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How to use Logic Pro X Articulation IDs with Drummer

logic pro x drummer articulation id

I received an email from a very knowledgeable colleague, a Logic Pro power user, with what seemed (to both of us) a very unusual Logic Pro X Drummer problem. It had me stymied for a while. Until I finally let go of my preconceived notions of how things should work and accepted that Logic Pro X really is a very different app from Logic Pro 9.

How to use Logic Pro X Articulation ID’s with Drummer

Here’s the scenario. Take a Logic Pro X Drummer region and convert it to MIDI. This is easily accomplished by right clicking on the Drummer region and choosing “Convert to MIDI Region”. The advantage of doing this is that now the parts can be edited with traditional MIDI editing techniques. What isn’t obvious though, is that once the region is converted to MIDI, the articulation IDs established in the original Drummer region seem to take precedent over MIDI note numbers.

Convert To MIDI Region

The problem he had is that the hi-hat hat articulations in the newly created MIDI part didn’t correspond to the note pitches they were placed on. We expect A#1 to correspond to an open hi-hat articulation. F#1 is a closed hi-hat sound and G#1 is normally a half open articulation. In the converted Drummer regions, notes on any of those three pitches seemed to, almost randomly, trigger any of these hi-hat articulations. But when he actually triggered them from a MIDI controller, they behaved as expected. The three articulations were mapped out as expected across those three notes.

At first I though perhaps there was some sort of velocity switching going on, but that didn’t seem to be the case. Adjusting the velocities adjusted the loudness, as expected, but not the articulations being triggered.

After a bit of head scratching, I began investigating  the articulation IDs assigned to those hi-hat notes. Sure enough there were a variety of articulation ID numbers assigned to the various hi-hat notes. It seems like they have priority over the actual note number/pitch in determining which articulation is triggered.

So, here is  one possible Logic Pro X workflow to deal with this: If you want to convert a Drummer region to MIDI and work with it, open an Event List and make sure Articulation ID is enabled in the View menu. Once enabled, you can adjust a note’s articulation ID in the column that becomes visible.

The various IDs on these three notes seem to correspond with various gradations of open and closed hi-hat sounds. It seems to me like articulation IDs 0, 6, and 7 are different versions of open hi-hat samples, with 7 being full open. The placement of the notes on the three hi-hat note pitches (F#1, G#1, and A#1) is secondary to the articulation ID assigned to them. So, it becomes a different way of working with MIDI!

It would be nice if the Event Float displayed articulation ID info, but it doesn’t for now. We can view and work with articulation IDs in the MIDI Draw pane of the Piano Roll Editor, but the problem there is that only one articulation ID number is viewable at a time. It seems that for now, that the open Event List is the best way to deal with articulation ID editing. There are additional alternate articulations for many of the kik and snare samples as well that are worth exploring.

Articulation ID

Eli Krantzberg
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Eli Krantzberg

Apple Certified Pro Eli Krantzberg is an internationally known author and music software trainer for Groove3. His instructional videos have helped demystify music software such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Sonar, BFD, Melodyne, and Kontakt for thousands of users all over the world. Based in Montreal, Canada, Eli is involved in all aspects of audio production. In his studio he works with various artists, as well as on commercial jingles, corporate videos, and original music composition.
Eli Krantzberg
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  • Yeah, a different way of working with MIDI that has no obvious interface or documentation… it’s a cool future concept, but as of April 2014 I have yet to see the value of this implementation. For me it was “all hi-hats are closed” as if I had hit the F# and that sample had silenced the open hat sample, but whenever I hit any hat. Perhaps it’s just what they used while programming the GUI for drummer on their end… either way thanks for addressing this issue.

  • Eli Krantzberg

    I agree, it does seem to be a feature that is in progress. And it’s not obvious at this point how it will ultimately be implemented beyond it’s current use as a means of switching between orchestral instrument articulations with certain EXS 24 instruments.

    • Here’s to hoping it has something to do with the ever-mysterious Redmatica acquisition. 🙂

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