What’s it with Logic Pro’s stock plugins that make me think they’re WYSIWYG? I mean, last week I ‘discovered’ that the Distortion plugin actually has a very handy Level Compensation button. I clearly forget about these Extended Parameters all the time. So, for the sake of sanity, once and for all, here’s an overview of Logic Pro’s stock plugins that have Extended Parameters, in order of appearance in your plugin menu. All Extended Parameters’ descriptions are taken from the Logic Studio Effects Manual, for this overview I’ve included them in this article. Which one did you miss? No more excuses now.
A well known sidechain compression technique in Logic Pro is this one:
- Put a four to the floor kick on an Audio Track, with no output, like so:
- Insert a Compressor on the track you’d like to be compressed ‘on the beat’, like so:
You probably know the drill by now. When you’re in a real hurry, why not skip the kick programming part entirely?
The list of free plugins goes on. Here’s another 38 free Audio Unit plugins for your favorite DAW. Some are 32-bit, some 64-bit. Some are teasers, and some are made by dedicated freebie plugin developers with good ideas. Fire ‘m up!
In this video, Point Blank Online’s Danny J Lewis covers threshold, ratio and gain reduction to help explain the basic techniques of compression in Logic Pro. (via PointBlankBlog)
In the jungle of third party Audio Unit plugins, ‘free’ , as in zero cost, doesn’t necessarily mean low quality. Nor does a less funky GUI. Here’s a list of free Audio Unit plugins worth taking for a spin in Logic Pro, or any DAW that supports Audio Units. There’s lots to choose from, happy tweaking!
Suppose you have the Arrangement Window open…
Varispeed, according to our beloved manual: “Varispeed provides a way to speed up or slow down the entire project, similar to the original varispeed feature of tape machines. The most practical use for this option is checking how a project might sound at a faster or slower tempo, and for practicing and/or recording a performance at a lower speed“.
Varispeed – Not Just for Playback
Some radio stations pitch up records anywhere between 1 and 1.5% to jam either more commercials or hits in the hour, so Varispeed is indeed a very handy tool to test what the result of that would be. What the Logic Pro manual doesn’t say however, is that you can also record while Varispeed mode is active. And that’s great for vocal doubling, doubling vocal harmonies or doubling any instrument (that can be tuned easily) for that matter. Sure, there are tons of plugins that can do this for you in a snap, some plugins even let you alter the formant of your voice, but if you’re a vocalist looking to experiment, you should definitely check this vocal doubling technique out. You’ll find nuances and colours in your voice that you probably never knew were even there.
Sometimes a solution to a problem is so simple, it makes you feel you totally forgot about the basics of sound design. Today, I needed a synth to be snappier, and as I was pondering what plugin to pick (Compression? Enveloper? Or even go multiband?) I decided to check the synth’s envelopes.
This morning, before the usual craving for coffee entered my mind, I thought to myself: “what’s the fastest way to program a couple of measures of a four-to-the-floor kick, without using the mouse?” So I dragged a .WAV into the Arrange Window, and pressed ⌘+R for ‘Repeat Region’:
While I was on vacation, support.apple.com published a new article on July 18th. It covers Core Audio Overload messages, and the article explains what this message means and some strategies to help avoid it. In the Workflow Strategies section, two tips caught my eye:
- Avoid having a Software Instrument track selected in the Arrange. When a Software Instrument track is highlighted, Logic must devote enough CPU resources to insure that anything you might play live into the track can be processed. When you are mixing, try to keep an Audio or classic MIDI track highlighted as you work. Only select a Software Instrument track at times when you are actually working with that particular track.
- Limit the voices used by Software Instruments. Many of Logic’s Software Instruments offer control over the maximum number of voices available per instance of the instrument. Reducing the number of voices can reduce the CPU load. For example, if you have a Sculpture track that never plays more than two simultaneous notes, then you could reduce the number of voices to two, saving some CPU power for other tasks.
Read the full article here.
Since Apple still hasn’t implemented RSS the way they should have, read this article on how a site specific Google search can help.
So many key commands, and so little time… That’s why I’ve decided to introduce a lightweight visual tool to help you become the next Logic Pro Key Command Ninja. Just choose a category on the left, then hover over a command on the right and watch those commands light up on the keyboard.
The visual aspect should greatly help you memorize those pesky preset keystrokes. To avoid clutter, I’ve omitted the obvious commands (screen sets, Mac OS global commands like copy, paste, undo, save, etcetera). It’s still a work in progress, so consider it a Big Bad Beta. For now, it’s only a US keyboard without numerics. Suggestions/feedback? Fire away, in the comments.
Prrractice, Prrractice, Prrractice!
Update: Categories, Keycommands are highlighted when hovered over, and keys light up like it’s Christmas!
For today, I have a quick tip that will gain you some time, especially in the long run: dedicate some dummy aux buses, or audio channels, to put your favorite or most used plugins on. Like so:
For illustration, I’ve made a selection of my ‘most used’ plugins here, divided by category (Compression, Waves One Knob Series, and EQ). This saves me a lot of time, since the Waves Mercury bundle is very time-consuming to browse. Logic Pro’s stock plugin bundle is better browsable, but still, if you find yourself reaching for the same set of plugins many times in a session, give this some thought. And yes, saving channel strip settings is a good idea, or just save a template. Drag and copy plugins by holding down ⌘+⌥. Bypass them if you’re worried about processing power.
Before I forget: Last week I upgraded to a brand new, smoking Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro. I did a complete reinstall of all my plugins and a clean install of Logic Studio. Installing Logic Studio only took about 40 minutes (all discs!). How, you may wonder? By using Disc Images. I knew these would turn out to be handy one day… I mounted all images at once, and skipped the verification process.
Read more about making disc images of your install discs right here.
Here’s a list of OS X keyboard shortcuts that should come in handy when you’re working with Logic Pro. For more OS X keyboard goodness, follow the link at the bottom of this article. Have an OS X keyboard shortcut tip yourself to speed up workflow? Drop it in the comments!
In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to play Logic Pro’s Pitch Correction plugin via keyboard in real-time. It’s a feature the plugin does not offer by default, it only can be achieved by using a Transformer object in the Environment. Let’s look at how that’s done.