Setting up External MIDI Instruments in Logic Part 1

Using Logic Pro's built-in software instruments and controlling them with an external USB controller is pretty straightforward, and many people work in Logic this way exclusively. But suppose you have  

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Hi Richard, I've followed your tutorial to the letter, but I'm getting no sound from my microkorg. Midi messages are being sent, and when I change the patch name via logic, the microkorg's display also changes, so they're definitely connected.

But no sound from the korg! Any thoughts?
Hi RIchy,

Do you have the audio outputs from your MicroKorg connected to the inputs on your audio interface?

You will also need to create an audio track in Logic and set the input for that track to match the connected input on your audio interface. Remember to click the "I" (Input Monitor) or "R" (Record-ready) on the track so you can hear the Microkorg's audio coming through Logic.
Thanks for your quick reply, Rounik.

No, my audio ouputs from the Korg are not connected to the inputs on my audio interface (which is a focusrite saffire pro, if that helps).

I know how to record the audio form the Korg, but I want to record the Korg's sounds using MIDI for greater flexibility.

Hi RIchy,

Sure. I understand what you're saying. But it's important to remember that MIDI isn't sound. MIDI is information or data - there's no sound contained in a MIDI message. That's why, if you wish to hear the sounds generated by the Microkorg, you need to route it's audio output through Logic. You don't "need" to record it - you can simply record the MIDI data sent from the Korg, and monitor the audio created by the Korg within Logic or via a separate headphones or speakers connected to the Korg.

Hope this helps,
Thanks. I just wanted to know if it was possible to record with midi data instead of audio, but from what you're saying, it isn't possible.

Hi Richy,

Well, you can of course record the MIDI note event data from the MicroKorg. Think of it like recording your performance without any sound. MIDI data and cables don't carry audio just this "performance data". And that is the beauty of MIDI... you record the MIDI performance and then change the sound source later. so you might record a piano sound... but you can change the sound source on the MicroKorg or in Logic to create completely different sonic possibilities.

Plus, even though you need to monitor your audi signal to actually hear sound generated when you play MIDI notes, you don't need to record the audio... just record the MIDI and then the MIDI notes will trigger the sound source on your MicroKorg synth.

Hope this helps and makes sense.
"you can of course record the MIDI note event data from the MicroKorg".

HOW?! I've been through this tutorial and I still can't do it! That was my original point.
So you've followed every step... OK. What happens for you in step 08 when you hit record in Logic and hit the keys on your Microkorg?

Are all physical connection setup correctly? What about in your AudioMIDI Setup?

In Logic, when you hit a key on the Microkorg, do you see the note data begin received by Logic? (Look in the Transport display).

Thanks Rounik. When I hit record and play some notes, the MIDI data is displayed as usual in the piano roll, and the transport bar is showing the note data received by logic.

The audio midi setup is correct as far as i can see (i followed this tutorial to do it) and the physical connection must be fine because i play all the other synths/instruments perfectly fine using the Korg.
Thanks Richie. That's great. SO it sounds like you simply need to

- set some cables and take the audio output from the synth into your Mac's Audio Interface. This will carry the audio sound waves from the MIDI device into your Mac and into Logic.

(The other MIDI connection only outputs notes into Logic - but no sound. When used with Software Instrument tracks the sound is generated by the Instrument in Logic - not from any external source).

- Create an audio track in Logic

- Set the inputs to match the inputs on your audio interface.

- record-enable that audio track

- Play some keys on the Microkorg and you should see the MIDI notes being recieved by Logic (look in the Transport display)... and you should see some audio signal in the audio track.

Hope this helps

I have a Korg X5DR sound module and I can't get Logic Express 9 to recognize it.
This is my set up:

KaySound keyboard controller. (no sounds)

Technics 88 key weighted keyboard which I also use as a controller. I like playing the weighted keys.

Midiman midisport 2x2 interface

Korg X5DR sound module.

I'm able to record using the sounds from Logic.

My KaySound controller is going in the "in" of the Midisport. My Technics is going into the other "in" of my Midisport and the Midisport goes into my iMac via USB.
Now just that set up alone allows me to record using the sounds from Logic, but shouldn't I be able to see the Midisport in Library of Logic. It's not there, but I'm still able to record. I don't understand that.

Now as far as the Korg module, I tried every conceivable set up going into Midisport and cannnot get Logic to see it. At one point about a year ago I had it working and recording in Logic, but I don't remember how it was set up.
I tried checking for a driver for the Korg, but all I could find is one for a PC. I don't remember having a driver for the iMac. This is driving me crazy.

Thanks for any help.


Is it necessary to check "receives MIDI beat clock" in Audio MIDI Setup if the synth needs to receive clock for tempo synchronized modulations (LFOs, delays, etc.)?

I usually leave it checked just in case, but, as far as I've seen, the only parameters that are critical are the modules internal settings (receive clock=on, or whatever it is for that device), and the Logic project setting>synchronization>MIDI tab>Transmit MIDI clock destination (must be checked and specified. I leave it set to All).

Thanks for your helpful tutorials.
I can't get sound when I set up the audio track. My synth is connected to my computer via USB and I have instrument cables connecting the synth to my audio interface. The input in Logic are the same as the input I plugged my cable into and there is no sound in my audio track.
I'm not getting audio in my audio track. My yamaha motif xf8 is connected to my computer via usb and I have an instrument cable connecting it to my audio interface. The inputs in Logic are correct. Logic is receiving the midi data just fine but it's not receiving audio from the audio track. What am I doing wrong? Do I still need to connect my yamaha to the interface in the audio midi set up even though the midi data is been transmitted through the usb cable?
Hey I got a new question. I bought a microkorg xl plus and i did connect it with logic pro via usb.
Here is my question: When I record notes from my microkorg and i want to do a new audio track with different settings the old audio will change too. Does have anybody advices?
thanks :)

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