Friday, March 5, 2010

Timing drums with Logic Pros new Flex Time Feature

I'm not going to go over the whole process of timing drums with Logic Pro's Flex time. I'm just going to go over a few quick things that others haven't really covered. First off here's a link to Apple's explanation of how to time drums:

I'm use to timing drums in Pro tools with beat detective so I'm going to try and translate that process from Pro tools to Logic Pro.

Pro Tools LE won't allow you to fix the timing on multitrack files so to get around that you bounce out a track of the kick, snare and toms (the things you typically focus on when timing) as a stereo file and get your markers based off that file and apply to all the individual drum tracks.

While Logic Pro does allow you to work with multitrack files I find locating the hit points on the kick/snare/toms separately tedious so I tried doing the mix down like I would with Pro tools and this worked out great. Lots of time saved!

So here's a few other notes that will help you get the results you're looking for:

1. Threshold setting: In Pro tools "Beat Detective" you can adjust the threshold (the lowest sound level to which sound markers are placed) within the "Beat Detective" window. In Logic it's a bit different. You have to use the "+/-" buttons on the top of the sample editor page. Please note I'm not saying the +/- buttons on the keyboard but the ones on the top of the sample editor page. Just reiterating cause I made the same mistake when I read it somewhere else. :)

2. After you've gotten the threshold set there will probably be a few problem areas so to get rid of markers that are incorrect double click on them. To create new markers press CMD and click. Thankfully, unlike pro tools when you do this the markers snap to the nearest transient.

I just did it for the first time today and it worked great. I love how you can adjust the strength of the quantizing in real time. Really great feature.

One less reason to be using Pro Tools so I'm happy!

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