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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.
Some of the coolest new features in Logic 9 are dedicated to the electric guitar. In order to give you every imaginable guitar tone available, plus ones not even discovered yet, Logic provides you with two awesome tools, Amp Designer and Pedalboard. Let's check out Amp Designer. The first thing you should understand about Logic's guitar features is that they allow you to plug your guitar in directly to your audio interface. As long as your interface can accept an instrument level signal, you're good to go. This means you can get heavy-duty sounds all without an amplifier.
You can record screaming guitar all night long with headphones and your neighbors won't even know. The sound on this first track is what my guitar sounded like direct into Logic. I'm going to enter Cycle Mode by hitting C and let's listen. (Music playing.) As you can tell, it sounds kind of weak. That's what a DI guitar sounds like. Let's dial-up the sound using the channel strip settings. This is in our channel strip at the top.
As you can see our button is slightly hidden, but you can also get to the channel strip settings through the Mixer at the very top of the channel. Click in Settings, go to Electric Guitar > Guitar Tone Sampler, and let's use British Invasion. As you can see this loads up our channel strip with a bunch of plug-ins including Amp Designer. Let's hear what it sounds like now. (Music playing.) Cool! It's got a nice Beatles-y tone to it. The rest of the tracks in this project were made up from presets all from that same folder.
Each of them are recorded direct just like the first track and they all contain different combination of plug-ins inserted in their channel strips. One thing they all have in common though is that they all contain an instance of Amp Designer. Let's listen to them. I'm going to deselect Cycle Mode, start at the beginning and hit Play. (Music playing.) So we start out with the British Invasion sound that we already dialed up. (Music playing.) The next track, we hear a Country Twang sound. (Music playing.) Then we've got a Black Sabbath seventies metal type tone.
(Music playing.) Next, we have a U2-ish clean echo sound. (Music playing.) Here we have a Dick Dale surf sound. (Music playing.) Next, we have a rock and roll, glam rock type tone. (Music playing.) Here's some heavy metal riffery.
(Music playing.) We dialed up some smooth jazz in this one. (Music playing.) And finally, we've got a Jimmy Page like stadium rock sound. (Music playing.) Again, all of these tracks used Amp Designer in their channel strip. Let's go into Amp Designer and check it out. We'll go back to the first track and we'll double-click on Amp Designer to open the plug-in window.
This is what the Amp Designer plug-in window looks like. Amp Designer allows you separate control over four elements: the amplifier head with Tone, Reverb and Tremolo controls. The amplifier cabinet, which allows you control over the speaker size and the cabinet enclosure. The style of the microphone you are using to record the amplifier cabinet, and the position of the microphone relative to the cabinet. If you want presets of these elements, you can go to the plug-in settings menu. This is at the top of the plug-in window. Here different tones are broken into categories like Pure Amps, which are classic combinations, Hybrid Amps, which mix and match different heads and different cabinets, or you can browse by tone.
You can choose between Clean, Crunch, Distorted, etcetera. You can also mix and match yourself at anytime from the pulldown menus at the bottom of the window. For instance, if you wanted to hear this sound through a Blackface head, you can go up to Large Blackface Amp to give us kind of an old school Fender tone. And then if you wanted to hear that head through a single 1x12 tweed cabinet, you can dialup Brownface 1x12. We can also change the microphone. We have 3 options. Ribbon for a large deep tone, Condenser for a bright detailed tone, and Dynamic for a crunchy or more brittle tone.
Also, you can move the position of the mic relative to the speaker. To do this, just hover over where the microphone is and you get this pop-up window. As in real life, if you move the mic towards this middle of the speaker cone, it'll generally yield a brighter tone, and towards the outside edge, you'll get a darker tone. Feel free to mix and match at will between your amplifier head, cabinet and microphone to create a combination that perhaps was never made before in real life. Being able to design your own amp from a long list of classic components used to be a freedom reserved only for the lucky few.
Now, with Logic 9 anyone can design and enjoy combinations of their dreams.
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