In Apple Logic Pro, track stacks help provide an easy way to organize and control tracks. They also manage projects with high track counts and create and manage audio subgroups. This tutorial will give an overview on working with submixes and track stacks from a mixing perspective by showcasing track stacks and summing stacks.
- View Offline
In this movie we'll explore track stacks and summing stacks from a mixing perspective. The drums track, the top track in this song, is based on a MIDI pattern, and it's playing through Logic's new drum designer. It sounds great, but when we mix, we want to change the instrument for more mixing control over all the individual drum parts. Let's make sure the Sunset kit is selected, and over here we see the drum kit instrument. Click in the middle of this to open it up. This is our drum kit designer. We close this window, and I'm going to go to the library to load up another drum patch. And let's take a look at the library for this track.
Here we have Drum kit, Sunset, but also below that, Producer kits. The Producer kits show up when you install the additional content to Logic. And if I go into the Producer kits I see all of the kits that we had before except they all have a plus sign next to them. So, earlier we had the Sunset kit but now I want to choose the Sunset kit with the plus sign and you'll see the difference when I select it. So Logic loaded that patch up, I'll close the library and now it looks almost the same except you notice there's a discolsoure triangle in the track.
What's in here? If I open that up, you now see I actually have access to all the virtual microphones of that drum kit and I can individually have access to all the volumes of all the virtual microphones of this Drum kit. Before it was just one main volume for the whole kit. Let's go to the mix window and check this out. Here in the Mixer window in green are all the individual microphones from the virtual Drum kit. I have access to really sublte things like the kick drum mic that's inside the drum versus the kick drum mic that's outside the drum. The snare mic that's on top of the snare And a snare mixer that's on the bottom of the snare.
Now we know why this is called a Producer kit. We have complete mix control over all the sounds and we can carefully balance even subtle things. Let's go back to the main window and I'll close up the disclosure triangle. This concept ofhaving a group of instruments all joining into one output as we see in the sunset kit is a popular one in mixing. Sometimes you want one master control over a bunch of tracks. As well as the ability to process them all together. These producer drum kits are another example of track stacks. We've seen track stacks before. Earlier in this course.
With reference to software instrument tracks. We can also make track stacks for regular audio tracks. Lets make a track stack for the background vocals in this song. Down here, we have three background vocal tracks. I'm going to Shift-select all of them. And the top background vocal track, I'll right-click. I'm going to say, Create Track Stack. Now here, we have two options. We have the Folder Stack style, or the Summing Stack. And you have some details about each style, below. Let's start with the Folder stack. As it says, this lets you mute, solo, and control volume from the main track. So it puts a bunch of tracks together, kind of stuffs them all into a main outer track, and then you have some control over it.
Let's click Create and see what that looks like. Now here's a folder style track stack. It basically squished all three of my tracks into one outer track. It's really good for editing, but I think, actually, I'm going to, I hit Undo. For this song, it might be better to do the Summing stack. Let's investigate that. Play track stack unto Summing stack. So the main difference of a Summing stack is that it takes all of your tracks, and routes them to an outer auxilliary tract, and that's really nice for mixing. because it gives us one master mix tract to control all three of these background vocal tracks.
Let's click Create and see what this looks like. So, as you can see, all three tracks are now enveloped into an outer sum track. We can name the summing track BV sub-mix. And that's what it's acting like. It's basically automatically routed all three of our background vocal tracks into this sub-mix track, which is acting like an auxiliary track. And the cool thing about this, is we can process this outer track. Like for example if we go over to the outer track, it's selected here so I can open up the EQ on the outer track and load up a preset for our saved voice backing vocals.
And I'll make sure the plugin is turned on. Now this channel EQ is controlling all of these subtracks because they're all being routed through the main outer track. I can close the disclosure triangle, and it shows up as one solid track in our mix. So you could either choose to use Folder stacks, just for organizing, or you can use Summing track stacks, like we've done here, for more mix control. As you're mixing, you'll find different tracks that you might want to include in a Summing stack. You might want to choose later to do these grand pianos in one Summing stack, for example.
So as we've seen in this movie, Logic's TrackStacks are useful in software instruments, but they're also valuable tools for mixing as well.
- Exploring templates
- Controlling playback
- Making beats with Ultrabeat
- Jamming on the iPad with Logic Remote
- Recording MIDI in separate takes
- Quantizing MIDI performances
- Creating Apple Loops
- Recording live performances
- Composing in the Score Editor
- Scoring music to video
- Mixing with patches
- Adding reverb and delay
- Bouncing down your mix