A new control surface
by Rich the TweakMeister
Emagic writes: The Logic Control hardware units provide quick and easy operation of your Logic System. The Logic Control units are the ultimate tools for turning your existing studio space into a professional working environment. The Logic Control hardware is, quite plainly, a revolution for anybody who wants to streamline their workflow with the Logic family of music production software. Tweak: That's the blurb from Emagic. Now I'm going to tell you of the dream behind all this.
First I want to take you to Digidesign's site. Let's look at some ProTools automation systems, one's that many of us will never, ever be able to afford. Go ahead, click this url:
http://www.digidesign.com/products/mix/ and here's some digidesign control surfaces with their prices. But don't let those prices fool you. To get that 12 grand Pro control to work your going to need a lot more stuff, your cost will be way over that by the time you are done. Now it should be coming clear. The dream is to get this kind of moving faders, 100% flexible total automation control on a dedicated surface that allows it to be created, manipulated, and recorded. Logic Control costs around 1/10th of what a ProControl would cost, and, unlike DD's stuff, the Logic Control blends in easily with your existing studio.
Logic Control, for now, only works with Logic Audio 5. You can't use it with Cubase or Sonar, or with previous versions of Logic. Yes, the faders have motors under them. They move. The way you work with an automated fader, for those of you who have never played with one, is that as soon as you touch it, it starts writing data to the track and can be set to overwrite any data already there. So if you botch a fader movement just go over it again and grab the fader at the appropriate time to make it go where you want it to go. The faders are touch sensitive. They know when you are touching them and when you are not from the electricity on your fingers.
By hitting some buttons, you can define which parameters the faders and V-pots are controlling. You can control 8 EXS parameters with the faders just as easily as you can control volume. And don't think you are limited to 8 tracks because there are only 8 faders. By hitting a single button you can jump to the next bank of 8 tracks, and so on. Logic control can control as many tracks as you have in your Logic song. Of course, some of you are going to want to have more than 8 faders and 8 v-pots available at once, so Emagic has made the Logic XT version. This adds another 8 faders and v-pots. You can add multiple XT's if you want. Each unit will take up a full MIDI port (all 16 channels), so if there is one thing you may need to check before you get a LC, it is whether you have enough MIDI ports. Emagic recommends using it's own interfaces for Logic Control. I advise you trust that. LC will work on any MIDI port, but personally, I would not try it on a spare soundcard port.
Logic Control is not an audio interface. It is a 100% MIDI controller that controls the operation of Logic Audio and your audio interface. The audio is still going in and coming out of your audio interface/soundcard. All the dramatic things that can be done to the sound are done in Logic's virtual mixer. It's important to understand that Logic control is NOT an audio mixer. You cannot connect audio cables to it. However, Logic Control works "inside" your audio interface and can route inputs to outputs, through virtual sends and returns in Logic's mixer, through the plugins, sidechains, s/pdif outs--whatever you have defined there. If you have a mixer, Logic control will work along side of it. If you have an audio interface well endowed with pre amps and inputs, Logic Control will alleviate the need to buy a separate mixer. For myself, I still use my Mackie 1402 as the front end of my audio interface and Alesis studio 32 for my large arsenal of MIDI synths. I route the Alesis through one of my Delta 1010's input pairs which are represented as one Logic's Audio Input Pairs in the environment. This lets me control the audio coming out of the Alesis with Logic's mixer, and therefore Logic Control. This way, i can balance all the MIDI tracks with all the audio tracks and audio instruments all on one surface. This is just one way to use it that suits me. You might find other ways to interface it with your gear. If you are running a software only studio, for example, Logic control might be the only external device you need other than your audio interface and keyboard.
To be continued...