MIDI Machine Control

MMC is a set of MIDI commands that Logic Express uses to control the transport functions of any MMC-capable tape machine. The recording process can also be controlled and automated from Logic Express via MMC. This tape machine then provides the SMPTE signal that Logic Express uses as a synchronization source (with Logic Express as the slave).

You can control connected devices from Logic Express by using the normal transport functions (including direct positioning and cycle jumps). Don’t forget that Logic Express needs to wait for the connected device to finish rewinding or forwarding. If MIDI Machine Control is enabled, dragging the playhead will send MMC Locate commands continuously, until the mouse button is released.

To turn on MMC
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click the Transport bar Sync button and choose the MIDI Machine Control (MMC) setting in the shortcut menu.

  • Choose File > Project Settings > Synchronization, and choose the Transmit MMC option in the MIDI tab.

Logic Express supports up to 64 MMC tracks, allowing devices such as the Alesis ADAT to be operated via MIDI machine control.

Each arrange track can act as a tape (control) track, by selecting an instrument with the tape deck icon (#305).

Figure. Arrange track showing instrument with tape deck icon.

You only need to create one instrument with the tape deck icon, and you can then assign that same instrument to as many tracks as needed, to control your external recorder. It’s a good idea to group these tracks together in their own folder. These tracks must be placed at the top of the Arrange window track list. If you pack them into a folder, this must be the first track in the list.

The tape deck icon is the only icon that actually affects the way an object behaves. All other icons are purely graphical in nature.

If the tape track is the current record track, the following functions apply:

The MMC Record buttons also offer you a simple way to arm tracks on your tape machine with Logic Express (see MMC Record Buttons Objects).

You should finish all MMC-controlled recordings with Stop or Space. Some tape machines react differently to a series of MMC Record commands. Sometimes, this can result in Logic Express showing a track as recording, when the tape is actually playing back (or even worse, the opposite situation). As such, you should always finish a recording with Stop or Space, just to be on the safe side.