth Object.
Select the QuickTime GM Multi Instrument. This Multi Instrument is now set to play the QuickTime Synth only. But first, you must assign the Multi Instrument to one of the Arrange window's tracks, using the Instrument List.
In the Instrument Parameter box, the QuickTime GM Multi Instrument's Port setting is now off. Again, this means the Multi Instrument sends no MIDI data to any of your computer's MIDI ports. Instead, all MIDI data is transferred through the cable to the QuickTime Synth Object.
Playing an Instrument
Arrange window tracks and Environment Objects are two hands that play together to make sound. In previous exercises you've seen there's a direct relationship between Arrange window tracks and Environment Objects, because double-clicking a track's name in the Arrange window pops open the Environment and automatically selects an Object. This selected Object is called the track's Output Object, and you assign it to the track using the Arrange window's Instrument List.
The Instrument List
The Instrument List is a hierarchical menu that determines which Environment Object a track plays through. It operates via several levels: The first level displays your Environment's layers, the second level lists the types of Objects on each layer, and the third level displays each Object's channel(s).
Click the Arrange window to make it the active window.
Click and hold the left side of the QuickTime Synth track's name to open the Arrange window's Instrument List.
From the hierarchical menu that appears, choose QT Synth > QuickTime GM > 1 (Grand Piano). The Instrument List's Objects level shows the QuickTime Synth Object along with the QuickTime GM Multi Instrument. Notice that the QuickTime Synth Object is highlighted in bold letters, which indicates that it's the currently selected Object. From now on you will use the QuickTime GM Multi Instrument to target specific channels in the QuickTime Synth. To avoid clutter and make things easy to find, you will want to remove the QuickTime Synth from the Instrument List.
Switch back to the Environment window.
Select the QuickTime Synth Object.
In the Object Parameter box, deselect the QuickTime Synth's Icon check box. The Arrange window's Instrument List shows only the Objects with ticked check boxes. By deselecting the Icon check box, you tell Logic to remove the QuickTime Synth from the Instrument List.
On a Multi Instrument, the slash through each subchannel button is similar to the check box beside the Object icon. Enabling a subchannel makes it available for selection in the Instrument List, while disabling a subchannel removes it from the Instrument List.
Make the Arrange window the active window (press the 1 key).
Click and hold the left side of the QuickTime Synth track name and check out the Instrument List. The QuickTime Synth Object is no longer displayed on the Instrument List's Objects level.
Play your controller keyboard.
The QuickTime Synth still sounds like a pianoexactly the same as before! To change this you can select a different instrument sound using the Object Parameter box's Program setting.
Using Programs to Select Sounds
Programs are sounds on your synthesizer. One of the most creativity-draining parts of making music is reaching over to select programs on hardware synthesizers, or switching between windows to control your software instruments. Logic is designed to enhance your creativity by making music production easy, and it happily lets you select synthesizer programs from right inside its workspace (no need to take your eyes off the screen).
Effectively using instrument programs turns your studio into an extension of Logic itself, because selected programs are saved into your song. Session after session, just turn your MIDI devices on, open your song, and Logic automatically sets up your synthesizers by telling them which programs to play.
In the Object Parameter box on the left edge of the Arrange window, click the Program check box.
Program selection is now enabled.
To the right of the Program parameter's check box, click and hold the number 0.
The Program menu appears.
Choose program 49 (Slow Strings).
Play your controller keyboard.
You now hear a string patch. Choose a few more programs and try out their sounds.
Automatically Recalling Programs at Song Launch
To make sure that programs are recalled and properly loaded into your synthesizer when the song is opened, you need to make one final setting.
Choose File > Song Settings > MIDI. The Song Settings dialog opens to display the MIDI pane's General tab.
In the Miscellaneous section of the General tab, select both the "Used instrument MIDI settings" and the "All fader values" check boxes.
Now, when you open the song, Logic automatically loads the correct programs into your synthesizers and sets their volume and pan positions to the same levels as when you last saved and closed the song. This sets up your synths to play the proper patches so that your songs sound the same, session after session after session.
Customizing the Program List
Logic's default program list represents the GM sound set. The QuickTime Synth also uses the GM sound set, and Logic's default program names conveniently match the QuickTime Synth's sounds. That's great for the QuickTime Synth, but the reality is that most synthesizers don't conform to the GM sound set. To make the names in the program list match the names of your synth's programs, you must modify the program list.
At the top of the Arrange window's Object Parameter box, click the Object's name.
Some synthesizer manufacturers have a download section on their Web sites where you can find Logic projects containing preconfigured instruments. When customizing your program lists, these files save you from having to type program names by hand. A window opens showing the programs in the GM sound set. The program currently used is selected.
You can also open this window from the Environment window by double-clicking the small Instrument icon at the top of a Multi Instrument Object.
Double-click a program name.
A text box appears around the program's name.
Type a new program name into the text box and press Return.
Work through the program list until you've changed all programs to the names used by your synthesizer.
If your synthesizer has more than one bank of sounds, choose bank 1 from the Bank Select menu. Logic asks if you'd like to initialize the new bank.
Initialize new banks only when absolutely necessary, as each new bank adds to your project file's size.
Follow steps 2 to 4 to enter the program names for this new bank.
To select the new bank, choose it by number from the Object Parameter box's Bank Select menu, which currently looks like a hyphen (-) beside the Program parameter's check box.
Close the GM Device window.
Finishing Your MIDI Environment
To finish setting up your MIDI Environment, create Standard or Multi Instrument Objects to represent every MIDI device in your studio. If your studio is small and has only a few MIDI devices, you can probably remember which MIDI port and channel(s) each device is connected to. But if your studio is more complex, using many MIDI devices connected to several MIDI ports, you'll benefit from compiling a studio inventory.
Sample of a MIDI device chart to reflect the instruments in a project studio
A studio inventory is simply a chart that lists each of your MIDI devices, the MIDI ports that connect each device to your computer, and the MIDI channel(s) they are set to receive and transmit on. You can find a studio inventory chart on this book's companion DVD-ROM.
From the Finder window, navigate to Lesson 11 Project Files > 11 Extras > MIDIDeviceChart.pdf. Open and print the file.
Fill out the chart.
Refer to this studio inventory while creating Instrument Objects for each MIDI device in your studio.
Depending on the complexity of your MIDI setup, this may take some time. But you only need to do it once. In the next exercise you will save this custom Environment as your personal Autoload Song, and it will serve as a template from which you'll begin all new Logic compositions.
Creating an Autoload Song
Over the course of this lesson, you've filled Logic's Environment with Instrument Objects that reflect the MIDI devices in your studio. You've created MIDI Input Objects to channel MIDI signals into Logic, and Instrument Objects to send MIDI signals back out to your MIDI devices, and you've arranged all of the Environment's Objects on their own layers, which makes them easier to find when needed. Only one step remains, and that's saving the "song" you've built as your own personal Autoload Song. Each time you start Logic or create a new project, the Autoload Song will automatically open on your screen, providing you with a blank workspace perfectly configured to get you making music.
Make sure the Arrange window is the only window open on your screen.
You'll want to start new songs from the Arrange window, so it's best to save the Autoload Song with only the Arrange window open. This ensures that the Arrange window is the first one to appear onscreen each time you open Logic or create a new song by choosing File > New (Cmd-N).
In the Arrange window, delete all of the tracks except for the first eight.
Use the vertical zoom control to make the tracks bigger.
The look of the Arrange window is saved with the Autoload Song, so it's important to set up the Arrange window exactly the way you want it.
Choose File > Save As.
The Save As dialog opens.
The Autoload file needs to be saved in a very particular place on your hard disk, with the exact name Autoload, so follow the next steps carefully.
Type Autoload into the Save As field.
The file you save must be called exactly Autoload, or Logic will not recognize it as the Autoload Song.
Navigate to your User > Library > Application Support > Logic > Song Templates folder. For Logic to recognize the Autoload Song, it must be located in this exact folder. If the Autoload Song is moved out of this folder, new projects will use the default workspace, so make sure you save your Autoload Song in the right place.
If you follow the steps above, your Autoload Song will be available only to you. To create a global Autoload Song that is available to all users, save the Autoload Song in the Startup Disk > Library > Application Support > Logic > Song Templates folder.
Choose File > Close to close the song.
Choose File > New to create a new song.
The New dialog appears.
Make sure both the Use Song Template and Create Project Folder check boxes are not selected, and click OK.
The Autoload Song opens on your screen. You've now successfully set up the MIDI side of the Autoload Song. In Lesson 12, "Setting Up the Audio Environment," you will configure the audio side. Are you excited?