In this short tutorial, you’ll learn how to automate plug-in or virtual synth parameters with an external controller. Any wheel, fader or knob on your MIDI keyboard can be used to record live automation in Logic Pro X.
1. Create a Software Instrument track, load an instance of a virtual synth and record a few bars of music. We’ll be using Logic’s Retro Synth for this tutorial, but this applies to all plug-in parameters of effects and software instruments.
2. Show track Automation by using the key command “A“ and choose the parameter you want to automate from the pop-up menu in the track header. In this case, we’ll be automating Retro Synth’s filter cutoff.
3. Open the Automation Preferences Window by using the key command “option A“. You can also access this window by right-clicking on the automation track and selecting “Automation Preferences”.
4. Click “Learn Message”, then move a knob or fader on your MIDI controller. Click “Done” when the parameter has been assigned (you should see some activity on the automation track as you move the knob).
5. Select “Touch” from the automation modes on your track header.
6. Record automation by pressing PLAY (spacebar) and moving the assigned knob on your MIDI controller.
7. Go back to “Read” mode when you’re done writing or recording Automation.