Logic Pro X: Automating Plug-in Parameters Remotely with a MIDI Controller

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.

Logic Pro new track window

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.

Logic Automation Menu

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”.

Logic Pro 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).

Logic Pro Automation Preferences Window

5. Select “Touch” from the automation modes on your track header.

Logic Pro Automation Modes

6. Record automation by pressing PLAY (spacebar) and moving the assigned knob on your MIDI controller.

Logic Pro Record Automation

7. Go back to “Read” mode when you’re done writing or recording Automation.

Logic Pro Automation Modes

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