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Logic 8 Noob problem - Guitar recording looks fine, but no audio through Mac

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by silverface, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Hi folks - FWIW I'm a veteran of the 16-track tape studio world and still have my Teac 3340 reel-to-reel 4 track. I have attempted and quit using Logic 8 Express probably 15 times over the last few years due to related, undoubtedly very similar issues I can never get resolved. In other words -

    HELP! (and please take pity on an old retired curmudgeon multi-instrumentalist who will be more than happy to help anyone with instrument finishing questions...been doing that for 40 years, tube amp problems, guitar issues etc).

    I apologize in advance for what may be an overly long explanation - but I want to ensure most of the obvious questions and suggestions are out of the way immediately.

    I'm using an older MobilePre USB (also have an Alesis Multimix 4 and a Fasttrack, but seem to go through the same problems with all of them). I've watched countless "beginner" videos and nothing EVER matches up exactly to what they see or do (even with the same Logic version), so being "referred out" probably won't be helpful.


    I can set up my MobilePre as my I/O device fine on the Mac and in Logic (FWIW I have maintained websites and set up several peer-to-peer networks, programmed in Basic and a little Cobol (in the old days) and with Oracle and been involved with "personal computers" since Bill Gates used to come to local "PC club" meetings - so at least I'm not a *complete* idiot*...maybe.).

    Hardware - I have the analog audio output from the MobilePre running to a Hafler stereo preamp and a pair of AR powered studio monitors, and all my iTunes content, online videos etc sound great.

    The USB cable from the MobilePre is connected through a powered hub but it's irrelevant - same issues when connected directly to my MacBook Pro (mid 2010 13 inch with a 21.5" external monitor, 4GB RAM, 320GB onboard and 4 Terabytes of outboard drives, running Lion OS X). Again, I'm still using Logic 8 and am not going to upgrade until I can get this version running (my funds are very limited).

    Software - I can set up a new project in Logic, set the I/O device to the MobilePre, create a new audio track, plug my guitar into the MobilePre and the "meter" on the channel strip shows good signal. I hit "record", hear the click track and if I play I can see the waveform along the track in the arrange window and watch the meters dance on the "channel strip".

    But I hear NOTHING unless I plug headphones into the MobilePre.

    When I hit stop, the waveform becomes a flatline - except in the window at the bottom, where it looks perfectly normal. I "rewind", hit "play" - dead silence whether the record light is turned on or off...EXCEPT through the MobilePre's headphone jack. The "I" button (which someone suggested to me a long time ago) makes no difference, I have not accidentally hit "M"ute, and "S"olo does nothing.

    This is where it gets weirder - if I create an additional MIDI track and use my Oxygen 8 V2 to record a piano, organ or whatever I can both see AND hear it record through the monitors. Visually it's different in the arrange window, with the usual assortment of horizontal lines scattered about.

    And to top it off, if I play back both tracks I can hear both through the MobilePre's headphone jack - but ONLY the MIDI track through the MobilePre's audio output (or my internal speakers - I decided to try that just as a test).

    Why can I not hear an obviously recorded audio track, yet hear a MIDI track?

    This has stopped me every time I try to get started with home recording, and none of the manuals, video lessons or whatever have any info that addresses it, and I've searched like mad and come up empty.

    The only things I've been able to do with Logic (or GB) are transfer reel-to-reel tapes, mixing from 4-tracks to stereo using my Alesis; and record with a Yeti USB mic using (I think it was called) the "aggregate" method of combining I think) inputs (?).

    So I could resort to recording everything via USB microphone, but that's just wrong. I want it working right.

    My recording will be split 50/50 between direct using an interface and the rest using mic'd instruments or speaker cabs.

    Just to cut to the chase - I've had the same results with 3 different MobilePres (One new one only a month ago) and as mentioned, other interfaces; changed cables; tried 3 different Macs and uninstalled/reinstalled the software.

    Unfortunately none of my friends/bandmates are Logic (or Garageband, where the same thing happens) users - all are on Protools, which I can't afford, or Digital Performer (same problem) or Reaper (which looks way to "tossed together") or I'd try switching "engines" I'm so darned frustrated. I'd REALLY like to stick with Logic, but I'm at the end of my rope.

    As someone who spent countless hours behind live and studio mixing boards with tape it seems this should be simpler (many of you have probably never had the "joy" of editing by splicing sections of tape together), and it's a litle embarrassing to have to ask how to make a simple sound, honestly.

    Any help, posted or via email, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance - Jim
  3. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Wow - 66 views and not a single comment or suggestion?

    Please, if you have ANY ideas at all post them, or send email. I'm getting nowhere - changed every cable, plugged in direct instead of through a hub - no joy.

    I simply have no idea how to fix this and can't find information in any of the manuals/reference materials/websites I know of.

    I could really use a hand here. Thanks.
  4. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Still no sound from a visibly recorded track except in the interface headphone jack.

    There's GOT to be some setting (other than in "preferences" where I've tried every option) in one of the areas that's not clearly described in the manual or any reference books (I own one and have gone to bookstores searching through other volumes - nothing.).

    FWIW, IMO Apple does a horrendous job of describing the layouts in the various windows. There's not a single "map" of ANY area/region that points out every item and what it's for.

    Going through a trial subscription of "Logic Studio Training" and the videos have so many errors and the guy skips so much stuff there's no way I'd spend $9.95/month - so I'm grabbing as much as I can in 7 days and canceling.

    But the point about that is the very first "lesson" involving recording doesn't relate to recording actual audio. Nor the second, or third....

    89 views and nobody has a clue?
  5. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Do you probably route your signals to different outputs in Logic? If yes, send everything to the main output. If you havent changed it, the main output should be stereo and go to the input channels 1-2 of your audio interface.

    The screenshot below does'nt show the best routing, but the standard. Two audiotracks, on stereo one mono, and two instrument tracks, one stereo one mono. All go to the same output.

    With this you should hear everything either through your speakers or through your headphones (or both), but not one type of signal here and the other one there.
  6. silverface

    silverface New Member

    There's some apples/oranges between screenshots. Mine looks nothing like your example:


    Please understand you're dealing with a complete digital recording rookie who followed the manual..double checked it in "Logic Pro 8" by Mark Cousins...then again on the website Logic Studio Training, and created a guitar track; recorded random junk just as a system test; ouldn't hear it except through the Mobilepre's headphone jack; then created a software instrument track, used the default piano, banged on the keyboard and found that track can be heard just fine. I poked around at a couple of plugins - the guitar tuner and I think something else on the piano track, but they did not affect anything. It's all essentially just like it was after recording.

    It's also not the first time I've tried this - it's about the 9th or 10th with different installs, different computers and 4 interfaces. Hasn't always been absolutely identical, but as I recall very close, where I can't get sound from a recorded track.

    I have no doubt it's something I'm doing (or not doing) involving an undocumented or unclear issue with SOME button somewhere on the screen - but I'll be darned if I can figure out what.
  7. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Your In/Out settings are not displayed in your channelstrips, therefore you cannot easily tell where your signals are going to.

    I do not remember how to set this in Logic 8 but I think it is the same as in Logic 9. Either right-click on a channelstrip in the mixer or look into the the small "View" menu and check the item "I/O". Then the channelstrips will show your routing. And yes, for your first steps they should all go directly to the main output.
  8. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Just an fyi, Peter - I'm on my Kindle Fire HD this morning & your screenshot isn't showing up. Just a broken link icon (mine shows up fine).

    Thanks for your help. I'll check that as soon as I get home.

    PS - Are your channel strip colors/layout customized in some way, or is 9 that much different visually from 8 (I haven't upgraded as most other users I know are still using 8 (& advised that for most guitar-based recording purposes version changes were not significant enough to upgrade; plus 90% of the tutorial materials I have apply 8)
  9. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I don't know what you see but the colors in Logic 8 and 9 are the same and I haven't changed mine.
  10. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Got it working, but don't understand why - you mentioned the I/O wasn't showing in the channel strips when the left channel strips have it - can't locate any reasoning why the right ones aren't exactly the same:


    - and it wasn't a matter of one track being heard through one side and one through the other - it was ONLY one heard at all, except through the USB interface headphone jack.

    As far as appearances, in your image all strips were dark gray - Mine aren't...at least one is always light gray in he right group and both are on the left.

    (I'm sure I'm using some wrong terminology here - but again, I'm just at the "following the manual" initial creating an audio and software instrument track and recording something on each just to make sure things are working (haven't even gotten to a MIDI track yet).

    So issue solved - but not understod in the least. But thanks for your help *getting* sound out of the audio track, even if I don't know why there's a difference between what is automatically generated on the left and right channel strips (If you could do one more thing and just point me to the right reference material I'd appreciate it. I actually read manuals. :) )
  11. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Good that you finally hear what you expect to hear.

    If you mean the channelstrips to the far left, outside the mixer area, this is a more or less duplicated display for the currently selected track. The left one is the channel of the track and the right one is it's target and changes wether you click on nothing or on the output element (in the left strip) or on a send (if there is one). I don't like those strips at all and simply ignore them. For me, they are just prone to confusion and use space for nothing of value.

    I don't know what can happen if the I/O elements are not shown. May depend on settings that were done before the elements got hidden. However, the issue is solved. If you don't really need the space, show them all the time.

    I simply did not select a strip in the mixer, that's why all were dark gray. Maybe this behavior was introduced with Logic 9. You can easily find out when you click in the empty space in the mixer window.

    You don't need MIDI tracks unless you work with external synthesizers. Without that your MIDI track is the instrument track you already use.

    To keep things simple just forget the stuff on the left because it shows only a portion of the mixer area. Use the mixer area itself.


    Before you start mixing, do yourself a favour:

    If your interface has more than 2 channels, it is better for several reasons to keep the output channelstrip empty. You can put your analyzers there but preferably nothing else.

    Set the outputs of your tracks to Bus 1 or any other bus you like. This will create an Aux Channelstrip. Name it "Masterbus" or something like this, and route everything to this masterbus instead of the output. Only this bus should go to the output. Do all final processing and final leveling in your masterbus.

    If you use Aux channels for sound groups, reverbs or other effects (just like on a real console), these should also go to your masterbus.
  12. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Thanks - those left strips always *seem* like what one should be working with on an individual track, but if they can essentially be ignored that really simplifies things.

    I have a 4-channel interface but for most purposes the 2-channel MobilePre is more convenient and much simpler to use (the 4-channel would be for archiving old 4-track reel-to-reel tapes with each track seperate) - if that's even possible.

    The masterbus idea makes sense (as long as I do it consistently that way!). I'll give it a try. And as far as space goes I'm definitely not squeezed - While Logic is running on a 13" MacBook Pro, it's hooked to a 21.5" monitor that operates as a continuous right-hand extension of my screen - so as soon as I figure out how to (again assuming it can be done) break specific "areas" off into seperate spaces I can plant them wherever they make the most sense workflow-wise. Plus I have an older iPad that works nicely as a control surface (that stuff makes sense to me, having used a wired "remote" with my old reel-to-reel) so I'll likely use it (or my Kindle Fire with TouchDAW) mainly for transport controls.

    Thanks again for the help - that one initial problem had me just dead in the water. Still can't figure out why it defaults to setting up instrument tracks with no output, though!
  13. silverface

    silverface New Member

    A few questions after re-reading this -

    1. Analyzers? No clue what that means.
    2. WHAT output should the "masterbus" aux channel strip go to? I've never been clear on the "mono" vs "1&2" output option - it would seem "1&2" would be the only useful one for panning purposes...or if you can pan something sent to a mono output, why BOTHER with "1&2"???
    3. Reverbs & effects on a console 'm familiar with. "groups" I'm not. ??
    4. "it is better for several reasons to keep the output channelstrip empty" - why? I'm trusting your experience in trying this method, but have no idea why it's preferable...and if it is, why isn't it the default?
    5. The Click track has no options as far as output )obviously I don't want it mixed on the final product - but I can't hear it - see other thread for explanation).
  14. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    It's another word for "metering". You may want to use a frequency analyzer, correlation meter, stereo analyzer, more precise level meter or something else. Look into the "Metering" section of your plugin list. And there are lots of analyzers available from other developers.

    To the main output (Stereo Out) unless you have a reason not to do so.

    Use always Stereo unless you have a reason not to do so.

    Sorry, I used the wrong term. I meant similar sounds like all vocals, all drums, all guitars etc. On a console you may name it "submix". You can do the same in Logic by sending to an Aux channelstrip via a bus. This Aux is then what you'd call a submix on a console. From there you route to your masterbus.

    You may run in trouble with analyzers and the post vs. pre fader behavior in Logic which may not be clear in every situation. Or you may want to send to some effect from your last stage but output channels don't have sends. It is not absolutely necessary to have a "masterbus" but it gives you more flexibility and better control over the output, where the signal leaves Logic. Some people have other busses beside their masterbus. A "Monitorbus" is an example, which might go to a different output and deliver headphone signals or go to a second pair of speakers.

    The click track has also an output setting, if you don't hear the click just check this. It is just a software instrument with the reserved number 256. By default an instrument named "Klopfgeist" is loaded bu you can load any other instrument if you want.
  15. silverface

    silverface New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions - you really clarified a ton of details that would have taken hours of trial-and-error. Have a great weekend!

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