by Stephanie L. Carlin
It’s project season, people! A time of merriment, confusion, and hell all at the same. And if you are like me, in CWP or any other tech major, this time of the academic year is particularly stressful. Off the top of my head, I have to write and record a pop song, write and record an orchestral piece, orchestrate an original piece, and mix and master an original piece in a month. Yikes. I’m scared, but mock-ups help and what program is the best at mock-ups? Logic Pro X! Ah, Logic: GarageBand’s much more successful and attractive cousin.
I think I speak for all of us when I say that we don’t want to have any more stress with these programs, especially around finals. Here are seven ways that you can make Logic easier on yourself. And, if you need help with any other programs, check out those our Pro Tools article here and our Finale article here.
Don’t Underestimate the Original Sound Library
Don’t break the bank for sounds, people! I’ve said it time and time again. Use what you have. Similar to Garageband, the original sounds in Logic are not that bad. I mean, they’ve recorded all these different instruments which are at your disposal. It took hours and hours to program all of these sounds for you – their consumer. Plus, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard an amazing project and when I’ve asked the creator what sound was their lead synth or whatever, they’ll just say, “It came from Logic.”
2-1, 3-2, 4-3, 5-4, etc.
This is the pattern for inputs and outputs in Kontakt. You’re welcome. For Vienna, it’s actually easier, but I recommend making aux tracks in your mixer for the outputs.
There’s no Shame in Using a Template
That being said, if outputs are still confusing for you, as they are for me sometimes, there’s no shame in making a template. Not everyone is going to ask you to set Kontakt up for them and no teacher is going to give you a lower grade because of it. Templates were made to get a product out faster. Use them.
Don’t be Afraid of Massive
It’s scary looking, I get it. There’s a lot of knobs and buttons that I still don’t quite understand, but it’s like not disarming a bomb. It’s making a synth do what you want. In your own time, I recommend experimenting and not coming in with expectations. Literally pick any sound and just play. That way, for example, if there’s a certain sound you need for a final project, you won’t be so stressed messing with different knobs and not getting what you want. Also, save your sounds. Even if you don’t think it would be appropriate for this particular piece, it might me good for another and save you even MORE time.
Browsers is an Angel in Disguise
So, you know how sometimes you’ll open a project in Logic and the combined audio file, for some reason, doesn’t have the takes you recorded yesterday? And remember how after you found out about Logic betraying you like this, you threw your computer out of your 3-story apartment and got a new one a week later? Yeah, I know how you feel. BUT there is an angel, my friends. At the very top-right hand corner, there’s a camera icon called “Browsers” that processes all the media that has gone through the session, including anything you’ve recorded. All you have to do is unlock the sound and drag it to the desired spot and bam. Back in your session.
Be wary of the Original Plug-ins
Unlike Pro Tools, these plug-ins aren’t amazing. I will admit, I have used Space Designer reverb too often to count but plug-ins, like the Compressor, are harsh and confusing. I don’t usually recommend buying plug-ins initially but at least try them first before buying anything. To me, I don’t think most of them make much of a difference compared to what CWP students get in the bundle, but try it out for yourselves and let me know if you make anything cool in the comments.
Quantizing doesn’t have to make you Pull your Hair out
Just understand the rhythms that you want. If you want to write out the desired rhythm beforehand, that’s a good idea. If you want to guide the beats into place, it’s a little annoying but still gets you what you want.
Bonus Tip: Take up Boxing
Life with computers naturally makes you want to punch things. Why not take up a hobby that allows you to do that? When Logic crashes again on your final project for the sixth time in an hour, feel free to practice some bolo-punches and upper-cuts on your pillow or an actual punching bag if you have the money. It’ll get some much needed aggression out, some killer forearms, and A’s in all your tech classes.