A Little Help From Your Friends

The story starts with me wanting to get more in-depth knowledge of “Project Audio”. I started by looking at a used Logic Pro 9 book — the one that is used for the Apple Certification course — “Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9 — Professional Audio Production”. All through the book there are references to the resources contained on the DVD that came with the book. Sigh. Used book, no DVD. Hunt for online copy. I wound up at PeachPit Press staring at a place where I could use ‘Safari On Line’ to read the book. This really didn’t help much.

Ding. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has online books and courses available to members. I have maintained my membership since the early 1980s. I haven’t had much use for the computing and database courses that I used to access. The coursework uses the “Safari Learning Platform” to help us move forward. This might be the same “Safari On Line” that I was staring at over at PeachPit.

I logged in to the platform and searched for the book, and found “Logic Pro X 10.4 — Apple Pro Training Series: Professional Audio Production”. Excellent. I started reading and came to the section about downloading course-related resources. Followed a not-too-clear path to get access to the download (ISBN number, answer the question to show that I have the book). Download the files. Good to go.

I don’t really want to do this using a web browser while I am trying to run Logic Pro X, so I figured out how to get the O’Reilly reading app onto my iPad. Perfect. I can read my book on the iPad and work on the screen with Logic Pro X.

I started at the beginning, followed all the steps, turned on “Quick Help” which pops up little help balloons as the mouse hovers over a tool. Yes. I have done this before. There is a little hint at the bottom that says “Type command-/ to get more info”. That brings up the help document — very slow. Then I read this…

“To go further, read the Logic Pro Help documentation within the free Logic Remote iPad app. The documentation automatically displays the section relevant to the Logic Pro X area where you place the mouse pointer”

Whoa! Hmmm. Now I need another iPad to see what they mean. We happen to have kept an older iPad as a resource. I am in luck.

Install “Logic Remote” on the iPad, follow a couple of helpful hints in the app, and there it is. The iPad is showing me the details from the help documentation. The very same help resource that I am linking to and using in my “Logic Pro X — Command of the Day” blog posts.

I need to try doing “actual work” in Logic with the “helpPad” connected to see how I like it, but for my daily homework and study of Logic Pro X I am now way far ahead.

Stay tuned.

Essential Tips for Mixing Reverb

Essential Tips for Mixing Reverb:

Reverb can be tricky to deal with in a mix. The space that it adds can be very helpful, but sloppy reverb sounds can often become smeared over the mix, reducing clarity. Achieving the proper balance when mixing reverb will give a sense of space without becoming distracting in the mix.

In this article, we’ll cover some methods for mixing reverb. We’ll discuss EQing, ducking, timing, and retriggering reverb.

I try to make sure I post to the blog when I add a section to the iZotope Tools binder. I file the article, and when possible, all of the sound samples and videos. Videos go in the videos folder with bookmarks attached to the article. Sound samples are stored in the article (which becomes an outline element).

Aux vs. Inserts: to Send or Not to Send?

Aux vs. Inserts: to Send or Not to Send?:

Will the track receive further processing? Use an insert
Reverb, delay, compression, modulation, distortion—these are some effects that often wind up on auxiliary channels. You send some of your track to a reverb aux, and dial in as much as needed. But if the effect is meant to be used in a series and will receive further processing on the track level, it’s wiser to use the effect as insert even in parallel operation (as in, a chorus with a wet/dry control).

Worth considering. Logic Pro X instruments use both inserts and sends to achieve the fine results. There’s a reason for that.

5 Ways to Use Dynamic EQ with Sidechain

5 Ways to Use Dynamic EQ with Sidechain:

Set internal (or external) triggers on drums
Mixing drums is one of the bigger challenges in a song because we expect them to be many things at once: loud, groovy, punchy, cohesive, clear, etc. Compression and transient shaping are a big help here, but dynamic EQ proves useful when carving a unique space for each drum hit. For example:

If the overhead mics picked up too much snare bite and this conflicts with the close-miked snare sound, use the main snare to trigger a momentary cut in level in the overheads whenever it’s played.

Is your snare struggling to shine because of masking with the hi-hats? Place one node on the snare harmonics and another on the lower end of the hi-hats, then set the sidechain to duck the hi-hats when the snare is present.

Unpitched percussion with considerable low end can conflict with the lower frequencies of a kick drum. To keep that pulse but prevent sloppy collisions from occurring, get your dynamic EQ sidechain to high-pass the bassy parts of the perc only when the kick comes down.

I need to check to see if each node in the Neutron 2 EQ can have a separate side chain. The side chain choices are internal — all the bands — and external (the one set in Logic as side chain). It looks like I can only side chain one external track.

I can do something like side chain the overheads from Logic and set the nodes in N2 to side chain from the different bands…that will have to do.

Also see “7 Tips for Mixing Drums”