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Logic: Writing MIDI Scripts

Apple Logic Pro Tips & Techniques By Stephen Bennett
Published July 2021

Logic’s Scripter plug‑in opens the doors to powerful custom MIDI manipulation.

One of the features unique to Logic in the early days of MIDI sequencers was the flexibility of its object‑orientated MIDI programming environment. While many of the sexy developments over the years have focused on audio processing and virtual effect and instrument plug‑ins, the MIDI side has sat quietly under the hood making everything work together. With the introduction of the Scripter MIDI plug‑in, Apple once again opened up real‑time MIDI programming in Logic Pro X, allowing users to create bespoke MIDI processing tools.

Screen 1: The Scripter tutorials menu.Screen 1: The Scripter tutorials menu.Scripter uses the JavaScript programming language as its engine. In many ways, coding is easier to learn than human language — there are no irregular verbs, or words that are spelt the same but have widely different meanings. Additionally, the coding crowd are a friendly bunch and the reuse of snippets of code is common amongst programmers, so ‘newbies’ don’t have to reinvent the MIDI wheel to create new Scripter plug‑ins.

Handily, Apple have provided a range of Scripter tutorials that we can explore and utilise as a base for experimentation (see Screen 1). You can’t break anything here — just make sure you save copies of the tutorial files before you edit. Firstly, let’s load up Scripter on a MIDI track, from the MIDI FX pull‑down menu. You’ll see that the plug‑in has a standard preset menu and here, alongside the tutorials, there are many more MIDI plug‑ins that have been created using Scripter (something I didn’t realise before I started to create my own Scripts!).

Scripts In The Night

On loading a preset, two windows will open: the plug‑in itself and a script editor window. The latter is split into two parts; the top is where code is inserted, the lower a ‘Monitor’ section (the Console), where any output or errors generated appear. The default code that is created here is a pass‑through with MIDI monitor (Screen 2)....

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