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Logic Pro | Advanced MIDI Manipulation: Part 1

Apple Logic Pro X Tips & Techniques By Stephen Bennett
Published June 2021

Screen 1: The MIDI input/output window in the Click & Ports Layer.Screen 1: The MIDI input/output window in the Click & Ports Layer.

We demonstrate how flexible Logic Pro’s MIDI processing tools can be.

In 1983, the second most successful computer networking protocol was born. Unlike those that underpin the Internet, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) was not created by an academic offshoot of the military wing of the United States, but by a consortium of synthesizer manufacturing companies led by Dave Smith of Sequential and Ikutaro Kakehashi of Roland. At first, this new protocol was mostly used to connect synthesizers and drum machines together, but the advent of powerful and affordable computers such as the Atari ST led to the development of the grandparents of the Digital Audio Workstations we use today.

MIDI is a 7‑bit protocol, so it offers 128 discrete musical note numbers (0‑127), 128 velocity values and each of its 128 controllers can output 128 values. Some of these latter data are used for common purposes, such as pitch bend or modulation, but some are left free for the user or manufacturer to implement as they wish. There’s also something called SySex, which allows manufacturers to create specific control data for their products and which is used in such things as MIDI editors and patch librarians. The new MIDI 2.0 protocol, introduced in 2020, is backwards compatible with version 1.0 and adds some new features such as MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) — but the length of time between versions 1 and 2 demonstrates how much they got right first time.

Emagic’s Logic (as was) was an early entrant into the marketplace and was notable for its powerful, object‑orientated MIDI data‑manipulation tools. Although few of us use a MIDI interface to drive banks of synthesizer and effects modules these days, the protocol still underpins all hardware controllers — albeit more often via a USB cable now rather than the old...

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