Logic Pro From A to Z – D is for Duplicate, Delay, and Delete
Densely populated arrangements often contain repetitions of the same content at various places along the timeline and/or on different instruments. The use of aliases and copy/paste functions, like we looked at in the last few articles, are two very powerful methods of repeating needed events or regions where needed. But Logic Pro also has several other methods.
Logic Pro From A to Z – Duplicate
Duplicating has many names in Logic Pro. Repeat is one of them. When used in the Tracks Area of the Main Window, the Repeat command in the Edit menu (⌘ R) brings up a Repeat Regions/Events window that can be configured to generate multiple copies at once – which is something the alias and copy/paste functions can’t do.
Deciding when to use this function depends on what you want to achieve. Multiple copies can be automatically created as either real copies or aliases. And they can be placed at rounded bar positions, beats, subdivisions, frames, etc. This makes it a great tool for placing regions of irregular lengths so that they always start at the same position. This same window is available in the Edit menu of the MIDI editors, making it a great tool for repeating notes several times at regular intervals along the timeline.
Discreetly placing duplicates at specific locations in the timeline is a powerful option. But sometimes you just want to duplicate a region so that it repeats indefinitely. Logic Pro has a dedicated Loop function just for this. Select the desired region(s) and simply click the loop checkbox in the Region Inspector to toggle the looping function on and off. The loop will continue either until the end of the project, when there is another region on the same track, or when it is trimmed with the Pointer tool in the loop zone at the upper right hand corner of the region boundary. This Pointer Tool loop zone can also be used instead of the loop checkbox. Just grab in the upper right corner and drag the region to the desired number of loop iterations. Looped regions are identified by their beveled edges, as opposed to straight edges of regions that are not looped.
Dedicated and detailed duplication of MIDI data is available in the Edit menu’s Copy MIDI Events window. Here selection of data is based on locator positions. The number of duplicates to be created is determined, as well as whether the duplicated events will reside in a new region or the source region, and how the new data will merge, replace, or move other data that may already be at the same location.
Logic Pro From A to Z – Delay
Delay plug-ins are a trope of sorts. Rather than delaying the onset of notes, they are generally used to create duplicates, or repetitions of the data flowing through them. Logic Pro’s Delay Designer, Tape Delay, Stereo Delay, and Echo plug-ins do just this.The Sample Delay plug-in is the one that is not dedicated to generating repeats, but rather delaying the onset of the signal.
Determining the exact number of duplicates generated with Delay plug-in feedback parameters is often difficult to control. The nature of the feedback parameter is such that the duplicated signal fades with each repeat, and is therefore difficult to quantify. One thing that works nicely to control the duplicates is to set the feedback level higher than you ideally want it, so as to keep the initial repeats at a fairly consistent level. Then follow this with a Noise Gate plug-in. Set the Noise Gate’s threshold to silence the unnecessary duplicates generated by the Delay plug-in’s feedback amount.
Describing Delay plug-ins as a tool for generating duplicates is accurate, but it is not the only way to create signal flow based repetitions. One of Logic Pro X’s new MIDI FX plug-ins is the Note Repeater. It is a great tool to generate duplicate notes and maintain control over the velocities and even pitches of the generated repeats. Use the Repeat knob to determine how many repeats are generated, the Transpose knob to change the pitch of the new notes, and the Velocity Ramp knob to control the ramping up or down of the velocities of the repeats. And the Thru button is a means of bypassing the original trigger note if desired. The slider is used to determine the rhythm of the repeats and the extended parameters are used to limit the minimum and maximum velocities.
Logic Pro From A to Z – Delete
Definitive control requires the ability to delete when necessary. Not only duplicates, but other data as well. Logic Pro has an excellent set of delete criteria for MIDI notes. Found in the Edit menu in the Delete MIDI Events submenu, the commands allow not only for deleting notes based on position, but duplicates as well (⌥ D)
Duplicating and deleting apply to other areas of Logic Pro as well. New tracks, for example, can be created with duplicate settings of already existing tracks by using the key command ⌘ D, or the smaller of the two “plus” buttons at the top of the track header area of the Main Window. This same key command, when used in the Event List, will duplicate the selected MIDI notes and highlight the numerical edit field so the positions of the new notes can be set. Unused tracks are deleted from the Track Menu, or with the key command ⌥ ⌘ D
Deleting audio files has confounded new Logic Pro users for decades. There are three separate degrees to which audio files can be deleted. First, you can delete a file from a track in the workspace are. This will remove it from the workspace, but it will remain in the project audio folder and in the Project Audio Browser. Secondly, you can delete it from the workspace AND from the Project Audio Browser by selecting it in the Browser and hitting the backspace key on your keyboard. In this case, the file is removed from your project [workspace and Project Audio Browser], but remains on your hard drive. It can still be re-imported at a later time if necessary. Lastly, you can use the Delete File(s) command from the Project Audio Browser’s AudioFile menu. This will remove it permanently from the hard drive as well as your project.
Detecting duplicate audio files isn’t always obvious. Performing certain edits will automatically generate copies, as will your asset settings for bringing in new files. So it’s a good idea to eyeball your Project Audio Browser window now and again and use the “select unused” command from the local edit menu. This will give you an idea of what’s in your project folder that is not used in your Workspace. You don’t necessarily need to delete the unused files; but knowledge of them allows you to make an informed choice.
Despite doing my best to enumerate the various copy, duplicate, repeat, etc. functions, there remain many more scattered throughout Logic Pro. Plug-ins, settings, presets, markers, signatures, etc. all have their own copy and delete functions.
During the next post, I’ll move away from these dry workflow type functions and look at other parts of Logic Pro.