Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic Pro X

Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic Pro X

Keep making music even without a MIDI keyboard with the Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic Pro X — here's how to use it.

Write Music Without a MIDI Keyboard

Many musicians working today are using laptops, such as the MacBook Air, because they're now powerful enough to handle DAW application and therefore you're able to work from anywhere in the world — no matter the situation, you can always work on your music.

However, the portability of modern music creation has a downside; you have to carry your gear with you. Instruments can easily be replaced by virtual instruments such as synths and sample libraries, but when it comes to input devices such as MIDI keyboards it's harder to find a virtual replacement.

Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic

By using the Musical Keyboard, Logic Pro X efficiently eliminates the need to have an external MIDI keyboard connected to your computer. The Musical Typing Keyboard lets you play 1 and a half octave of notes in different velocities, and offers modulation and pitch bend features as well.

Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic Pro X.

How to Play the Musical Typing Keyboard

The Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic offers:

  • 18 keys of piano
  • Octave adjustment, C-2 to C7 — Keys: Z + X
  • Velocity adjustment, 0-127 in increments of 5 — Keys: C + V
  • Modulation adjustment, 6 steps — Keys: 3 - 8
  • Pitch bend adjustment, 1 step up and down — Keys: 1 - 2
  • Sustain — Key: Tab

This means that you can play piano with a virtual sustain pedal, and also that you can do pitch bends with the keys 1 and 2. By lowering the velocity you can play more sensitive notes, and if you need brighter or darker notes you can adjust the octave by using the keys Z and X, respectively.

Show the Musical Typing Keyboard

There are two ways to show the Musical Typing Keyboard in Logic — one is to use Logic's menu system, and the other is a keyboard shortcut.

How to show the Musical Typing Keyboard:

  1. Using Logic's menu system: Window > Show Musical Typing
  2. Using the keyboard shortcut: CMD + K

This means that you can bring up the Musical Typing Keyboard by pressing CMD + K, and if you want to hide it again just press the same button to toggle it off. Perhaps you just want the keyboard visible for a short while and hide it when you're done playing, and in that case the CMD + K toggle is really useful.

Record MIDI from the Musical Typing Keyboard

Without having to change one thing you can just press record in Logic Pro X — the fastest way is to just press the R key — and start recording your performance on the Musical Typing Keyboard. It may require a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it pretty soon.

Remember to quantize your MIDI tracks where needed when you're playing on the keyboard, since it's easy to get some timing errors when you're not actually playing on real piano keys.

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