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Logic 9 LFO control of Plugin Parameters?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by alienimplant, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. alienimplant

    alienimplant Senior member

    Is there a way to create and assign an LFO to (for example) the Wah Pedal cutoff filter in Pedalboard? If this is possible to do in the Environment, I'd be happy to do it. I'm not interested in responses that use automation or external controllers. I just want to know if there is an internal way to route an LFO, or envelope to a destination plugin parameter. My current understanding is that this is not possible. Anyone?

    Happy New Year!
  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    You can construct a MIDI LFO in the environment by sending the the MIDI click to a counter and through a transformer map.

    Look at this screenshot:
    I don't have the Logic file any longer but if the screenshot tells you enough to get the idea it should not be too complicated to re-build the function.

    The patch allowed to "draw" the waveform by a row of faders and load it into a transformer map. If you draw your map(s) manually you don't need this part. You will however need the two faders to control gain and depth of the LFO.
  4. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Thank you, Peter, for posting this idea! I've really been missing a general LFO algo in Logic. One typical use for that would be to wiggle the hi- and lo-cut values of the TapeDelay plug-in, like I do (by automation) on the sax in this clip:

    But a general LFO algo would be even more useful in Mainstage! Maybe the Bidule AU can be used for that? (sending a CC# trough the IAC...)
  5. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    Hey Per, NICE track!
    Happy New Year, All...
    : )
  6. alienimplant

    alienimplant Senior member

    I've got Bidule AU. I think I'll give it a whirl for this sort of thing. It depresses me that NI Guitar Rig can do LFO, Waveform and Step Sequence modulation of anything, but Logic can't (at least not without a sacrifice at the altar of my sanity). Argh!
  7. Eli

    Eli Senior member


    I feel your pain. But is it really that big a deal to simply draw some automation with the pointer or pencil tool to automate the wah pedal cutoff parameter? It would seem to me to be the least complicated way. If you want it to be a very regular repeating pattern, you could easily just draw a couple of beats worth and then copy it.

    To take it a step further, how about this: You draw a few beats of automation, for the wah parameter, copy it, and then convert it to Region Based Automation. Then create a transformer in the environment, cable it into your channel strip in question, then assign the transformer to an Arrange Window track.

    Place your automation region on this track. Set your transformer conditions to recognize the controller data, and use the operations to experiment with manipulating it (divide, exponential, multiply, random, etc) to come up with interesting variations.
  8. alienimplant

    alienimplant Senior member

    Creating a duplicate track, automating the parameter, then converting it to loopable region data may be the best work around based on your suggestion, Eli. At least it creates an LFO engine that can be looped, copied and pasted more easily than automation data, early on in an arrangement.

    One of the easiest ways Apple could address this absent function is by providing modulation controllers in the MIDI Learn functionality. It would be so sweet if you could just wiggle the destination parameter in the plugin's GUI, then specify an LFO, Waveform or Step sequencer instead of wiggling a knob on an external controller. This way, Logic developers wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. The destination is already there. All that's missing are the control mechanisms.

    You should see the modulation routing in NI Guitar Rig. It's simply stunning. I'd use their plugin for all kinds of modulation, but unfortunately many of the plugin's internal effects convert stereo information to mono (as does IK Amplitube); this is one of my biggest pet peeves. Why limit an entire set of effects to a mono source (shakes head in disbelief)? Line 6 POD Farm is great in this respect; stereo in and stereo out on everything, but it lacks all the modulation capabilities that Guitar Rig has. Oh well, nothing is ever perfect. LOL

  9. alienimplant

    alienimplant Senior member

    BTW, Peter: Thank you for this. It's a fascinating look into extreme measures! :D
  10. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    Automation is all fine and dandy but can't be used in realtime.
    Logics environment should offer MIDI-FX features such as to be found in Bidule, Energy XT and what not, without sacrificing the workflow (and having to deal with transformers and what not *is* sacrificing the workflow, let alone importing such an environment setup into an existing song...). But I'm afraid we won't see anything like that any day soon.

    - Sascha

    P.S.: Happy new year to you all!
  11. alienimplant

    alienimplant Senior member

    MIDI Modulation Plugins that work with Logic's MIDI Learn function is what I want/need!
  12. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Don't we have a plugin developer here at the LUG? I have also ideas for an audio and a MIDI plugin which may be useful for many people. If there is no AU programmer among the LUG users, what about asking our guests here, in the developer forums, maybe one or the other piece of software would fit into their portfolio?

    Mhm ... plugins don't grow on trees, they are a lot of work. We could talk about a couple of ideas, agree on some plugins and ask for development. We would make the feature list, describe each function and of course test the software. If many people are interested we could pay something for development. That's just a rough idea and the whole thing needs organization, but why do we only wait and whine instead of actively working on projects?
  13. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    As long as I have been a member of this board (somewhere back in -97) we, Logic Users, have been wishing for "MIDI plugins". A typical MIDI plugin would be an Arpeggiator or Chord Memorizer as we already have them by the environment. But as a plugin this function should be instantly available as a channel strip plugin, affecting MIDI region playback as well as external live MIDI input. Ableton Live has implemented this in a nice way. Cubase SX too.

    Dynamic Control Plugins
    Maybe "Dynamic Control Plugins" would be a better name, because we would not just want to do the ususal MIDI tweaks but also apply similar manipulation to the data that flows around Logic in the automation and mixing functionality. I would like the option to open a "Dynamic Control Plugin" in a channel strip slot and be presented a plugin window where I can create and name objects as "LFO", "Inertia" (continuous value glide), "Step Sequencer" etc. Of course these dynamic control objects should offer a setting to either (1) sync to global song tempo, (2) run by a user defined rate or (3) run by a user defined division/multiplication of the global song tempo. A typical use would be to set up controls for Fade In and Fade Out, but also for lo-cut EQ or Autofilter. But - and this is way cool - a Dynamic Control Plugin should not only be able to move values of "normal" plugin parameters, it should also be able to manipulate a parameter of another Dynamic Control Plugin!!! (hey M4L, watch out!)

    This "Inertia" plugin GUI idea needs the following boxes to be set by the user:
    - Target plugin and parameter
    - Start point value
    - Target point value
    - Transportation time (absolute time or in musical time as bars and beats)

    Finally I think all kinds of MIDI plugins or Dynamic Control Plugins have to work both in Logic and Mainstage. In Mainstage the need for that is even bigger because it totally lacks the environment where we can "roll our own" if we have the time (or achieve the same sounding result with difty automation work)
  14. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    The entire thing is a matter of host support. There's quite some useful MIDI out plugins (such as the nice Reaktor Spiral ensemble), just that you simply can't use them inside Logic, let alone in any proper total recall scenario.
    As long as Logic doesn't support those plugins, anything else will only be a workaround (if working at all, which sometimes isn't the case).

    - Sascha
  15. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Logic allows MIDI plugins to send data to the outside via selectable MIDI ports. This is enough for many applications. I do not know if plugins can also have their own input ports.
  16. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member


    - Sascha
  17. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    They certainly can! The trick would be to utilize OS X IAC Bus channels. For such a MIDI plugin to work the user might need to activate the needed number of IAC Bus Channels. This only has to be done once for a computer, in the Audio MIDI Setup utility.
  18. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    There's no way to make the Reaktor Spiral ensemble work inside Logic. That's just about it. I hoped Peter was correct and there was some hidden secret of making it send MIDI somewhere else, but there's not. Logic simply doesn't support MIDI-out plugins.

    - Sascha
  19. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    I can't see why a plug-in developer must build a Reaktor Ensemble? A proper AU/VST would probably also be a better business concept.
  20. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I think they are just using CoreMidi. The Widisoft Audio-to-MIDI plugin provides MIDI output since quite a long time. Mine is from May 2007, the last ReadMe file from 2006. I use it often (the plugin, not the ReadMe) to trigger synths live via an acoustic guitar.

    Some developers claim that MIDI I/O is impossible for AU plugins but they do not recognize that we would be happy with CoreMidi ports. It almost looks as if they do not like the idea but we could change their opinion if we tell them that we would be very happy if plugins would only provide the list of available MIDI ports. Preferably outputs and inputs. We would handle the rest on our own, using the IAC bus or hardware interfaces. Of course it would be better to route directly between plugins but if it runs through the Mac's MIDI system with reasonable latency, who cares. And not to forget that CoreMIDI would be available in all Mac DAW's, which is a good argument because nobody apart from Apple wants to develop a plugin for Logic only.

    I just learned about the new Bidule plugin from Per's post and have to investigate this software. I am not very familiar with Bidule yet but this plugin version is interesting.


    In the the screenshot below you see a WIDI and a Bidule plugin in an instrument channel. The WIDI output selector sees all my MIDI inputs plus four Bidule inputs that are obviously created by the Bidule plugin:


    It does not matter if Bidule is used as instrument or in an insert slot. The ports are here in both applications. MidiPipe is just in the list because I used it to check if the ports are system-wide.

    Here is what you get in the Physical Input of the environment:


    And finally the output list of an instrument that shows the new inputs:


    The examples above do not prove that direct routing between plugins is actually possible, it rather is not due to the AU characteristics. But at least we see that inputs and outputs can be created. From the long existing WIDI plugin alone we can tell that sending MIDI out from an AU plugin does work.


    Did anyone with Bidule knowledge manage to use the inputs and outputs of the plugin version directly, to route between plugins? I believe this is not possible but it would be great news if it is.
  21. alienimplant

    alienimplant Senior member

    Why all the beef over MIDI inputs? It's already built into Logic: MIDI Learn function. All we need are MOD plugins that send instructions to a virtual core MIDI port. Problem solved!

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