MIDI Multitrack Recording

Logic Express offers two possibilities when recording multiple MIDI tracks:

Recording Multiple MIDI Tracks Simultaneously

You may occasionally want to record multiple MIDI tracks at the same time. Often this will be data recorded from an external sequencer, or played from a keyboard that is split across multiple MIDI channels.

You can also simply play the same MIDI channel information from your keyboard, but record it to multiple tracks. One reason you would do this is to create layered instrument parts.

To record to multiple tracks simultaneously
  1. Click the Record Enable button on each arrange track you want to record to.

    Note: Selecting an external MIDI or instrument track that is not record-enabled will turn off the record-enabled status of all other external MIDI or instrument tracks. Record-enabled audio tracks are not affected.

  2. Set the playhead to the point where you want recording to start.

  3. Click the Record button in the Transport bar (or use the corresponding key command, default assignment:  *).

  4. Stop recording by clicking the Stop button in the Transport bar (or press the Space bar).

You now have a new MIDI region on each of the record-enabled tracks.

Figure. Arrange area with new MIDI regions on the four record-enabled tracks.

There are two operating modes available for simultaneous recording of multiple MIDI tracks:  layer recording and multiplayer recording.

  • When layer recording: Incoming MIDI events are sent to all record-enabled MIDI tracks. You can listen to all selected instruments before, and during, recording.
    • A MIDI region is created on the selected track after recording.

    • Aliases of the MIDI region on the selected track are recorded on the other tracks.

    The advantage of this approach is that any subsequent edits to the “parent” MIDI region will affect all aliases, ensuring that all layered tracks remain identical.

  • When multiplayer recording: Incoming MIDI events are distributed to the various record-enabled tracks, in accordance with transmitted MIDI channel numbers.
    • The channel of the incoming event must correspond to the channel of a record-enabled track for this functionality to work.

    • If no track with a corresponding channel number is found, the event will be routed, and recorded, onto the selected track.

You should ensure that each of your MIDI controllers transmit on different channels. If this is not possible, simply use different inputs on your MIDI interface and change the MIDI channel of each input, using a transformer object between the Physical Input and Sequencer Input (see Physical Input Objects and Sequencer Input Objects).

To switch from the Layer recording mode (default) to the Multiplayer recording mode
  • Choose File > Project Settings > Recording, and select the “Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording” option.

Recording Multiple MIDI Tracks Successively

You can record several MIDI regions on individual tracks when in Cycle mode.

To record several MIDI tracks in Cycle mode
  1. Open the Recording project settings window by doing one of the following:

    • Choose File > Project Settings > Recording (or use the Open Recording Project Settings key command, default assignment:  Option-*).

    • Click the Settings button in the Arrange toolbar, and choose Recording from the pop-up menu.

    • Control-click (or right-click) the Record button in the Transport bar, and choose Recording Settings from the pop-up menu.

  2. Open the Overlapping Recordings pop-up menu and choose “Create tracks in Cycle record.”

    Figure. Overlapping Recordings menu in the Recording project settings pane.

This will automatically create a new take track for each cycle repetition. Each previous track plays while you are recording.

Figure. Arrange area with MIDI recording overlapping an existing MIDI region.

When you stop recording, you can work with each newly recorded region independently of the others.

You also have the option to mute each previous track while recording.

To record several MIDI tracks, and mute each previous track, in Cycle mode
  1. Open the Recording project settings by doing one of the following:

    • Choose File > Project Settings > Recording (or use the Open Recording Project Settings key command, default assignment:  Option-*).

    • Click the Settings button in the Arrange toolbar, and choose Recording from the pop-up menu.

    • Control-click (or right-click) the Record button in the Transport bar, and choose Recording Settings from the pop-up menu.

  2. Open the Overlapping Recordings pop-up menu and choose “Create tracks and mute in Cycle record.”

    Figure. Overlapping Recordings menu in the Recording project settings pane.

This will automatically create a new independent take track for each cycle repetition. Each previous track is automatically muted while recording.

Figure. Arrange area with MIDI recording overlapping an existing MIDI region.

When you stop recording, you can work with each newly recorded region independently of the others.