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Importing from midi file in Logic Pro X

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by joswyl, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. joswyl

    joswyl Member


    In most cases, I work with Notation software (Notion4, Finale 2014). After editing all the notes, I export the score (one track per instrument) to midi and after that, I import the midi file into Logic Pro to finalise it. But there is always a problem with volume. I would prefer to have a constant volume to be able to mix with the sliders. Now, all the sliders constantly move according to the score's dynamic settings. That makes it practically impossible to produce a decent mix. I usually use expression and velocity (not-to-note basis) to create the dynamic variations, whereas volume is the overall setting (somewhere between 91 and 120). That provides me sufficient possibility to mix down the project. But if volume equals expression, than it's a tough job (mostly lucky guess) to end up with an acceptable mix...

    How could I keep the volume constant (even after importing from midi)?

    iMac 27'
    Core i 7
    32 GB RAM, 1600 MHz DDR3
    OSX 10.9
  3. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Assuming that your notation programs aren't exporting any MIDI volume (or other MIDI CC) information associated with articulation and dynamic markings, you should be able to import the MIDI files into Logic without the dynamic or articulation markings influencing any MIDI values. Make sure your score page project settings have all the MIDI meaning values at 100%, and all should be fine. (see screenshot below).

    If there are MIDI messages being exported with the MIDI files, you can open them in the Event list (or Step Editor) and delete all non note or sustain pedal based messages.

    From what you are describing however, I suspect the problem is on the notation software side of the equation. It sounds like it is attaching MIDI volume or expression messages with the dynamic markings. Maybe there is a way to disable this?

    Attached Files:

  4. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    This will take an year to process multiple regions (imported from SMF or similar sources) placed on different tracks etc.
    Some years ago I published a special "Batch Deletion Trick" using the Transform Window which processes unwanted midi data such as CC7, CC10 etc in one go.
    It seems that Apple got my trick and published it in the new Logic_Pro_X_User_Guide page 481 "Delete volume events (MIDI CC#7) from a MIDI region".
    In addition I want to note that all regions in the Main Window must be selected beforehand and you have to hit "Select & Operate" to execute the batch deletion!

    There is one more "ADVANCED" method which can clean all Channel Strip harmful data in one go using the Transform. If anybody is interested just post - I can outline it for non-commercial usage...
  5. joswyl

    joswyl Member

    Thank you, Eli and Tangra for the most interesting tips. I will certainly have a look at them and try what is best.

    Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
  6. joswyl

    joswyl Member

    I'm not sure I can disable the midi data export (volume/expression). That is not the main concern. It's only that it shouldn't be on CC7 (slider in the mixer). A separate lane for volume or expression won't do any harm, i suppose, as long i can use the slider for the mix down.


  7. joswyl

    joswyl Member

    I did a small experiment, importing midi from Notion. When I set Volume to 'none' (no CC) in VI Pro, then the volume slider of Logic stays in place. But with an import of Finale, that doesn't make any difference. So Finale messes up the settings (I suppose)...
  8. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    An issue could be if CC7 has been used as expression, e.g. to create dynamics within a note as with a sforzando. Watch out for those.
  9. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    I guess your Finale exports Volume CC7 or Expression CC11.
    You can batch delete all messages in one go using my "Batch Deletion Method" (see below). This method uses a Condition Mapper so you can delete multiple CC definitions in one go.
    Note: You can make a Transform Custom Preset and use it when you need:
    1. Select the midi regions you want to process in the Main Window;
    2. Create new Transform preset;
    3. Set the Mode to "Delete Selected Events";
    4. Set the Condition Status to "Control";
    5. Set the Data Byte 1 to Map (127/127);
    6. Select the 7th Mapper Position (CC7 Volume).
    7. Set the Mapper value to 127.
    - Do the same procedure and select the 11th Mapped Position and set its "Mapped to" value to 127. This will delete the Expression CC11 (if Any) from the all selected regions in the Arrange (Main Window)!
    Note: You can add more CC event definition numbers (such as Pan CC10, CC28, CC29 etc) in the Mapper and set their values to 127 to batch delete them.
    8. Finally hit "Select & Operate".


  10. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hey Tangra,

    GREAT tip!! Thanks.
  11. joswyl

    joswyl Member

    Hi Tangra,

    Many thanks for your brilliant suggestion. This is clear to me (remember, I'm a total newbie to any DAW* (I was a users of only notation software) :redface:. BUT... I solved the problem in a very simple way. I discovered by trial and error that Finale exports its expression data as 'volume' on CC7. That way, the Logic mixer sliders reflect the dynamic variations with the slider. That doesn't make any sense and it's pretty useless for the mixdown.
    So I simply deleted all the volume data in the volume lanes (per track), since there ware expression data as well (which I made in Logic). After that, I set the volume level to 92 fix. And there were the sliders with a fix position, able to be used in the mixing process.

    * One question however. How can I select a region to edit or delete/copy/paste in Logic Pro X? The manual refers to that process, but doesn't explain how to...
    And similar: how can I copy/cut - paste midi data from the volume lane into the expression lane?

    I would appreciate a clear and simple explanation (I'm a simple musician, not an editing expert...)

    Thaks for all your efforts to help me out. ;)

  12. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    Here the best tool is the Transform again (it can be done in the Event List or Step Edit as well). The Transform can work on global level so you can process multiple midi regions in one go which is the Transform goal!
    Right now I'm away of my Logic and can not make any snapshot so I will try to describe the Custom User Preset you have to create in the Transform.

    To Copy Volume and Transform it to Expression

    1. Select the midi region(s) in the Main Window (you click the region to select it, shift click to select more regions or click & hold grading the mouse on the background to select multiple regions etc).
    2. Open the Transform Window, go to the bottom preset "Create User Preset" etc.
    3. Set the the Mode to "Copy selected events, then apply operation".
    4. Set the Condition (top row) "Status" to Control.
    5. Set the Data Byte 1 (Pitch) to = 7
    6. Set the Operation (bottom row) Data Byte 1 (Pitch) to = 11
    7. Hit "Select & Operate".

    To Cut Volume and Transform into Expression

    Follow the previous procedure and leave the default Mode to Apply operations to selected events.
    This will transform the Volume into Expression.
  13. joswyl

    joswyl Member

    Simple solution

    Well, finally, and with a lot of help, I came across a decent and satisfactory solution to stop the mixer sliders from reflecting all the dynamic variations in my score. The sliders are on CC7 (volume), so I had to get rid of a variable volume. Therefore, I went into step editor, and from there I selected the volume lane and simple converted it into a expression lane (CC7 to CC11). Since there are not so many instruments in that score, I could do that without batch conversion.

    For some reason unknown to me, a couple of instruments continued to move their sliders along with the music. There, I had to delete the volume data and replace them by a fix number (92). A new expression lane was to be created here.

    How tedious can midi import be...?

    Problem solved so far! :)

  14. Mateus Alves

    Mateus Alves New Member

    Hello. I'm new here and I know this topic is 2 years old, but I think I'm having the same problem as the one discussed above - maybe someone is still here, I don't really know how these forum thing works...

    Well, I use Finale 2014 and Logic X and I'm having somes problems to do some simple volume automation when I import a Finale midi. I tried everything (as far as I know): getting rid of expression and dynamic marks, turning off the "human playback" and all the stuff in the score that messes with the midi file exported by Finale. The thing is when I start mixing it on Logic, it is as if some (useless) midi information is still being passed and Logic just swallows it. Then, any automation I try to make, for example, just doesn't work: it works when I'm playing-back and automating the midi on the first go, but if I stop it and start again it is as if the automation doesn't affect anything.

    Weel, in the end I just would like to know a way I can export a midi file from Finale that has just the notes and no more midi information so I can do the rest (crescendo, decrescendos, expression etc etc) in Logic with my samples and stuff. I tried to delete the information as I gathered from the instructions above (using the "midi transform" thing) but it didn't work - maybe I just didn't understand how to properly do it.

  15. Tangra

    Tangra Senior member

    This is. You are doing something wrong. Read my step by step instructions and follow the Transform Window diagram Preset I show above. Do not miss to select all regions (in the Arrange - Command+A) before using that Transform Preset.
  16. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    Can you upload one of your finale files and I think I can help you. I use both programs and import into logic without issue. Just want to verify with one of your files to be sure there is not some other special issue in the files you are using.
  17. Mateus Alves

    Mateus Alves New Member

    Here it goes, volovicg. I'm sending a work in progress. Thanks for the help!

    PS. I don't know why but it's not possible to upload the actual Finale file, so I'm sending the pdf.

    Attached Files:

  18. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    The PDF is not what is needed, but rather the actual Finale file. You will need to post using a link to dropbox, wetransfer or whatever you prefer. You can also send to my email directly at volovicg@gmail.com
  19. Mateus Alves

    Mateus Alves New Member

    Just sent you the file through gmail...

    Another issue that I'm facing is trying do deal with a multi-timbral track on Logic - maybe that's a bit off the topic here but... I notice that sometimes the playback just goes crazy due to (I think) useless midi information and stuff. The image attached shows an example of how the clarinet track is affected by some (I don't know which) information on the tuba track, that doesn't even play on this section. It's probably a total newbie question but what the hell are those lines that are shaped like a diamond and why do they affect the clarinet? Are they some sort of automation? I managed to do individual volume automation for each instrument on Kontakt and it was working rather fine until recently. Now I notice that sometimes some of those lines, in different tracks, just move (apparently in a random way) when playing-back a section. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  20. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    Ok - so while this will likely generate lots of Q/A's - I wanted to at least post the results for later discussion.
    (I am at work now so not a lot of time - literally this took less than 10 min).
    I opened your finale file and made changes in two places which I can detail in a video ( it was in turning off Human playback and,verifying midi channels for each staff and turning off expression and chord translation in the score manager - these are all done in Finale. I then saved the file as a midi file ( format 1).

    I imported it into logic and here is all I did ( I made NO CHANGES TO NOTES) other than enharmonic equivalents.

    1/ I created a score set for all tracks, named the score set instruments appropriately
    2/ I applied unique staff styles, so no staff style would used on more than one track.
    4/ I applied enharmonic equivalents by selecting all notes that were flatted and pressed shift 3 to make them sharps.
    5/ clicked on each staff and decided if I wanted (Interpretation and/or syncopation on or off).
    5/ That's all I did. ( not automation, volume or unwanted midi data came over into Logic except for the initial presets, which I need to find out how in in finale to eliminate even them).

    Issues I do see....
    1/ The 1/4 time signature for the pickup need to be fixed either in Logic or in Finale
    2/ The enharmonic equivalents need to be determined and applied where necessary
    3/ Grace notes should probably be deleted and re-entered as they can mess up the score. They just need to be made independent grace notes. I did not do that so you can see that with little effort you can get 98% there with just and export and an import. As soon as I get a minute I will post a video on what needs to change in Finale.
    The PDF from Logic is attached below to be compared with the PDF in the previous post.
    Let me know if this is your objective.
    Here it is.... imported into logic with the minor changes noted above....

    Final to Logic importation.gif

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  21. Mateus Alves

    Mateus Alves New Member

    Thank you very much,
    Thank you very much, volovicg! That was very helpful.

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