Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Multitrack Logic Pro Instruments in Ableton Live

Overview
Although Logic support ReWire, this is only when Logic is the ReWire host. Logic has some great virtual instruments included, and it is sometimes handy to have access to these virtual instruments in other software.

This blog post is a follow on to a previous one covering a similar topic, and will cover a more advanced setup on how to use Logic's virtual instruments in Ableton Live.

We can sum up this setup as follows:
• MIDI data is sent from Live to Logic via the IAC MIDI Bus
• Audio data is sent from Logic to Live via the SoundFlower virtual audio routing device
• Audio data is sent from Live to the user via the built-in audio output

In this following video and example screenshots, 16 MIDI tracks are sent from Live Logic, controlling 16 individual instruments. Each of these instruments is then sent via its own stereo feed back to Live resulting in a total of 16 stereo inputs being used in Live.

video











Step-By-Step
Make sure that you have SoundFlower, Ableton Live and Apple Logic Pro installed. Open Live and then Logic in that order. In Live, go to the Audio tab in the Preferences. Select SoundFlower 64 channel as the input device.

Click on Input Config, and make sure that the first 32 channels are active as both mono and stereo inputs.

In Logic, create a new, empty project. Go to the preferences and set the output device to SoundFlower 64ch. 


Create 16 audio instrument tracks. Set each track to record mode. 


Route the output of instrument 1 to Stereo Out L and R. Route the output of instrument 2 to outputs 3 and 4. Route the output of instrument 3 to outputs 5 and 6. Route the output of instrument 4 to outputs 7 and 8. Route the output of instrument 5 to outputs 9 and 10, and so on, until all 16 instruments have been routed to outputs 1 - 32.

 
In Logic, open the environment. Go to the Mixer Layer. Create three objects: 
• A Physical Input
• A Monitor
• A Transformer

Connect the output of IAC MIDI Bus 1 to the monitor. Connect the output of the monitor to the transformer


Double-click on the Transformer object to bring up its settings. Set the mode to Apply operation and filter non-matching events. Set the input Condition for the Channel to = and the argument to 1. Set the output change for the Channel to Fix and the argument to 1, as shown above.

Connect the output of the transformer to instrument 1.


Copy and past this transformer object 15 times, so that there are 16 transformer objects. Disconnect the output of each transformer object from instrument 1, and connect to each subsequent instrument, so that transformer object 2 goes to instrument 2, transformer 3 goes to instrument 3 and so on.

Change the input Condition for the Channel of each transformer object to match each instrument number so that transformer 2 which is going to instrument 2 should only output data from channel 2, transformer 3 which is going to instrument 3 should only output data from channel 3 and so on. 


In Live, create 16 MIDI tracks. Set the output of all tracks to IAC Bus 1. Set the channel for every subsequent track 1 higher than the previous one, so that track 1 goes to MIDI channel 1,  track 2 goes to MIDI channel 2, track 3 goes to MIDI channel 3 and so on. 



In Live, create 16 stereo audio tracks. The input of every subsequent track should be one stereo pair higher than the previous one, so that audio track 1 has its input set to stereo in 1 and 2, audio track 2 has its input set to stereo in 3 and 4, audio track 3 has its input set to stereo in 5 and 6 and so on. 


Sequenced data on MIDI track 1 will be sent to Logic instrument 1 and be returned to audio track 1,  data on MIDI track 2 will be sent to Logic instrument 2 and be returned to audio track 2, data on MIDI track 3 will be sent to Logic instrument 3 and be returned to audio track 3 and so on. 

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