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Logic 9 softsynth bass sounds distorting?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by lognoob, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. lognoob

    lognoob New Member

    Hi, new here, thanks for any help! (Logic Exress 9)

    I've tried recording (well, sequencing, I guess) numerous different Logic softsynth bass sounds (from upright bass to synth basses), and I always get distorted sound on some of the notes played. After recording, the green region in the track has red strips on the top and the bottom--indicating clipping, maybe...?

    The recording levels seem OK and don't indicate clipping, so I don't think it's a problem of levels being too high. What could be the problem? If this is how all the basses sound when recorded, they are largely unusable, which can't be the case...

  3. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Senior member

    Where are you seeing Red?

    If it's in the piano roll, the colors indicate the velocity of the note, red is an indicator of maximum velocity.

    Some instruments respond in different ways to velocity, so it may not be distortion, but a change in a filter, LFO, or some other parameter.

    So what instrument, are you using?

  4. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Are you talking about recording or sequencing? They are two different things. Are you talking about sequencing and playing back MIDI and seeing the channel strip playback meter clipping?

    Or have you actually recorded the soft synth? And if so, is it through bus routing? is it possible you have the input monitoring button enabled on the record track while the MIDI track is playing back at the same time as the recorded audio file?
  5. lognoob

    lognoob New Member


    I think the distorted sound was a combination of some effect in the bass sound (for example, in an ESP bass sound I took out the Chorus effect, and this helped) and too much sub bass in the kick drum sound I had playing on downbeats on a different track from Ultrabeat. I checked for stray modulation data in the Hyper Editor, but there was none.

    Regarding sequencing vs. recording...I had Ultrabeat in one softsynth track and a bass (ESP or EXS24) on another softsynth track, being triggered by MIDI data. So that qualifies as "sequencing," I assume.

    Is it typical practice in Logic to do sequencing like that, and then bounce those MIDI regions to audio ("recording" in one sense--obviously different from live recording) to reduce CPU burden...?

    I'm digging into the David Nahmani "Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9" book, but I realize I don't know the vocabulary yet...

    Thanks again!
  6. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    A lot of the soft synth bass presets, particularly in the the ESM, are VERY hot. They overload on their own with nothing added just by triggering them in the upper velocities. I really think many of these were designed to be used with the channel strip fader down about -12 db or so.

    These days it's rare to need to free up CPU like that. Logic's built in synths are generally very efficient, and modern Intel computers are very powerful. But certainly there's nothing wrong with bouncing your MIDI tracks to audio if it suits your workflow. It's good for two reasons IMHO.

    First, it future proofs your tracks in case they need to be recalled at a later date and some of the synths or plug-ins aren't available. And second, it forces you to "commit" to parts at different stages of your production rather than leaving everything open to being changed or edited right up to the last moment. I think one of the downsides of having powerful computers is that we've become somewhat commitment-phobic :D

    Great book; I highly recommend it.

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