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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.
If you are recording audio before anything else in your Logic projects, you're going to want to reference Logic's timing grade as you record. That way later you can take advantage of all the cool things you can do with the software instruments and audio quantizing options. We can do this with the standard studio tool called a click track or Metronome as it's known in Logic. Let's see how to set this up. The Metronome On/Off toggle is in the bottom-right of the Transport window. Click it to enable or disable at any time. When it's enabled and you hit Play, you'll hear a click. (Tapping or clicking.) That's our Metronome.
By default, Metronome uses a special software instrument hidden from normal view. To see this, hit Command+2 to show the Audio Mixer, and then hit All at the top of the Audio Mixer to see all tracks, even hidden ones. Here you'll see a track called Click. It's actually Instrument 256 and inserted in that track is an instrument called a Klopfgeist. Klopfgeist is German for "knocking ghost." Logic uses this simple instrument to make the click sound. We can hide this track now and pretty much forever but it's good to know it's there.
To hide it, click back on the Arrange button just to show tracks that are just in your Arrange window. Let's close the Mix window. To access the Metronome settings, you can right-click on the Metronome or go into File > Project Settings > Metronome. For the click settings, the bars and beats are audible by using different notes and different velocities played by the Klopfgeist. You can add in divisions by clicking the Divisions box. Once you do that, you'll hear some different tones in the click. Let's check it out. (Tapping/clicking.) The Tonality slider can be used to emphasize or de-emphasize the sound of the click.
You also have access to the volume of the click here. (Tapping and clanging.) Some musicians do not like to hear the difference in tonality between bars and beats. In this case you can make all the bars, beats, or divisions the same by making them the same note. So I am going to do that, I can make them all for example G5.
Then we will hear no difference. It will just be solid click. Now we'll hear everything as the same note. (Clicking.) Notice we still have velocities. We can also make all the velocities the same. (Clicking.) When you're recording and you're using a click, be aware of headphone bleed. That's what it's called when you get the sound of the click track from the headphone of the musicians into the microphone. You can use the tonality or volume to adjust to make sure you're not getting headphone bleed in your recording.
To enable an external MIDI device to play your clicks we'll disable the Software Click Instrument and deal with just this MIDI section. Here you can choose a MIDI port to communicate to outside of your Mac. The notes in this case and MIDI channels are set under this MIDI section. Otherwise, if you're only using the Software Click Instrument, these settings don't do anything. Most likely, you'll make the most of the Metronome click during recording when your performers need to hear the click to stay on time. You can set Click while recording or Click while playing or Only during count-in also in this window.
If you keep Click while recording selected, every time you go into Record, you'll hear the Metronome regardless of whether it's turned on or off in the Transport Bar. To set the length of your recording count-in, go to the Recording Settings. Here you can choose a count-in of 1 bar or more than 1 bar or half a bar and so forth. A count-in helps get a performer ready for the take by letting he or she hear the click of bar or so before recording starts. This is also known as pre-roll. You can also record a pre- roll in seconds rather than bars.
You can do 1 second, 2 seconds, etcetera. The Metronome is a valuable tool that is essential to keeping your performers on time when recording. Use them to set up your song especially if audio recording is the first thing you're laying down in your project.
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