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In Logic Pro 9 Essential Training, Scott Hirsch explains how to harness the power and flexibility of Logic Pro, Apple’s popular songwriting software, to record, edit, and mix music. The course includes instruction on how to compose in Logic Pro, and spend more time being creative and less time dealing with technical uncertainties. Scott focuses on setting up a workspace, recording with both live performers and digital instruments, editing and arranging, and mixing and mastering a composition. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you are using loops and samples that you or someone else recorded, you might not always know the tempo of the loop you are dropping into your project. Logic has some ways to deal with this issue. Let's listen to the song we have going. (Music playing.) It's a nice little 8 bar arrangement, but it needs some drums.
Over in our browser, we have something called dope beat 2 bar. Let's click on it to hear it. Hit the Play button if it doesn't play automatically. (Drums playing.) I like the sound of that. Let's see if it works with our arrangement. I am going to click on it and drag it into the Arrange window, underneath the Jazz Standard track. But actually, before I drop it, I am going to move it to bar 3. I can use the handy pop-up indicator to tell me when I am at bar 3 and then let go of the mouse. Okay. Let's see how this works with our song.
Click back in the Arrange window and hit Play. (Music playing.) Sounds kind of like a train wreck. Something is not right. I don't think this dope beat 2 bar is the right tempo for our song. Remember, our song's tempo is at 100, but we don't know what the tempo of the dope beat 2 bar region is. We are going to use Logic as a detective to find this out. We do know that the dope beat 2 bar 2 is two bars long.
So we need to make a 2 bar cycle up in our bar ruler, from bar 3 to bar 5. Let's drag the edges of the cycle region to do that. Now select dope beat 2 bar region. Go up to the Options menu, under Tempo, and say Adjust Tempo using Region Length and Locators. There's also a quick key command for this, Command+T. What this does is it looks at what we are saying is 2 bars, then looks at our region and conforms the Global Tempo of the Logic project to match. It's going to ask us if we want to change the tempo of the Project globally? That's what we want to do. So click Globally.
Notice the project tempo just switched to 90.0003. That's what the tempo of our dope beat 2 bar is. The whole project has changed its Global Tempo to match. Let's see if it works. (Music playing.) Sounds right! But what if we really wanted the tempo of our project to be 100. What are our options? Let's go back to 100. Again, now the region's back out of time. But this time, we are going to conform the region itself to the project tempo of 100.
For this, we will use the time stretch algorithm. Make sure the Region is still selected, then go up to Audio > Time Stretch Region to Locators. This will look at our region and time stretch it to the 2 bar cycle we already have selected. Notice it actually wrote a new file. If you look in our browser, there's now the original dope beat 2 bar and there's a new dope beat 2 bar.1. That's our newly time stretched audio file. Let's see if it works. Remember, our BPM is now back at 100. (Music playing.) Great! It worked.
I want to make a note here that this is different than Flex Time or Apple Loops. This is actually writing a new file and time stretching it to match our locators. So now you know how to deal with a sample or a loop that is from an unknown tempo. It's your choice whether you want to make the Global Tempo of this session changed to match your new tempo, or if you want to use the time machine, like we did, to adjust the tempo of the sample or loop to match a set tempo. Keep in mind, with Flex Time and Apple Loops there are other ways to nondestructively change the tempo of an audio region.
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