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Getting Started With Logic Pro 7

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This one-hour lesson explores some basic functions you'll use when working in Logic, such as zooming in and out on an editing window's display, making selections with Logic's unique selection techniques, hiding tracks, and creating custom key commands to control Logic's editing functions. The techniques in this lesson provide a good foundation of skills you'll constantly use while making music in Logic.

Lesson Files

 

APTS_Logic_7 > Song Files > Lesson 3 Project Files > 03End.lso

Media

 

APTS_Logic_7 > Song Files > Lesson 3 Project Files

Time

 

This lesson takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

Goals

 

Create a project folder to hold the song file, along with all of its audio files

   

Import audio into the Arrange window

   

Learn common selection techniques

   

Use the Cycle mode

   

Name Regions

   

Experiment with Logic's Catch and Scroll in Play functions

   

Set up custom key commands

You're now at home in the workspace, you've seen how Logic's editing windows interrelate, and you've explored the Transport's playback functions. It's time to get a bit deeper into editing songs. This lesson explores some basic functions you'll use throughout this book, such as zooming in and out on an editing window's display, making selections with Logic's unique selection techniques, hiding tracks, and creating custom key commands to control Logic's editing functions. Just because these functions are basic doesn't mean they are any less important than the things you'll learn later in this book. In fact, the techniques in this lesson provide a good foundation of skills you'll constantly use while making music in Logic. So with no further ado, let's jump straight in and learn some workflow techniques.

Creating a New Song

No two songs start from the same inspiration. Indeed, Logic is a program that wears many hats. For example, you can use it to master music, score video, create basic arrangements, or mix surround audio (Logic Pro only). Depending on your purpose, the number and configuration of Arrange window tracks will vary. Happily, Logic 7 comes with several song templates that let you start making music with an Arrange window tailored to your specific music-making needs.

Using Song Templates

Logic's song templates are just empty song files that have no media in them. They provide a great launch pad for making music because they are preconfigured with a set of empty tracks designed for a specific purpose. For example, Logic comes with a default song template designed for mastering, another for 24-track recording, and still others for surround mixing. By choosing a song template, you immediately start with a set of Arrange window tracks that match your needs, and this saves you time, because you don't need to set up or configure the tracks before making music.

  1. Choose File > New (Cmd-N).

    The New dialog appears with two check boxes: “Use song template” and “Create project folder.” We'll return to the “Create project folder” option in a minute. For now, let's concentrate on the “Use song template” option.

  2. In the New dialog, select the “Use song template” check box.
  3. From the Template menu, choose Cinema Display 20" > Basic Production.
  4. In the bottom right corner of the New dialog, click OK.

    An Alert dialog opens and asks if you'd like to close the song you are working on.

  5. Choose Close.

    The old song closes and a new one opens onscreen. Notice that the new song has exactly 12 audio tracks, 12 Audio Instrument tracks, and Click, Bus, and Stereo Output tracks.

  6. Explore some of Logic's other song templates to see what they offer.

Creating a Project Folder

Logic 7 will now create a project folder to hold the song file, along with all the audio files, EXS instruments and samples, and Space Designer impulse response files (Logic Pro only) used in the song. A project folder ensures that all of the audio needed to produce your song is stored in one easy-to-find location, and this in turn makes it a simple matter to back your song up to a DVD-ROM or transfer it between computers.

  1. Choose File > New (Cmd-N).

    The New dialog appears.

  2. In the New dialog, make sure the “Use song template” check box is deselected.
  3. Next, select the “Create project folder” check box.

    The New dialog expands to include several additional options.

    Copy external audio files to project folder All audio files added to the song are copied to the Audio Files folder that will be created in the project folder.

    Convert audio file sampling rate when importing Imported audio files that use a different sampling rate than the song does will be converted to the song's sampling rate before they are added to the project's Audio Files folder.

    Copy EXS instruments to project folder The EXS24 sampler uses instrument files that tell it which samples to load and how to play them. Without the instrument files, the EXS24 does not know how to make its sounds. Selecting this option ensures the instruments are saved in the project folder along with your song file.

    Copy EXS samples to project folder The EXS24 sampler generates sound based on digital audio samples stored on your hard disk(s). This option ensures that all samples used are saved in the project folder along with your song file.

    Copy impulse response files to project folder All Space Designer impulse response files will be saved in the project folder along with your song file. (This step applies to Logic Pro files only.)

  4. In the New dialog, make sure all of the remaining check boxes are selected (except for the “Use song template” check box—leave that one unselected).

    Next, you need to name your song and also tell Logic where to create the song's project folder.

  5. Directly under the Location text box, click the Set button.

    A Save dialog drops down from the New dialog's title bar.

  6. In the Save dialog's Save As text box, enter a name for your song.
  7. In the Save dialog, navigate to your computer's desktop.

    Saving the song on the desktop makes it easy to find and delete after you've finished this lesson.

  8. Click the Set button.

    The Save dialog closes.

  9. In the New dialog, make sure all the remaining check boxes are selected.
  10. In the bottom right corner of the New dialog, click OK.

    An Alert dialog opens and asks if you'd like to close the song you are working on.

  11. Choose Close.

    The old song closes and the new one opens onscreen.

  12. Open a Finder window and navigate to the new project folder that Logic has created on your desktop.

    The project folder currently contains the song file, along with an empty Audio Files folder. When you import audio into the song a bit later in this lesson, the imported audio files will be copied into this Audio Files folder. There are currently no folders to hold EXS24 instruments or samples, even though you selected the appropriate check boxes back in the New dialog. The reason? Logic is smart and does not create these folders until they are required. Let me prove it to you.

  13. In the Arrange window, select the first Audio Instrument track.

    The Arrange window channel strip updates to display the track's settings.

  14. Add the following Channel Strip setting to the track: Inserts > 06 Bass > Deep Synth Bass > Deep House. (For more information on Channel Strip settings, see Lesson 1, “Exploring the Workspace.”)

    The EXS24 is inserted as the Audio Instrument and a sampler instrument with its corresponding set of samples is loaded into it.

  15. Press Cmd-S to save your song.

    A Progress dialog pops open and tells you that Logic is copying audio files. In fact, Logic is copying the samples used for the Deep House sampler instrument to the project folder saved on your desktop.

  16. In the Finder, navigate once again to the new project folder that Logic has created on your desktop.

    Notice that Logic has created new folders to hold the sampler instrument settings and samples!

  17. Close the Finder window.

Setting the Sampling Rate

The song's sampling rate determines how many samples per second Logic uses when working with digital audio files. Conceptually, the sampling rate is similar to the number of frames per second used in video. For example, most of Europe uses the PAL video standard, in which frames cycle by at the rate of 25 per second (North America uses NTSC video at 29.97 frames per second). Each frame is a picture in a longer sequence. When these individual pictures flick quickly by, the illusion of motion is created.

In a digital audio file, the sound of the file is stored in discrete samples in much the same way that the picture content of a video is stored in frames—except there are a lot more samples per second in an audio file than there are frames per second in a video. In fact, as computers get faster it is becoming common to use sampling rates of 48,000, 96,000, and even 192,000 samples per second. The higher the sampling rate, the better the sound, because there are more individual samples racing by in each and every second!

For our purposes here, we will set the song to a sampling rate of 44,100 samples per second. That's 44.1 kHz, which is the same sampling rate used in CD-Audio discs.

  1. Choose Audio > Sample Rate > 44100.
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