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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.
Punch recording allows musicians to record over problem areas in a recording take. The name comes from the old analog days when the engineer had to carefully punch the Record button in and out, careful not to erase what was needed. In this lesson you will learn how Logic makes audio punch recording a safe and easy way to fix that problem take and turn it into one solid performance. In this project we have a slide guitar overdub part that was just recorded. Let's listen. (Music playing.) It sounds pretty cool, but it has some problems.
The second phrase, from bar 17 to 130, is pitchy and flat. Let's check that part out. (Music playing.) Otherwise, it's a good part. The cool thing is the guitarist is still in the booth. So let's use audio punch recording to fix this part. There are two ways to use punch recording. One is to set a predetermined time to punch in and let Logic do the punching for us. It will the punch in and punch out automatically. The other is to punch on the fly like the old pros used to do.
Let's start with the predetermined punch style first. The first thing we want do is put Logic into punch recording mode. In the Transport Bar in the lower right select the Autopunch button. Also, next to that select the Replace button. This'll replace the old part with the new part once we punch in. Because we selected the Autopunch button, you'll notice a thin lane opened up in the top bar ruler of the Arrange window. Now you can click and drag in that narrow lane to select the area you wish to record over, from about bar 117 to about 130.
If you want to see a number display of these locater positions, you can change your Transport Bar settings. Right-click in the Transport Bar, choose Customize Transport Bar, and select Sample Rate or Punch Locators. Now we've got our Punch Locators located in the middle of the Transport Bar. We can click and drag in them to move our punch locations. We want it to be from about 117 to 130. Notice we also have Cycle Mode enabled, the green bar on top of that. When we do the punching, this is where playback will start and stop.
You can move this a little closer. This will allow our musician to hear the song a little bit before the recording actually starts so that they get into the groove. We are ready to punch. Let's record enable the track and hit R to start recording. Again, playback will start from the beginning of where a cycle locator is and Logic will automatically punch in where we set our punch locators. (Music playing.) Hit Stop when it's done.
Cool! We just replaced the part. It sounds better now. Now let's explore punching on the fly. It sometimes easier and faster if you're in the flow of a project and don't want to take the time to set up a predetermined punch. To do this we will turn off Autopunch in the Transport window. Next, we'll go to the Record button in the left-hand side of the Transport window and right-click it. Here we will turn on Punch on the Fly. Now we can disable Cycle Mode and hit Play. Whenever we feel the need to punch in, we just type R on the keyboard.
I'd like to replace this little section here at the end of the first phrase. So make sure the guitar player is ready, roll back a little bit, hit the Spacebar button to play, and when I am ready to punch in, I'll hit R. When I am done, I'll hit Stop or Spacebar. (Music playing.) If you didn't get the punch perfect, it's no problem. As long as the player was playing along, you can actually use the Trimmer tool to drag in and out the punch point.
You might ask how this is possible. Well, in Punch on the Fly Mode, Logic secretly records the whole pass from when you hit Play just in case you miss the punch. If you don't press Record, any extra data is discarded. It's probably good not to leave this option on, however, as it can slow down your system when you're not using it. So go back to the Record button, right- click it, and deselect Punch on the Fly unless you are actively using it that time. Awesome! You now know how to use Logic's audio punch recording features to fix your recordings and make them sound the best they can.
You can even fool people into thinking you're able to get perfect takes all in one shot.
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