Monday, August 18, 2008

Logic's Little Known 'Capture As Recording' Feature

Like many of you, I often come up with musical ideas by improvising. I'll call up a drum loop or program a simple drum part, press 'play', and I'll just mess around with different riffs over the drum loop until I come up with something interesting. Sometimes, though, I'll end up playing something by accident that sounds great, but that I can't replay accurately to save my life. Luckily, Logic has a little known feature to deal with just this scenario: the Capture as Recording feature.
Logic is basically always recording MIDI information whether you tell it to or not, it's just a matter of accessing this 'hidden' MIDI recording.

Here's how to do it:

1. Open up a new Logic project and load up the softsynth of your choice.

2. Press 'PLAY' and play something on your keyboard.

3. Now press 'STOP'. You'll note that since you were not recording the MIDI data, nothing appears in your arrange window. It's there, though!

4. Press the Command Key in combination with the * key on your numeric keypad. If you've followed the directions correctly, the little riff you just played should now appear on the softsynth track in your arrange window.

A couple of important notes:
- Logic only 'remembers' the MIDI info between the time you press 'play' and the time you press 'stop'. So if you press 'play', play a riff, then press 'stop' and hit 'play' again, you will lose the first recording and it will be replaced by whatever you play until you hit 'stop' again.

- This feature can only be accessed via key commands, so if you don't have a numeric keypad, or if you simply don't like the key assignment for this feature, you can reassign it under the Preferences > Key Commands... menu.


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Tom said...

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Terance said...

FL Studio has a similar feature. Select a channel to dump to, go to "Tools" then down to "Dump Score Log" or something like that. It keeps track of your last three minutes.

Thanks for the VNV Nation tip!

no nein nyet said...

Cubase/Nuendo does this for all record enabled tracks. Control+* (the numpad asterisk, not the one on the 8)

i saw a VST plugin that does this for audio(!) but i can't remember it's name. grr.

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