Archive for the ‘Logic Pro 9 Tips’ Category
Here’s to the Logic Pro key command ninjas: www.logicprokeycommands.com was just launched – an update to the old keycommands.info version which I’ll leave running for now. The new version offers search, three keyboard styles (macbook, wireless and a keyboard with a numeric keypad) and three English keyboard layouts. Have fun!
Working with Logic Pro 9 – or any DAW for that matter – will involve copying and pasting regions to make a musical arrangement. And with that, a lot of time will be wasted once those copies need to be replaced by fresh copies after the original region was changed. The bigger your arrangement gets, the more time this will cost. Alias Regions to the rescue!
If you like using multi-touch gestures with Logic Pro, BetterTouchTool will blow your mind. Developed by Andreas Hegenberg from München, this utility seriously extends the functionality of your (Magic) Trackpad. BetterTouchTool brings you about 100 totally configurable gestures by combining multi-touch gestures together with the modifier keys on your Mac’s keyboard. Best of all, BetterTouchTool lets you configure gestures that are global or application specific, so turning gestures into key commands for Logic Pro is entirely possible. The utility works with the Magic Mouse, a tablet, keyboard, regular mouse and the Apple Remote. And it’s free.
Multi-touch gestures have become an integral part of OS X since Lion. Instead of merely clicking and dragging, we’re tapping, pinching, swiping and rotating. Whether you have a desktop Mac with a separate Magic Trackpad, or a Macbook Pro with a Multi-Touch trackpad, note that some gestures work well in Logic Pro 9. Here’s an overview of those multi-touch gestures, on a mid-2010 Macbook Pro running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Whether you insert your plugins on a channel strip directly, or insert them on a Logic Pro aux bus, you are probably aware of the fact that Logic Pro organizes your saved channel strip settings by the audio object they were created on.
Ever since Waves updated all audio unit plugins to 64 bit versions, I switched to running Logic Pro in 64 bit mode. That was my turning point. Instead of the 4 gigs of RAM available (the widely known limit set by running Logic Pro in 32 bit mode) I now have 12 gigs of RAM available. This is quite the leap forward. As a result, I’m starting to notice some workflow changes. I’d like to post these changes – hopefully they’ll inspire you. My Mac Pro has 12 gigs of RAM, powered by 2 2.66 Ghz 6-core Intel Xeon processors. That’s comfortable, but I’m sure some of my new approaches will work on less robust systems too.
If you’re a user of Logic Pro’s key command presets, be aware that there are many useful commands that have no key command assigned to them. Some of these functions even aren’t accessible via Logic Pro’s menu structure, so you may be unaware of some true gems. I’ve made a list of handpicked Logic Pro keyboard shortcuts that I think will improve your workflow, organized by category. I’ve also added suggestions for the key commands to assign to them – but that’s entirely up to you of course. I’ve added these suggestions to the Keycommander page under the category “Unassigned but Way Cool”. Found a good one you use often? Drop a comment!
Logic Pro’s Event List, the Automation Event List, the Automation Arrange Window, Fader Messages, Control Data, Region Data, Track Automation… Learning all automation features that Logic Pro offers is just plain hard. But hey, it’s Easter! So put on your bunny suit, and let’s go hunt for some Logic Pro automation tips and easter eggs.
Suppose you are compressing a 2 bar Roland 303 bassline sample with a 4 to the floor bassdrum as a sidechaining source. The resulting volume effect will depend on the length of that bassdrum, the settings of the compressor (such as attack, release, ratio, knee), and in some cases the frequency area of the bassdrum that your compressor is responding to. That’s a lot of parameters to juggle. In the end though, all you are really doing is this: you’re changing the volume envelope shape of the 303 bassline sample.
So why not just draw the volume envelope by hand, with volume automation?
What’s it with Logic Pro’s stock plugins that make me think they’re WYSIWYG? I mean, last week I ‘discovered’ that the Distortion plugin actually has a very handy Level Compensation button. I clearly forget about these Extended Parameters all the time.
The Popular Posts list you see on the right side of this blog, only shows what’s been popular since I have made the switch to WordPress, so those stats are rather young. To close of 2011, here’s a list of the 15 most-read articles of 2011. From a place with short shadows and tall cocktails, I wish you all a kick-ass 2012!
You probably know the drill by now: You start a new project from scratch in Logic Pro 9. You create some audio tracks, some instruments, some MIDI tracks perhaps. Some of these you assign to aux buses for sub grouping, some of these you put sends on (and a bus is created automatically), and you may also create some aux buses for printing stems. That’s a lot of aux buses with three different purposes. Since you’ve created these as you went along, your aux bus structure has quickly become messy. And what if you decide to delete a track, rendering a bus obsolete? The bus stays dude!
Ah, ye old myth of the Akai MPC Groove. Will it ever be put down to rest?
I did some heavy duty Vocal Comping this week. I worked on thick prechoruses and even thicker choruses containing 4 or 5 vocal takes for the lead vocal melody alone. It’s unbelievable how much work this used to be in the days without Take Folders, Flex Mode and Transient Detection!
Back in the day, I would basically cut up every syllable and align them by hand if I needed a tightly aligned chorus. These days I would normally put Flex Mode to Monophonic for solo vocals, but this time it was giving me too much artefacts. Flex editing certainly has its quirks. Then I thought about it: do I really need to align every syllable and consonant, and make all lengths the same too? Next time you’re aligning vocals, ask yourself the same question.
Let’s dive into programming ‘swing’ in Logic Pro. Some call it ‘groove’, or ‘shuffle’. It’s what you get when you delay every even numbered note in an 8th or 16th note pattern. Logic Pro offers a myriad of swing presets and quantizing parameters to get your groove on. We’ll quickly look at those. To keep workflow tight, we’ll also have a look at how to quickly select the notes that make things groovy, if you want to go beyond the presets…
A well known technique for sidechain compression in Logic Pro is this one:
- Put a four to the floor kick on an Audio Track, with no output, like so:
- Insert a Compressor on the track you’d like to be compressed ‘on the beat’, like so:
You probably know the drill by now. When you’re in a real hurry, why not skip the kick programming part entirely?
Last night, a good friend of mine asked me this: “Hey, I had this track mastered by two different engineers, I want to load them up in Logic Pro to compare the two versions. I want to be able to A/B switch between those tracks in real time, with just one click.”
Varispeed, according to our beloved manual: “Varispeed provides a way to speed up or slow down the entire project, similar to the original varispeed feature of tape machines. The most practical use for this option is checking how a project might sound at a faster or slower tempo, and for practicing and/or recording a performance at a lower speed“.
Sometimes a solution to a problem is so simple, it makes you feel you totally forgot about the basics of sound design. Today, I needed a synth to be snappier, and as I was pondering what plugin to pick (Compression? Enveloper? Or even go multiband?) I decided to check the synth’s envelopes.
Blowing stuff up equals fun. The Logic Pro Clip Distortion plugin lets you add warmth/bite and blow up material without having to think about things like threshold, attack, release, and ratio. In many cases, especially where control over transients is not really needed, distortion is a great alternative to compression.
While I was on vacation, support.apple.com published a new article on July 18th. It covers Core Audio Overload messages, and the article explains what this message means and some strategies to help avoid it. In the Workflow Strategies section, two tips caught my eye:
Before I forget: Last week I upgraded to a brand new, smoking Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro. I did a complete reinstall of all my plugins and a clean install of Logic Studio. Installing Logic Studio only took about 40 minutes (all discs!). How, you may wonder? By using Disc Images. I knew these would turn out to be handy one day… I mounted all images at once, and skipped the verification process.
Read more about making disc images of your install discs right here.
Lately I’ve been programming drums by dragging .WAV files directly into the Arrange Window. This method certainly has its limitations and drawbacks, but it doesn’t require me to set up an instance of the EXS24 sampler, Ultrabeat or a third party plugin before I can begin programming.
When you’re using a sample library where articulations are plenty, you’ll be forced to deal with many keyswitches. Sometimes, the sustain pedal triggers a different articulation too, forcing you to use Hyperdraw. Here’s a quick way to control the sustain pedal with its own ‘keyswitch’ – by using Transformer. I’ll use Scarbee Jay Bass as an example.
In part three of the Solo The Sides series, we’ll take a close look at all Logic Pro stock plugins that affect the stereo image of your mix, and listen to the side information only, one plugin at a time. If Mid Side processing confuses you still, run through these examples a few times. Next time you solo the sides of your favorite track for some mixing inspiration, it should be a lot easier to recognize what effect types were used in your reference track. All examples are Apple Loops. I used the free Brainworx bx_solo plugin to solo the side information.
We’ll look at fading groups with one fader object, have two Transformer objects do all the dirty balancing work, and control the Transformer object’s operation values with faders while we’re at it. This way, a simple fade can be turned into a very powerful part of your arrangement. Read on and master those group fades…
Logic Pro’s Space Designer has a limited choice of gated Reverbs, so sometimes it’s best to just make your own. We’ll cover how to make a gated Reverb the classic way, by compressing the Reverb and cutting it off with a Noise Gate. We’ll throw in a Transformer object to finish it off 2011 style.
There are many plugins that can create a gating effect in a snap. Some of these even allow you to quickly make your own gating pattern, usually in a visual environment. In Logic Pro, it’s fairly easy to make a gating effect without any plugins, by using an Instrument object and a Transformer object in the Environment. The best part is that you get to play the effect on your keyboard, and even program the gating pattern in the Piano Roll editor. Let me walk you through the steps to see how this is done.
It’s Sunday, and that’s our fun day. So why not mangle some drum loops with Logic Pro’s Transformer Object? In this article, I’ll exactly show you how to set up Logic Pro’s Environment for some inspiring, experimental, out of this world audio manipulation, and go right up to the point where you’ll lose all sense of control.
Here’s a list of OS X keyboard shortcuts that should come in handy when you’re working with Logic Pro. For more OS X keyboard goodness, follow the link at the bottom of this article. Have an OS X keyboard shortcut tip yourself to speed up workflow? Drop it in the comments!
In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to play Logic Pro’s Pitch Correction plugin via keyboard in real-time. It’s a feature the plugin does not offer by default, it only can be achieved by using a Transformer object in the Environment. Let’s look at how that’s done.
I’ve worked with Logic for quite some time now, but I never really took the time to seriously look at what all the objects in the Environment are for. I use the arpeggiator on occasion and know how to create a new instrument, or even a mapped instrument should I need one.
Let’s talk crashes. I must say I’ve had my dose through the years. I tend to update Logic Pro rather quickly after there’s an update out, which isn’t always the smartest thing to do. I run a pretty big collection of third-party plugins – so I easily lose track of version updates. Dealing with crashes unfortunately is an integral part of working with Logic Pro, so let’s have a look at what you can do to find out more about the cause of a crash.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about curves. No, not those. I’m talking about the Smiley Curve and the Equal Loudness Curve, which is also known as the Fletcher-Munson curve. Simply put, the Fletcher-Munson curve illustrates the relationship between sound levels and frequencies, and how we perceive loudness.
In this post I’ll look into how to make delays wider in Logic Pro. First I’ll work with a mono source, and a Stereo Delay. Later on, I’ll cover stereo sources. I’ll be using Logic Pro’s stock plugins, and branch out a little by using some Brainworx and Waves plugins in part two. Let’s jump right in without delay…
A small yet useful tip: When browsing Loops in your Loop Browser while your project is running, you’re not limited to the volume slider at the bottom of the Loop Browser to have the loop sit better in your project.
Logic Pro uses the Prelisten audio channel strip for monitoring. It’s automatically created in every project, and you can always find it next to your highest-numbered audio channel strip.
Disabling the information that’s the same in both the left and right channels – the mono stuff – can be a true source of inspiration for mixing. In part one, I promised to give you some more examples. Well, today I was skimming Spotify for some stereo ideas, and bumped into this little gem.
It’s the smallest MIDI keyboard in the world : the Caps Lock Keyboard. When you’re on the road and you’ve only brought your Macbook, this will have to do. Its timing is a bit sloppy, and you can only play six notes at once. Anyone who can play six notes at once on this thing, while still sounding musical, is a boss! The reason I am posting about it, is that you can use the Caps Lock Keyboard as a controller source, making it the smallest controller in the world too.
In this short post, let’s look at thickening up a reverb a bit by putting an octave on the dry signal that will only be reflected in the reverb. When applied subtly, this technique will thicken the sound of the reverb, without losing the relationship with its dry signal.
If you have Logic Pro installed on more than one Mac, here’s a way to keep all your Channelstrip Settings in sync between both systems, using Dropbox. Although Logic Pro offers a way to backup and share your Channel Strip Settings, Plugin Settings, and Key Commands with Apple’s Mobile Me, nothing beats Dropbox at the moment. It’s easy to set up, it’s free, and as instant as you want it to be.
This time we’ll look at how to get more precise control with the Direction Mixer in Logic Pro. You can use the Direction Mixer to spread the stereo base of left/right recordings. Setting the Spread Value to 0.0 will give a summed mono signal, a setting of 1.0 will give the original left/right stereo image, and a setting of 2.0 will extend the stereo base further. There’s only 20 steps going from summed mono to a fully extended stereo base, which is somewhat of a rough scale.
In case you forgot (I did!): Different audio objects have different channel strip settings. There’s presets for audio channels, instrument channels, output channels and aux channels. To work around this limitation, next time you want to load a preset, click the channel strip menu (‘Setting’) while holding down ⌥.
What can you do if you like the ‘punch’ of one kick, but not the ‘oomph’, and the ‘oomph’ of another kick, but not the ‘punch’? By isolating the ‘punches’ and the ‘oomphs’ in the Arrange Window and combining them, you can create your custom kick drum. Let’s see how advanced sample editing in Logic Pro 9 is done.
Back from Switzerland! Instead of enhancing transients with Enveloper, try stacking them. For this to work, we need to be able to extract timing and pitch data from audio material. Enter ‘Audio To Score’. Say we want to add some more ‘slap’ to this slap bass loop:
On to part three of how to make good disco claps in Logic Pro. In parts one and two, I promised I’d use EXS24. I’ll limit myself to one sampler instrument, and just one sample of a clap from a Boss DR110. I’ll use some pitch and sample start modulation for variation. Let’s begin by asking: So what makes a clap a clap?
I love the piano that’s in Dr. Dre’s ‘Kush’. Well played – or well programmed? Let’s take this on purely from a programmer’s perspective, without an external keyboard to play on. How ‘human’ can Logic Pro get by programming alone? Let’s dig in…
Here’s a quickie, but a biggie: My favorite way to set the velocity of all notes in a region to the same value: select the region, hit E to bring up the Event List. Doubleclick the value (‘Val’) of the top event, enter value, hit enter, then hit ⇧+V.
In part one, we looked at extracting a groove template from a record.
We’ll look at another great source for groove templates : your Apple Loop collection. Most, if not all, MIDI loops in there (the green ones) have been either programmed or quantized, so their timing is not that interesting – unless you like everything tight of course. But then you probably won’t be needing groove templates. Most of the blue loops have been played live, and you can use these as a source for your groove templates too. Let’s see what we’ll encounter.
How to make Audio to Midi Groove Templates in Logic Pro 9, Part One.
For a quick and easy way to put some more energy into audio material, have a look at Logic Pro’s Audio Energizer in the Sample Editor. Its controls are very limited, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a good way to learn what compression and limiting will do to your audio material.
Whenever you find yourself stuck in a rut mixing a production, and you feel you’ve run out of ideas, listening to your favorite record with headphones may point you in the right direction again. For an even deeper understanding of what’s going on in a stereo mix, and what tools the pros may have used to accomplish a good mix, put on your favourite track and listen to the side information only with a mid side processing plugin.
Wow, Pensado’s Place Episode 4 really got me inspired this morning. Here’s a follow up on my first post about parallel compression, which hopefully got you thinking about blending in compression instead of just putting a compressor on an insert and leaving it at that. If that works however, it’s all good…
Let’s continue with part two of ‘Making Disco Claps’. There’s more fun to be had with audio alone, so I’ll introduce EXS24 at a later stage in this series. I’d like to add that there is no right way to do this, I’m just giving you options on what tools to use. Drop me a comment if there’s something that you don’t understand.
When converting audio from one form to another, preservation of transients is essential. How good is Logic Pro’s transient detection? Is your audio affected in any way after converting it to an EXS24 Sampler Instrument, and then bouncing it back in place? Let’s do a test and see if there’s any loss or modification of transients when you convert an Apple Loop to an EXS24 Sampler Instrument, and bounce the result back to a regular audio file. Zooming in…
Transients, or the attack phases of sounds, are very important in music. A transient is what makes a snare snappy, a kick punchy, andsoforth. Those first signature milliseconds are telling you : ‘Smack, I’m a snare, and I’m loud’ … or : ‘I wish they’d hit me harder’ …Compression is still a good way to work those transients, like it’s always been. But there’s a quicker way to alter the initial phase of a sound with Enveloper. And it’s level-independent.
In this example, I am going to align multiple vocal takes which I previously comped with a takefolder. I recently purchased Vocalign, which is probably the quickest way to do this job, but the price is pretty rough on the budget and it requires you to do some setting up beforehand (via sidechaining).
Sometimes, uneven load distributions on multiple cores can lead to ‘Core Audio Overload‘ messages in Logic Pro. This even happens sometimes when a single core overloads while the other cores show far less activity. Read apple.com’s article on this topic, and get familiar with redistributing core loads by smart routing.
Mid/Side processing enables you to decode a stereo signal into two parts. The Mid channel contains the information that appears in both the left and right channels, and the Side channel contains all the information that is different between the left and right channels.
When you need to process channels of a stereo file separately in Logic Pro, it’s best to split the file into a left and a right part. Doing this by routing can really become overly complicated, so let’s quickly have a look at how to split stereo files in Logic Pro in the Audio Bin.
There are two lame things about working with Logic Pro: When you close a project you haven’t changed, the application will ask you if you’d like to save, which is just really foolish. Plus there is the protection error you get when you run a second installation of Logic Pro on another Mac that is connected to your local network.
I bet those little triangles at the bottom of some Logic Pro plugins are often being ignored, which is a shame, especially when it comes to the Compressor.
Yep, Logic Pro 9 GUI mods are real. As long as you make a zipped archive of Logic.app and keep that as a backup, you’re free to experiment. Ampguimods has done some fantastic work on Logic Pro 9 GUI mods. Go there for downloads and instructions. Donate if you can.
Here’s a quick tip, something I’ve only recently forced myself to use to speed up workflow: When you’re adding or editing automation in Logic Pro, you may often find yourself clicking multiple times just to create the automation nodes you need, in order to be able to adjust an automation parameter or to make fades. The menu function ‘Create Two Nodes At Region Borders’ should save you some time, and improve your workflow too.
Take folders in Logic Pro are great for quickly comping live recordings, such as vocals. But you’re not limited to comping takes from a particular live recording session. Any combination of audio regions can be put into a take folder.
I am a proud owner of a Moog Voyager. I am also the owner of a lazy ass. So, whenever I want something ‘Moogy’, something not too complex, with two or three oscillators maybe, a filter, and polyphony…I fire up a plugin. Arturia stuff, or Logic Pro’s ES P. Let’s change that.
If you installed Logic Pro on multiple Macs, and Mobile Me isn’t really your thing, Dropbox is a great way to sync stuff, for free. Let’s have a look at how we can sync your key commands. Where are all of those workflow boosting Logic Pro key commands located?
In Logic Pro 9, most Apple Loops will behave a lot better when you first set your project’s song key signature. Doing this makes browsing Apple Loops, or your custom made Apple Loops, a much more musical experience. After setting your song key, Apple Loops will (optionally) be transposed to match the song key when you’re browsing in the Loop Browser.
Today I did a complete reinstall of Snow Leopard and Logic Studio on my Mac Pro. I quickly ran into problems with my optical drive. The faulty drive made several failed attempts at installing the software. I didn’t have time to fix my drive, so I searched the web to find a workaround.
Through the years, I have imported a truckload of old AKAI sample discs into Logic Pro’s EXS24 sampler. Most of the programs on these discs don’t have any key switching capabilities, but articulations are plenty. EXS24 falls a bit short here, as you can only load one program – one articulation – at a time per instance.