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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.
Knowing how to hear what you want, when you want, is an essential skill to have when working in Logic. Let's learn about how to use the Transport window to your advantage. We already know Logic plays when we hit Spacebar and the playhead moves across the screen. To position the playhead using your mouse, you can point and click directly on the playhead line, either in a gray area where there are no regions, or in the narrow bar ruler at the top of the Arrange window. You can drag left or right to move the playhead, or click elsewhere in the bar ruler to move it to that location.
To hear a specific amount of time, you can also Command+Click and drag a Marquee Selection in the Arrange area. When you hit play, playback will start at the beginning of the selection and stop at the end. (Music playing.) To deselect the Marquee Selection, click elsewhere. The transport buttons in the lower left of the Transport bar will be familiar to you if you have ever used a tape, DVD, or CD player. Play and Stop do exactly what you would think. (Music playing.) If you hit Play and then hit Pause, the playhead goes into Scrub Mode.
(Music playing.) When we are in Scrub Mode, we can click on the playhead and drag left or right to audition what's directly beneath the playhead. (Music playing.) We can move backwards or forwards and slower or faster, depending on how quickly and in what direction we move the mouse as we drag. To get out of Scrub Mode, click the Stop button in the Transport bar. The Go To Beginning button is the same as Return. It takes your playhead to the beginning of the project. Next to it we have the Go To Selection Start button.
If you have a region selected, like Dark Pad ModW, and you click this button, playback will start from the beginning of that region. (Music playing.) The display area of the Transport provides information that helps with more specific project navigation. On the bottom half here, musical time is shown in bars, beats, which divide bars, divisions, which divide beats, and ticks, of which there are 240 to every division. Above this we have SMPTE time code.
SMPTE stands for Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers. SMPTE time code shows us hours, minutes, seconds, frames, and sub-frames. By convention, SMPTE time code starts at hour 1, when you are at the beginning of your project. The bars and beats start at bar 1, beat 1, division 1, tick 1. To move your playhead to a specific location, double-click the Bars and Beats display and let's type 2 2 1 1 and hit Return.
The playhead moves to bar 2, beat 2, division 1, tick 1. Let's double-click again and try typing just 3. Return. The playhead automatically goes to bar 3, beat 1, division 1, tick 1. You can also click and drag up and down on any of the numbers to move your playhead. If I click on the beat, I can move that up and down to move the playhead by the resolution of beats. The numbers to the right are the left and right locater position, which affect how playback operates in Cycle Mode.
To activate Cycle Mode, click the Loop button on the right-hand side of our Transport, or simply type C. Typing C will turn Loop Mode on and off. You will notice also at the top of the Arrange window we see a green selection now going from bar 8 to bar 9. When we hit Play, Logic will automatically loop between these two bars. (Music playing.) It will do this forever until we hit the Spacebar to stop. We can edit where our left and right locators are by clicking and dragging either side of this selection in the bar ruler or by changing the numbers in our display.
We can click directly on them to drag up or down to change the in and out point of our locators. To deactivate Cycle Mode, we can either click on the Loop button, type the C button, or just click directly in the middle of the green selection in the bar ruler. You can customize the controls you see in the Transport bar. To access the Transport View options, right-click on the Transport bar and choose Customize Transport Bar. We will get a very large list of different parameters you can add to the Transport bar here.
For example, let's turn on Play from Beginning. Notice we get a new button in the left- hand side of our Transport bar. Click OK. When we click this button, Logic will automatically play from the beginning of the project. (Music playing.) It's good to have precise control of our playback in Logic. Going forward, you will be able to hear what you want to quicker and easier as you compose.
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