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Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

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Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby punkomatic78 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:13 pm

I've been trying to find some info on getting a Spirit 328 desk working as a control surface for Logic 9. The desk has motorised faders, and Soundcraft provided the necessary templates for Logic 4, but those won't open in in more recent versions of Logic.

After much Googling it looks like other people have asked the same question on various forums, but it's not clear that they came up with the answer, and a ready made environment layer is proving hard to come by. I'm thinking it must be possible to make all the necessary connections in the Logic environment, but my experience with that is very limited. Could anyone point me in the right direction? I've read the Logic manual, but I'm hoping someone can help narrow down what object types I should be using to get the desk controlling Logic's faders and transport - and to get Logic's automation data controlling the desk.

Excerpt from the Soundcraft manual: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1706288/328Logic.gif

I'm a total newb at this, but it MUST be doable and I'm sure someone on the forum will know how
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby desmond » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:40 pm

Well, you either do it the oldschool way - examine what MIDI messages the desk sends (I assume you can't change these), and use the environment to manipulate and route the MIDI data to the various audio objects, or use Logic's controller assignments to learn the desks MIDI commands to the various audio objects.

Whatever the case, you'll need to do a rough analysis of what controls send what messages and in which format to work out a plan of attack on what controls you are going to map to what. (Edit: Ah, you already have this, good.)

It's better to go the controller assignments approach (for a variety of reasons), but if you want to get advanced and be able to support varying audio configurations, bank switching and so on, be prepared to do a lot of trial and error as you work out how Logic's controller assignments and audio configurations work.

Also, back up your control surface prefs frequently, as working for any length of time in the controller assignments window is almost guaranteed to trigger various nasty bugs that have been there since LP 7.x (my pet bugbear), causing annoying behaviour and the very easy nuking of all your assignments at random moments.
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby punkomatic78 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:25 pm

Thanks Desmond, that makes sense. Any idea which type of environment object I need to get the job done? To allow the desk to control Logic's mixer, can I just set up 16 fader objects and cable them to the relevant mixer objects? I think that will take care of the faders, but how about the pan pots? Or is the GM Mixer object where I should be looking?

How about sending commands back out to the desk? There's a physical input object but not a physical output?!

Erm...
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby desmond » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:31 pm

punkomatic78 wrote:Thanks Desmond, that makes sense. Any idea which type of environment object I need to get the job done? To allow the desk to control Logic's mixer, can I just set up 16 fader objects and cable them to the relevant mixer objects? I think that will take care of the faders, but how about the pan pots? Or is the GM Mixer object where I should be looking?


So you want to do it the manual way, and not the controller assignments way I recommended?

So yes, just do one at a time to figure it out - then you can duplicate the whole channel across the rest of the channels. Pans are the same it's just you are dealing with CC10 rather than CC7.

punkomatic78 wrote:How about sending commands back out to the desk? There's a physical input object but not a physical output?!


Create a new instrument object, call it "To Desk" or something, set it's MIDI port and channel number - now MIDI cabled to this object will go out via it's specified MIDI port and channel to the desk.

So you cable your channels back to this object. Be aware and careful of MIDI feedback loops if the desk cycles it's input back to it's output...

Again, just do one channel, pan, mute/solo etc and get it's behaviour working correctly before worrying about the other channels - less to figure out and troubleshoot while developing your environment. If you get stuck, give us a shout - there are loads of different ways and tricks of cabling things up but I suggest to keep things simple to start with untl you understand how everything works etc...
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby Wease » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:43 pm

......just for info Desmond.....what is the controller assignments way?.....is it a bit like the way in which you can select a virtual control knob on, say, alchemy, and just twiddle a knob on your, oxygen 8 say....and it midi learns things....automatically like?

How do you highlight a fader for example in the mixer.....can you do it from the mixer page?


Sorry for butting in....;)
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby desmond » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:44 pm

Yep. Hit command-L (by default) to enter learn mode, twiddle (with the mouse) the on-screen channel you want to control, move the MIDI control to learn to it. Command-L again to leave learn mode.

You can edit/fine-tune assignments in the Controller Assignments window.
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby Wease » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:46 pm

Woohoo....that sounds easy.....I think even i might manage it!
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby punkomatic78 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:54 pm

Blimey yeh that does sound easy! I'll get stuck into this tomorrow afternoon, and I imagine I'll definitely be picking your brains again.

Thanks a lot!!
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby punkomatic78 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:11 pm

So here's the first hurdle:
I'm using the Controller Assignments learn mode and I've got the fader working on track 1. Now what's happening is all the other hardware functions on the mixer channel 1 (pan, mute, solo) are also registering on Logic's fader. When I try to learn the pan control the hardware fader then controls Logic's pan, instead of the fader.

Also, the hardware pan only pushes Logic's pan (and fader) half way - from hard left to centre. I've changed the value Max/Min in Controller Assignments to 0-64, but this doesn't have an effect.

Does this sound like something that need to be fixed in the mixer so it sends out different data for the fader and pan, or do I need to tell Logic to look for something different?

The mixer manual gives the following Midi controller change messages for channel 1:

Fader/level encoder value:
CC99 - 1
CC98 - 0
CC06 - 0
CC38 - 1-127

Pan:
CC99 - 1
CC98 - 33
CC06 - 0
CC38 - 0-64

Also got info for mute, solo, record arm, eq, etc.
Any of that mean anything to anyone?!
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby desmond » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:44 pm

punkomatic78 wrote:I'm using the Controller Assignments learn mode and I've got the fader working on track 1. Now what's happening is all the other hardware functions on the mixer channel 1 (pan, mute, solo) are also registering on Logic's fader. When I try to learn the pan control the hardware fader then controls Logic's pan, instead of the fader.

Also, the hardware pan only pushes Logic's pan (and fader) half way - from hard left to centre. I've changed the value Max/Min in Controller Assignments to 0-64, but this doesn't have an effect.

As I said, you'll start to get used to the behaviour and options to tweak the results. You should have the controller assignments open, select the assignments you've made, and see what message has been learned, what it's been assigned to, change the interpretation of how the data is interpreted and mapper etc.

punkomatic78 wrote:
Fader/level encoder value:
CC99 - 1
CC98 - 0
CC06 - 0
CC38 - 1-127

Pan:
CC99 - 1
CC98 - 33
CC06 - 0
CC38 - 0-64

That doesn't make sense, how can CC38 be used for fader level and also for pan? That data doesn't sound correct to me - is a PDF manual available online that I can take a look at..?
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Re: Soundcraft Spirit 328 as Logic control surface

Postby desmond » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:58 pm

The MIDI messages are defined in that graphic you linked to above.. Either it's preset or you can set up the CC controls to be that - so follow that as a guide. Every fader, pan knob etc has a unique MIDI CC number...
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