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Building surround mixing workflows

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Building surround mixing workflows

There is no one definitive method to mixing in Surround. Here will explore two different approaches to managing your Surround mix. Before we start mixing, we need to think about what elements of the mix we want to hear all around the room. We need to make some decisions. There are two different methods to set up your workflow. The first is to simply decide which tracks you want to put in Surround and assign them that way. In this project, we will go to Mixer window. Let's say we wanted to make the steel, the bridge be a track and sculpture track all go into Surround. You can select all three tracks with Shift.

Building surround mixing workflows

There is no one definitive method to mixing in Surround. Here will explore two different approaches to managing your Surround mix. Before we start mixing, we need to think about what elements of the mix we want to hear all around the room. We need to make some decisions. There are two different methods to set up your workflow. The first is to simply decide which tracks you want to put in Surround and assign them that way. In this project, we will go to Mixer window. Let's say we wanted to make the steel, the bridge be a track and sculpture track all go into Surround. You can select all three tracks with Shift.

Select the steel, hold Shift, select the bridge bea, select sculpture and now we can change one of their outputs to Surround. Output > Surround. Notice all three tracks went into Surround. You could also put all tracks into Surround and go from there. This is okay to do as well, but sometimes it's beneficial to keep a handful of tracks in conventional stereo and choose only some go out to the surround speakers. You probably won't be needing every track to go to all of your surround speakers. This method also allows you to hard assign tracks to specific speakers of the 5.1 Matrix.

For example, maybe I want the guitar to come out only the Center channel. If we go to our global preferences for second, Preferences > Audio under the I/O Assignments, you can recall that in our 5.1 Surround Matrix if we have the ITU button checked, the Center channel is output 3. So, that way, if I want to guitar to go out Center only, I can go into its Output here and choose Output > Mono > Output 3. That way, I don't even need to panner at all, but the whole signal will be going out just the center speaker.

Also, this method makes it so you don't lose your stereo panning. You may have work hard on the stereo panning on a mix earlier that you did in stereo. Since you don't put every track in Surround, you won't lose all those pannings that you carefully worked on. Okay, let's return all these tracks to stereo. The other way to set up your surround mix is to make some auxiliary tracks in Surround and to use them as Master Surround Buses. Let's make two new auxiliary tracks. Go up to your Options menu in the Mix window and choose Create New Auxiliary Channel Strips.

Here we are going to make two Aux tracks. For Format, we will leave it on Stereo. The Input will be in Stereo. The Output, let's choose Surround. These tracts will be able to take in a Stereo input and convert it to Surround on their Output. Then we have two tracks. Select the first one and we will name it surround. We are naming it this because this track is only going to talk to our left and right surround speakers. Let's go into our panner and adjust the pan so it only goes to those two speakers. We are also going to change our Input to Bus 1.

On the next track, we are going to call this sub/lfe. This is our subwoofer, or Low Frequency Effects track. For this panner, we are going double-click it to open it. I am going to turn up the LFT Level all the way to 0. And we are going to deselect all the speakers in the matrix. That way, this track will only be talking to our subwoofer LFP channel. We are also going to insert an EQ on this track. This is going to be a special type of EQ called High Cut and it's going to allow us to cut out all the high frequencies so we are only getting the low frequencies that we are going to be using in our LFE.

We move down the slider until we get to 200 Hz. I have to manually type in. So, I will double-click here, type in 100. That way we are only getting sound below 100 Hz. All the low sound only is going to this channel. Let's put the input of this channel to Bus 2. Let's Option+Click these faders so they go to unity. Now we are going to make one more Aux track. Go into Options > Create New Auxiliary Channel Strips. This is going to be a Mono Input track, but its Output will still be Surround.

Click Create and we will double- click to name this track Center. This track is only going to talk to our center speaker. Double-click on the panner and deselect all the other speakers besides the center speaker, and we will move the puck right up to the middle. Let's make this track's Input Bus 3. Let me Option+Click on this fader as well to send it to unity. Now we can send any track we want to these three are Aux tracks and then that portion of the sound can go out to different aspects of our surround.

It can go just to our surround speakers. It can go just to the sub or it can go just to the center. For example, if I wanted to send some of the steel track to our Surround channels, it not only will I still go out stereo like it is now, but I can make a Send and put it on Bus 1. Now I have an independent level control over how much this track is going to the surrounds. If I want to make the main guitar go out the center speaker as well as a stereo outputs, I can put it on Bus 3 for its Send.

That way, I can have a control of how much it is talking to the center speaker and for the bass guitar I can send a little bit of this to the subwoofer to get that low-energy. On its Send, I might want to go to Bus 2 and turn up the Send for this so I can put some of that sound into the subwoofer. It's common to mix in surround and also want to hear a stereo mix while you're mixing. Often mix engineers like to switch back and forth between the surround mix and the stereo down mix, as it's called, when they work.

To do this, go to your Master output track. In the Channel Strips settings here, we have some Surround Downmix options. Let's choose 5.1 Stereo 01. You can see some plug-ins got loaded up on the Channel Strip. Double-click on the Down Mix plug- in and this shows us this is the Down Mixer from 5.1 To Stereo. What's happening here is when the plug -in is on, it's converting any Surround 5.1 mixing to Stereo. If I want to go back to hearing all the surround mix, I bypass the plug-in.

This lets us turn it on and off at any time during mixing to see how our 5.1 Mix is translating over Stereo. These are two different workflows for surround mixing. Each has its own benefits. You should decide which works best for you when you want to use Logic's surround mixing capabilities.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Logic Pro 9 Essential Training
Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 28000 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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