Recording Midi Instruments – Use templates!

Following on from the Recording Audio Templates tutorial, we’ll focus on creating a templates made using software instruments. If you’re an electronic producer or involved in projects containing lots of software instruments, setting up templates of your workflow will save you lots of time.

Preflight check


  1. Make sure you have your audio device set-up correctly
  2. A connected midi keyboard or something similar
  3. Some headphones or monitors to hear midi playback
  4. Ample space on your hard drive
  5. Approximately 10-15minutes


Getting started


Start up logic Pro by clicking the Logic Pro icon in the dock.


Open Logic


Logic will perform checks on the system to make sure that everything is authorised and recognised. This can take a few minutes depending on the number of additional plug ins and instruments that have been purchased or added.


Logic Checks


(There are different ways to set up logic when it first opens. Cross off any options that come up automatically but make sure “LOGIC PRO” still appears in the top left hand corner of the screen. The aim is to create a new project from scratch.

To create a new project, CMD+N will work. Alternatively go to the top menu bar near the Apple Icon, find the menu labelled “FILE”, and  click “NEW”.


new project


The template window will now open autoamtically and present a list of different options depending on the project type. The aim of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to add a here so that the template can be used for future logic sessions. To create a new template, make sure that “EXPLORE” is selected and select “EMPTY PROJECT”.


New project


Once the new project is created a drop down menu will appear in front of the “ARRANGE WINDOW”. Create as many midi tracks as required and enter the value in the “NUMBER OF TRACKS” filed.


insert audio tracks


As this is an “MIDI TEMPLATE”,  check the option for “SOFTWARE INSTRUMENT”. There are two other options available; “AUDIO” and “EXTERNAL MIDI”. These two options deal with other areas of Logic Pro, which will be discussed in the other series of tutorials.


Soft synth


Once the number of software instruments has been decided, click create. Logic will now create the number of software instruments as specified.


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Logic will leave the instruments to be selected to the user. To change an instrument, make sure that the library is open. Highlight the track and then select the instrument wanted from the list in the library. Clicking an option will automatically load that instrument onto the channel strip.


MIDI Instrument


Selecting “INST 1” and double clicking the name when a hand appears will enable you to change the name of “INST 1” to something recognisable if you choose. However opening up an instrument from the library will automatically populate the name of the instrument.


Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 07.23.50


Repeat the stages for as many Instrument tracks as there are. Good labelling is an incredible time saver and will help identify if there are any problems in the studio a lot quicker than without labels. To help with labelling, Logic has the ability to assign icons to an instrument tracks. The “INSPECTOR” displays to menus and core information about the midi tracks including any MIDI data (under the title of “MIDI THRU” and audio under the title assigned in the previous step. Below this heading is the icon. Click the icon and select from the list that appears, an appropriate icon.


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Logic creates a fader on the left hand side of the arrange window to enable quick access to the selected tracks volume and effects very quickly. On selecting a different instrument track, logic will change the fader to display the currently selected track. (Try it: push the down arrow on your keyboard and you’ll see the “IINSTRUMENT” field change on the channel strip). 


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Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 07.32.09


Test the inputs that you have selected. This is done by enabling “RECORD”. This is located on the “INSTRUMENT TRACK” header right next to the text field used to change the name of an audio track.  Hovering over the icon will bring up a description in logic displaying “RECORD READY”. Hit the “CAPS LOCK’ button on your keyboard. A piano keyboard will appear and will enable to use the keys on your computer to generate sounds from the instrument.


Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 07.38.19


Once enabled, the selected instrument will be audible. Once everything has been setup correctly it is possible to save these settings for a template. Navigate to the top left hand corner of the screen and click the “FILE” button. Navigate down to “SAVE AS TEMPLATE”.


file save template


Logic will offer to save this file in a templates folder with all user created templates. Create a name for the template that is relevant to the intended use of the template. For example, if the template is for a dance production, the template could be called “DANCE STARTER” or something similar.  Once named, “click SAVE”.


save template


Logic can be closed using CMD+Q. Once loaded, create a new project. The templates window will appear once again. This time, instead of clicking “EXPLORE”, select “MY TEMPLATES”. The template that has just been created will now be available. Once opened, Logic will prompt you to save your new project in your projects folder.


open template


Voila! You’ve just created your first template.

If you are struggling to create a template, why not arrange a “LOG ME IN” session, and we’ll set it up for you.

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