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DO I NEED AN EXTRA HARD DRIVE? Given the speed of most hard drives included in the current range of Macs, you shouldn’t have too many problems using the Documents folder to store your Logic projects in. However, if your work is particularly drive-intensive – say you’re recording lots of audio tracks, for example, or using high-definition sample rates – then you might want to consider a separate drive, either in a spare drive bay in your machine or as an external FireWire 800 drive connected to your Mac.
demonstrate one way of starting a track and the application of Apple Loops, though, of course, you can start a project in any way you see fi t – using a drum break from Ultrabeat, for example, or simply recording a song from scratch.
Once the Audio Bin is open, you can access the Apple Loops in your system by pressing the Loops tab. Use the accompanying Loop Browser to fi nd what best suits your creative juices, and then drag your chosen loop over to a blank part of the Arrange area to have Logic automatically create a corresponding track. The Apple Loop’s icon also indicates the two varieties of loops – the blue wave indicates audio fi les, while the green note indicates a MIDI-based Apple Loop. Either of the Apple Loop formats will conform to your project’s existing tempo. Structuring your track When you’ve assembled a number of Apple Loops into your Arrange window, you can start to experiment with how they’re pieced together. As is true of any DAW, Logic presents the components of a song as a series of regions
once you’ve built the structure of your song you can turn your attention to mixing it .
that can be freely moved around the Arrange area to create the fi nished structure of the track. Holding down [Alt] on your keyboard as you move one or more regions enables you to make a copy. There are also various additional tools – scissors, mute and so on – that can extend what you can achieve here. You can call these tools up at any point by pressing the [Escape] key.
As well as manipulating the regions in the Arrange area, you can also use the Inspector (the keyboard shortcut is [I]) to access some simple editing features on a regionby-region basis. For example, rather than endlessly copying a region, try selecting the region, opening the Inspector, and adjusting the region’s parameters to set it to loop. Note that you can suspend the loop at any point in the arrangement later on by clicking in the top half of the greyed-out region.
Depending on the type of region you’ve got selected, you’ll also fi nd number of further options in the Inspector. On the whole, audio regions are rather limited, but with MIDI-based regions you’ll fi nd options like quantizing, velocity, dynamics and so on, that will change how the region is played back. Fix it in the mix Once you’ve built up the structure of your song, you’ll undoubtedly want to turn your attention to mixing it: balancing each of the tracks and possibly adding further effects like EQ, compression or reverb. The Mixer tab at
STEP-BY-STEP Playing, recording and editing virtual instruments.
To work with a virtual instrument in Logic, you’ll need to create a new Software Instrument track. You can then instantiate an appropriate instrument under the I/O tab of the instrument’s mixer channel – the EVP88 electric piano, for example, or the EXS24 sampler.
With the instrument loaded, you’ll probably want to explore the presets to find a sound that suits your objectives. Open the Bin and click on the Library tab to see the list of presets for the currently selected instrument.
To record a keyboard part for your instrument, select the track and press Record. Unlike audio recordings, MIDI recordings don’t fall into the Quick Swipe take folder system, so you might want to use multiple tracks [Alt+Apple+S] to manage the various takes.
To quantize your performance quickly, open the Inspector, select the MIDI region(s) in question, and select one of the dropdown quantize options from the Quantize menu. The various letters in the swing quantize settings denote the amount of shuffle applied.
16 Logic Pro MusicTech Focus
If you need to edit the MIDI data further, open the Piano Roll editor using the tab at the bottom of the Arrange window. Now any selected region will be displayed in the editor, with notes being repositioned or copied using the standard techniques.
Beyond the basic position and pitch of notes, you might also want to explore editing aspects such as velocity. Use the Piano Roll editor’s own set of tools (accessible via the [Escape] key) to select the Velocity tool. Click on a note and drag it up or down.
www.musictechmag.co.u k There’s a whole new world of possibilities available to you once you start recording your own material.
the bottom of the Arrange window opens up Logic’s virtual mixer. This has a channel for each of the corresponding tracks in your arrangement, an output fader and a master fader. First you’ll want to concentrate on the level and pan settings for each track, ideally building a coherent mix that doesn’t distort the main outputs. If the combined levels are too hot, consider reducing the master control to restore some headroom.
Adding plug-ins to the empty Insert slots will enable you to modify the sound of each track and to double-click the EQ box to quickly establish some suitable equalization settings. As you’ll see from the list of plug-ins, all of which are organised into various categories, Logic comes with enough audio processing technology to create a complete professional mix. Double-clicking on any plug-in will enable you to change its relative settings, or browse through its presets, to fi nd an output that gets the results you want.
Use your own combination of plug-ins, instantiated across a mixer channel, to change the sound and timbre of each track.
We’ve only just begun… Of course, what we have looked at here is only just the beginning of what can be achieved with Logic. Although we have covered the overarching principles of the Arrange window and mixing, there’s a whole new world of possibilities available to you once you start recording some of your own material – either as audio tracks from acoustic or electric instruments, or by controlling Logic’s own virtual instruments using MIDI information. Whichever method you choose, you’ll soon appreciate that working with Logic – as with music itself – is an endless journey of discovery, with new creative possibilities opening up on a daily basis! MTF
STEP-BY-STEP Completing your fi rst track by creating a mix.
Introduction Using Logic Pro
IS THE 46GB INSTALL REALLY ESSENTIAL? The full install of Logic is now a whopping 46GB, which could easily eat up the drive capacity of older Macs. However, an application-only installation (omitting the Jam Packs) takes the installation down to under 5GB in most cases. To remove items from the install, use the Custom Install option on the DVD, where you can drop components in or out as required. Try removing some of the sound FX content, for example, and concentrate on the more musical Jam Packs.
You can open the mixer at any point using the tab at the bottom of the Arrange window, or [X] on the keyboard. The mixer is essentially a vertical representation of your arrangement, laid out according to the order of the tracks in your track list.
Use EQ and Compression as your main mix tools. EQ can be activated from the top of the channel strip and enables you to shape the timbre of a sound. Use the Compressor plug-in to control the dynamic range of important instruments like bass or vocals.
Reverb is best applied using a send from a channel so a number of instruments can share different amounts of the same reverb. Under the Sends section, create a series of new sends to Bus 1. The level for each channel’s reverb can be controlled via the small pot.
In creating the bus sends, Logic will have also created an accompanying aux master fader, which can be used as the location for the reverb. Instantiate Space Designer on this aux master, and you should now hear the reverb on the tracks being sent through.
Another use of aux faders is to compress groups of sounds. In this case, send the required tracks directly out to a spare bus under the I/O tabs. With the track routed, you can then instantiate a compressor across the corresponding aux fader.
With the mix complete, you’ll need to render it as a finished file. To do this, click on the Bounce (Bnce) tab on the main output fader. A dialogue box will enable you to specify the length of the bounce and the file format – a 24-bit WAV is probably the best choice.
MusicTech Focus Logic Pro 17