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MTC Sync: Logic X & Pro Tools

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Introduction


This article will teach you how to connect Logic Pro X to Pro Tools via MIDI Time Code (MTC). An operation like this is beneficial to you as you can use one platform to write the score, I.e Logic Pro X, and another DAW, Pro Tools, to house dialogue and the film. 

Connecting DAWs via MTC enables the two platforms to run in sync without slipping out of time. This requires a MIDI connection between the two DAWs, and and identical Frame Rate.

 

IAC Driver  


Step one is to create an internal MIDI connection so that the two DAWs can sync via MTC. This is created in Audio Midi Setup and is called the IAC Driver. 

IAC_Driver_Offline.jpg

When first launched, the IAC Driver is greyed out. This needs to be made active in order to make this MIDI Port available to our DAWs. 

To do this, double click the IAC Driver and check the box Device is Online. 

Device_is_Online.jpg

For this example, we assume the composer is writing in Logic Pro X, and the majority of their time is spent in Logic. Therefore when Play is pressed in Logic, Pro Tools must start. 

 

Pro Tools


Firstly, ensure that the IAC Driver is a visible MIDI Port. Go to Set Up > MIDI > Input Devices. Make sure the IAC is checked. 

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Secondly, go to Set Up > Peripherals > Synchronisation. Set MTC Reader Port to IAC Driver Bus 1. 

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Lastly, enable Sync on the Transport Panel.

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Logic Pro X 


Firstly, right click the control bar and click Customise Control Bar and Display.

Under Modes and Functions, ensure that Sync is checked.

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This creates the synchronisation control bar icon. Right click this icon and choose Synchronisation Settings

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In the synchronisation settings, ensure the SMPTE time is: 00:00:00:00.00

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Next, choose the MIDI tab in the synchronisation settings. Under MIDI Time Code, check transmit, and choose the port to be IAC Bus 1. 

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Enable Sync in Logic.

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Frame Rates 


To stay in sync, Logic and Pro Tools must both match identical frame rates. The frame rate is determined by the video.

This can be changed in Pro Tools by selecting: 

Setup > Session Setup > Timecode Rate/Feet+Frames Rate/Time Code 2 Rate

This can be changed in Logic Pro X by: 

Synchronisation Settings > General > Frame Rate

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