Logic Pro from A to Z – M is for MIDI
Many of you might be thinking, MIDI? Really? It’s been around for over thirty years. What more is there to say about it? Well, the fact is that almost all modern DAWs, Logic Pro X included, deliberately blur the lines between the previously separate realms of audio and MIDI. Now more than ever. MIDI grooves, timing, and note events are easily extracted from audio these days. So, the new thing about MIDI is that it is less separate from audio than it ever has been since it was invented. Here I’ll look at converting audio to MIDI note data in Logic Pro X.
Most DAWs have some variation of an “audio to MIDI” function that converts audio into MIDI data. And Logic’s audio to MIDI function has had a huge make over in Logic Pro X. In version 9, it was achieved through the Audio To Score function in the Sample Editor. The settings were fairly obtuse, and to be honest, it wasn’t particularly inviting to use, and didn’t work particularly well.
Merged into Logic Pro X’s new Flex pitch function, audio to MIDI conversion is now a lot simpler to use and more accurate. It currently works with mono audio sources and does a pretty good job for a built in function without the need for a separate third party add on or plug-in. It is located in the new Audio File Editor, near the bottom of the Edit menu. The process is simple. Following are the necessary steps to create MIDI regions from a mono audio file:
• Make sure that Flex is enabled in the Tracks Area, and that Flex pitch is the chosen algorithm.
• Move over to the Audio Track editor. Turn on Flex Pitch if it is not already enabled. Optionally show the local Inspector from under the View menu if editing of the flex pitch data is necessary.
• MIDI conversion is then easily invoked from under the File menu with the “Create MIDI Track from Flex Pitch Data menu item.
• Move the created MIDI regions (placed on a newly created Vintage Electric Piano track by default) to the desired MIDI tracks in the Tracks Area, and you are good to go.
Many play back scenarios are now possible. The newly created MIDI data can be used to double the audio material. It can be transposed to create some harmony parts. Or even used solely on it’s own to replace the original audio.
Morey Richman, a good friend of mine and great local guitar player, has generously allowed me to use one of his tracks to demonstrate this in action in the video below.