You know, the criteria for “essential” recording gear has changed a lot over the last few decades.
Heck, it’s changed a lot in just the last few years!
Before we used to need a bunch of microphones, preamps, and other expensive equipment. But these days all we really need is:
- A Mac
- Logic Pro X
- A microphone for recording vocals
- A guitar/bass
- A MIDI or USB keyboard/controller
Even audio interfaces are optional now thanks to USB microphones.
It’s freaking nuts.
With expensive gear a thing of the past, the final link in the music-making chain all comes down to workflow.
AKA: is your gear helping you make music, or getting in the way of your creativity?
And if there’s anyone piece of gear that continues to underwhelm me, it’s the world of MIDI controllers.
MIDI/USB controllers are kind of like glorified Nintendo controllers. They don’t make any sound on their own. Instead, they tell Logic when to do something:
- Play a musical note by pressing the keyboard
- Trigger a drum sound by tapping a pad
- Adjust on-screen controls by turning a knob or fader
MIDI Controllers let you physically work inside Logic. They feel a bit more musical than always using your Mac’s keyboard and mouse.
But ten times out of ten, using a MIDI controller is like duct taping your phone to your pants. I mean, sure, your phone is safely snug on your person. But it’s not really convenient when you need to text someone, is it?
I’ve tried several keyboards and controllers over the years. And I’ve realized that the only truly integrated controller for Logic is Logic Remote on the iPad.
So today let me show you why I finally caved in and bought an iPad for Logic Remote. And how awesome Logic Remote on the iPad actually is.
CK Barlow says
For pitch, slide left/right. That switch from glissando vs. scroll vs. pitch = what happens when you slide left/right.
Awesome! Thanks for pointing that out, CK. Still learning all the things related to Logic Remote 🙂
CK Barlow says
There’s soooo much going on, it’s hard to keep track of it all. I’ve been digging Logic Remote from day 1. So many things you can do with it – I did an indie-rock track on which I used Remote with Klezmer tuning to play in a frenetic Jack White style keyboard solo and then reversed the audio. https://www.atomicamusiclibrary.com/#!details?id=7667120
As always, you avoid the shiny objects and focus on the direct path to getting songs done well in Logic. Much appreciated when new song ideas come faster than I can finish what’s on the screen right now.
Ross Donald says
Another helpful video.
I had uploaded Logic Remote during early lockdown, and dabled with it a little…….but had not fully recognised it’s potential until I watched your presentation. I’m returning to my studio tomorrow, and will fish it out for a second look, and re-evaluation. I think you’re right, and anyone out there who has an iPad should give it a go, especially those in small project studios.
Incidentally, I’ve used this time during lockdown to get under the hood of Logic, and look at topics in Logic which I didn’t understand, and which I’ve been putting off studying for years due to time constraints. But now, after months of relearning, have come out the other end (hopefully), with something to show for this down time. Consequently, my workflow has greatly improved, and has had a huge impact on the quality of my music. Also, I’ve made a list of my most used and favourite shortcuts, which is sellotaped conveniently to the side of my monitor screen, which helps my aging 64yr old brain memorize them!!!
Thanks again for helping me on my journey
Hey Ross, very glad to help! Definitely give Logic Remote a try on the iPad. It’s another tool in the tool kit. but a lot easier than mapping controller knobs and trying to remember which button does what in Logic, haha.
thanks for the video. I have a similar journey behind me, just that I didn’t buy all the controllers – I tried them in a store and wasn’t convinced. Ended up buying an iPad for Logic Remote when I realized I can get it for the same money I’d spend for a Faderport 8. I don’t regret it at all.
Pretty reassuring that you come to the same conclusion after owning all these controllers!
Hey Cornelius, glad we’re in agreement!
I forgot to mention that I tried out the Arturia MiniLab II and the Roli Seaboard/Blocks as well, hah. But again, the iPad with Logic Remote is definitely the best integrated “controller.”
Thanks for the video, it really helped me to see how cool Logic Remote will be to use, especially with Alchemy. Before Apple bought Alchemy, they had their own iOS interface/controller which was great, so I’m happy to see I’ll have that level of control in Remote as well.
One question: When I looked in the iPad general settings under iPad Storage, I noticed the app is taking up almost a 1 GB of space. 173 MB for the app, and after one use of controlling Alchemy it has 731 MB of “documents & data”. Any thoughts on what data it is storing, or where?
Do you know if Logic Remote will still be able to control Logic even if Logic is not the “active” app being used? E.g., in a live setting, using PowerPoint for lyrics presentation and Logic for audio, on one computer at the same time. If I’m actively using PowerPoint on fullscreen on my computer, will Logic Remote still work when Logic is running in the background on my computer?
Alan Norton says
What would make Logic Remote even better, for me, would be a “mod wheel”. Since the IOS Garageband instruments have them, it can’t be that hard surely?
It would be so convenient when travelling with a small form keyboard with no pitch or mod wheels, to still have this available for e.g. dynamics in orchestral scores. Or if you own a Roland with a stupid paddle where you can’t just leave the mod wheel in situ.