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Logic 9 Workflow of Logic vs. Cubase?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by Ascendant, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Ascendant

    Ascendant New Member

    Hi All,

    First of all, I hope this is the right place to post. I'm not actually a Logic user currently- I'm a Cubase user who's thinking of "testing the waters" in regards to Logic, so I'd appreciate your honest feedback about Logic and if you think it'd help with the pain points I'm currently having with Cubase.

    As a long time (10+ years) Cubase users, I know how to use the program itself quite well. Actually, in terms of functionality and flexibility, I have no problem with it at all, and the issues I have aren't really deal-breakers. The main problem I have is that when tracks get large- dozens if not hundreds of audio channels and midi parts of all shapes and sizes- they get rather unwieldly to work with. As I get to the end of working on a track, I find I spend an inordinate amount of time clicking, dragging and scrolling to find the part or track I am looking for. And it's so easy to get out of the creative flow when I find myself spending seemingly too many seconds searching for stuff again and again. Even if I know "where the thing is" and even when I use the streamlining tools available (e.g. workspaces) I still can't shake the feeling that this all might be going so much faster if I was using a product made by Google, or... well, Apple.

    It's been a long time since I last looked at Logic (well before the Apple buyout) so I'm interested to learn about where the product is at now- most specifically in the ability to manage a very large and complex project, and quickly dart back and forth between many different tracks and settings and VST instruments on the fly. To what degree might I expect it to get "bogged down" towards the end of working on a track- not CPU or resources wise, but work-flow and attention-wise? Do you think it'd be worth the (very significant) price in terms of hardware, software and a new learning curve to make the switch?

    Secondarily, I'm interested in using iPad apps such as TouchOSC and the AC-7 in the course of my workflow. These work well enough with Cubase + PC but the compatibility is far from seamless. Would Logic + Mac be a signififcant improvement in this regard?

    Thanks in advance guys.

  3. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Chris,

    I used Cubase for a few years back in the day—Cubase VST 4.x through 6, then SX 1. So I am familiar with what Cubase used to be, but not what it is. But I'll give an answer a shot.

    To be perfectly frank, it sounds like you're having a "grass is greener" moment. If you've got hundreds of tracks, you're going to have scroll. One potential advantage to Logic is the folder functionality. In Logic, Folders actually open to their own Arrange window, with their own mixer, etc. Think of it like those Russian dolls that open to reveal a smaller doll. This functionality will allow you to pack like-tracks together, and when you drill down to a given folder, you will ONLY have that grouping of tracks to deal with.

    For example, lets say that you have 100 tracks: 20 drums, 20 guitars, 20 synths, 20 MIDI etc. If you pack all your drums, guitars, synths, and so on each into their own folders, then your main Arrange window will not consist of 100 tracks, but 5 tracks. When you want to edit MIDI tracks, you would double click the MIDI folder and you'll just have a manageable 20-track Arrange, 20 track Mixer, and so on. If from MIDI you want to go to a Guitar Track, you would "drill up" to your main Arrange, then drill down into your Guitar folder. And you can nest folders, etc.

    But as you can see, while you've reduced the eye clutter, and this might be a faster/easier way to navigate (especially once you learn key commands, which are all user assignable), you're still doing a fair amount of clicking—you've just replaced endless scrolling for drilling through folders. It might be quicker (especially since you can have multiple Arrange windows open at once) but that has everything to do with how facile you get with it.

    As for the iPad controllers, I have both the TouchOSC and AC-7 and find them both work very well with Logic/Mac. I can't tell you if it's better than your experience, however, as I've never tried it with a PC. But AC-7Core works directly with CoreMIDI, so there's no 3rd party software to install, it just works with the built-in Mac OS X software and Logic. Very cool! And TouchOSC is also very fast and accurate.

    Hope that helped!

  4. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    I don't know Cubase at all. But one thing I would add to Orren's excellent perspective on the workflow is Logic's great zooming functionality. This helps greatly in navigating large projects. There are a number of zoom commands that make it simple to jump from an overview to a bird's eye view very quickly.

    One workflow that comes to mind from your description might be to take advantage of Logic's three preset user definable zoom presets. You could use one key to jump to an overview of your whole session. Invoke that command, then click in the bar ruler to place the playhead where you want to "go to" or do your work; then recall another stored zoom preset to bring you right into a detailed Arrange Window view of that specific location.

    Additionally, Logic has useful marker functions for quickly jumping around between user definable locations. Ad the auto track zoom function to this and you are two key strokes away from getting right in to where you want to be.

    Anyway, just some random thoughts about navigating large sessions in logic..... HTH..
  5. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    I'll just add that Logic''s easily customizable key commands can be combined with the _many_ possible techniques for zooming in/out and moving around to easily make your own workflow. Every Logic user has their own workflow to some degree, some more customized, some more "stock".
  6. Ascendant

    Ascendant New Member

    Hey all and thanks for your great responses. It sounds like Logic has a lot of powerful ways of doing things, but that I may indeed be having a "grass is greener" moment.

    The single biggest thing I wish I could have, which I probably should have articulated before, is a "search box"

    For example, in iTunes (or Windows Media Player, or a lot of programs) When I start typing in a search box it narrows down all the list of my music as I type. So if I type in "nine in" then all I see is my "Nine Inch Nails" tracks (or anythign else that has "nine in" in the name) or if I want to find a specific album, I can just start typing it and before I'm even done typing it, that's what I'll be looking at..

    So I wish I could do this same thing in the DAW... be able to type "bass d" and find my bass drum or "verb" and see only my tracks with "reverb" in the name- and then delete the query to see all my tracks again.

    Cubase doesn't have this, doesn't sound like Logic does either... I guess the only question is... why not? :confused:

    Well, thanks for all your input everyone, cheers.

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