Posted in Logic Pro XTips & Tricks

Logic Pro X – Fader Event

[h3]Fader Event – A MIDI Event Wannabe[/h3]




There have been many changes and new features regarding Automation in the

update v10.1 of Logic Pro X. If you are often working in Logic’s Event List when

editing your MIDI data, then you might have come across one of those new

“things”, an Event called “Fader” or even the “FaderM”. Let’s find out what they

are and what we can use them for.




MIDI Messages – MIDI Events



What happens when you record MIDI in your Project? For example, you play a

series of 8 notes on your MIDI Keyboard while increasing the Modulation Wheel

and on the last note, you use the Pitch Bend Wheel a little bit. Your MIDI Keyboard

generates the appropriate MIDI Messages based on your performance and sends

them to your MIDI Track in Logic, where Logic records them onto a MIDI Region.



 [h4]Behind the Scene[/h4]



Each note you play on your MIDI keyboard and each value of

the Modulation or Pitch Wheel is represented by an

individual MIDI Message. Those MIDI Messages are defined

in the standard MIDI Specification so each device (following

the MIDI standard) that sends or receives those MIDI

Messages can “understand” each other.






Logic stores each incoming MIDI Message as a so-called “MIDI Event” in a MIDI

Region. The available MIDI Editors let you view those MIDI Events in different ways.

For example, the Score Editor displays Note Events as standard music notation, the

Piano Roll displays horizontal bars on a matrix, and the Event List just displays

individual data entries on a list.

MIDI Events that represent Modulation data or Pitch Bend data can be displayed in

the so-called MIDI Draw Area, that shows individual Events as Control Points (also

known as “Nodes”) that are connected with lines, forming a continuous Automation





Events List



The Event List window, one of the MIDI Editors in Logic, displays the MIDI Events

stored in a MIDI Region as a list view. Each MIDI Event is represented in the list by

an individual entry (a row ), divided into fields (columns ). The Headers on top

are showing the type of data for each field, similar to a spread sheet. These

different fields display the data stored in a single MIDI Message. For example, what

type of MIDI Message, what MIDI Channel, what value for that Event, etc.





[h3]Status Field[/h3]



Of the, up to eight fields, let’s look at the “Status” field first. A MIDI Message

contains a so-called “Status Byte”, a chunk of data that defines what type of MIDI

Message this is. For example, Note, Pitch Bend, Program Change, etc. The “Status”

field in the Event List displays this status for each MIDI Event.


The area on the Event List next to the big Plus Button opens a popup menu

when you click on it. It lists all the available types of MIDI Events. Select a MIDI

Event and then press the Plus Button to manually create a new MIDI Event at the

current Playhead Position (must be in the range of the current MIDI Region)





[h3]Meta Events[/h3]



Please note that the last Event Type on the Status Menu, “Meta Events” , is not an

Event Type defined in the MIDI Specifications. It is a Logic-proprietary Event that is

used for various purposes It follows the same data structure as the other MIDI

Events, and therefore, can also be displayed and edited in the Event List.





Region Automation



Logic Pro X v10.1 introduced the option to store automation data inside MIDI

Regions. This is called “Region Automation” and its Automation Curve can be

viewed directly on a Region on the Tracks Window. We just discussed that the

Event List displays the content of a MIDI Region, its individual MIDI Events , so, if

this type of automation data is also contained in the MIDI Region, then the question

is, “can we see the automation in the Event List?”. The answer is YES. Not only

can we see the automation data, we can also edit the automation data directly in

the Event List in the form of “Fader Events” . like any other MIDI data by

dragging the appropriate values up/down or by double-clicking on a value and

enter a new number.







Fader Events



Similar to the Meta Events I just mentioned, Fader Events are also Logic-proprietary

Events that follow the same data structure as standard MIDI Events. This makes it

possible to display/edit them in the Event List next to the standard MIDI Events.

Logic will generate those Fader Events any time you move an Onscreen Control.

This can be any control on the Channel Strip (Fader, Knobs, Buttons), a control on a

Plugin Window, and also the Smart Controls Window. Vice versa, if you send Fader

Events to a Channel Strip (by playing back the MIDI Region), then they will move

the corresponding Onscreen Controls.


[h5]Tip:  In the Environment Window, cable a Channel Strip Object to a Monitor

Object and it will display the generated data when you move a control on that

Channel Strip.[/h5]

[h3]Fader Event Fields[/h3]



Although the displayed fields in the Event List are the same for Fader Events and

MIDI Events, the Fader Events “use” them slightly different. Here is a list with the







• L: You can SMPTE Lock each individual Fader Event (Control Point) the same

way as MIDI Events. A padlock is displayed for locked Control Points. The

column can also display a dot to indicate that the Parameter is disabled via

the Power Button on the Automation Parameter Button.

• Position: This is the position of the Control Point that can be displayed as

Musical Time (bars/beats) or Absolute Time (SMPTE). Use the local View

Menu command “Event Position and Length as Time” to toggle the display


• Status: “Fader” is the type of data used for all automation data with the

exception of the MIDI FX Plugins. They use the “FaderM” data type .

• Channel: The specific Automation Parameter a Control Point belongs to is

determined by two values, the “Channel” and the “Number”. The Channel

value specifies the component (Channel Strip or Plugin) the Parameter

belongs to and the Number value specifies the exact Parameter on that


Ch 1 (Channel Strip): All the main parameters of a Channel Strip (Fader, Pan,

Send, etc.) have Ch1.

Ch 2-16 (Plugin): These numbers indicate the Plugin slot number 1-15 for the

used Audio FX Plugins. Please note that an Instrument Channel Strip uses slot

1 for the Instrument Plugin and slot 2-15 for its Audio FX Plugins.

• Number: Each number represents a specific Parameter on that Plugin or

Channel Strip.

• Value: This is the value of the Control Point. You can slide the number up/

down or enter a new value numerically. However, some Parameters use

values higher than 127. The higher number (used for Smart Controls

Parameter) will be displayed but you cannot edit them.

• Info: This field lists the actual name of the Parameter (the corresponding

Onscreen Control).



Additional Considerations


[h4]Status Field[/h4]



The Fader Events are not listed in the Status Menu I mentioned earlier. That means,

you cannot create Fader Events manually in the Event List with the Plus Button like

the other Event Types




[h4]Event Filter Buttons[/h4]



The seven blue buttons on top of the Event List let you filter out specific Event

Types from being displayed in the Event List. However, like the Meta Events, there

is no Fader Event Button, and therefore, Fader Events are always displayed and

cannot be hidden from the Event List





[h4]Additional Info Button[/h4]



For MIDI Events, the Button “Additional Info” (part of the Event Filter Buttons) will

display any interpolated Events between two Control Points of Continuous Control

data (i.e. Pitch Bend, Modulation, etc.). It works the same for Fader Events. If

deselected , the Event List only displays the individual Automation Control Points

(nodes) . If selected , it displays all the “invisible” nodes that form the

Automation Curve .






[h4]Event Float[/h4]



The Event Float is a small floating window (option+E) that displays the currently

selected MIDI Event as a single line, in the same data format as the Event List. It

also will display a Fader Event if you select an Automation Control Point that is

stored as Region Automation in a MIDI Region. You can edit the values also in that






Track Automation



Now that we know that we can view and edit Fader Events stored in Region

Automation, what about Track Automation?

The concept of Fader Events is the same for Track Automation. However, the main

difference is that they are stored in a special (hidden) Automation Region. Those

Fader Events are displayed on the Track as Automation Control Points creating

the actual Automation Curve, but they cannot be displayed in the Event List


Instead, the Track Automation data has its own Event List that can be opened

only with the Key Command “Track Automation Event List …” (shift+command+E).







“Fader Events” existed in Logic prior to v10.1, even before Logic 9. It was always a

more advanced feature that was hidden. But now with the introduction of the

Region Automation, Fader Events bubbled up to the surface and they are visible in

the Event List in clear site. You don’t have to use them, but once you understand its

functionality and implementation it offers you an additional tool how to work with


Automation in Logic is a very comprehensive and sometimes complex topic and if

you want to dive in to learn all about it, then check out my graphically enhanced

manual “Logic Pro X – The Details” that contains a 100 page chapter just for

Automation or learn all the basics of Logic with my book “Logic Pro X – How it

Works”. They are all up-to-date for the Logic Pro X v10.1

Check them out at www.LogicProGEM.com





Edgar Rothermich

—About the Author—
Edgar Rothermich is a composer, producer, educator and author of the best-selling book series “Graphically Enhanced Manuals (GEM)”. He is a graduate of the prestigious Tonmeister program at the University of Arts in Berlin where he also was teaching for five years. His musical work in a wide variety of styles includes numerous scores for films and TV shows plus compositions for ballet and sacred music. His recent re-recording of the Blade Runner soundtrack (done exclusively in Logic Pro!) achieved critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. Follow him on Twitter @EdgarRothermich and on his website www.LogicProGEM.com

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