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Logic 9 Logic learning curve...

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by dsw67, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. dsw67

    dsw67 Member

    I'm hoping to get some advice from all you good folks.

    My background; I've been a semi-professional guitarist for about 20 years. I have a BA in music performance. I play mostly jazz, soul, and blues.

    Back in 2009 I decided to seriously pursue creating and producing my own music. After reading many favorable articles about Logic, I took the plunge. I purchased Logic 9 and a MacBook Pro.

    I purchased the Apple Pro Training Series: Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9 books by David Nahmani and worked through them. I found them helpful, especially the included projects and assignments which allowed me to 'practice' the techniques being presented.

    However, I felt that I still had significant gaps in my knowledge. So, I enrolled in a 2 day training course on Logic basics at a certified apple training facility. The course was at best, ok. I was the only person in the class, and the instructor basically read though the David Nahmani book. But, I knew less then him so I stuck through it. Looking back it was probably a waste of time and money.

    Recently I purchased Logic Pro 9 Power! The Comprehensive Guide, which I've been trying to read from cover to cover. I have to admit, my progress is slow, and I don't understand much of the material. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate way to approach this book. I don't fault the book at all. I simply wonder if it's more used for reference, then as a study tool.

    In addition, I recently discovered MacProVideo. I purchased a subscription and have been working through the basics videos. By this weekend I will have completed the core course.

    I feel the overall quality of all these training materials is excellent. I’ve learned a lot, but unfortunately I don’t feel like I’m any closer to my goal. However, I realize that while I’m trying to get a handle on using Logic, I’m also trying to learn to compose music. It just all seems overwhelming at times.

    I often wonder if it might be better to simply separate the two. In other words, try taking an existing tune and get Logic to perform it as close to the original as possible. That way, I can get my hone my Logic skills without worrying about my composing skills at the same time. Does this sound like a logical approach (no pun intended)?

    I really don’t mind doing the work or spending the money. I’m a musician for life, and I consider this a worthwhile investment. It’s just that I often feel like I’m not progressing. It’s been over a year since I purchased Logic. How long does it take before one gets a handle on it?
  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    After reading your "Logic history" I believe that your problem is neither Logic nor the use of it. You should know enough and learning more about the program will not help much because you don't know what to do with the things you learn.

    It's time to take another approach. Start making music with this program. Record your guitar and try to get the best tone you are able to. Arrange it, cut it, mix it with other sounds unless you want definitely to produce solo performances. Then let us talk about the dificulties you encounter in the process, beginning from recording.

    You can post audio samples here. In the forum are many people who are able to tell you how things can go better. In your case, I think "hands on" is the best way to continue.

    If you want to learn about the ideas behind recording and mixing and usual and unusual techiques, I recommend this book:
    Mixing with your mind
    You can only order it directly from the author. It can be a compagnon for several years because the more you understand, the more you learn from this man. He has a very personal writing style and – the book does not deal with Logic. It deals with music and how to make it sounding great.

    You already know how to use the tools in Logic. Now you need to understand what for to use them. Take the next step, give your ears something to do :thmbup:
  4. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Sounds like your focus is more on audio, than MIDI. In which case, hook up a mic or two, arm a track, and have at it. If you get stuck, just post where you are at. Unless you are already familiar with signal flow and basic processes, the problem with reading the manuals is you will be learning about nifty program features which may not be suitable for what you want to do.
  5. zerobeat

    zerobeat Senior member

    It sounds like you're new to this whole thing, not just Logic itself. It takes years to get any good and efficient at producing music with even the most simple tools. Remember, you're also trying be a recording engineer too. Long ago, these tasks were reserved for separate people with different skillsets. It was rare to find somebody like Mike Oldfield who could do it all (and I wonder if he really did literally "do it all" back then). Part of that was because most people couldn't afford to own a personal recording studio, and that kind of gear typically required it to be a functioning business, with staff. A guy like Oldfield got to where he was because he rose through the ranks of being a cog in that big studio machine.

    But flash forward a few decades and almost any working person in the Western world can afford to own a sophisticated recording studio, with improbably fantastic features that would have been science fiction not that long ago.

    Plus, since you're already a performing musician, it must be that much more frustrating because you have likely already been involved in music production from a player's point of view. A novice musician might not be so perturbed that this whole damn production thing is kinda hard and take years to get any good at.

    Imagine a veteran actor trying to attack Final Cut Pro for the first time.... "but I've acted in so many movies that were edited.... why can't I figure this out so quickly????"
  6. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    Well how much about basic engineering do you know? If any, how long have you been at it?

    Logic is like any instrument, it can take a while to become competent, and to be honest, you really only need to learn what you need to use when it comes to Logic anyways. I have been a full time Logic guy for 17 or so years, and I know how to use it to do plenty of thing, but there are areas i never go into, and I doubt you will either.

    So, I suggest on learning the 10 to 25% of Logic you need to know to do your job, then take it easy and learn the other parts as you go along, IF you really need/want to.

    How long.... how good do you want to be at composing, or at engineering, or producing? Do you want to do one or all?

    And the biggest thing is: how often are you going to work with Logic... I have weekly for years... it's all pretty easy now. I know people who play with Logic once a month, or not for long periods, and they never get to the comfort stage.

    Good luck, and welcome to the world of Logic Pro
  7. zerobeat

    zerobeat Senior member

    I was overwhelmed when I first read the Logic Audio 1.7 manual in 1993. And I already had a decade of prior experience with MIDI and computers, and more than that with music and recording. So I decided that I was just going to use Logic to do the specific thing I needed to do, and not bother learning the other stuff right away. So once I targeted a specific simple task, it was relatively easy to figure out. Then by osmosis all the other stuff came easier later.

    Sure, it helped that I had paying job that needed to be done (basic 4track recording/editing) which focused my attention.

    So in your case if you literally just, say, asked Logic to record your playing (which you already do), and perhaps overdub other parts (don't compose... just play something you already know), then you will have at least gone through the mechanics that will help in other tasks. Think of it like exercise. You don't do push-ups and sit-ups because you want to be really good at push-ups and sit-ups. You do them for a host of different benefits.
  8. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    Yea, I'm with Mr Zerobeat... when I first bought Logic 1 for the Mac, it actually took it back to the store I bought it from. WAY too hard.

    It took an afternoon with Mikael Graham (hope I'm spelling that properly) explaining the basic, and I was off and running... it helped that I had been doings this for a while, and had already had years with SMPTE Track Pro (atari 512), Performer 1, and Vision (Mac SE).

    I think once you "get" the way Logic thinks, your good to go...

    Also, there is a British magazine: "Music Tech". It has a monthly Logic lesson that can awaken new places in the brain when it comes to Logic. For intermediate or even beginner people, every month covers a new area of Logic, and fantastic articles ( Well, yea, I buy it for all the sexy gear picks ;-)). I can't recommend it enough.

    Future Music and Computer Music follow a close 2nd and 3d. Too bad there aren't any really awesome US mags. VI (Virtual Instruments) was the best US mag by far, and it died a painful death.. I was VERY bummed. It lives on in an online version,,, Id try all of these mags to get real information on Logic as well as VI's and other DAWs, who one can always borrow ideas from as far as technique goes.
  9. CCTMusic

    CCTMusic New Member

    This does not sound like a good training experience. Where did you go for this?

    The advice here from others is excellent: to get to grips with those areas of Logic that you need, go through the 'mechanics' of the process without having to worry/be distracted by the music. Choose small steps first!


  10. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Never said how long I have been at it. First experience was in 1966. A producer paying for a session sat in the control room next to an engineer, while my four cohorts and I tried to get our "takes" correct. It was a four track tape. Instruments on track 1. Harmonies on track 2. Lead vocal on tracks 3 and 4. The mix on track 1 was done with mic placement, isolation panels and the engineer's magic. No changing it.

    Life before MIDI.

    Next step, ten years after, was a home studio with 1/2" tape, but a TEAC 80-8 with DBX unit. Say hello to overdubs, but still no MIDI.

    Thirty years after that, enter Logic 4.8, then 5.51. My first attempt was to connect two computers together. The idea was to have Logic play back the MIDI sequence to another computer running Gigastudio (R.I.P.). Gigastudio would then output audio by way of ADAT back over to Logic's audio tracks.

    Enter MOTU 2408, 308, 1224, DTP, Aardvark Aardsync II, Unitor8, RME HDSP 9652, EMU e5000 Ultra, Kurzweil 2600...and a boatload of reference manuals.

    Tuning my guitar is much more fun, but has its limitations.
  11. robgb

    robgb Member

    Hmmm. It seems to me you're taking too cautious of an approach to all this. The best way to learn anything is to just jump in and start doing. And with music, what's the worst that can happen.

    Just hook up your mics, your guitar, press record and start playing. It will all sort itself out in the end.
  12. Ming

    Ming Member

    After reading your story and a nice story I must say, one thought comes to mind clear as crystal: If you came to me and I was a teacher (which I'm not) sitting on my side of the desk and you were the pupil sitting on the opposite side, I would ask of you to do One thing only: switch places with me. I would choose that technique only to prevent you from becoming an eternal professional pupil. A switch of perspective in mind (and I might even say personality) will give you what you are asking for, right now. If I (as your pupil) asked you about some problem of mine, you would start to solve the problem using the skills you already have (which is a lot I'm sure) and your engine would start up and come to life and go into action. You become what you make yourself into.
    Do you want to become a student or an issue-solving, creative son of a gun producer and composer? You have to become it, accepting a new role in your mind. Only you can do this. It requires important knowledge and a good forum, which is around. (Thanks to Eve the must cursed woman on the planet.) But your gonna have to become that person which knowledge and talent together makes you into. It's un-humble I know but else you wont be able to use your skills and techniques in real life. Say "I am".
  13. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hey Ming,

    What a beautiful post and fresh perspective! I love that "inside - out" approach to teaching. The role of the teacher is not to merely to transmit knowledge from one person to another, but to bring out what is already there in the student - to nurture it and help it grow. I've always embraced the model of the teacher as "gardener" - basically watering and nurturing the plants and providing the conditions necessary for them to grown on their own.
  14. dsw67

    dsw67 Member

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice. It's greatly appreciated.

    Unfortunately I have a tendency to try and learn everything I can about something before actually getting my feet wet. A good analogy would be, before going swimming I want to know the size of the pool, how deep it is, what are the dimensions, how much chlorine was used, what's the temperature of the water, etc. Eventually you just have to jump in and start swimming to really see how it is. I'm way to cautious. Basically I need to jump in, and probably fail a few times.
  15. robgb

    robgb Member

    I think the key is to give yourself permission to fail. Think of this as an adventure. One that may give you a few bumps and bruises along the way, but will be as fun as all hell.

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