The problem with keyswitches
Many software instruments use keyswitches based on a very low MIDI note to change between different articulations and are an extremely powerful tool for the MIDI composer. This is done by assigning notes outside the range of the instrument or by using various controllers to switch between the articulations.
I found that lists of CC data or note keyswitches in Logic’s event list gave me no clue as to what articulation I was using, and the notes cluttered up the score editor, so I started to experiment text events and score symbols which could be transformed into other types of data to use as keyswitches in Vienna Instruments. This is very useful as you can imagine: the word “arco” would switch to sustains or performance legato, and “pizz” could switch to pizzicato. Score symbols such as trill signs and dynamic markings (pp, mf etc.) can also be used to switch. The software instrument receives note-on data, but all you have in the Logic event list and score are symbols and text.
This involved quite (OK very) complex transformers and cabling in the Logic Environment window. The good news is you now can do this very easily using a macro I have developed!
The solution: Combo Remapper
The very powerful but user friendly Combo Remapper macro is designed to do this. No more messy keyswitch notes or CC data, just relevant text and symbols which simply do what they say! It allows you to map score symbols or text in logic to any keyswitch note that the software instrument can respond to. There are 24 symbols each of which can be mapped to any note C-2 to B7 for easy articulation switching.
The Combo Remapper is an incredibly versatile macro as it allows you to choose which score events get mapped and to which notes for keyswitches. It allows you to choose a score event from a list in the each box on the left, then map it to a key switch in the box on the right.
Combo Remapper Lite is free. This has just a few score symbols.
Full version Combo Remapper X with all the most common score symbols, dynamic markings and text now available.
Short Demo (Vienna Instruments)
Part 1 & 2 What it is (demo with Chris Hein Horns)
Part 3 & 4 Bugs, tips & tricks (demo with Chris Hein Horns)
How to Use the Macros
If you are used to the environment all you need do is cable any of the macros between an instrument in the arrange track and your software instrument (for individual tracks) or between the Physical Input and Sequencer input for the live (PVC) controller to work globally. If this makes no sense please read the next bit.
To use on individual tracks:
- Open the downloaded logic project
- Select the macro
- Open your own Logic project
- Open an environment window and choose the mixer layer
- Paste the macro
- Go to the New menu and create a new MIDI instrument (or Multi Instrument)
- In the View menu make sure “cables” is ticked
- Click on the top right nipple like thing on the macro, a cable will appear
- Drag this to the macro to connect it. You will be prompted to remove the port setting. Click on “remove” to OK this.
- Now click on the nipple at the top right of the macro and cable this to your software instrument channel strip.
- Choose the newly created instrument in your arrange page track list
- Set the macro to perform the required transformation by clicking on the macro and sliding the mouse pointer vertically to choose the function
Tip: to check whether the macro is doing what you expect, you can create one or more MIDI monitors from the New Menu and cable these before and after the macro. This will show you the type of data which is entering and leaving the macro.
Can I use more than one remapper at a time on each track?
Yes this is the normal way of working. Just copy and paste a remapper, then connect them together with cables as above. They should be connected serially not in parallel to avoid duplicated events when in thru mode.
In order for these events to work when not starting the sequencer between switches, you need enable Chase meta events in File Menu>Project Setings>MIDI
Beware: currently there is a bug in Logic which means that if you mix text and other meta events on the same track, the other meta events (e.g. dynamics) will override the text events when chasing.
Reverting to original articulation
In some cases (e.g. note length and trill signs) we have a slight problem as there is no sign to determine the end of a trill, it ends on the note which the sign is attached to. In this case you either need to use a program event to switch to back to your previous articulation, or else you could use a text event but hide it. It is not straightforward to hide text in Logic (currently), the workarounds are to either define a new text style that is too small to see (e.g. 1 pt) or use the text on a hidden channel of a polyphonic staff style.
CC to Note keyswitches
Very simply, this will convert CC0 to Notes (2nd data byte val 1 – 20 to notes C-2 to G-1)