Logic Pro From A to Z – B is for Bouncing, Beats, and Backups
Being a creative Logic Pro user involves using standard features creatively. Take the “bounce” function for example. We all know how to use it to render our arrangements down to a final stereo pair. But there are lots of other ways of taking advantage of Logic Pro’s numerous bounce functions.
Logic Pro From A to Z – Bouncing
Bouncing tracks in place has been around for a while and greatly simplified the multi step workflow that was necessary previously. It’s a wonderful way to render software instrument tracks as audio in order to “future-proof” your projects against potential plug-in incompatibility. You may need to recall it three or four years (or more) down the road when some of your plug-ins may no longer be available on your system. The myriad bounce dialog window options allows great flexibility. Tracks can be bounced with or without plug-ins, automation, or normalization. Multi output instruments can be rendered as one file or with each output being rendered to a unique file. And bouncing tracks works equally well with audio or drummer tracks.
Bouncing and replacing all tracks at once (available from the File menu only) is an incredibly efficient feature for those times when you need to prepare your project to be opened on another platform. Gone are those long overnight sessions bouncing down multiple individual tracks in a large project for a mix session at a big studio the next day. And it is the ultimate form of “recall insurance” – your entire project is printed as audio, track by track.
But bouncing isn’t only for projects and tracks. Bouncing individual regions in place is an incredible motivator to go out on a limb with some extreme processing where necessary without having to dedicate resources permanently. I love it for sound design. Sometimes there is just a specific moment in the arrangement that requires some special effects processing on a single region of a single track. Go to town with the plug-ins, select your region, and bounce in place. You can choose to either delete, mute, or leave, the original should you want to return to it later. I like leaving it muted.The rest of the track plays back unaffected, and I can easily enable the plug-ins should I want to revisit the processing of the bounced region.
Bringing up the key command window and typing in “bounce” will indicate that B with various modifiers will invoke the various bounce variations. Add the ⌘ key for a standard bounce to disc of everything arriving at your main output channel strip. Use ctrl with B to bounce regions in place, and add the ⌘ key to that for tracks.
Logic Pro From A to Z – Beats
Beats and bouncing go together, not just because they begin with the same letter, but also because they relate to each other. Should you want your region to conform to the tempo of your project, use ⌥ ⌘ B to time stretch the length of a region to the nearest bar. So, if your region is trimmed to play back an exact number of bars but at a different tempo, using this will force it to conform to Logic Pro’s tempo. Bouncing is related because when performing this function. Logic Pro automatically bounces to disc a new version of the region at the new tempo and places it on the Track. The original is left intact and available for recall in the Project Audio window.
Believe it or not, B is also useful for the opposite. Use ⌥ ⇧ B to bring up the beat mapping track. This is great for creating a tempo map in Logic Pro that conforms to the beats in a specific region. Bouncing regions in place isn’t as necessary with this function, since it is the tempo map that will be changing and not the region.
Beats can also be used as the basis for movement. One of my favourite key commands is ctrl ⌥ B, which sets the nudge value to beats. I can then select either regions or notes and use the nudge by nudge value key command ⌥ ← or → to easily move them back and forth by beats.
Logic Pro From A to Z – Backups
Basing an article on the second letter of the alphabet like this would not be complete without mentioning backing up. There are many ways to back up various aspects of your Logic Pro projects. In fact, bouncing in it’s various forms are basically different ways of backing up specific tracks or regions in your project.
One thing that has really saved my butt many times over the years is the ability to backup audio files directly from the Audio File Editor. ctrl B in that window will create a backup of the audio file you have open in it, which is a really nice safety net given that the processes in this window are destructive (i.e. they change the audio file permanently).
When I’m about to try something risky, I’ll back it up from here with ctrl B, confident in knowing that simply pressing my fingers down across all three modifiers (ctrl ⌥ ⌘) at the same time as pressing B on my keyboard will revert the file that is open in front of me to the original version I have backed up. And what’s really great about this function is that it can be used any time. Even three weeks later if necessary (or whenever it is that you can no longer deny to yourself that the process you tried sucked). I breathe a lot easier knowing I can do this when I take chances that may not yield useable results.
Logic Pro X Smart Controls? I know it begins with a different letter than all the other paragraphs here, but it is related to all of this, in that the simple unaccompanied key stroke of just this single second letter of the alphabet will call it up. It’s a bit of a non sequitur in terms of key command – function relationships. But, there you have it. That is the default assignment Apple has chosen for this function in our current version of Logic Pro.
Basing an entire post like this on a single letter, as you can see, can lead to all sorts of interesting twists and turns. Just as all of the creative tools and choices in Logic Pro can…