Review – Babylonwaves Art Conductor 1.5
Babylonwaves Art Conductor 1.5 is designed to allow the user to view and modify articulation changes as automation in a track’s automation lane. It can use either MIDI note, MIDI channel or UACC information (Universal Articulation Controller Channel – created by Spitfire) to achieve this. It comes with generic and custom scripts and a manual that helps you through the process.
Review – Babylonwaves Art Conductor 1.5
When I heard of Art Conductor’s release I was very interested in trying out the product as I do some work with large sample libraries and keyswitching. It’s written to work in Logic Pro X’s MIDI FX plug-in Scripter. This is the first third-party product I’ve used for Scripter. I wasn’t sure of installation for such, but it’s very straightforward. Just install, open Logic Pro X, and instantiate a Scripter plug-in.
Load a Script
Once Scripter is open, click on the drop down menu and look for Babylonwaves ArtConductor. Selecting this gives you a submenu. Here you can select which script is appropriate for your needs.
There are three generic scripts, the first two should work with most instruments:
– ArtConductor Channels 1.5 – Generic, allows you to set up a multi-timbral instrument with a different articulation on each channel.
– ArtConductor Notes 1.5 – Generic, allows you to address a keyswitch instrument’s articulations with MIDI note information.
– ArtConductor UACC 1.5: Generic, this is a script that converts UACC into MIDI notes.
There are six custom templates for the specific plug-ins/instruments identified by script name:
ArtConductor VSL 1.5. Audiobro LASS, Cinematic Strings 2 Presets, Cinematic Strings Presets, Spitfire Mural Presets and Spitfire Sable Presets all contain subfolders with script templates for the respective plugins. The Spitfire templates use the UACC format. Check the user manual for specifics.
Customize the Script
If you own one of the products for which there are custom templates, you may not have to do any work editing the script. I don’t, so I edited the two generic scripts AirConductor Channels 1.5 and AirConductor Notes 1.5. It’s really quite easy and they work as advertised.
You’ll need to open the Script Editor by clicking on the the button that says Open Script in Editor.
The editor opens to the area of script you need to change. It’s sandwiched between Begin Articulation Definition and End Articulation Definition. You’ll see lines of blue, purple and red text. This is what gets edited.
Editing the ArtConductor Notes 1.5 script
You may want to rename the script as soon as you start working with it to keep the original as a blank template. Save your edited script with an appropriate name.
You’ll need to verify the third number matches the pitch of the keyswitch note in your plug-in for the articulation you want. They use key numbers based on C3 being middle C. Thus, 24 is equal to MIDI pitch C0, 25 = C#0, 26 = D0, C1 = 36, etc.
Go to your player to view the keyswitch patch and see what notes are assigned to the articulations you want to use. Then change the key number/MIDI pitch in the script to match the keyswitch note. (You could alternately change the keyswitch note in the player to match the script.)
Once you have the pitches matched, replace “Articulation1” with the name of the articulation (e.g., “Legato” – keep the quotation marks). Continue as needed until you have all the articulations mapped and named that you’ll need. You can copy and paste more lines if you run out of the provided code. You can delete any unused articulations. Click the Run Script button in the upper left to let Scripter proof everything.
It’s best to have a single instance per channel strip as this is MIDI channel dependent. Make sure the send from Logic and the MIDI receive in the plug-in are the same.
Editing the ArtConductor Channels 1.5 script
This script assumes you have created a multiple channel instrument with a different articulation on each channel. Just replace the red text (e.g., Channel 1) with the articulation of instrument receiving that channel. Click the Run Script button in the upper left to let Scripter proof everything.
Working with the Articulations
You’ve edited the scripts, it’s time to use them. The articulations are added in the automation lane of a track, independent of the MIDI performance. You’ll need to select Scripter > Articulation from the track header Automation Parameter menu. Then you can add the articulations manually or record them using touch or latch and selecting the articulation from the Scripter plug-in. This can be either track or region based automation, depending on what works for you.
Automation control point placement is important – theses articulation messages need to happen before the note it triggers. You can edit placement in the automation lane. For fine adjustments I prefer the Track Automation Event List to do this. It’s only available by a key command (default is Control Command E). Here you’ll see the nodes shown as events, easily moved in small increments.
For the Advanced User
Check out the manual on how to stack multiple Scripter plug-ins in one channel strip, allowing you to address different instruments in a multi channel channel strip.
You now will have your articulations visible as automation events per track. You’ll always know where what articulation is being used in your project. You can copy/paste as with any other automation. You have created custom templates you can use any time (Babylonwaves will create templates for you for a small fee if you need help).
If you’ve been using keyswitch notes you know that you have to draw the note out for the length of the note(s) it triggers and have MIDI chase enabled to make sure the articulation is played correctly at all times. You no longer have to do that. And, the notes won’t appear in the score editor, so you no longer have to modify your staff style to have them hidden.
This software will be very helpful for users who want to see and edit their articulations at a glance and not have articulations shown in the MIDI editors in Logic Pro X. It’s good to see a developer taking advantage of Logic Pro X‘s Scripter.
The Art Conductor Bundle is a collection of scripts and includes the MIDI note, Spitfire, EastWest and VSL version. Its current price is 14,99 €. For more information, visit the Babylonwaves website.
Based in Seattle, he runs Apple certified trainings, teaches Logic Pro for the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program Masters in Music degree and tutors individual users. His use of Logic Pro includes writing for film, commercials, web sites and working with singer/songwriters.