Lesson 5

Recording MIDI and Software Instruments

Create a new Logic project and title it Lesson 5. A highly original name!

Add an acoustic piano track to your project. Your choice!

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My piano of choice.

Make sure that you save your project to your desktop for easy access.

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Make sure that your Media window is open by clicking on the Media icon on the upper right-hand side of the screen.

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In the Tabs bar located at the top of the Media window, select Loops.

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You will now see the Loops window in Logic.

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Loops Window in Logic

If you look under the word
Browser in the Tabs bar you will see the following three icons:

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The first icon looks like the Finder on a Mac. You should be familiar with that one!

The second icon represents musical loops or musical sounds.

The third icon represents sound effects, like those used in movies or TV shows.

If you click on the
Finder icon you will see the following window:

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For now let's click on By Genres

The following appears:

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The triangles to the right of the words allow you to further expand your search.

Let's select the
Rock/Blues genre and then All Drums

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As you can see, we have over one thousand drum loops at our disposal!

You will also notice some other columns including
tempo, key, beats Match, and Fav.

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Tempo refers to the original tempo of the loop, key, is the key of the original loop (in this case since it is a drum loop, they key is not available), beats refers to the duration of the loop, match gives you a percentage of how close it matches your current project. In this case our default tempo in Logic is 120 so our current project has a tempo of 120. You may check the fav box if you think you are going to use the loop again.

To audition a loop, just single click on the loop name, and it will start playing. To stop the audition, single click on the loop name again.

Green Loops, Blue Loops

If a loop is Green then that means it is a MIDI loop and contains MIDI data that you can easily edit and change. A green loop can be used on software instrument tracks or audio tracks.

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.30.16 AM Green MIDI Loops

If a loop is
Blue then it is an audio loop that contains audio data and can only be used on audio tracks.

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.29.53 AM
Blue Audio Loops

Adding A Loop To A Track

After you find the loop that you like, you can just drag the loop from the Media window onto a track in your Arrange window. It is that simple.

For our example we are going to grab and drag the
60s Shuffle Drumset 01 onto our arrange window below our piano track. Don't worry about creating a track for your loop, Logic will do that for you automatically.

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You will probably see the following message. Select
No in this case because we do not want to change our project tempo to the loop tempo.

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After you have dragged your loop onto the
Arrange window, it should look like this.

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To start developing some mixing and engineering chops, you can learn a lot from the folks that developed Logic.

Look at the channel strip for your piano, it may contain an effect or EQ setting that you can open by double clicking. In my piano track if I double-click the
Channel EQ under the Inserts

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I see the following:

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This shows me how the folks at Apple applied EQ settings to make the piano sound fuller and richer! You can learn a lot by peaking under the hood!!!

Extending Our Drum Loop

Let's extend our drum loop to play for eight full bars. This is very simple in Logic. Hold down the Option key on your keyboard while clicking on the drum loop in the Arrange Window and then grab the loop and slide it over to the next open measure. Repeat this process until the drum loop looks as follows:

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.34.27 AM
Repeated drum loop

We will be learning how to edit loops, MIDI, and audio tracks later in the tutorial.

To view a brief tutorial on creating a loop in Logic click on the following link:

Clip 2

Tempo and Time Signature

At the bottom of Logic's Arrange Window is our Transport controls.

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The Transport window is the control center for Logic. For this exercise we will be changing our tempo to match the tempo of our loop, which is 125 beats per minute.

Locate the middle section of the
Transport window

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Now locate the Tempo (120)

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.35.39 AM The top number is our tempo, the bottom number
indicates the measure that our sequence ends (more on that later)

To change the tempo, double click on the tempo number
and enter 125 then hit
Return on your keyboard

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The tempo of our sequence in now set to 125, matching our loop tempo.

If you notice the 4/4 number to the right of the tempo number, this tells us the time signature of our project. You can also change that by clicking on the 4/4 marking. For now, let's keep our sequence in 4/4 time.

Playing Back Our Sequence

Located to the left of the Transport window are our playback controls. For you older folks, these look just like the playback controls on a cassette deck. (Hey, I even remember 45 records)!

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Logic's playback controls

You can start and stop your playback by just hitting your spacebar on your computer keyboard.

You can rewind your sequence back the beginning by hitting the number
0 on your computer keyboard.

You can also click on the controls on your
Transport window.
Note that the image below shows all of the
Transport window controls, your setup may be a little different.

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.38.10 AM

The following is a description of the transport buttons, from left to right:

    Note: You can Control-click (or right-click) the Stop button and define the action that this button triggers:  Stop, Stop and Go to Left Locator, Stop and Go to Last Locate Position.
      Note: You can Control-click (or right-click) the Record button and define the action that this button triggers:  Record, Record/Record Toggle, Record/Record Repeat.
        Experiment with the different controls located on the Transport Window.

        Configuring The Cycle Range

        Logic allows you to set a range of start and stop points in your sequence. This is especially helpful when you are recording and don't want to start your sequence from the beginning each time.

        Directly to the right of our tempo and time signature box is a set of icons.

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        Click on the second icon from the left to select it. This is the Cycle Range icon.

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.40.38 AM
        Selecting the Cycle Range.

        You will now see a green bar appear across the top of the
        Arrange Window Ruler

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        If you move your mouse on top of the Cycle Range it will now turn to a hand. Grab the middle of the Cycle Range to move the entire range across the ruler.

        To extend or contract the
        Cycle Range, move your mouse the right hand corner, it will now turn to an arrow.

        Try extending your
        Cycle Range for the full length of our drum loop.

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.40.51 AM
        Cycle range extended to match our drum loop.

        Now hit your space bar to start playing the sequence. Notice that when it gets to the end of the sequence, it will start playing again from the beginning of the green cycle setting.

        Note, when you set your cycle beginning to something other than the beginning of the sequence, when you hit the space bar on your computer, your Logic will automatically go back to the start of your Cycle Region.

        To view a brief tutorial on changing tempo, and setting your Cycle Region in Logic click on the following link:

        Clip 3

        Click Tracks and Setting The Metronome

        When you are planning a recording where you can't get all the musicians in the studio at the same time. It is best to have a click track set up using a metronome so that each musician will be playing in time.

        To configure the
        Metronome in Logic, locate the settings icon

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        Click on the downward arrow and select

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        You will now see the following dialog box:

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        Metronome settings

        There is an instrument built into Logic called
        Klopfgeist. This is the built-in metronome sound for Logic. Make sure that the Software Click Instrument box is checked.

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        You can also set the tonality, volume, and output of your metronome

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        Experiment with different volumes and Tonalities to find one that best works for you.

        Setting A Count In

        In the Metronome Settings dialog window, click on the Recording icon

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.44.08 AM

        This dialog box will allow you to select a count-in for your metronome. I prefer one bar, but at faster tempos I usually select a two-bar count-in.

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.44.16 AM

        Close the dialog box and return to your Arrange Window.

        The last step in setting our Metronome is to click on the Metronome icon in our Transport Controls.

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.44.22 AM Selecting the Metronome

        Playback your sequence and you will now hear a
        Metronome click.

        When you record (we are going to do that next) you will also hear a count in before Logic starts to record.

        Recording a MIDI (software instrument) Track

        Recording in Logic is easy and straightforward. Recording a MIDI track will also create a notated version that you can view in Logic's Score Editor.

        For this example, let's keep our drum loop. Make sure that your drum loop extends for at least eight full measures.

        We are going to be using our created piano track to record MIDI. Record-enable your piano track, so that you can hear a piano sound when you play your MIDI keyboard.

        Arrange Window should look at follows:

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.45.50 AM

        For this example, I am not using Cycle record, since we are just dipping our toes into the MIDI recording water.

        Rewind your sequence back to the beginning by hitting
        0 on your numeric keypad.

        To start recording and start your count-in you may either click on the
        record icon on the Transporter controls

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.45.58 AM

        or, type the * key (the asterisk key) on your numeric keypad to automatically begin recording.

        Try to record at least eight-measures on your piano track. When you have finished, you should have something that looks like this:

        Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 5.46.40 AM
        My piano MIDI recording with a drum loop.

        Viewing Your MIDI Track

        Single click on your MIDI piano track in the Arrange Window so that it is highlighted.

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        Notice the buttons at the bottom of the Logic Interface

        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.55.20 AM

        This allows you to view MIDI data in a variety of different ways.

        Again, make sure your MIDI track is highlighted, and then click on the
        Score button.
        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.55.49 AM

        You will now see a notational view of the piano MIDI track that you played into Logic.

        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.55.55 AM
        My piano track in the Score Window.

        Now select the
        Piano Roll button.

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        You will now see a piano roll representation of you MIDI track.

        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.56.38 AM

        You can also view this by simply double clicking on the recorded area (called a
        Region) and the Piano Roll will automatically open up.

        Now click on the
        Hyper Editor button.

        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.56.45 AM

        You will now see the following window:

        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.56.51 AM

        Hyper Editor allows you to add MIDI controllers, change volume, pan, and other edits to your MIDI track (more on that later).

        Expanding Your Tack View and Changing Track Order

        If you move your mouse over the middle of track name, it will turn into a hand, allowing you to drag the track up and down in the Arrange Window.

        If you move your mouse to the lower left side of the track name, it becomes a pointed finger, allowing you to grab the track and expand it downward so that you have a larger view area.

        Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 7.57.38 AM
        Expanded track view

        Logic Project 4:

        Record a MIDI piano or other Software Instrument track along with a drum loop. It does not have to be long, eight-measures will be just dandy!

        Chapter 5 Recap

        You should now be more familiar with:

        Adding loops to your Logic Project
        Extending loops
        Working with Logic's Transport Controls
        Working with Software Instruments
        Setting up a recording Cycle
        Configuring your metronome
        Changing the tempo of a Logic sequence
        Recording a MIDI track using a click track or metronome.

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