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Understanding audio interfaces

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Understanding audio interfaces

Logic can use the sound card that is already inside your Mac. But if you are serious about recording and mixing, it will behoove you to learn about how you can use external audio interfaces along with Logic Studio 9. Out-of-the-box, the Macintosh audio interface includes a 1/8-inch or mini connector for both input and output. Software that is part of your Mac's operating system is called Core Audio, and is referred to as Built-in Input and Built-in Output by Logic. You can see some options for the Core Audio if you go to your Apple pulldown menu > System Preferences, and click on the Sound.

Understanding audio interfaces

Logic can use the sound card that is already inside your Mac. But if you are serious about recording and mixing, it will behoove you to learn about how you can use external audio interfaces along with Logic Studio 9. Out-of-the-box, the Macintosh audio interface includes a 1/8-inch or mini connector for both input and output. Software that is part of your Mac's operating system is called Core Audio, and is referred to as Built-in Input and Built-in Output by Logic. You can see some options for the Core Audio if you go to your Apple pulldown menu > System Preferences, and click on the Sound.

Here are some options for our internal Mac sound card. Your Mac's built-in audio sound card is great and you can always use it when you take your laptop on a plane, train, wherever you go. But for more professional sounding inputs and outputs, including more than one stereo pair of outputs, you should think about getting an external audio interface. They come in all shapes and sizes. They connect usually via FireWire or USB, but some higher end ones connect with the PCIe slot. External devices handle audio- to-digital conversion or ADC.

This turns sound into numbers that computers can understand. And digital-to-analog conversion, or DAC, turning numbers back into sound that humans can understand. Many audio interfaces also include preamplifiers that are able to take in and deal with any signal, whether it is from a microphone, guitar, or keyboard. Most interfaces also handle headphone and monitoring options to manage sound feeding studio speaker monitors. Some common two-channel interfaces include Apogee Duet, a simple and sleek two-channel audio interface with special features designed for Logic.

There is the Metric Halo ULN-2, a higher end two input, two output interface. And there is the Digidesign MBox, which is in its own special category, because it also comes with Pro Tools, a very popular digital audio workstation you may have heard of. This might be advantageous to you since you can use Pro Tools and you can use the MBox as Logic's interface as well. There are many more two-channel interfaces ranging in price from about $60 to upwards of $5,000. If you are interested in either recording more than one person at a time, or mixing in surround, you have to get an interface with more inputs and outputs options, or I/O.

Some common multichannel interfaces include Apogee Ensemble, with specific features that work with Logic. There is the Mark of the Unicorn, MOTU 896, or there is Digidesign's 003 rack. This also comes with Pro Tools. There are many more of these multichannel audio interfaces out there ranging anywhere from about $200 to $20,000. Once you are in a Logic project, you can configure your audio interface by going to Logic Pro > Preferences > General, choose the Audio tab, Devices, Core Audio.

Here you can choose the input and output device that is connected to your computer. Right now we are using the internal Mac card, as you can tell because it says Built-in Input and Output. But if I wanted to use a external device, which I have here, it's called a Hammerfall DSP, I would select it from this menu, for both input or output. Also, if you ever need to reset your device, you can come to this window and uncheck the Enabled box, recheck it, and hit Apply. It will reload and reset. Your audio interface is the only thing standing between your music and Logic.

There are many good ones out there and they are only getting cheaper as time goes on. Although Apple has a special relationship with Apogee, it is good to know that Logic supports almost all interfaces out there.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 27722 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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