1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Logic 9 New to Logic, have some questions

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by System6music, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. System6music

    System6music New Member

    OK. I am new to Logic. I have read most of the HUGE manual, and after working in the audio industry for over a decade and having a little face time with this app I have to say that Logic 9 is the DAW for me. I love the layout, effects, included instruments, etc.

    I am currently setting up a recording studio and a live DJ rig and I am on a limited budget. I was thinking about getting a Mac mini for my DJ rig, but that's looking like a no go.

    Right now I need something I can use on stage and studio. To be clear, I am doing Hip hop stuff, so a lot of VSTs (AUs), plug ins, etc... but not really a lot of tracks. Lots of bouncing down, vocal overdubs will be bounced, etc.

    I went to my local guitar center, sat in front of an iMac with 4GB of ram and played around for about 20 minutes. I got the System overload error and I was shocked! I was running 6 VSTs.... I'm not sure what the latency was set too, but that's one reason I wanted to go Mac and w/ Logic because I was to understand that core audio and Macs were just awesome.

    So now I am thinking about a new MBP and honestly kind of on the fence.

    I can probably only afford 4GBs of RAM at first and upgrade later, and will probably stick with the 5400 rpm drive for now. What can I expect? I know this varies, but is a 128 sample rate with 7-8 VSTs and 6 Vocal tracks with a considerable amount of effects plug ins crazy talk, or is it reasonable?

    I have heard that the iMacs are out performing even the Mac Pros at the moment, but I am so afraid to have one of those on stage as we get pretty rowdy. I was going to put my MBP in a plexi glass case on my DJ rig with tons of fans and ventilation and use a wireless mouse and keyboard.

    My final question.... How stable is mainstage? Again, setting up a 30-45 minute set with different VIs and effects.... insane, or can it be done? Some people have said Mainstage is so stable they can count on it day in and out, I have heard others say they have to set the latency so high using a midi controller for keys/synths/samples isn't a reasonable option.

    Thanks in advance. I am sure I could have scoured these forums for hours to get answers to each question, but with the new MBPs, I was wondering if anyone had any personal tips, ideas, or experience to share. Thanks in advance.
  3. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    What iMac was it?
    This sounds pretty much as if it a) was an older iMac or b) was badly configured somehow (yes, even with OSX there's a few things that can be optimized...).

    Also, what kind of virtual instruments did you use? The differences in performance are pretty much massive. Even with the ones Logic comes with, there's a noticeable difference between them, for instance, something such as the ES2 is highly efficient, whereas I always found the EVB3 to be pretty much a CPU hog.
    With 3rd party instruments it becomes even more obvious. There's still some synths that can bring even the most modern CPUs to a halt (especially considering that a single synths CPU demands can't be distributed over multiple processor cores) when playing, say, a 5-note-chord.

    Theoretically, for what you describe as your personal demands, almost any current Mac should do the job - but when you're going for one of the smaller models, it's also up to your organization. Such as clever use of busses, probably the occasional "inbetween bounce" and so on.
    And well, you still can't expect doing full arrangements using several instances of, say, NIs Massive and Spectrasonics' Omnisphere on a Macbook. Same goes for large orchestral projects, btw. (that's why most film composers love the Vienna tool, allowing them to distribute tasks over multiple machines).
    But, if you have a look around of what Logic comes with (especially EXS patches, which is still just about *the* most efficient instrument ever...), you might be able to do rather full productions on just about any current Mac.
    Personally, I'm still using a (somewhat aging...) white MB 2.4GHz with 4GB RAM, and while I sometimes wish for more computing power, I'm usually getting along fine. My demo and personal projects (I'm not much into production, more into guitar recording and delivering...) can all be done fine on this machine. Projects with around 10 virtual instruments (mixed branch, I try to stick with a lot of Logics internal stuff as much as possible but also use Kontakt, Battery, Zebra, etc.) , some instances of Space Designer (not only used for reverbs but also for speaker simulations), 20-30 audio tracks and several other "daily" FX on them, plus quite some amp simulations (which usually are rather CPU heavy) - no sweat for my MB. Mind you, I'm "only" working at 44.1kHz (switching to higher sample rates can drain a lot of CPU power, but I'd say that most people don't need it at all...), my audio recordings are 24bit.

    Also, it's still not exactly uncommon to see Logic running into overload mode in a rather unreasoned fashion - but very often, all it takes is pressing "ok" and start again, after that CPU loads are more evenly distributed to the multiple cores (and usually stay like that as long as you don't close the project). Not exactly a shiny idea for live useage, but then, I wouldn't use Logic live anyway (and no other sequencer but Ableton Live, either, for the matter - they're not made for such tasks).

    - Sascha
  4. System6music

    System6music New Member

    Thanks so much for the feedback!

    I believe it was a 1 generation old iMac. I also do not plan on going past 44.1 as I agree that it's a waste of time. (Whole different argument there....lol) I was using the "Hip hop" template, but only had 5 of the instruments in use.

    See, I am just thinking that we can bounce stuff if we need too, but what is your opinion on just using the "Freeze" option instead.

    I do have and own ableton live, but I like how mainstage switched effects and instruments, etc on the fly. I do want to explain that my live set up will go like this.... one master stereo track.... maybe 3-4 other audio tracks and then 1-2 VSTs W/ effects as I just use a midi controller and a digital turntable live.

    The Hiphop act is "Horrorcore" and we will not change tracks or orders at all. We are looking at 2 national tours before the end of the year and we will use 1 set for that, another for the second, and have possible encores for both. When I say I am using it live, I mean my plans are to use it ever so slightly as far as pushing it to the limit.

    Now... I COULD get a sampler...like an SP-404 or something, get a large memory card, and just trigger the whole set from a single pad in stereo and use Midi to sync the songs with mainstage, but IDK how that works. My thing is that I don't want to be clicking all day long as I like to just rock out my Midi controller 99% of the time.

    Thanks again.
  5. FoKuS

    FoKuS New Member

    Logic with NI Maschine seems like the way for you to fly.

    Just got Maschine and it is ACE.

  6. System6music

    System6music New Member

    Maschine is indeed simply AWESOME! I have a 8.4GB sample library though and I have a feeling my Mac and Logic purchase are going to wipe me out for now.

    Does my live setup sound reasonable....feasible?

    I could use Ableton and I know it's known for it's stability, but I plan on using mostly plug ins from Logic and samples to write the album, so I really want to stay in Logic. Thanks again.
  7. donkenoyer

    donkenoyer New Member

    I'm using a macbook pro 2.53ghz 4mbRAM, novation x-station and MainStage as a live set up. It seems that the logic effects and instruments perform pretty well in this environment. When I start adding in Absynth, Reaktor, FM8 there seems to be a limit to how far I can go with that and still be stable. That said I have about 20 instruments, half logic instruments, half 3rd party instruments loaded into a "set" and it's been working pretty well over several gigs.
  8. System6music

    System6music New Member

    Thanks! Good to know. I don't mind going with a sampler or hard disk recorder to play the master track off of, I am just wondering how much work it will take to get the songs and the instrument mappings and VST changes synced.

    Ableton Live would probably work better for what I am wanting to do, but I am simply in love with Logics effects and VSTs. They are locked into the Logic environment, not just AUs, right?

    Also.... With the HDs only being 5400rpm and the SSDs being so expensive, is installing a 7200rpm drive a feasible option? Is the 256GB SSD going to be worth it as long as I save the projects on an external drive? thanks again.
  9. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    Yes, unfortunately (or so...).
    However, I've already seen someone using Live and Mainstage at the same time. Can be done using the IAC bus, and it's not exactly a truly comfortable setup to deal with, but it seems to work. Must be quite a CPU hogging thing, though.

    Given your demands, I don't think the HDD matters too much. For example, I can run well over 100 stereo audio tracks (44.1kHz/24bit) from the internal 5400RPM drive of my Macbook.
    Now, if you'd be using lots of large, streaming sample libraries (think any recent orchestral stuff), you may experience some difference, but probably still not that much.
    SSDs however seem to make a difference, especially when used as the system drive. OSX is caching quite a lot, so whenever you get close to yxour RAM limit (which can't only happen with loaded samples but also with time based FX such as reverbs), the disk will get noticeably more active because of yet some more caching going on. Also, programs and projects saved on an SSD are opening quite a bit faster. Yet, it shouldn't matter too much for what you want.

    Fwiw, perhaps I'm getting a new MB somewhen this year (most likely the 13" MBP, I just like the form factor), and if so, I'll be using an SSD as the system drive (and keep certain selected sample libraries on it), then replace the Superdrive with a second internal HDD (a 7200RPM one). There's a company called Optibay delivering kits (your even get an external USB chassis for the Supetrdrive). Such a setup should be noticeably faster in some situations.

    - Sascha
  10. System6music

    System6music New Member

    Thanks! You have all given me TONS of info, and I think I know what I want/Need.

    My live setup will be a stereo track playing back, and me playing 1-2 softsynths a song, but more so using faders and knobs to control mutes, solos, etc. If I do load samples, they will probably be random, small, and have very few velocity layers so I think with a MBP I will be good. The 13 inch one is right in my price range and I think that's going to be the beginning.... I can compose and track the album, use it in my studio for now, and then just get an iMac or Mac Pro (If they ever refresh them!) down the road.

    For the time I need everything done and the struggle with a powerful computer but also portability, I think Logic 9 + MBP is going to be fine. Thanks again!

Share This Page