More information on the "Monitor" and "Rec" icons


I’m trying to understand the function of the “Monitor” and “Rec” icons.

I tried recording Modulation Wheel automation for a track: the movements are ignored when the Monitor icon is disabled, but they are recorded when the Monitor (or Rec.) icon is enabled. I guess this is the expected behavior, but I’d like to know why this was designed this way (for safety reasons?), and where the MIDI CC signal goes through. I thought the Monitor icon was used to listen to the instrument, i.e. to route the incoming MIDI notes to the track, which explains why disabling the Monitor icon:

  • Prevents from playing notes with a keyboard
  • Doesn’t mute a track during playback

So this means the Monitor icon acts not just on MIDI notes but also on CCs? It looks like an ON/OFF switch between the selected track and MIDI inputs, be they from external devices (e.g. a MIDI keyboard) or internal (e.g. the Quick Controls, the Virtual Keyboard).
The funny thing is that you can record automation data even with the Rec icon disabled on the parent MIDI track, with just the Monitor icon enabled. So the Rec icon is required only to record MIDI notes (not required for CC data). It is not very clear to me. Do you have any other information on these rules and differences between these two icons?
Thank you! :wink:

Think of it like this (as on audio tracks)… Monitor off means listen to what is already recorded on the track (I.e. “On the tape”). Monitor on means listen to what is being input to the channel TO POTENTIALLY BE RECORDED to the tape.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I did think of one important difference with the monitor button between audio and MIDI tracks. With audio, the monitor selects either (i.e. one or the other) of the data already on the track or the input whereas, with a MIDI track, the monitor button selects whether the input gets through or not and what is already on the track still plays also (unless muted, of course). There may be a preference to change the way these behave. I can’t check it right now.

Good to know, thanks.