MIDI Machine Control

MMC (MIDI Machine Control) is a set of MIDI commands that Logic Pro X uses to control the transport functions of any MMC-capable tape machine. The recording process can also be controlled and automated from Logic Pro X via MMC.

The tape machine provides a SMPTE signal that Logic Pro X uses as a synchronization source—with Logic Pro X as the slave.

You control connected devices from Logic Pro X by using the control bar and navigation functions, including direct positioning and cycle jumps. Dragging the playhead sends a continuous stream of MMC Locate commands until you release the mouse button.

Important: Logic Pro X needs to wait for the connected device to finish rewinding or forwarding.

Turn on MMC

Do one of the following:

  • Control-click the control bar Sync button, then choose the MIDI Machine Control (MMC) setting in the shortcut menu.

  • Choose File > Project Settings > Synchronization, then select the Transmit MMC checkbox in the MIDI pane.

Set up a MMC tape machine for recording in Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X supports up to 64 MMC tracks, allowing devices such as the ADAT to be operated with MIDI Machine Control.

Each track can act as a tape control track.

  1. Create an instrument track.

  2. Option-click the instrument icon in the Track inspector, then select the MMC icon from the Others category.

    The MMC icon is the only icon that actually affects the way a track behaves. All other icons are purely graphical in nature.

    Figure. Arrange track showing instrument with tape deck icon.

    You only need to create one instrument with the MMC icon. This instrument can be assigned to as many tracks as required for control of (each track on) your external recorder.

    Tip: It is recommended that you group tape control tracks in a folder. Tape control tracks must be placed at the top of the track list. If you pack tape control tracks into a folder, this folder must be the top track in the list.

Switch the record-enabled state of one or more MMC tape tracks

When a tape track is selected, the corresponding track on the tape machine switches to a record-enabled state, and deactivates the record-enabled state of all other tracks. You can also do any of the following:

  • Shift-click multiple tracks to select and record-enable several tracks on the tape machine.

  • Control-Shift-click any track to individually toggle the record-enabled state for each track of the tape machine: selected tracks are switched on, and unselected tracks are switched off.

  • Control-click a track to switch all other tracks out of record-enabled mode.

  • Use of the Record Toggle key command switches the record-enabled state of the selected track (or tracks).

Make a MMC recording with Logic Pro X

  1. Select a tape track to switch the corresponding track on the tape machine to a record-enabled state. Hold Shift while clicking multiple tracks to select and record-enable several tape machine tracks.

  2. If you like, you can set locators, and use the Autopunch function, to control MMC devices. The tape machine enters record mode at the Punch In locator position, and stops recording at the Punch Out locator position. This step is optional.

  3. Click the Record button to send the record strobe command to the tape machine. The following happens:

    • Logic Pro X enters MIDI record mode, and sends an MMC Play command to the tape machine.

    • The tape machine sends timecode. Logic Pro X will start recording only when it receives timecode from the MMC device.

  4. Click the Stop button to end the recording on the tape machine. Use the Stop command twice to rewind to the project start point. The following happens:

    • Logic Pro X automatically creates an empty MIDI region on the tape track. This indicates a recording take on the tape machine, and applies to all MMC recordings, including Autopunch recordings. If you record-enable several tape tracks (by Shift-clicking), the corresponding number of empty regions is created. If a MIDI region with an identical start point already exists on a tape track, no new MIDI region is created on that track. This avoids overlapping regions.

      Tip: You should finish all MMC-controlled recordings with the Stop button or Space bar. Some tape machines react differently to a series of MMC Record commands, which can result in Logic Pro X showing a track as recording, when the tape is actually playing back (or the opposite situation).

You can also use the Environment MMC Record to record-enable tracks on your tape machine with Logic Pro X. See MMC record buttons objects.