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.
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.