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Logic 8 Importing From Garageband

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by bayswater, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    A friend has asked me to help him with his compositions which he has done in Garageband by getting them into Logic, followed by help with orchestration and mixing. I've loaded two of his GB songs into Logic Pro 8. I get an arrangement page and mixer that looks a bit like what I expect, but there are a few things that make no sense to me. I don't use Logic a lot, and it looks like this will drive me onto the learning curve if i can just get started.

    First, the arrangement page I get is close to what I'd expect; a lot of Instrument tracks with MIDI regions in them. But there are some things that make no sense. For example, there are MIDI regions that appear to be in the wrong track -- like a piece of MIDI called Grand Piano in a track named Asian Flute. (!?). Is the GB import a hit and miss thing? A best effort that needs a lot of editing, or should there be a strong correlation between the GB song and the Logic arrangement?

    Second while the project loads, I get messages saying I don't have EXS24. Obviously I do -- it came with Logic Pro, and I use it a lot. The mixer shows a lot of channels with "EXS24" crossed out. If I click on this, the drop down list shows EXS24 twice; once is apparently the EXS24 I don't have (because it shows no sub-selections) and the other is the one I do have (because it does show sub-selections, although it is named (EXS24 (sampler)) . Does this make any sense? Why is Logic telling me I don't have the EXS24? Is the conversion trying to create Instrument Tracks with the EXS24 loaded and set to an instrument that corresponds to the instrument that was used in GB, and not getting it right?

    Second, whatever sound EXS24 expects does not appear to exist. I have the complete install of Logic Pro 8, and there are libraries of sounds in my -Library-Audio folder, including garageband loops. If I attempt to load a sample into EXS24, a series of nested menus appears as expected, but no matter what I select, Logic waits a while and then says it cannot be found. This does not happen if I start a new project, create and Instrument Track, and set the input to a MIDI controller. It all works as expected under these conditions; I can play the instruments and load a variety of sounds with no problem.

    Can anyone give me a couple of hints about importing GB, where I'm going wrong here, and what I might do to get this exercise moving in the right direction?

    :brkwl: :confused:
  3. Mars

    Mars New Member

    What version of Garageband are you importing from? I've had similar issues trying to import Garageband 2 songs into Logic 9. Once I imported them into Logic 8 and then saved the resulting song, everything worked as expected.
  4. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Logic, for me at least, has also been a sort of a 3D crossword puzzle/multi-dimensional spreadsheet. But it sounds like your friend may have had his/her machine's directories set up differently than yours. Might want to find out where those audio and midi files were stored on the machine used to create the GarageBand tracks...
  5. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    He is sending me large (~250 Meg) .band files structured as packages. Are you saying that when Logic imports this into one of its arrangements it is looking for audio files where GB saw them? That would imply that the import function is only meant to be used on the original Mac that hosted GB?
  6. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    I'm using V8. Maybe I just have to get recent version of GB myself and start by creating a GB file on my own Mac first?
  7. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Not claiming to have direct experience with this, as I have not used GarageBand myself. Just wanted to let you know I have a problem with my own files sometimes: I put my project folders on a different drive and Logic doesn't always "find" everything without a little help from me. Your idea of loading/saving/exporting/importing it on your own machine sounds like a plan. GarageBand should certainly open its own file, and when it does, it may ask you where the instruments/audio files are residing.
  8. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Just to clarify -- I'm not trying to load the GB files into GB. I don't even have GB. I'm trying to load into Logic Pro 8.
  9. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Understood you are loading the GB file into Logic. Just meant if it won't work correctly going into GB, then you might have a different issue.
  10. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    OK, I understand. Thanks. I'm just reinstalling GB now to see what I get.
  11. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    I was able to get the files to load into GarageBand properly. Looks like the problem is that importing into Logic assumes you have GB on the same Mac, and it uses the GB instruments -- which I don't have on the Mac where I have Logic.
  12. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    Having the same instruments (plus their sample sets) that GB comes with is sort of mandatory indeed. Should be the case once you install Logic 9. With Logic 8 and the latest GB version, problems such as you describe are to be expected. Also, it might be that the latest GB sample based instruments are based on the latest EXS version, hence Logic 8 probably couldn't accept them.
    The only "safe" solution would perhaps be to have both the latest iLife (of which GB is a part of) and Logic versions installed.
    Oh, also make sure you have all the Jam Pack content coming with Logic installed, too.

    - Sascha
  13. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Thanks Sascha. Looks like that was it. I reinstalled Logic 8.02, made sure all the content and packs were installed, and the songs imported properly for the most part. Don't know why that made a difference because I haven't done anything with the original install of Logic, but at least it is no longer complaining about not finding EXS24. The GB songs load in GB 4, so I assume that's the version they were created in.

    Now, I have to learn Logic better. Is there a simple reset function that zeros all the faders and pans, and removes all the inserts, sends and automation? I need to start these mixes from scratch.
  14. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    You should be able to reset the channel strips in the click-hold pop-up for inserts in the channel strip at the bottom left of your Logic arrange screen (not at my Mac right now...)
  15. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Right, I figured that out. Select all tracks, and remove Insert from one of them, etc. Also found the command to remove all automation.

    I stuck now on loss of sound. I have imported a dozen songs from GB and had all of them working fine. On one of them, the sound simply stopped. I've check all I can think of: All fades and pans are set to zero. All automation is gone. All tracks routed to Main Outs. All inserts off and all sends set to 100%. All mutes and solos for all object are off.

    The sounds on each Instrument track work if I set the track to record and play on my keyboard. If I double click an audio track so the sound file appears in the audio editor, it will play. Otherwise, in a regular arrange setting, nothing plays, audio or MIDI.

    I added an external MIDI channel, copied the MIDI from one of the Instrument tracks, and that plays fine. What is odd, is that if I solo one of the other tracks, the external MIDI track keeps playing.

    All of the MIDI data in the Instrument tracks looks fine. All the other songs are also playing fine.

    Can anyone suggest things to check?
  16. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Try right-clicking on the track where it appears to be linked to another track (in the arrange window). Select "Reassign track objects" from the pop-up. If you want an "input object" click on "clicks and ports" ...if you want a software instrument or output, click on "mixer" ...If what you want is not already a choice, you might have to add it in the mixer or in the environment.
  17. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Juan, thanks for the reply. Looks like everything was assigned properly, and as I mentioned, I was able to audition any of the tracks, so the objects and routing were there. I eventually gave up and did the import from GB over again.
  18. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member


    Sorry to come back on this one again, but I'm back to working on a number of songs originally created in Garage Band and I'm still experiencing problems with MIDI tracks dying.

    I have a project of a dozen songs each with about 10 MIDI and 10 Audio tracks. Most of the MIDI tracks play on EXS, and I've changed a few to play on external hardware synths where I can get better sounds. After a few days of work, the tracks on external synths simply stop playing. Here is what I can say about them:
    1) I can see the notes in the piano roll editor, and if I click on them they play.
    2) If I put the track into record mode, and play on my keyboard controller, I can see MIDI in and out events logged in the transport window.
    3) I can record new MIDI events into the track and they will play back properly
    4) The existing MIDI events will not play
    5) There is no volume, pressure etc automation etc on these tracks.
    6) If I try to export the MIDI, Logic reports that there are no MIDI events in the tracks. Obviously there are, I can edit and play them in the piano roll editor. Exporting MIDI works as expected on the tracks playing on EXS.
    7) Resetting the channel makes no difference.
    8) If I recreate the tracks from the original song provided to me in Garage Band format, I get it working again, but after several sessions of editing, mixing, etc on a dozen songs, starting over again is no longer an option.
    9) If I make duplicate of the track, the dup doesn't work either.

    I have to assume that Logic itself is not so hopeless, and that there is something I'm doing wrong, or that there is some reasonably simple way of restoring a working MIDI track from what I have.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

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