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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.
When you record, it's very common to record more than one try or take of a performance. Each time you record over a region on a track Logic saves the information and later lets you edit the best of all the takes into one final composite or comp. It's like a "best of" all the recordings. This process is known in the audio world is comping takes. This video we will go over how to master Quick Swipe comping in Logic Pro. In this project we see the vocal track looks a little different than what we're used to. It has a disclosure triangle on the left, another pulldown menu on the right, and a toggle button next to that.
All of these icons tell us that this is a region that includes multiple takes or to be more technical, it is a packed take folder. You can see the contents of the packed take folder by opening the disclosure triangle on the left. You can see here that it's made up of three takes. At the very top, this region is the current comp. It's what we hear when we hit Play. The second highest is the most recent full take. Then we have the one before that, and finally we have first take we did when we started recording.
To simplify our life, let's color- code these using the Color palette. Go up to the Color palette and let's color code the first take as red, the second take as green, and the first take as yellow. This will help us later as we comp these takes together. Let's make sure Quick Swipe Comping is on by clicking the button on the top right of the region. When the button is filled in, it's on. Once you are in Quick Swipe, you'll see a special tool as you go down into the regions.
It looks like an I-beam. This is our Quick Swipe tool. So we'll use this to choose the parts of the takes we like. It turns out we like the red take all the way up into the chorus, which is this area here. At that point we want to switchover to the green take. So click into the green region up until about half the chorus. At that point we decided that we like the yellow take. Let me go down to the yellow take and take it from there on out to the end of the chorus. Notice as I am doing this, the top region reveals the different takes that we've decided on.
So we're going to hear red up until the chorus, green at the beginning of the chorus, and yellow after that point and then we'll go back to red. Using Quick Swipe like this is an easy way to make comps without a lot of cutting and pasting and worrying about accidentally moving your takes out of sync. We don't have to make any edits to these regions. We just simply dragged with the I-beam cursor and choose the areas of each take that we wanted and Logic automatically made a comp on the top region for us. Let's listen to our changes. (Music playing.) (Man singing: Just lay me down in the old churchyard?) We are first hearing the red take.
(Music playing.) And then it switches over to the green take. (Man singing: ?rain on you. Like you're too wet to be dreaming?) (Man singing: Drink their blood and when they call on you?) Then at the end of the chorus we get the yellow take. (Man singing: Rise up like the moon, like the moon, like the moon?) If you listen carefully you might have heard that between the green and yellow comps we split the word "moon." We can always go back in and trim this with our Quick Swipe tool.
Let's listen to that. (Music playing.) (Man singing: Like the moon, like the moon, like the moon?) Perfect! When we are done comping, we can go down to the pulldown menu on the right to see a list of options here. We may want to choose Export Active Comp to New Track. This will take the comp we've made, leave it here, and put on a new track. When I do this, you can go down and see the comp has been put on a new audio track for us. Logic also includes crossfade between all the takes. You alternatively choose Move Active Comp to New Track from this pulldown menu.
This removes our current comp from this track and puts it on another track. Now it's gone from here, but the whole thing is moved down here to a new track. Let's hit Command+Z to undo this. If you're really ready to commit the work you've done with comping and would rather not have any option to redo your comp later, you can go up to this menu again and choose Flatten and Merge. This takes the comp work you've done and creates a new composite file on your hard drive, but you lose access to your original edits. You should really be sure you want to do this.
Finally, it's also possible at anytime to unpack all of your takes to their own tracks. Choose Unpack to New Tracks to do this. This takes all three takes and puts them on their own separate tracks without any comps. This might be useful if you decide that you want to use the takes to double or triple a part instead of making a comp out of them. Quick Swipe Comping is yet another reason why working on Logic is quick efficient and very powerful. Now that you understand how it works you're ready to comp like a pro.
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