LPX: Recording MIDI From Another Track

In this post, I will show in Logic Pro X how MIDI being output in one track can be recorded in another track for further editing. This requires a small bit of prep outside of LPX to work.

I was recently working on a classic/prog rock-like track, and while messing around with the Drummer presets, I liked what one of the Electronic Drummers was outputting versus the Rock Drummers, but I wanted an acoustic kit for this, and not a drum machine. The Drummer plug-in is effectively a MIDI plug-in that outputs MIDI the same as the MIDI FX. Changing the Drummer changed the style, so recording the Drummer output into a MIDI region allows me to move the Drummer’s output into any MIDI track.┬áHere is how I captured the rhythms and fills.

Before Recording

Before any MIDI recording can happen, the “IAC Driver Bus” needs to be turned on for the OS. This only ever needs to happen once, and can be leveraged over and over again.

Go to the Audio MIDI Setup application found in /Applications/Utilities in the Finder:

Open the MIDI Studio Window:

Double-click the IAC Driver object in the window

Check the box for “Device is online” and then click “Apply” if need be.

That’s it. Set it and forget it. Back to LPX…

Recording

In LPX, assume there is a Drummer track that needs to be captured. In this example, this is using “Maya – Modern 80’s” which uses the Ultrabeat plug-in:

In the Drummer track, change the instrument to External Instrument, found in the following path: Utility > External Instrument:

In the plug-in window, change the “MIDI Destination” setting to “IAC Driver Bus 1”. This establishes the connection that allows MIDI to be recorded across tracks:

Create a new track and apply a drum plug-in to it. Here I just used Drum Kit Designer. The specific patch doesn’t matter since I only need to hear some output during recording to verify this works:

In the new track, press the “R” button so that it is red.

Keeping the new track selected, start recording and the Drummer’s output will start showing up as MIDI data in the new track:

Expanding the resulting output shows all of the subtleties the Drummer plug-in puts in place. I’ve found it takes some work to develop this sort of thing, but totally worth the effort. Now all of this data can be moved to any MIDI track.

This also works well for capturing a MIDI FX plug-in output to develop further than what the plug-in allows, like the Arpeggiator and Repeater MIDI FX.

If this doesn’t work for you, then check the following:

  1. The source track is set to use the External Instrument “IAC Driver Bus 1.”
  2. The correct track is set up for recording, with the “R” button red and the track selected.
  3. The IAC Driver is online in Audio MIDI Setup. (a.k.a. Is the computer plugged in?)

Totally non-obvious but totally easy. It has helped me develop new ideas. I culled all of this information from multiple sites, but I haven’t seen it all in one place.