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MIDI Learn on plugins

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MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:14 pm
by calmposer a
Hello

I'm using Fabfilter plugins in Logic X, but this applies to to other plugins too I'm sure.

The MIDI Learn feature works great when set up as an AU MIDI-Controlled effect. However you would have, say, a filter plugin as a normal effect on an audio channel, where MIDI Learn doesn't work. How do you guys do it?

PS the Fabfilter manual doesn't help with this...

Thanks :headbang:

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:20 pm
by desmond
I don't use MIDI learn at all. MIDI learn is ok when you quickly want to map an unused control to control something, but it's not a good general control solution.

You can use Logic's controller assignments to MIDI learn a plugin control (even an FX one), if necessary. You can also use Logic's smart controls to set up similar things.

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:32 pm
by The Elf
desmond wrote:I don't use MIDI learn at all. MIDI learn is ok when you quickly want to map an unused control to control something, but it's not a good general control solution.
+1 I'll do it for specific circumstances, but not as a general approach. Life is too short.

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:24 pm
by calmposer a
Thanks both! Logic controller assignments (and smart controls) work great, but they don't record with the event.

For example in NI Massive I can do a MIDI learn and 'print' the filter with the synth line, like that https://www.dropbox.com/s/kaoorfnk3vom6h5/scan.png?dl=0

How to do a similar thing with a filter set up as FX? :headbang:

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:51 pm
by desmond
calmposer a wrote:Thanks both! Logic controller assignments (and smart controls) work great, but they don't record with the event.

?

calmposer a wrote:How to do a similar thing with a filter set up as FX? :headbang:

When you do controller assignments to control a plugin parameter, you "record" the moves with automation, just like any plugin/mixer parameter changes - so put Logic into eg Latch mode, and do the moves with your MIDI controller.

You can use region automation if you want to keep the automation with the MIDI data.

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:29 pm
by calmposer a
Thank you Desmond! You solved it, again :)) :headbang:

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:13 pm
by desmond
Great! You're welcome!

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:19 pm
by job
desmond wrote:MIDI learn is ok when you quickly want to map an unused control to control something, but it's not a good general control solution.

I've always found MIDI excellent. So robust. So simple. Right-click > assign > save as default. Always available on every load and never found it to break.

Studio One broke it actually, but i don't consider that to be MIDI's fault. How's Logic's implementation? Did Apple nail it?

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:31 pm
by desmond
job wrote:I've always found MIDI excellent. So robust. So simple. Right-click > assign > save as default. Always available on every load and never found it to break.

That's great - if you have a workflow you're happy with and it does the job for you, that's fine. :thumbup:

For me, that's completely unworkable, apart from the casual use case myself and the Elf mention above.

For example - load up a synth. I want to quickly be able to control the filter and envelopes. Then load up a compressor on that channel, and be able to control the threshold/ratio/attack/release etc. Then load up a second compressor on the same channel, and now control that one from the same set of controls. Consistently, in every session, I want to be able to to target the plugin I'm controlling and control it, without mapping all the time.

MIDI learn is terrible for a consistent regular workflow, as in general, you map one physical control to one plugin target parameter (and usually, on a particularly plugin slot, but this depends on how MIDI learn is implemented in your chosen DAW). In Logic, let's say you MIDI learn CC11 from one knob to compressor ratio on the currently selected channel, Now when you turn that knob, the compressor ratio changes. Cool. Now load a second instance of that compressor on the same channel. What happens when you turn your ratio knob? In Logic, the ratio will change on both compressors, because you've mapped that CC to that plugin parameter. How do you make only one plugin work, and choose which one to control? You can't.

Seriously, manual mapping is basically a terrible solution for my needs, and it only really works if you have simple control needs, and/or a simple use case with a restricted range of tools (I'm not saying that's bad, I'm just saying it's unworkable for me.)

I want to be able to target any plugin on any channel, instruments & FX, and be able to instanntly control them consistently, without any mapping on manual work at all - and that's what my system does.

job wrote:How's Logic's implementation? Did Apple nail it?

If you're talking about mapping, it's pretty much the same as any other DAW. (Actually, there are a few other cool little things that Logic can do here which I won't go into - I'm sure other DAWs have their own systems with their own strengths and weaknesses too.

It's not the feature that's the problem, it does what it's designed to do. It's just that MIDI learning or manually mapping controls is just not a very good solution for a general control system. For the odd parameter you want to control with a knob, it's a simple solution that does the job - but that's not my use case.

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:16 pm
by job
desmond wrote:I want to quickly be able to control the filter and envelopes. Then load up a compressor on that channel, and be able to control the threshold/ratio/attack/release etc. Then load up a second compressor on the same channel, and now control that one from the same set of controls. Consistently, in every session, I want to be able to to target the plugin I'm controlling and control it, without mapping all the time.

As long as the DAW provides focus to plugin or instrument that has focus, i.e. the one you've clicked on (e.g. Cakewalk), rather than the track or channel (irrespective of the one you've clicked on), you can do this just fine with MIDI learn. It's how i've always done it and i don't have just the odd control knob/button assigned.

If you map the plugin/instrument and save it as default the assigments are always there. Map things once and forget it.

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:27 am
by desmond
I'm sure different DAWs have some implementation differences - like I say, if the feature is fine for your workflow, then great...

Out of interest, how do you target the plugin you're controlling in Cakewalk? Do you have to open it's interface, or do you somehow target the plugin slot in the mixer? Can you do this via your controller as well, or is it a mouse-only thing?

But ultimately, I do not want to have to manually map plugins to be able to control them - when you access the DAWs functionality through it's control surface interface you can do a lot more, and all plugins can be instantly controlled, along with many other DAW functions, nothing needs to be manually mapped (though you can tweak this if required)...

Re: MIDI Learn on plugins

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:51 am
by job
I clicked it with the mouse to focus.It came slightly more to the front to let you know it had the focus. Had to open the interface. I couldn't open it with my controller. Maybe there was a hotkey... i don't consider myself to have known Cakewalk all that well. Tempted to download it again to check how robust this method was now.