How to setup a Monogram Creative Console for Logic Pro and Spitfire Audio libraries
After months of feverish anticipation, my Monogram Traveler Console finally arrived early December, and I have to say that it was well worth the wait!
Got it up and running in no time, the only tricky bit was setting up playhead controls for Logic Pro (sadly there is no official plugin for Logic). I reached out to the excellent support folks at Monogram, and they got back to me with a solution, so thought I should share it since there is no official guide for this yet!
My controller setup
I’ve configured my Creative Console to map to the standard set of MIDI CCs (Continuous Controllers) used by the Spitfire plugins (since I mainly use their sample libraries), as well as some standard functions to control Logic itself.
The Traveler Console comes with 3 modules: Slider, Button and Dial, along with the Core module that connects to your computer, and you configure it using the the Monogram Creator app.
I use the sliders for Expression (CC11), Dynamics (CC1) and Vibrato (CC21), and have a dial for Reverb (CC19). These are all used to record performance MIDI data. Note the Expression and Dynamics sliders are positioned as they appear in the standard Spitfire plugin UIs.
The buttons Play/Stop, Record and Capture Recording are mapped to control those functions in Logic, and Playhead moves the playhead (this is the tricky one!).
There are currently two ways to configure the Creative Console to talk to Logic:
- Keyboard Mode. Set buttons/dials/sliders to act as though you are hitting keys on a keyboard, which then trigger keyboard shortcuts in Logic (i.e. SPACE for play/stop).
Pros: quick and easy to setup. Cons: only work when Logic is in focus— just as keyboard shortcuts only work when the app is “at the front”. Creating new keyboard shortcuts for functionality that isn’t already mapped in Logic can be annoying.
- MIDI Mode. Send MIDI messages when you move sliders/dials or hit buttons.
Pros: works whether Logic is in focus or not, easy to setup for recording MIDI data. Bypass the need for keyboard shortcuts to implement functionality. Cons: to control Logic itself (rather than just recording MIDI data) you need to do some manual configuration to hijack the incoming MIDI messages and translate them into UI commands.
Currently I’m using key bindings for the buttons, so:
- Play/Stop is mapped to SPACE.
- Record is mapped to R.
- Capture Recording is mapped to Shift+R.
Note: Should also be possible to use MIDI messages to control these functions by following a similar process to how the playhead is configured.
These are all using the standard MIDI Mode configuration, so pretty simple to setup.
Getting a dial to control the Logic playhead is a bit trickier.
First, setup the dial to transmit Relative MIDI CC data to an unused MIDI channel. I used channel 16 and CC31.
Now open the Controller Assignments dialog in Logic, and add a new control configuration as shown:
Be sure to select the correct Input (especially if you have multiple MIDI input controllers) and setup the Value Change to the correct MIDI channel and CC number, so this is listening on MIDI Ch 16, CC31. Also check the Value settings match the screenshot above, and you should be good to go!
Thanks again to Monogram support for helping me out with the playhead, I suspect they’ll be publishing a set of tutorials for all this stuff, but until then hopefully this is of some use!