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Logic Pro, Logic Express: Using the QuickTime Music Synthesizer in sessions

You don't need real or software instruments to make music. All Macintosh computers are capable of generating musical instrument sounds using the built-in Quicktime Music Synthesizer. If you're using Logic Pro or Logic Express, you can easily set up the software to trigger these built-in sounds. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Environment window in Logic (Windows > Environment, or press Command-8).
  2. From the Environment window's local menu, choose New > Multi Instrument. A new Multi Instrument object (it looks like a large square with multiple numbers) with the name "(Multi Instr.)" appears.

     

  3. Using the Text tool, click the name of the Multi Instrument object to highlight the text.
  4. Replace the text by typing the name QuickTime Synth.

     

  5. Using the Pointer tool, click on each of the 16 numbered buttons on the Multi Instrument to enable the corresponding MIDI channels for the instrument.
  6. From the Environment window's local menu, choose New > Internal > Apple QuickTime. A small icon named "QuickTime Synth" appears.
  7. Drag this icon to the right side of the Multi Instrument.
  8. Click the small triangle in the Multi Instrument's upper right corner and drag it to the right—a virtual cable follows your mouse movements. Drag this cable and drop it on the small QuickTime Synth icon to attach it.

    An alert dialog appears, asking whether you'd like to remove the current MIDI port setting for the Multi Instrument.

     

  9. Click Remove in the dialog. The idea is to route MIDI data from the Multi Instrument to the built-in QuickTime synth instead of to an external MIDI port.
  10. Click the small QuickTime Synth icon and in the parameter box on the left side of the Environment window, deselect the Icon checkbox.

    This prevents the QuickTime Music Synthesizer from appearing as a track selection in the Arrange window. The reason for this is that we only want to trigger the synth from the Multi Instrument, thus giving us control over the MIDI channel from within Logic.

     

  11. Close the Environment window and go to the Arrange window to start using the QuickTime synth.

You can assign up to 16 independent channels to trigger sounds in the QuickTime Music Synthesizer. Just assign one of the Multi Instrument channels to a track in the Arrange window. To select different sounds, assign a track to one of the QuickTime channels:

  1. Locate the parameter box at the left side of the Arrange window.

     

  2. Select the Program checkbox, and then select a program number as you would for any GM-compatible synthesizer.
  3. You can assign up to 16 different sounds at the same time by using each of the 16 channels on the Multi Instrument.

 

Last Modified: Feb 6, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Feb 6, 2013
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