Vocal Sessions

Ever wonder what a Logic Studio session looks like after a few hours of vocal recording?  Here is a screenshot from a recent session with song writer Derwin Pearson. The session could be organized a bit better but we work working pretty fast. If you are working on a session this way and haven’t had a chance to clean up and organize tracks it is a good idea to put aside a few minutes at the end of the session to do this. You’ll be glad you did next time you open the session up to work on it and have forgotten what was on each track.

Splitting Drum Tracks In Logic Studio

How To Split Drum Tracks in Logic Studio

A friend of mine was having some problems figuring out how to separate drum sounds after being recorded on one arrange track. This is a common problem especially if you are actually playing your drum parts in instead of programming in the piano roll sequencer. There are many ways to do this besides the way I do it. As with everything in Logic there is no one “correct way” just the way that works for you. There are other methods to do this that involve using multiple outputs and or separate midi channels. I have found that through my use of Logic most of these methods are great if you plan ahead, and then stick to the plan. Unfortunately  that is not how creativity works. While you are in the creative moment there is no time to plan, only capture ideas. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Watch the Video tutorial    | Download The Logic Session used for this Tutorial

Step 1- In Logic’s ARRANGE WINDOW Select the MIDI region that you would like to separate the drum track for by clicking on it.

Step 2. – Next go to the MIDI Menu , the Separate MIDI Events Menu and finally select By note Pitch. When you do this this will create individual arrange tracks for each note, another words an arrange track for each sound used. If you used 6 sounds you will have 6 new arrange tracks.

Split by MIDI Note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 – Next use the Duplicate Track function to create new mixer tracks. Do this as many times as you need. If you had 6 new arrange tracks from Step 2, then you will need at least 5 more instances of the virtual instrument used.

Logic Duplicate Track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4 – Before everything because a mess and unorganized you should label your tracks and MIDI regions accordingly.

Step 5 – Start your mix.

You can download the Logic Pro session for this tutorial by clicking on the link below.
If you have questions or comments please leave them below so I can help you.

8 Programs For Beat Making

Making beats for the first time? There are many programs for both Macs and PCS that allow you to sample, record and program your beats. These are the Major players in the industry.

1. Apple Garage Band
Comes free with ever new Apple computer as a part of the ILIFE suite of software. The software is very easy to get started with. A year down the road when you feel you have out grown the potential of the program you can move up to Logic Studio and all you session will still work. (Mac Only)

2. Digidesign Protools
The industry standard for recording. The most recnt version has mad huge improvments to its MIDI and production side. Protools is great for audio editingrecording and mixing. The biggest drawbck to protools is that it is heavy on your computers brain power. The proffesional Protools systems use expensive add on cards to your computer that prevent this and add tons of power. The pro systems are also very expensive. (Mac and PC)

3. Steinberg Cubase 
Cubase is an excellent software program for recording and beat making on both the PC or Mac. Like Logic, Protools, Sonar and Performer it includes every thing you need to get started out of the box. The program has been around for many years and is consistently updated with new features. The endless features might seem a bit overwhelming at first but as your production technique grows the many optoins will begin to become more useful. (Mac and PC)

4. Apple Logic Studio or Logic Express 
Logic Studio is a suite of production tools including, effects, instruments, and a massive sound library of over 40GB. It also includes all the add on goodies for Garage Band. Logic has long been a standard for producers and composers working in television and film. The Studio package also comes with Wave Burner, a standalone program for mastering you music. (Mac Only)

5. Image Line FL Studio aka Fruity Loops.
Fruity Loops was a program once laughed upon by proffesionals in the music industry. 9th Wonder’s use of Frutiy Loops to make a beat for Jay-Z’s black album quickly changed how people felt about it. The program containts everything you need to start making beats. Since its start it has grown huge in the online communities of up and coming producers especially genres like hip hop and reggaetone. (PC Only)

http://flstudio.image-line.com/

6. Motu Digital Performer
Digital Performer is mac only competitor to Logic and Cubase. Performer is very popular among composers and audio program gradutes from the 90’s. The program includes all the effects, and instruments needed to create your music from beat making to mix. The greatest benifit of Performer is that is made by MOTU . MOTU is a leading creator of soundcards andaudio recording hardware. This combination offers great compatibilty with devices and less hardware trouble shooting. (Mac Only)

7. Propellerheads Reason
Reason is a standalone program for beat making that you can connect to other programs like Protools, Logic or Cubase. Reason comes loaded with sounds and effects that work very similar to hardware works. With its customizable setup you can flip the screen and move wires around just like you were in your big studio. A Limited feature version of Reason is also included when you buy any Protools package. (Mac and PC)

8. Cakewalk Sonar
Sonar is PC only competitor to Cubase, Logic and Performer. The program is very popular becasue of the included effects and instruments for production, mixing and mastering. (PC Only)

I have personally been using both Digidesign Protools and Logic in my studio for 8 years. Protools I use only for recording and editing. Logic I use for production and mixing.

8 Programs To Make Beats With

Making beats for the first time? There are many programs for both Macs and PCS that allow you to sample, record and program your beats. These are the Major players in the industry.

1. Apple Garage Band
Comes free with ever new Apple computer as a part of the ILIFE suite of software. The software is very easy to get started with. A year down the road when you feel you have out grown the potential of the program you can move up to Logic Studio and all you session will still work. (Mac Only)

2. Digidesign Protools
The industry standard for recording. The most recnt version has mad huge improvments to its MIDI and production side. Protools is great for audio editing, recording and mixing. The biggest drawbck to protools is that it is heavy on your computers brain power. The proffesional Protools systems use expensive add on cards to your computer that prevent this and add tons of power. The pro systems are also very expensive. (Mac and PC)

3. Steinberg Cubase
Cubase is an excellent software program for recording and beat making on both the PC or Mac. Like Logic, Protools, Sonar and Performer it includes every thing you need to get started out of the box. The program has been around for many years and is consistently updated with new features. The endless features might seem a bit overwhelming at first but as your production technique grows the many optoins will begin to become more useful. (Mac and PC)

4. Apple Logic Studio or Logic Express
Logic Studio is a suite of production tools including, effects, instruments, and a massive sound library of over 40GB. It also includes all the add on goodies for Garage Band. Logic has long been a standard for producers and composers working in television and film. The Studio package also comes with Wave Burner, a standalone program for mastering you music. (Mac Only)

5. Image Line FL Studio aka Fruity Loops.
Fruity Loops was a program once laughed upon by proffesionals in the music industry. 9th Wonder’s use of Frutiy Loops to make a beat for Jay-Z’s black album quickly changed how people felt about it. The program containts everything you need to start making beats. Since its start it has grown huge in the online communities of up and coming producers especially genres like hip hop and reggaetone. (PC Only)

http://flstudio.image-line.com/

6. Motu Digital Performer
Digital Performer is mac only competitor to Logic and Cubase. Performer is very popular among composers and audio program gradutes from the 90’s. The program includes all the effects, and instruments needed to create your music from beat making to mix. The greatest benifit of Performer is that is made by MOTU . MOTU is a leading creator of soundcards and audio recording hardware. This combination offers great compatibilty with devices and less hardware trouble shooting. (Mac Only)

7. Propellerheads Reason
Reason is a standalone program for beat making that you can connect to other programs like Protools, Logic or Cubase. Reason comes loaded with sounds and effects that work very similar to hardware works. With its customizable setup you can flip the screen and move wires around just like you were in your big studio. A Limited feature version of Reason is also included when you buy any Protools package. (Mac and PC)

8. Cakewalk Sonar
Sonar is PC only competitor to Cubase, Logic and Performer. The program is very popular becasue of the included effects and instruments for production, mixing and mastering. (PC Only)

I have personally been using both Digidesign Protools and Logic in my studio for 8 years. Protools I use only for recording and editing. Logic I use for production and mixing.

How To Get Started Making Beats Part III – Make Beats

I got some sounds now what? Make some beats!

Once you get your sequencer going and got some sounds together its beat making time. How you do this will depend on what your using of courses when it comes to recording and programming this is a good method to follow.

1. Program some drums or get a sample drum loop going.
2 . Get a main melody or hook idea. This could be a melody you program or play if you have a keyboard. It could also be another sample or combination of samples.
3. Keep building your ideas making sure to put each idea on a separate track so you can sort trough them and mix them later.
4. Once your happy with your beat make a simple arrangement of it by muting or turning of certain parts off at certain parts of the beat to create things like breaks, intro and more.
5. Use your sequencers mixer functions to get an overall balanced sound of all the instruments in the entire track.
6 . Sell your beat to Jay-Z and become famous!

How long should my beat be?

Your main loop of your beat should be as long as you like. Many producers use loops that are 2,4, and 8 bars long and just repeat the loop muting certain parts to keep the track interesting. You can also add things to your main beat during different parts of your song to follow along the rapper or singers lyrics and flow. One thing you should keep in mind though is that hooks to most songs are 4 or 8 bars and most verses are 8, 16, 24 bars. Usually the more pop oriented a song the shorter the verses are. Example a Britney Spears or R. Kelly verse might be 8 bars and Jada Kiss or Mobb Deep verse might be 24. You are the one making the beat though so you can do what ever you want.

Using a keyboard or other midi controller with your sequencer.

At some point you’ll realize that programming beats with a mouse on your computer is not fun at all. This is when your equipment set up starts to grow. By adding a MIDI keyboard to your computer you can trigger the sounds in your computers sampler playback instrument or internal sound modules.

To do this you will need a few things:
MIDI Keybaord or controller.
MIDI Interface
The necessary wires to connect everything.

You can purchase a MIDI Interface and Midi Keyboard or controller separately or you can buy a device that has both combined. Some really good MIDI contoller keyboards to start out with are made by a company called:

M-Audio

Many of their MIDI controller keyboard feature USB ready MIDI interfaces and are easy to install and setup. They also sell models that have USB sound cards built in aswell. As with any thing else you have to see what wht works best with the equipment you are using. AKAI MPC users do not need a MIDI interface, a MIDI keyboard can connect directly to the MPC.