Slides in How would you rate your current skill level when using Logic Pro X?
Navigation and Creating Music with Samples
Produce a one-minute instrumental piece using pre recorded media
Setting up an empty project and creating an audio track
Choose Logic Pro X > Preferences > Advanced Tools. The Preferences window opens.
Choose File > Save (or press Command-S)
In the control bar, click the Inspector button (or press I)
Click the Mixer button (or press X)
Close the mixer window by pressing X
What are Apple Loops and what can you use them for?
Prerecorded music snippets
Automatically match the tempo of your project
Designed to be repeated seamlessly
Professional producers use Apple Loops for video soundtracks, to add texture to a beat, to create unexpected effects.
Royalty free, so you can use them in professional projects without worrying about licensing rights.
Allows you to browse loops by instrument, genre, mood, and other attributes
In the Loop Browser, click the All Drums, Acoustic, and Distorted keyword buttons
Deep End Beat was produced at a tempo of 92 bpm.
Loops usually work best when used at or near their original tempos, so let’s change the project tempo
Drag Good Life Beat from the results list to track 1 in the workspace, making sure the help tag says Position: 1 1 1 1
Transport Buttons and Key Commands
What Key Commands have we learnt so far?
Loops Browser - O
Mixer - X
Save - Command S
Inspector - I
Play - Space Bar
Continuously Repeating a Section
You will continue building your project by adding a bass track. Listen to which bass loop works best with your drums, you will use Cycle mode to continuously repeat bar 1 as you preview bass loops in the Loop Browser.
Press the Spacebar to start playback. When the playhead reaches bar 2, it immediately jumps back to the beginning of bar 1 and continues playback.
Sort the results list by tempo
Select Skyline Bass
Use the shortcut to take you to the beginning of the project
Choose File > Save (or press Command-S).
As you work in Logic, keep saving your project at regular intervals to avoid losing any of your work.
Setting locators to adjust the cycle area is a technique you’ll use often to focus on part of a project. And if you work with other musicians in your studio, they will love you for not interrupting the playback (and ruining their creative flow) every few bars!
Building Up the Rhythm Section
In this exercise, you will start building an arrangement with the drum and bass loops, and later add more loops to complete your project. First, you will loop both regions so they play continuously.
Click the Inspector button (or press I).
In the workspace, click the bass region in track 2 to select it.
To create an intro in which only Fine Line Beat is playing, you’ll move the two other regions further to the right.
5 -The bar consists of several beats.
It’s time to practice your navigation chops!
. (period) =
, (comma) =
What do you think of the current mix of your tracks?
The intro sounds good, and the layered drum loops work great together. However, Good Life Beat is too loud.
Your intro feels sparse, but the beat is original enough to capture attention, which is the role of an intro.
To accentuate the starting impact of the two new regions at bar 5, you will create a couple of unexpected edits at the end of the intro.
Option (Alt)-drag the Fine Line Beat region to bar 5
To create a break, you need to stop the original region on the track from looping. How would you do this?
Click the Fine Line Beat region at bar 1 to select it
You will shorten the Fine Line Beat region so that it doesn’t play the last two notes of the region
Move the mouse pointer over the lower-right corner of the Fine Line Beat region
The drum break creates a sudden void at the end of the intro, which reinforces the impact of the drums and bass. But a void calls to be filled! That break in the drum loop is the perfect time to capture the attention of the listener by introducing the bass a few notes earlier.
Copy the bass region from bar 5 to bar 1
In the new Skyline Bass.1 Region inspector, deselected the Loop checkbox (or pressed L).
To zoom out to see the whole project click an empty space on the workspace and press Z
The zoom function doesn't allow for looped regions
Play your new intro. Do you think it works?
Build Up the Arrangement
In the next exercise, you will add a couple of synth arpeggio loops. And rather than let them loop throughout the song, you will keep things moving by alternating between the two synth melodies.
The notes of a chord played in rapid succession, either ascending or descending.
In the Loop Browser, click the X symbol in the search field to clear the previous search.
Click the Name column title to reorder the results by loop name.
Resize the deal breaker region to make it 1 bar long
You will now copy both regions so they play alternately.
How did you do this?
Explain your process to your neighbour
Both synths sound as if they are coming from the center of the stereo field
On the Deal Breaker Arpeggio track, click the Balance knob and drag up to turn it to the right.
Creating a Break
So far you have only added parts, if you keep building your song by adding more elements the song will lose focus.
The Loop Browser sometimes shows multiple loops with similar names, and that usually means that the loops all follow the same groove, the same chord progression, or are otherwise meant to work together. Let’s see if we have any other Skyline Apple Loops meant to work with our Skyline Bass loop.
In the Loop Browser, click the Reset button to clear all keyword buttons
Hold down the Command key to turn the mouse pointer into a Marquee tool.
Let the rhythm section play four bars after the piano stops, and you’ll end the song at bar 21.
Repeat the same process to stop the drums on track 2 and the bass on track 3 at bar 21.
Listen to the track from bar 11 - What do you think of the ending?
It feels too abrupt - Let’s bring back the piano by itself to create a quick outro.
Zoom out to see the entire project
Now you can focus on the sound of each instrument, and how they sound as an ensemble. You can adjust each instrument’s loudness and its position in the stereo field, and even modify its timbre so all the instruments blend harmoniously.
You will open the Mixer, and name your channel strips so you can easily determine which instrument they control. You will then adjust the Volume faders and Balance knobs to change levels and stereo positions, and apply patches and plug-ins to process some of the instruments.
Close the mixer by pressing X
Notice that track 2 has only a generic audio waveform icon.
Open the Mixer - What is the shortcut?
With the Mixer open navigating your song efficiently may prove challenging (or nearly impossible).
Press space bar
Click the background of the Mixer to deselect the channel strips, and on the Synth 2 channel strip, drag down the Volume fader.
On the Synth 1 channel strip, drag the Balance knob all the way down to –64.
Adjust the Synth 1 and Synth 2 pan knobs to values of about –35 and +35, respectively.
There’s more to mixing than adjusting each instrument’s volume and stereo position. Now you will apply effect plug-ins to process the audio signal flowing through the channel strip, thereby changing the tone of your instruments.
In this exercise you will use a bass amp plug-in to add an edgier character to the bass, and a reverberation plug-in to bring warmth and dimension to the piano.
On the Bass channel strip, click the Audio FX slot to open the plug-in menu.
Sounds good but it's too loud!
Close the plug-in windows by clicking the close button.
You will now add a plug-in to the Piano channel strip. But first you need to move the cycle area so you can hear the piano.
In the Mixer, click the Audio FX slot on the Piano channel strip.
Compare the Piano with and without the reverb - what has it done to the sound?
Is it an improvement - why?
Click the close button to close the Space Designer plug-in window.
In the Inspector, look at the peak level display on the Output channel strip.
When a part of the song is too loud, the Output channel strip peak level display shows a positive value and turns red, indicating that the audio signal is distorted.
In a relatively short time, you have produced a one-minute instrumental song with six tracks, edited the regions in the workspace to build an arrangement, mixed the instruments in the Mixer, and added plug-ins to process their sounds.
The last step is to mix down the music to a single stereo audio file so that anyone can play it on audio software or hardware.
In the Tracks area, choose Edit > Select > All (or press Command-A) to select all regions.
In the Bounce dialog, click the Bounce button (or press Return).
Bouncing creates a new stereo audio file on your hard drive
Well done! You have completed the first Logic Skills task.
Next week you will have a test on what you have learnt so far. Make sure you practice the shortcuts you have learnt and that you can explain the processes you have been doing to move, trim and edit in Logic.