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Logic X Chord symbol entry broken?

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by joegold, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. joegold

    joegold Member

    I don't use Logic all that much but I keep it updated all the time.
    Every time I go back to using it again it seems like a totally new program and nothing is where I think it is and I have to scour the manual for the simplest of things.

    This time was no different but I think they've introduced some bugs that weren't there before.

    I'm just going over a few lead sheets I did in Logic a couple of years back and renaming a few chords and dotting some i's and crossing some t's.

    Is anybody else experiencing weirdness with text characters entered in the chord symbol editing window?
    The most consistent thing it's doing wrong right now is that a left parentheses character remains in the upper tier of the chord extension area even though that area in the chord symbol editor window is blank.

    As you know, there are 4 entry areas in this editor, each below the other.
    1. Chord Root
    2. Alternate Bass Note
    3. Upper text area for chordal extensions/descriptors
    4. Lower text area for chordal extensions/descriptors

    My most consistent problem is with #3, as described above.
    I.e. Even if I leave the #3 area completely blank in the editor window, after I click OK the chord symbol entered on the staff has a left parentheses character.
    If I change the Text Style used for chordal extensions it makes no difference, so this doesn't appear to be font related.

    There are several other weird things that have been going on today and maybe I'll ask about them later.
    Let's see what happens with this issue for now.

    Any help appreciated.
  3. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    Can you post a screen screenshot?
    Or upload a program that exhibits that behavior
  4. joegold

    joegold Member

    I'd post the file, even though it's an original copyrighted tune, but even though there is no audio involved it's about 2.5mb which I'm guessing is too large for this forum.
    Just tried it.
    Won't let me do it.
    OK. Here's a pdf of pg. 2 of the bass part.

    Notice that it's only the first 2 chord symbols on this page that are affected.
    That little left parentheses character is inserted automatically by Logic and is not a character that I entered in my self using the chord symbol editor window.
    The others chord symbols, although also similar in that they are also slash chords, don't have the problem.

    I had hoped that this was one of those weird issues that would get fixed by restarting my system but that isn't the case.

    Attached Files:

  5. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    I only need the first staff.... Upload file to here send file to yourself - then post link here
  6. joegold

    joegold Member

    The issue isn't happening on the 1st staff.
    And I don't have time to deal with wetransfer.
    Thanks anyway.
    I suspect it's a corrupt file, but how to fix it w/o going nuts and/or taking several hours is beyond me.

    Did you see the pdf I posted?
    If so, then can you not see the problem with the 1st 2 chord symbols?
  7. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

  8. joegold

    joegold Member

    Here's the wetransfer link.
    [Edit: I've deleted the link now that the issue has been resolved.]

    When you open the file, go to Screenset 3, the Score Editor Window.
    In the upper lh Filter pop up menu select the Score Set called Guit from the upper part of the list.
    Several of the chord symbols in this part are affected.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  9. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    First - I don't know how you were able to work with that - that would have driven me nuts... But I love analyzing stuff such as this....
    1/ If you do an import of the entire project in logic X - it appears to work ok
    2/ The problem cause is actually not with the upper but rather the lower, when you press the delete key it insert the ) in the upper - but is driven by what is placed in the lower. If you keep adding letters to the lower you will get multiple ))))) etc in the upper.
    3/ The solution or workaround to this issue is the follow.
    Double click on the chord..... and
    A. Highlight the lower text and press the space bar (not delete)
    B. Highlight the upper text and press the space bar (not delete)
    C. press OK
    Double click the chord again
    A. highlight the text in the Upper and press the space bar (not delete)
    B. Put correct text in the Lower.
    Press OK
    After that all works fine(even with the delete key)..... I will experiment more with it tomorrow - at least now you have a solution. Although you always have the delete and re-insert method of the entire chord if needed.

    Hope that helps a bit - Definitely a compatibility problem with old versions of Logic and X.

    chord issue logic 9 import.gif
  10. joegold

    joegold Member

    Hi volovicg

    Although i don't fully follow your method above I have managed to fix the errant chord symbols by messing around with adding and then deleting space, somewhat like the way you described, in the chord extension entry fields of the chord symbol entry window.

    If I *am* following your methodology it looks like you need to have a space inserted on the lower chordal extension text area right after the root text.
    E.g. C maj7 rather than Cmaj7.
    That seems to get rid of the weirdness in the upper extension text area, but those chord symbols with a space in front of the extension text don't look right.

    At any rate, thanks very much for looking into this for me.
    And your suggestions, although not exactly your suggestions, did point the way to resolving this.
    Thanks again.

    It's a weird one, eh?
  11. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    only for the first delete, then for the second one you can remove it and there after - you can use the delete key to completely empty the field if you so choose. So you can remove that space preceding the chord extension - so long as you do the first set of deletes described above first.

    And you are most welcome (although not that welcome) :beer:
  12. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I'm a bit confused by these chord symbols.

    Wouldn't it be easier to name them as if the bass notes were roots.

    e.g. instead of Ebmaj7#5/C, wouldn't it be easier (and clearer for musicians, to write that as a Cm/maj9

    I would scratch my head for quite a long time trying to work out Ebmaj7#5/C
  13. joegold

    joegold Member

    As a matter of fact, I just spent time renaming most of the chords in this tune.

    They used to be:
    G13sus4b9 - 16 bars
    B7sus4b9 - 3 bars
    Am(maj7)(#11) - 1 bar
    C#13sus4b9 - 1 bar
    Cm(maj9) - 1 bar (your fav)
    Am(maj9)(#11) - 1 bar
    Ab7 - 1 bar

    That's all fine and good but obscures the fact that the voicings I like for these sounds, except for the B7 chord, all involve a maj7#5 chord above an alternate root.
    I.e. The most to-the-point approach to improvising lines and/or voicings on this progression, IMO, usually involves arpeggiation of the relevant maj7#5 chords.

    Keep in mind that when I play this tune there usually isn't anybody comping for me so I have to strongly imply those chords just via my note choices in my single-note lines in relation to the what the bass player plays.
    Since everything goes by pretty fast, the closer I can get to the heart of the sound of each chord as quickly as possible is a great help towards coherence.

    As a player dealing with slash chords, there are usually 2 main approaches each having its own benefits/deficits depending on the specifics of the context:

    1. Play off of the alternate bass note as if it's the root while rethinking the intervals in the upper part of the chord symbol as being related to that root.
    So G/C, usually, works best if you treat it like Cmaj9.
    But if you want to get more specific than that, for whatever reason, then you need to realise that G/C doesn't have an E in it, so you might want to think in terms of just playing off of, or at least focusing on, the actual chord tones (C D G B) specified by the given chord symbol.
    I can't think of a good reason to think of this one as G mixolydian over C though because that would tend to put an emphasis on the note F which is often quite out of place if over-empgasised in this setting.
    On the other hand, if the context happened to imply C lydian rather than C ionian, then thinking of the G major scale over C might be quite more useful than thinking of C lydian.
    Sure, they're both the exact same pitch collection, but the texture you get will be slightly different with each choice.
    How you think about your notes *will* affect they way they are perceived, IMO.
    Also, in the context of this chord occurring in the key of C minor, I might choose to use Eb's in my lines.
    In that case, I certainly wouldn't want to visualise this as being Cmaj9, but would I really want to be thinking in terms of Cm(maj9) instead and to treat that Eb like it's a bona fide chord tone?
    I don't think that would be very helpful.
    So slash chords invariably inject a certain amount of ambiguity into a progression.

    2. Play off of the chord specified in the upper part of the slash chord symbol and include the alternate bass note within whatever chord-scale you decide to use.
    E.g. Emaj7#5/A can be parsed as Am(maj7)(#11) and originally I thought about this chord-scale-relationship [remember that the original chord was Am(maj9)(#11) not Am(maj7)(#11)] being based on some sort of an a minor scale, specifically A melodic minor #4 which can be seen as a mode of E harmonic major.
    Note that B nat is an important element of the sound of this chord to me and the chord symbol Emaj7#5/A does not account for that note.
    But my choice of chord-scale here, based on E harmonic major does account for the B nat.
    [Also notice that the scale I'm suggesting for each of the 2 instances of Emaj7#5/A is different each time.
    Both scales are based on the heptatonic E harm major scale but I've added an 8th note to each scale which is different each time.
    First time the added note is D.
    Second time it's C# or Db.
    Because that's how *I* hear it and *I'm* the composer, therefore I'm the boss. lol

    One of the things I like about slash chords is that, because of their ambiguity, they often open the door to unusual, bitonal interpretations to what may appear at first to just be everyday, vanilla 7th chords.
    As a modern player I can choose to use these types of chord symbols as a launching off place to something unusual rather than a place of arrival to the normal everyday stuff, if that makes any sense.

    Thanks for asking.
  14. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I think there is a basic issue here.

    Chord symbols in no way ever imply any kind of voicing.

    They can of course give an indication of inversions, but not voicings which are always open to interpretation. That is the nature of them being symbols as opposed to written out notes.
  15. joegold

    joegold Member

    I'm not trying to specify a voicing.
    I'm trying to specify the pitch collection(s) from which voicings will be formed from within.
    E.g. There is no D nat in Abmaj7#5/G but there is in G13sus4b9.
    E.g. There is an Emaj7#5 chord within the chord specified by the chord symbol Am(maj9)(#5) but that fact is obscured by the latter chord symbol whereas Emaj7#5/A brings it out to the forefront.
    I'm also trying to imply/communicate a range of relevant chord-scale relationship choices for improvising.
    E.g. On Am(maj9)(#11) it might not be so obvious the family of scales that most closely relate to this chord all come from the E harmonic major scale whereas that becomes a lot more obvious on an Emaj7#5/A chord to a player familiar with blowing over maj7#5 chords with their 4th in the bass.
    Etc., etc., etc.

    The chord symbols i'm using now are better for these purposes than the chord symbols I had used previously.
    My earlier choices were based on the same types of considerations you are now bringing up.
    I know the original chord symbols don't communicate what I want to communicate because I've played this tune many times with many different players.
    I also recorded it on my last CD release.
    You can listen to it here if you're so inclined:

    The objection that you have that I agree with, to some degree, has to do with sight reading.
    Many of the current chord symbols are not as suitable, in some ways at least, for intelligent coherent sight reading from the players especially on the blowing sections.
    E.g. Most players would find it easier to get around Am(ma9)(#11) than they would Emaj7#5/A.
    But if I wrote the chords like that these same people would likely miss out on the relationships, that do exist and that are holding this tune together thematically, of successive maj7#5 chords over alternate bass notes.
    So on that level it becomes actually easier to improvise, even when sight-reading, upon a series of maj7#5 chords than it does a bunch of seemingly unrelated chords.
    The easiest path to coherent lines through this particular progression involves simply arpeggiation of the various maj7#5 chords.
    In some sense, the bass note can be ignored, although ultimately it has to be accounted for as well in your note choices.
    I know this from years of trying to play on these chords.
    But this tune was never meant to be performed by anyone who is sight reading.
    It's one of those tunes that needs to be worked on.

    I am well aware of all of the issues you've raised but I've already made my chord-symbol naming decisions.

    Sorry it's bothering you, but not really.
  16. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    IMHO., if you want to be that specific you add the notes, not just rely on the chord symbols. If the player can't read notes, only chord symbols, you hire a different player.
  17. joegold

    joegold Member

    Sorry. This is a jazz tune.
    Whoever is comping is free to and expected to improvise their own voicings and/or approach chords (scale-wise and/or chromatic) and/or other connections between chords.
    Whoever is improvising lines is expected to use the given chord symbols as a stepping off point for improvisation.
    Whoever is playing bass is expected to improvise their own part based on the given chord symbols.
    I suppose I could choose to use standard notation to write out one specific voicing of each chord as a suggested starting point for improvisation, but that's what chord symbols are for.
    And in order for the players to hear the tune the way I hear it I've decided that using these particular chord symbols expresses my intent as well as is possible.

    I've been doing this a long time guys.
    And I've been teaching jazz and jazz guitar at the college level for around 30 years now.
    I routinely play with most of the best jazz and pop/R&B musicians here in Toronto.
    I came here for some help with some buggy behaviour evidently owing to a corrupt Logic song file.
    That issue has been resolved and I thank the folks who helped me with that.
    But I really don't need a lecture from any of you about how jazz/pop chord symbols are used or can be used.
    I suspect I have a lot more experience in this area than most of you and I am already well aware of all of the issues that have been brought up thus far.
    Please just drop it already.
    This is pointless.
  18. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Not lecturing, just giving my opinion, but you are entitled to differ.
  19. volovicg

    volovicg Senior member

    Each of us can compose with as much ambiguity as feel necessary - Frankly it was one of the more interesting reads and like hearing how others express their intentions...
    ( I actually read it twice - slowly :). )
    joegold likes this.

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