. . . and you’ve wrote some things about ProTools on here before . . . I’m trying to get my [MIDI’d] Roland to come through in the session’s mixer so I dont’ have to run it out to my anologue mixer. And I’m going to need to record it soon anyway so that I can Bounce it down with insert fx and plugs when it’s time.
I’m actually hosed at the moment because Pro Tools does not work with Leopard yet(!), so all these remixes and half-finished recordings that I need for backing tracks for a live duo are keeping us offstage until they release an update. Effing infuriating. I always thought Digidesign was a major Apple development partner, but apparently all is not well there, because the OS has been out for months already. That’s one reason I use the Apple creative suite (Final Cut, DVD Studio, etc.), because they know what their OS can and can’t do, and time their releases appropriately, and I prefer to do my system/software upgrades at once. If I didn’t already own proprietary hardware, I’d consider Logic. . .
Anyway, your question. What you need is a New Track > Aux Input. Assign that tracks’s input to your MIDI port (sorry if this isn’t exactly worded; I can’t open a session to verify. . .) and pot up the fader to taste. You don’t actually ever have to record this track as audio if you don’t want, as auxes will be included in anything you bounce. You can even add those plug-ins to the aux and they’ll behave normally.
I, too, prefer to eventually record this MIDI as audio before mixdown for a variety of reasons. I often change the individual voice assignments for certain keys. Most of my MIDI work is percussion, and I can never find a complete drum kit I like, so I’ll swap out snares or cymbals, and by the time I’m done it doesn’t always conform to the standard note layout of other kits. Also, it would otherwise be near-impossible to replicate after the session’s been archived to disk or reopened elsewhere.
To record the audio into your session, map it to a New Audio Track instead of an aux, and hit Record. It’s a good idea to then disable the old MIDI track but keep it in the session. Listen very carefully as this track is being recorded, as you’ll often catch MIDI errors that you’ll need to fix. You don’t necessarily need to change the note values, just re-record with a punch-in over those individual problem spots and it’ll likely play correctly the second time. Don’t forget to allow some preroll first so we won’t “hear” the edit; the notes leading up to the edit point will need time to sustain or decay properly. Or you could just move your edit point back in time a little, then roll-edit it forward and crossfade the regions. If you use adequate preroll, you probably won’t even need a crossfade.
I prefer to wait as late as possible in the process to record MIDI tracks as audio, because it’s so easy to change a note value here or there to suit your arrangement as it develops before you have to commit.