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From simple audio production to multi-take recording, professional composer and musician Joe Godfrey shows how to record, mix, and remix professional audio in Logic Pro 8 Essential Training. Starting with basic customization and recording techniques, Joe goes on to explain Logic's library of sound loops, methods for recording analog and digital instruments and MIDI synths, how to add a soundtrack to a movie, and the process of mixing tracks for fuller sound. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
Logic keeps track of a lot of data. It uses a series of windows to let you see what you need for different operations. We use different windows as we do different phases of our project but for now, let's just take a look around and see what's in here. Our goal here isn't go into detail about each one. Our goal here is just to briefly describe what each of them shows you and why they are there. So, take a deep breath, here we go. We are already in the Arrange window. That's the default window. It's a timeline where you will choose your sounds and record your music.
It's probably where you will spend most of your time in Logic. So, what I have here is a little piano sound playing a whole note scale, let me solo it and play. Spacebar to play. (Piano plays.) Let me solo a little drum loop that comes with it. 0 to return the playhead to the beginning and spacebar to play. (Music plays.) And together they sound like...
(Music plays.) Now, the Arrange window has a lot of options, so there is a movie about those options later in this chapter. Let's return to playhead to the beginning and take a look at the next window. The windows I am showing you are all listed in the Window menu, but I am going to use the keystrokes for them. So, the next one up on the list is the mixer. Every track that's in your timeline has a channel in the mixer. The mixer is where you will make adjustments to those sounds like how much reverb it has and then you will set the volumes and other parameters once your composition is built.
So, we will be coming back here when it's time to mix. Let me close this for now. Next on this list is the Event List. This is a window that's displaying what's in my sequence. I have a region and we will talk about regions later too. I have a region played by the exotic world beat and one played by this Steinway Piano. If I click on the Steinway Piano region, I get inside of it and I can take a look at the position and the channel and the pitch and the length and the velocity of each of the notes in my sequence.
So, let me play it in the Arrange window and you will see it in the Event List. (Music plays.) So, the playhead that's moving across the timeline here is moving up and down here. Let me select that very last note. And just by clicking on it I hear it. I am just clicking on the note and dragging my mouse up and down. (Individual piano notes.) Let's take it way up to a high note and see what it sounds like.
(Individual piano notes.) That's C. (Music plays.) So, the point here is you can edit the start point and the pitch and the length of notes in a data processing way. Let me close the event list. Next up is the Score window. Let's move the playhead back to the beginning. Score is your own personal copyist.
It's always transcribing what you play in musical notation. But you can edit in here as well. This note that I changed in the event list is a really high note. Let's push it back down. (Individual piano notes.) And now, let's play the sequence again. (Music plays.) So, you can just pick up a note and push it around. (Piano plays.) On the musical notation, pick the note you like.
Let's move the playhead back to the beginning, but before I close this out, notice that it kept track of the pedal move too. This is a sustain pedal on/sustain pedal off. Let's close that window and take a look at the Transform window. Transform is a different way of editing your MIDI data. If you think about the event list as letting you precisely edit events, Transform is more for editing groups or clusters of notes. You can select let's say all the notes from bar one to bar five and then perform an action on them.
There are some presets here that are kind of handy. Let's double speed those notes. And let's select and operate and listen to it. (Music plays.) Whoops. Playhead back to the beginning. (Music plays.) It made them go twice as fast. Let's solo that just so that we can hear it. (Piano plays.) Now, you might be thinking wow! This means I can finally play that Beethoven sonata that I have been working on all this time and play it really, really slow and then speed it up.
Yeah, that's what that means. Now, I am going to undo that, take it back to their normal length, okay. So that's back to where I want it. Let's look at one more option in here. Let's do a fixed note length and make these notes be really, really short. Let's go 000120 and listen to the result. We want to select and operate. (Music plays.) Well, here's the thing.
It did make them really, really short. If you can see up here, let me undo, these are nice big long notes. If I select and operate they become little tiny short notes, but the thing is I had the sustain pedal down. So, if I didn't have the sustain pedal down, you'd hear the tiny little short notes. So this is a place to edit in a different kind of way. But let me undo that and get back to where we were, close this window and let's look at the Hyper Editor. Now, I have chosen the Pencil tool here, so that I can write in a volume move, let's say, and I just draw it in with the pencil and you can see in the lower left-hand corner, whatever move I make here is changing the volume of this piano sound.
So, this is yet another way to edit your data. I don't care for this that much. I don't use this that much, but if it helps you to think of it this way, in a graphic way, great. I am going to undo that data and reset my piano. I just Option-clicked on this fader and set it back to zero. Let's move the playhead back to zero and take a look at the next window. This is the piano roll. Now here's yet another way to look at your MIDI data and this is my favorite window for editing MIDI.
On the left here is a keyboard. I can just click and hear the notes. If I play the sequence you can hear the notes and see them at the same time. (Music plays.) And let me jump back to the beginning here. These notes have different colors because they have different velocities. If I go to the Velocity tool up here, I can click and drag and add Velocity. (Single piano note played faster.) As I am doing this, I hear the different velocity responses.
(Single piano note played slower and faster.) That this sound gives me. (Single piano note played faster.) I am just going to push them all into the sort of a brighter color area. Now that one is just a little bit too bright. This one is maybe not quite bright enough. (Piano playing.) Okay, let's listen from the beginning.
(Music plays.) So, this is my favorite way to edit the data. I am going to take the tool off of the Velocity tool, so that I can use the pointer, (Piano scale played up and down.) And show you that I can move something around on the keyboard. Let me undo that. Scroll down here to where the notes are. I can also move a note earlier in time. Let's have this note start earlier.
(Music plays.) This note is very quiet, so it's kind of getting a lost against this other note. Let's edit it and make it big and loud, so we can hear the change. (Music plays.) Let me undo those two things. Another option I like is to use the pointer and Option-Drag something. So, now I have the original note back here and it's cloned over here on the downbeat.
(Music plays.) And I can make this a nice big long note, just grab the trimmer, grab the end of it. I can shorten it, lengthen it. I am just going to delete that note. Select it, good-bye! So, I have a lot of control over the way I edit in this window. I think you can see now why it's my favorite. All right let me close that window. Next step is the Transport. Now, this is a tiny little Transport. There is already a big Transport at the footer of your Arrange window, so let's close this Transport and take a look at the one that's at the bottom of the Arrange window.
This is where you set the tempo and the length of your sequence. The counters give you a numerical readout of where the playhead is in both bars and beats and SMPTE code. Now, if this is the first time you are hearing about SMPTE code and you wonder if you need to know this to be able to write a song, the answer is no. Let me show you what this is doing. This is keeping track of the playhead and this is just counting a clock. Let's take a look. (Music plays.) SMPTE is just another way of counting time.
It's measured in hours, minutes, seconds and frames and sub-frames instead of bars and beats. So, it's just another way of measuring time. You can also set the meter of your sequence and the divisions and we will talk about this later. One handy thing in the Transport window is if you have a MIDI keyboard hooked up. If you tap it, it will tell you that it's receiving MIDI. It tells you the channel, the pitch, and the velocity when you tap.
That's a nice feature so you can verify that your keyboard is actually working. Now, there is more to talk about in the Transport and there is a movie about this later in this chapter. One more to look at. Let's look at the Environment. The Environment is how Logic communicates with other devices in its environment, like your MIDI keyboard and your outboard synths. Now, this time I see that my Xboard 49 is in here. It's a physical input. It's wired to the input notes, which then is wired to the input view, which then is wired into Logic.
This is a way of sort of verifying your MIDI connections. Let me show you what I mean. (Piano plays.) So, I am tapping my MIDI keyboard. You see the keys here on the keyboard display. You also see them as a note list over here. So this is a way of verifying that your MIDI data is getting from your keyboard into Logic. Let's close the Environment. Now, we are back in Arrange, so that's a quick trip around the windows and like I said earlier, this Arrange window is probably where you will spend most of your time crafting new music.
So, you can choose those windows from the Window menu or you can do Command and the appropriate number and there is another function in Logic where you just tap a number and see what you want to see. Those are called Screensets and that's up next.
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