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Logic 8 Tracking a big session, any advice?

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by daveyboy, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    I have not used Logic to do any drum sessions as I'm still fairly new. This might be a deal where I'm recording 10 (or more) tracks at once. I don't anticipate any problems but, since I haven't done it yet, maybe there are some "quirks" to expect. My guess is that I'd probably have to monitor through my hardware (motu hd192 using cuemix) as Logic probably won't be able to handle software monitoring at a 64 buffer setting without having some problems. I could try that of course as that would make things much easier. I guess that was my biggest concern. That, and the unknown!
  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Software monitoring would not tell you anything because you monitor still the input and not "after tape" or however the English word is. You cannot hear the recorded file while you record.

    You can monitor through Logic without software monitoring: make Aux channels and set their inputs to the audio inputs. Then route them to a summing Aux, reduce the level there and send it to your monitoring output.

    But in my opinion monitoring via the interface the best choice. And you see the correct levels there – if they don't go over, Logic doesn't either.

    Btw, I heard of empty tracks after the recording process "looked" okay while Logic ran. It happens rarely and I don't want to scare you, but it is still a computer. For a very important recording session you might consider running a harddisk recorder in parallel as a backup.
  4. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    Thanks Peter,
    I was just concerned about latency via software monitoring and being able to keep a low buffer recording that many tracks at once. If not then I'm juggling setting things up in cuemix, which is probably not a big deal as I sometimes do that now, although just for 1 or 2 tracks at once. I just thought it would be "nice" to stay in Logic. Seems like making extra aux channels makes things even more complicated then they have to be! I guess this is one of those posts where I'll just do it and see what works best then I'll have my answer.
  5. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    On a powerful computer, software monitoring at a buffer setting of 64 shouldn't be a problem. I routinely record 6 tracks at a buffer setting of 32 - granted not with a big session already in place though, and not with a lot of plug ins.

    But hardware monitoring is defiantly the better way to go. I routinely use Cuemix (with an 828 mk ll) for direct monitoring without problems. And if the artist wants to hear software effects in their headphones, just set up a pre fader send that leads to an aux with effects on it that is routed to the headphone outs of your hardware. You'll need to leave software monitoring on, and just lower the fader level down to zero of the recording tracks once they are record enabled - so that only the hardware monitored signal is the only dry signal making it out to the headphones.

    Other than that, what specific aspects of running a "big session" are you concerned about?
  6. Monitoring through software would indeed be the easiest thing to do, but the drummer in question might be concerned with the latency. You could just try with him (simply don't tell him that there's additional latency, has been working for me with a drummer who's usually quite critical regarding timing issues).

    - Sascha
  7. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    I do a fair amount of tracking of bands, live orchestra and big band recordings and the like, with up to 24 tracks at a time. When in a studio situation such as you describe, I much prefer to work with software monitoring off and rely on the "almost zero latency" advantages of the metric halo MIO console. Having said that, any tests I ran tracking up to 16 24 bit 88.2 kHz at 64 bit were just fine. I am also running an 8 core mac pro.

    When tracking with software monitoring off, I do tend to leave the buffer I/O setting somewhat higer, usually at 256. Low latency monitoring is for me important when overdubbing or tracking virtual instruments, or having a guitarist playing through GAP, GTR etc.

    What you should definitely do is test your whole system thoroughly before a paying session starts. Simulate everything you will be doing - try to get some musicians who are prepared to be guinea pigs to play for you, set up their monitoring, make sure they are compfortable and last but not least, listen to the recordings and make sure they are free of any clicks or other glitches. These days, native DAW systems are capable of so much, but they still remain complicated beasts :)

    HTH, kind regards

  8. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    Don't know. Normally when using DP absolutely nothing! Logic has some "oddities" when I am just recording 1 track at a time (not always, but sometimes). Take folders acting weird, etc. I'm still on the learning curve so thought someone who routinely does drums (for example) would say "it's all good" or "watch out for xyz"! I'm sure I'll find out either way, not a big deal. I record myself at 128 with software monitoring on and notice a little latency but I deal with it. . With a client I'll usually just use cuemix but I think I'll start trying 64. Coming from DP I still have a mental block about this just being too low for the computer to handle, but, Logic works much better at this lower latency. I think the last time I tried 64 I got a bad crash and my autotune graphic mode work got corrupt and I lost a lot of work. It might be related to running a UAD1 and UAD2 card though, as I don't think they like low buffers in software in general. As we all know, everyone's system behaves differently depending a lot of factors.

    Here's a related question. If you are recording a big session are you using take folders or are you making new tracks each time?
  9. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    I can tell you that I routinely record myself on drums and have no problems. I find when I am recording drums, I don't need any of the drums in the headphones. So, monitoring is not an issue.I can't imagine a drummer _wanting_ himself in the cans - his mix would have to be that much louder to hear other instruments over himself. But if he _does_ want himself in the headphones, the low buffer settings should be fine.

    The more I use take folders the more I like them. I have used them for drums and they work as advertised.

    Cool side note about take folders - you don't need to be in cycle mode to use them. You can be in regular record mode and just record over the pre-existing region. A take folder will be created - very cool!
  10. BuddyGuit

    BuddyGuit Member


    Thanks for the tip re take folders. It's pretty cool but I wonder how I will implement them. I've used Logic since it was Creator (on the Atari) but just switched to the Mac from PC platform about a year ago. There is so much to learn that I never even think about!
  11. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    My experience is that the UAD 2 card is a lot more forgiving at low latency setting than the UAD1e was in a mac pro.

    Takes. Eli said it all really, they are just too convenient not to use IMO.

    kind regards

  12. BuddyGuit

    BuddyGuit Member

    Ok. When using take folders how do you then comp? Let's say I record 8 bars. I like the first 4 bars of take one. Bars 5 and 6 from take three. I play a giant clam on beats 1 and two of bar 8 and just replay bar 8. How do I make a comp of what I like?


  13. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    Using quickswipe. You just punch bar 8, or do a new take where you fix bar 8 and then quickswipe. You'd have to have all the tracks grouped together assuming you're talking about drums or some other multi track recording. The only things with take folders is that you can't screw around with individual takes prior to flattening the take folder. In DP and PT you can go to town editing every take, shifting things around, cross fading, blah, blah, blah, and never have to flatten anything (I miss that). But, Logic wins in the quickness department of accessing the comp tool and I'd say DP is right there with it, although you can access it quicker in Logic. From watching the PT 8 videos it looks like using their comp tool is tad cumbersome, as, there is no tool so to speak and you have to choose what you want pasted up in the main comp track. You can't just "swipe it" like L8 and DP. Whatever, I just adapt to what I have to work with and bitch and moan on the forums and try not to bother my wife with my trivial drivel about hard disk recording!:rolleyes::brkwl::tongue:
  14. BuddyGuit

    BuddyGuit Member

    Thanks for the response Dave. Very helpful.
  15. Seriously, I'm not sure whether I'd use take folders on a big (paid) session. I've experienced certain mess-ups on what was rather small sessions, couldn't imagine of the situation to exactly become any better on larger audio multi-tracking projects.

    - Sascha
  16. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    FWIW, I've been tracking rythm sections with up to 16 tracks using takes since logic 8 came out, I never had a problem.

    That doesn't mean there aren't lots of changes I would like to see to Logic's takes/Comps feature set, but it does work and is a big timesaver.

    kind regards

  17. Well, I have had some weird mess-ups personally (such as takes moving in a funny fashion) and I've heard the same from other people. I seriously don't think that take folders are ready for prime time yet.

    - Sascha
  18. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Without wishing to labour the point, I wouldn't be using takes/comps in the presence of paying customers if I didn't have confidence in it. As I said, I've been working with it since Logic 8 came out, what it has done is to save me a lot of time, and caused regular clients who have been used to various Logic versions over years to comment on how fast and elegant putting a comp together now is ;)

  19. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    Me too, but, I continue to use them. I feel like I tread lightly when using them. Then, when I settle on something I try to make a copy and then flatten it. Or, I don't make a copy and just flatten it so I can actually edit the stupid thing! Ugh. It's all good though. I'm digging logic and am glad it's part of my tool box.
  20. See, that's something really beyond me. I mean, you can't edit much in Logics sample editor anyway (hmpf...), but taking even that little away from a bunch of takes inside a take folder is really ridiculous.
    We all know it, sometimes some performer didn't hit a note hard enough, so you may want to apply some gain changes straight at the source. Impossible with take folders. Or you may just want to shift a syllable in time for a tiny bit. Impossible with take folders. So you either gonna unpack or flatten them - both defenitely not being the most comfortable things on earth.
    And unless you exclusively work with "one take wonders", these aren't esoteric features to ask for by any means.

    - Sascha
  21. Blair Fisher

    Blair Fisher New Member

    I know this thread has been up for a while - hope it is not too late to chime in...

    We also use a MOTU setup in our studio - we have a HD192 and a couple of 2408 mk3. We regularly do large sessions (up to 32 tracks live from the floor) in Logic and it is generally fine. As somebody said earlier, when I am doing something really important, or a live show where it is not possible to redo a take I will always run a backup. I have had a few glitches in the past and was glad I had the backup.

    Generally I use our old console to monitor, since that eliminates the necessity to choose between CueMix and Logic's software monitoring. No latency, lots of aux sends and nice flashing meters :)

    However I would say that you should just be aware that CueMix can (under certain circumstances) mess around with Logic's levels. I know this is not supposed to happen, and I haven't really used CueMix a lot so maybe it was operator error - but I noticed that sometimes when I changed levels in CueMix they would change in Logic's inputs as well.

    I think this was when I used the trim controls at the top of the CueMix strip - not the level faders. I guess the main thing I am trying to say is that CueMix does add a level of complication to the setup. Make sure you do a dry run first (if you haven't already done this session.)


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