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Logic 9 syncing samples with the project tempo

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by nvkrog, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. nvkrog

    nvkrog New Member

    hi. i'm quite new to logic, or maybe not that new, but still learning.
    i've got a question:
    is it possible to sync samples with the project tempo? (so that the samples will always match the current project tempo?)
    which reminds me, i've heard that logic's algorithms for time stretching aren't very good and that there are better third-party algorithms? (i guess the whole time stretching thing also applies when getting samples to match the project tempo).

    on a totally different topic:
    is it possible to send different channels in exs or ultrabeat to different busses? or possibly even controlling an effect with envelope or velocity?

    thanks a lot!
  3. Brian Stone

    Brian Stone Member

    a) Logic's real-time Flextime algorithm is about as good as it gets
    b) offline processing can achieve better results, but you probably can't hear the difference in a mix
    c) open the docs and read up on flex time its a short section and all is revealed (no need to retype that here)

    and regarding multi-out instruments. Both EXS24 and Ultrabeat are capable, but you have to set them as multi-out otherwise they will behave strictly as stereo instruments.

    • click on the instrument plug-in popup on a software instrument channel strip. Its located right above the output routing popup menu
    • once you opened the menu, chose EXS24 or Ultrabeat, but look at the submenu, it should contain "Stereo" or "Multi-out" - choose multi-out
    • open the mixer window (the dual channel strip won't work for the next step)
    • look at the channel strip near the bottom. You'll see a "+" button just under the solo switch
    • each click on the "+" will add another channel fed by the individual outputs of Ultrabeat (or any multi-out capable software instrument)
    • next you have to pick which sounds go to each set of outputs, so open the Ultrabeat UI
    • in the left hand column there's a list of the 25 sounds in UB. This is like a mixer and provides level, pan, mute, solo and OUTPUT for each sound.

    By default, every voice is set to "Main" which is the Software Instrument channel strip. 3-4 is the first Aux that was created when you hit "+", 5-6 the second, etc etc

    For bonus points, I recommend that you select all of the channels related to this multi-out inst and set their outputs to Bus 20 (or any number you like). This will submix all of the separate outs to a single Aux so that you can control the volume of everything coming out of UB's multiple outputs. You can even add compression and EQ to the submix.

    Please give the Flextime features a try. It can do very simple stuff like option+dragging the end of a region to make it longer or shorter, but its totally real time with no pre-rendering required. There are various Flex algorithms that sound better for specific kinds of contents. Like drums sound best with "Slice" mode and bass sounds best with "monophonic" mode, and big mixed audio like a full song sounds best with "Polyphonic" (with the Complex switch checked)


  4. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Another thing to look at is the way we used before flex. If you are talking about samples that loop, then open them in the Apple Loops Uitility and convert to Apple Loops. In there you specify how many beats, e.g. 16 beats if it's a 4 bar loop in 4/4.

    This then makes your own samples adapt however you change the tempo.
  5. Brian Stone

    Brian Stone Member

    For the most part, that workflow is inferior in nearly every way. You can even make Apple Loops use Flex and they sound a lot better. Apple Loops was cool for its day, but Flex is a remarkable step up. To make Apple Loops sound their best, I recommend re-detecting the transients after bringing them in. The transient markers that are inside the Apple Loops are not very sophisticated and sometimes just play wrong.

    The only remaining advantage that Apple Loops have is that melodic Apple Loops will transpose. Melodic regions (even Apple Loops) that are on Flex tracks no longer transpose.

    Flextime really sounds fantastic. I definitely recommend giving it a try first.
  6. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I totally agree, but it would be great if you explain how to do this for files from outside the project as opposed to files generated within the project.
  7. Brian Stone

    Brian Stone Member

    sure, if the file is a loop, i.e. its exactly 4 bars and loops correctly, then:

    • create audio track
    • in the track parameters, set the Flex Mode to anything other than off. Ideally, match the mode with the kind of content. i.e. if its a bassline, set it to Monophnic, if its drums, set it to Sliced.
    • drag and drop your loop from 'outside' Logic onto the audio track. This could be say, a wav file from a loop library (a non Apple Loop)
    • click and hold on the lower right corner of the region like you are going to trim the region, then hold the OPTION KEY - the help tag will change to say "STRETCH"
    • if the loop is 2 bars, "stretch" the length so that its 2 bars at whatever your session tempo is. It should snap to grid and you can drag it to the next or previous bar line.

    Option-dragging the length of any region on a flex track will do a non-destructive stretch that sounds great.

    Its helpful to understand the flex modes. "Sliced" is ideal for drums, especially if the new speed is faster, but if its slower, be mindful of the fill gaps feature.
  8. nvkrog

    nvkrog New Member

    thanks for the help on multi-out, that's really helping me a lot! however i am still a bit unsure - or at least confused - about the other thing. i am looking to get the samples to follow the project tempo, so that whenever i change the project tempo the tempo of the samples will follow. the reason i am trying to do it this way - instead of using flextime or apple loops - is because i think it will be easier for me, because... it's a remix i am going to do and some of the samples from the original includes effect trails, so several of the samples doesn't fit to any even number of bars or beats.
  9. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Ah, that's a bit tricky if you want the effects trails to remain unstretched.

    If you don't mind the reverb being stretched, then why not add some silence to the end of the file, so that with the reverb tail it becomes a whole number of bars?

    Also (and I think someone may need to correct me on this as I've never done it), isn't another way to import the tempo information onto an audio file, so that whether or not it's an exact number of bars, it will follow flextime of the new project without having to option drag.
  10. nvkrog

    nvkrog New Member

    so option-dragging should add silence to the end? i can get it to do that, it just stretches the end...?
  11. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    No, it won't. Sorry if that is what I implied.

    To add silence I would merge the audio with another audiofile (silent) and trim to an exact number of bars.

    This is assuming you want it to be an exact number of bars, which in many cases can make life easier.
  12. Brian Stone

    Brian Stone Member

    I would trim the region to the exact length minus the effects "tail", then option-drag to conform the region to the correct length. Once it plays back perfectly in sync, I'd pull out the end of the region to reveal the tail. If the tail is not the right length, you can turn on the flex marker editing view and simply pull the end out. You may need to add a marker right at the end of the non tail portion so that it doesn't move, then you can pull the tail out and it won't effect the primary loop.
  13. nvkrog

    nvkrog New Member

    sorry for the late reply!
    i think i will try brian's suggestion, it just sounds easier. i am just not exactly sure how to pull out the end of the region again... i might ask again after trying to do so later when i've got more time.
    i would just have thought that there was going to be an easier way to do it, you know, just getting the tempo of the samples to always match the project's current tempo. maybe there's not, but i still feel there should be.

    thanks a lot for all the help!

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