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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.
Film and video composers love Logic. It makes total sense why they would. Logic supports the import of any video that Apple QuickTime will play, plus some powerful workflow features that make scoring to video a dream. In this video, we'll explore how to import video into Logic and get everything set up to create the perfect soundtrack. First, let's get our Logic window views optimized for working with video. Since we're working with time-based material, you might find it useful to change our Bar menu to reference Time along with Bars. So click up in the far right of your Bar Ruler and change this from Bar to Bar and Time.
Now we see some Time references in our Bar Ruler. Next, we'll definitely want to reference SMPTE time code when we work with video. SMPTE is the standard way to measure time for video formats. That way we can get frame accurate info about the Timeline. To do this, right-click on the display area, right in the middle here where all the numbers are, and we'll going to choose Open Giant SMPTE Display. It's not that giant, but it's a nice big pop-up window that shows us our time in SMPTE values. We have hours, minutes, seconds, frames and sub-frames.
We can leave this up as we work. Before we import a video into Logic, let's first open the video in QuickTime to get some information about it. So I'm going to Command+Tab over to our Finder. Here's the movie we are going to look at. I'll double-click on it and it'll open automatically in QuickTime Player. Let's watch it for a second. (Video playing.) It's a snowboarding video that we're going to score. To get information on a movie in QuickTime Player, we can hit Command+I and we get a pop-up window showing us some information about the movie.
The thing we are concerned about most is the FPS, Frames Per Second. QuickTime tells us the Frame Per Second for this movie is 23.98. It also tells us the Current Size is 640x360. That's good to know. I'll Quit QuickTime, now I'll go back to Logic. To bring in the video to Logic, we need to configure the Global Tracks to include the Video Lane. Go to View > Configure Global Tracks. Let's uncheck Signature and Tempo, and let's check Video. We'll leave Marker checked, so we have Marker and Video checked.
Let's open the Video triangle and you can see there is a button here called Open Movie. If we click on that, we'll navigate to our snowboard video. It's in Exercise Files/Chapter 08/Movie Files. There it is. Let's click Open. When a movie comes into Logic, we'll get a pop-up window and on the Video Lane, we'll get some framed thumbnails for that movie. This pop-up window is useful and when you're working on smaller screen or a laptop, it can get in the way from time to time. You can always resize this window by right-clicking anywhere on the window.
You can make it half the size or if you want and you have two video monitors, you can make it full screen. Let's go back to half Size for now. Notice, also, how you can scroll the movie from the bottom of the pop-up window and the playhead follows along. Notice there is also a small Movie triangle in your Inspector pane. If you open this, the pop- up window will go there. If you double-click on it, the movie pops back out to the pop-up window. So you can look at it larger here and then when you want to work, you can move it back here to make it smaller to get it out of the way.
Next let's go to our Project Settings, under Video. Here, you can set your video to go out to an External Video Monitor. Most composers use a piece of hardware made by Canopus. It's a small box that transcodes FireWire to composite video. That way you can send your video out of Logic to a regular NTSC TV monitor or projector. You would go into Video Output, under FireWire, and Logic would spit your video out the FireWire port to the Canopus box and then you can take it from there to the TV monitor. When you send video out to an external monitor, you have to compensate for sync.
QuickTime video through the Canopus box requires 22 Quarter Frames of sync offset. You can manage this in the Global Preferences. Logic makes it easy to go back and forth between your Project Video Preferences and your Global Video Preferences. Down at the bottom, we have a button that takes us to our Global Preferences. Here, to compensate for External sync, if we were going out the Canopus box, we would want to 22 Quarter Frames in the External Video to Project. One more Preference we need to look at in the Project Preferences is the Synchronization tab.
Here is where we can adjust our Frame Rate. Remember, the QuickTime Info window told us this movie was 23.98. That's 23.976 rounded. Let's choose that and now our Project will be referencing the right frames per second. Now we know how to set up our project to work with video. We're ready to start composing to picture.
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