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Logic X Are Templates worth buying ??

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by Excluded, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Excluded

    Excluded Member

    Hi guys just wondering if Templates are worth buying.
    I'm a singer/ songwriter who isn't very good with levels & pulling sounds.
    It really holds me up trying to get decent guitar sounds ect
    I find if I get say drummer to get a track down then record guitar & a bit of piano or synth or bass it sounds like a huge mess.

    Would buying a few templates help me ? Or do I just need to keep learning how to record better levels when I first record.
    I use a gio pedal & use the amps & pedalboard in logic but find I get system overload or the plug ins I use sound terrible & the output on the Chanel strips are red
  3. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    There is nothing wrong with learning more and getting better about what you are doing. In the long run, you want to get skills and experience.

    You know the old saying about giving someone a fish vs. teaching him to fish ...
  4. Excluded

    Excluded Member

    That's true Edgar I just thought buying a rock template mite get a few songs finished quicker.
    I've got so many songs piled up ready to be finished but I just can't seem to get my head around levels & sounds.
    I've watched plenty of tutorials but still struggling
  5. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    Don't give up, keep on learning.

    You know the old saying about mistakes: A mistake is there to learn something from it, so you won't repeat that mistake the next time.

  6. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Tutorials and the soft- and hardware manufacturers try to tell you that you can easily do everything on your own, if you use their products and explanations. We tend to believe that we just have to collect knowledge. But we collect it from hundreds of people, many of them specialized on a specific task. Second, knowing and doing are very different skills — one can live without the other.

    In the drawing below I tried to show an approximate "skill weighting" along the classic musical production process:


    The work of a sogwriter is often restricted to the very first stage. Some can do a nice arrangement, some play the instrument(s), some record it and some can do a good mix. And there are a lot of people who can work in certain stages, but not in others.

    For me:
    Text & Composition: good
    Arrangement: bad
    Playing: mean/good (my instruments)
    Recording: mean/good (my instruments)
    Mixing: mean/bad
    Mastering: none

    Try to think about your own skills, be honest to yourself. Everything you classify as "mean" can be improved. For the other tasks you may want to get help from other people.

    This is half musical, half technical. Acoustic guitars and amp recording of electric guitars depend on the recording, which itself is a huge field involving knowledge and equipment. If you use software simulations, you got to exactly (!) know how the real thing should sound. Otherwise you waste your time with trial & error but without satisfying results or even learning something.

    There could be several reasons for that:

    1. You may not have a proper arrangement for all the instruments. An orchestral composer, for example, does not write "a bit of french horns and basses". Everything depends on everything. Playing "something" just to have a usual instrument in the crew, ist not the way to get a good piece.

    2. Each instrument needs it's unique playing style. Some guitarists are good on bass, but most are not. A good piano player may be good on synths, but not necessarily. A drum track from "somewhere" has probably nothing in common with your specific piece, if you cannot adapt it or yourself, the piece will never sound as expected.

    3. Does the "mess" (as you said) probably come from bad timing? The problem may be your monitoring. Try to use direct monitoring for the instrument you are playing, do not monitor it through Logic. Best is an external analog preamp or amp, or at least the monitoring function of your audio interface. Otherwise the latency builds up from take to take and finally the timing maybe completely out of order.

    This book can help you: Mixing with your mind
    It deals in an extraordinary way with recording, basic and advanced mixing. Not for rookies, but for you it should be perfect. Even very experienced people found valuable information and some tricks in this book. Casual writing style, very few theory.
  7. angelonyc

    angelonyc New Member

    I'm not familiar with the templates your asking about. Logic does come with several.. And they're really not hard.. But like someone above mentioned.. Using Logic to it's best, requires a lot.. It requires you to be a good song writer, a good arranger, a good player, a good producer.. A bad arrangement,with too many instruments playing similar parts in the same octave, or with similar colors, is just not going to sound good.. All these talents go hand in hand.. Some people devote their entire lives to just one of this fields, they are each a full time occupation.. For instance I started playing music a VERY long time ago.. I programmed all my synths (cause you had to, there was no presets then). When the DX7 came out. (80's),, It blew the lid off everything, cause it sounded so good, and was cheap compared to current instruments with the same power.. However programming was a REAL bitch.. Then all kinds of new synths came, and then they started having presets.. I had been a songwriter since the 60's.. I worked in real multi-track studios, so was learning production and arranging from engineering sessions, and keeping my eyes and ears open.. At that point, I decided to use preset patches, or buy patches,, cause it was just too time consuming..

    You have to decide what you want to do, who you want to be. How much time can you commit to learning the various aspects, Normally thru the course of your experience you keep learning more about this, and that, and it comes together.. however that takes time.

    Since you have Logic, I'll assume you're working at your own project studio, or in combination with a partner or two.. First you have to get recording technique down, to you can record a clean, or good track, not out of tune, not too distorted etc.. There are a lot of sites on the web, some with free lessons.. Some books might be good. Maybe the templates will be useful.. The templates would imply to me, they already have numerous Logic Plug-ins.. They can be very usefull.. But they can't fix things, they enhance things.. I often take some of their templates and pull out several of the plug-ins, cause they're just not adding anything and making it more complicated.. First I would practise recordig tracks, real, virtual instruments, depending on the type of music you're doing. I would seriously read thru all the logic plug-ins, and do experiments, solo that instrument, try all the parameters.. There are a lot of 3rd party plug-ins.. These you can purchased as you gain experience. Almost all have trial periods..

    Regarding arrangements, I'd look for free good midi files, or cover songs you know.. The midi files will have the note data, some may be very accurate, some may be really wrong.. It's harder to find midi files now.. Most have been taken off the web, and can be bought on sites, for a couple of dollars up to several. Get a hold of a few songs you like.. Some will use general midi GM. This is a format, so that no matter what program you are using, or what instrument a gtr bass, will be a gtr bass. Here however you will find a drastic difference in quality.. Logic's instruments are ok. but I rarely use them anymore.. I use a lot of virtual instruments and Kontatk instruments.. Find sounds that work well together.. you will discover, one bass may work great, while another will just not mesh well. With Drumkits, you may want to select a different kik, with a different snare, changing the pitch of a snare will help.. I own a Yamaha Motif XS Rack, and a Yamaha Tyros 5.. What I love about Yamaha products, is when you mix all the instruments together they sound very smooth, and homogenous, the bass guitar, will not step on the guitar sound.. Each instrument you use, whether hardware, Logics, virtual instruements will have a different effect.. A good song consists of a good melody, some good hooks, nice chord progression.. Instruements being aware of each other and not all trying to play at the same time, (as to make a sound mess).. the production, is the use of sounds, effects, juxtoposition of many factors.. Just practise with midi files first. till you get a sense of density of parts, sounds of instruments, used, etc..

    Listen a lot to music you like, what you would like to emulate. Write out notes, use graphic paper. Map out where each track come in, out.. use some hand drawn home made symbols to represent different things.. I use squiggly lines so I know when I want the singer to hold out a note and to a vibrato.. Lines up/down to represent fade ins/outs.. there are some free courses at that are great.. This are legitimate college courses, offered by real colleges around the world.. There is a great song writing course.. Music of the Beatles, and Music of the Stones, were quite insightful for me..

    Again there is a huge amount to tackle, I've been spending a lifetime doing it, and still learning new things. But it's still exciting to me.. Take it a step at a time.. Get feedback from people who you trust, and will give you honest feedback.. You don't want you're friends who are just going to say everything's great, cause they don't want to hurt your feelings.. You don't want an angry person, who thinks anything not done by him is not good.. Just get feedback.. sooner or later, you realize the strong points of different people.. Once might look at a purely technical angle, another from it's artistic merit. etc.. I have a very long time friend who is not a musician, but he is great at knowing 'what works' and what doesn't.. He gives me his feed back.. "here it didn't work for me, seemed to busy, and unfocuses.. solo good, ending too long etc.. Everyone's got an opinion.. When Michael Jackson, no one was buying the long intro to 'Billy Jean'.. Michael was insist it stay.. and boy was he right.. He was also totally surrounded by the best people in every aspect of the music business.

    Take it a step at a time. .. good luck
  8. Excluded

    Excluded Member

  9. Excluded

    Excluded Member

    Thanks Peter some great advice in your post.
    I have that book but I'm yet to read it.
    I think my problem is I write songs but I'm a singer & it's getting the music I hear in my head onto the computer to sing to that I struggle with.
    I've realised some of my problem is having a lot of different equipment which I've just moved into one area.
    Thanks for your help I'm feeling a bit more confident now
  10. Excluded

    Excluded Member

    Thanks also Angelic
    I have got a few midi files I've chopped drums up & used I will go back & listen to the songs to learn off.

    I'm a singer so I know what I want to do but I'm writting solo so Your right I need to play all instruments as well & get some nice recordings down first.

    I think I've jumped from recording vocals to guitar to drums to synth & end up confused with all settings ect.

    Maybe I'll spend a day on vocals then move onto next instruments.
    I've just moved all my equipment into one room so I'm starting fresh

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