Logic's Hyper Editor is a very powerful and often underused utility. It has the ability to alter MIDI regions over time quite drastically. This can be used in a creative manner in your productions. I will be explaining how to make use of the Hyper Editor to Jump between different program changes over time. With an audio instrument you can automate the Hyper Editor to jump between the different presets (or program changes) over a MIDI region. This can bring about interesting results that you may not have otherwise thought of. Let's jump into Logic and see how this is done.
Step 1 – What is a Program Change
A Program Change is a parameter that is stored in the MIDI region. The Program Change is normally associated to the presets in the MIDI File. So, for example, if you changed the Program parameter from 1 to 17, you could change the sound from a Piano to a Moog synth.
In this article I will show you how by making use of changing the Program data in the MIDI region, you can change the presets related to the software instrument. This can be used creativity to produce a software instrument that jumps between presets in a specified time, giving us a unique sounding instrument.
Step 2 – Creating a MIDI Region and Accessing the Hyper Editor
This can all be achieved in Logic's Hyper Editor. To access the Hyper Editor we first need to create a MIDI region. I have a software instrument channel strip with Sylenth1 inserted on it. I must point out that not all software instruments respond to this program change as a preset changer. For example, Logic instruments don't respond to this, but most of my 3rd party instruments respond to the program change. It is all dependent on how the developer designed the plug-in and its parameters.
Draw in a MIDI region and add some notes to this region. Now select this region, and then go to Window > Hyper Editor. This will now bring you to the Hyper Editor.
Step 3 – Modifying the Program Change Parameter
In this Window, you will see different lanes associated to the available MIDI data. There you will see the Program lane. Use the Pen tool and draw in some vertical bars to represent the Program Change values.
Now play back your MIDI Regions and hear how the synth jumps between the different presets. Quite interesting hey?
Here is the same synth with a beat forming the backdrop. You can get the two elements to interplay with each other:
Notice when you jump back to your Arrange view how the MIDI region has changed. The MIDI region has boxes with numbers in it. These represent the Program Change over the MIDI region.
Step 4 – Modifying the Pitch Bend Parameter
You can also alter some of the other parameters in the Hyper Editor on this MIDI region. I like to modify the Pitch Bend parameter as well to create more drastic effect to this now 'preset-jumping' synth. Draw in some vertical bars on the Pitch Bend lane. Play back the region and see how the two lanes (the Program Change and Pitch Bend lanes) interchange and play off each other.
You will also notice when you go back to the Arrange view how the pitch bend data is displayed on the MIDI region.
And here is the synth with the beat again:
Step 5 – Other Parameters That Can Be Altered
Modify some of the other Hyper Editor lanes and see what results you get. For example you can alter the Pan, Modulation and Channel Pressure lanes. So test this out on some of your software instruments and see what instant 'preset-changing' sounds can be heard.
I hope you have some fun with this technique. It can introduce some unheard-of results that may be quite satisfactory in your productions.
Once you get deeper into the Hyper Editor, you will see its strengths and flexibility with Logic's workflow. Try changing the resolutions, and other parameters in the Hyper Editor for extra effect and see what crazy results can be had.
For further tips and techniques on Logic and MIDI take a look at the following tutorials: