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  • Eric_J
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Jan 8th, 2015
    Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Greetings! I posted my query on another Logic users forum, but haven't had a response. So thank you in advance if you can share a solution or at least a thought on whether there might be a workaround. I’m wanting to find a method of doing live performance with Logic (which I'll explain below). I realize that Logic is primarily a DAW and not designed for live performance; however, with the addition of the Live Loops feature in 10.5, I would love to use Logic for my method of doing live performances. In short, I like to perform with software instruments (live) while also playing on an acoustic piano. While I use Logic as my primary DAW, I currently use a Novation Launchkey keyboard and Ableton Live to control a variety of software instruments (Kontakt, Omnisphere, etc.) for performance purposes. One of the things I like doing in a live performance setting (or just when messing around and coming up with ideas) is to use the sustain pedal to hold down an evolving pad texture or an arpeggiated chord, and then switch to another instrument (on a different track channel) without losing the sustained sound so that I can layer additional parts and sounds. This behavior works in Ableton, but I can’t get it to work in Logic. I can assign the buttons on the Launchkey to switch tracks in Logic, but Logic always sends a pedal-off command once a new track channel is selected, effectively ending the sustained sound. Is there any way to change that behavior so that I can effectively switch track channels and keep the sounds sustaining (if I hold the pedal down before switching)? Ultimately, I’d love to be able to do this with the Logic Remote app on my iPad using the track selection buttons in the Live Loops grid (combining live sustained sounds with prerecorded loops), but again, if I select another track/instrument then the pedal-off effect kills the sustain. Also, I realize that I can assign a different MIDI input channel to each track, then record-enable all tracks and change which software instrument I play by changing MIDI channels on the keyboard controller. But changing MIDI channels on the Launchkey is super awkward in a live setting (requires holding down two buttons and then pressing one of the buttons multiple times to get to the desired channel) and there is no way to assign different MIDI channels to the different controller buttons. Of course, I could simply continue using Ableton, but I'd love to stick with one main platform (since I prefer to record and arrange in Logic). Are there any workarounds (perhaps with the Logic environment) to prevent the pedal cutoff effect when simply switching tracks?
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1211
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Eric - There might be some way to do it in the Environment, but if Logic generates that Sustain off message internally when the target track is switched it may be tough to get around that. I thought maybe disabling event chasing for Sustain in the Prefs might do it, but it's already disabled and Logic still cuts off the sustained note. Maybe re-programming the patch for a really long release, or having a direct input in the Environment to the track with the sound to be sustained, but I 'd need a better idea of your performance/workflow to suss out whether anything like that could provide a viable solution. I'll give it a little more thought -- maybe I can come up with something..
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  • Eric_J
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Jan 8th, 2015
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Thanks, Joe, for your response! I confess that the Environment is not something I've messed about with, and it would take some extra learning on my part. But if there is a way to directly access track channels without evoking the sustain off message, then I'm willing to give it a go. But a more straightforward approach would of course be welcome. When I am using Ableton, I simply hit the "arm recording" button for whichever track/sound I wish to play live. If I keep the sustain pedal down before switching to (arming) a new track, then the last chord/notes will continue to sustain. I can release the sustain by going back to that first track and simply pressing the sustain pedal again. I have a number of wonderful "evolving" textures from Spitfire Audio (in Kontakt) which work great as a background accompaniment to my piano. Many times I am creating on the fly and will layer multiple sustained parts (including some arpeggiated sounds), so I don't want to rely on prerecorded accompaniment or loops. If I can keep notes sustaining in Logic when switching sounds, that would be great.
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1211
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Eric - Yes, that's Logic trying to protect you from yourself. It automatically zeros out the most common controller messages in situations like that to avoid unintentional hanging notes or unwanted stray lingering pitchbends or mod effects. I seem to remember that there used to be a way to turn that automatic internal zeroing of MIDI messages off, but I think the option is no longer there [I hate it when Logic tries to think for me, and unfortunately I see a little more of that GarageBand mentality creeping into it here & there, like the feature where it automatically creates an active Aux Return when you add a Send [I think that's what it does], whether you want it or not]. I think it should be possible to create a routing in the Environment that would let you have a direct MIDI input connection to a particular instrument (channel strip) -- I've done that -- and *maybe* with that set up you could program an external MIDI controller message of your choice to enable playing it when desired, and then turn off the MIDI input but leave the last sustain value (i.e.127) active, bypassing the track-arm auto-shutoff code. I honestly have no idea if this would work, or if could be set up to mimic the musical workflow you've grown accustomed to in Ableton, but I think there might be some possibilities there.. I suppose alternatively there might be a way to construct a MIDI Script of some sort, but I'm not well-versed enough in Logic's JavaScript implementation to make an educated guess one way or the other.. Another possibility just occurred to me.. If changing MIDI channels would make it work [you seemed to suggest that in your original post] then maybe you could find another controller message that's easier to send from the Launchkey, and Transform that in realtime in the Environment [between the Input object and Sequencer Input object] into appropriately channelized MIDI data..? The trouble with all these ideas is that sometimes Logic's internal features are not part of that MIDI signal path, and will still override any programming you try to do -- the only way to figure out if something will work is probably some extensive trial & error..
    Reply
  • Eric_J
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Jan 8th, 2015
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Joe, I like your idea of possibly using the Environment to change a controller message into channelized MIDI data. I can definitely get the desired control over the instruments in Logic by setting each channel strip to a different MIDI channel, record enabling all channels and then putting Logic into multiplayer mode (selecting "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" in the record options). Changing MIDI output channel on my Launchkey does in fact let me switch to a different instrument (channel strip) and the notes will keep sustaining if I hold the pedal down while switching. So really, the main issue is that I can't currently switch the MIDI output channel on the Launchkey without going through the silly gymnastics of multiple button pushes. If I can somehow have all the MIDI note data coming out of my keyboard (regardless of the keyboard's currently set MIDI transmission channel) to be filtered/converted into a specific MIDI channel by the Environment and then control which MIDI channel that is through the buttons on my LaunchKey, then I'd be good to go. Is this possible, and if so, how would I set this up in the Environment? Thanks again for giving this your thought!
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1211
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Eric - Ok, this Environment patch seems to work. It's set up to use CC21 messages to switch channels, but any controller # not already in use would do. Of course the Instruments are set up to receive MIDI data on channels 1-2-3-4 respectively. Here's a screenshot -- I'll attach a larger one in the next post in case the detail/text in the Transformer boxes is hard to read.. Note: The Buttons [CC21-1/2/3/4, orange cables] are not needed -- I only included them to generate the CC21 controller messages because I didn't have a suitable MIDI controller hooked up -- if your keyboard outputs the CC21 [or preferred CC# ] messages you can omit the buttons.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1211
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Eric - Here's the zoomed-in pic of the Environment patch I described in the previous post..
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  • Eric_J
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Jan 8th, 2015
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Wow, this is great, Joe! I have almost no experience with the Environment, but what you've done makes sense to me. I did a quick look through the MacProVideo library to see if there is a tutorial series on the Environment. There is one from 2005 (with Logic 7), but I don't see anything more recent. I'm sure the basic paradigm of the Environment has not changed much through the years, though I imagine the interface and menus have changed in various ways, and obviously Logic itself has evolved significantly. So perhaps you should produce an Environment tutorial! ;-) In the mean time, I'll just jump in feet first and with a little trial and error using your helpful screenshots, I can hopefully get this set up. At any rate, I'm sure I'll get back to you with more questions. Thanks again, Joe!
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1211
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Eric - You're welcome! And you're right, functionally the Environment really hasn't changed in years, so that course should still be at least 99.99% valid as an introduction to it. Feel free to touch base / ask questions as you're setting up the patch.. :-)
    Reply
  • Eric_J
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Jan 8th, 2015
    Re: Using Logic for live performance with sustained notes
    Hi Joe. It looks like my easiest option for switching MIDI channels from the Launchkey is to use the 16 velocity sensitive (drum) pads. When using the Launchkey with Ableton these button/pads are mapped to start and stop loops, but with Logic they transmit MIDI channel 10 note data from C1 through D#2 (both note on and note off/velocity0). So how do I set up a cable switcher so that it converts MIDI channel 10 note C1 to toggle position 1, C2 to toggle position 2, etc. all the way up to D#2 for toggle position 16? I will route the output of the cable switcher to the MIDI channel converters as you showed in your screenshot. Thanks!
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