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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.
So far in our mix, all of the tracks have been assigned only to one place on their output, Stereo Output. Now we're going to mix things up a little bit and learn about some more advanced signal routing. By routing to auxiliary tracks, you can have more control over your mix. Let's see how to do this. By now, we are pretty solid on the individual levels of the 5 drum tracks in our song. I'm going to sub mix them to an auxiliary tracks to give us more flexibility. First, let's select all 5 Drums by dragging a selection around them. Now let's click in the Output tab of any of the drums and change it to Bus 1.
Notice that since they're all selected, they all went to Bus 1. Logic is pretty smart and the second you make a bus, it makes a corresponding auxiliary track. To see this, we have to go down to the end of the Mixer. There it is, Aux1. Notice that Aux 1's input is already set to Bus 1. The buses are already routed to this Aux track. A bus is an internal mixing pathway that can be used to move and combine signals from one place to another on the Mixer. Let's double-click the bottom of this Aux track to give it a better name. We'll call it Drum Sub.
That's because this is technically going to be a drum sub mix we're setting up here. Now let's right-click on this Channel Strip and choose Create/Select Arrange Track. This will put it out in Arrange window. Let's hit Command+Tilde to see that. There it is, Drum Sub, at the bottom of our tracks. Let's drag it up closer to where the drums are. I'll put it just after the last drum track, the overhead right drum. Now if we go back to the Mix window, everything will be together. We have our 5 drums and then the Drum Sub Mix. Remember, all 5 drums are going out Bus 1 and they're going through the Drum Sub mix and coming out to Stereo Output.
The Drum Sub mix is now a master volume control for all 5 of these drums. Let's see what I mean by this. (Music playing.) So, now our Drum Sub Mix gives us control over all the drums with one fader. This is really useful when we're mixing. We can also use the Drum Sub Mix to process all of the drums at once.
To do this, we'll insert a compressor on the track and that compressor will compress all 5 tracks at the same time, since they're all running through this Aux Track. We'll use a Compressor Preset here. Let's try Drums > Type U Tight Kit. It's a compressor designed already for a whole Drum Kit. Let's see what this sounds like. (Music playing.) That's good. This compressor is acting like the glue that's gluing all these tracks together as it goes through the Sub Mix.
Just to reiterate, the signal flow is going out Bus 1 for all of these tracks, into Bus 1 of the Drum Sub, through the compressor and then out the Main Stereo Output. You can use this kind of routing any time you see fit to combine the outputs of multiple tracks. It makes it easier to mix and it saves on plug-in processing power.
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