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Logic 9 Trigger Sound Effects?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by okcomputer, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. okcomputer

    okcomputer New Member

    I direct a musical each year, and I also end up directing most of the technical aspects.

    One thing we have struggled with is the playback of sound effects. We started using CDs (slow and unreliable), moved to iTunes, then VLC, and last year we moved to a piece of PC software which worked well, but crashed just before closing night and wiped our thumb drive. Needless to say, I'd like to avoid that piece of software this year.

    I just got a MacBook Pro last month and I ordered Logic Studio today.

    Can any Logic users think of a way that I can easily playback sound effects through Logic? I was hoping there would be a way to use a USB keyboard (M-Audio Keyrig) to play the sound effects, perhaps within MainStage.

    Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks.

    Also: I should note that just using iTunes, VLC etc to play the files was not ideal. There is often a tiny bit of lag before the file starts. You also have to deal with playlists and such to separate the sounds, and change playlists throughout the show.
  3. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Why not just drop all of your samples into the EXS 24. You can map them however you want and trigger them from a keyboard easily. Depending how many samples you need to trigger and how many octaves your keyboard is, you may need to use more than one EXS 24 instrument. But that shouldn't pose any problem. You can preload them all and just mouse up and down to the different instruments if necessary.
  4. markvi58

    markvi58 New Member

    How bout Garageband

    You can map sound effects to your macbook pro's keyboard to sound effects in Garageband. I was going to do this for a musical that I direct, but I was playing EWI and keys. For me to make my patch changes in a blackout made it impossible for me to trigger the sfx while manipulating the Garritan software for my EWI.
  5. Gio

    Gio Member

    layout your effects in order in the arrange, set markers, and just use shortcuts to "jump" to markers forward or backwards, and play the effect.
    Eli's suggestion about putting them in an EXS is a great way to avoid the "lag"
    Good Luck
  6. Dave Tosti-Lane

    Dave Tosti-Lane New Member

    If you only need to play the FX, consider a real theater playback system like QLab - you can download the free version from - it will play out to two voices and gives all the features of the basic version. If you need multiple outputs, the paid versions are not expensive. This is the real deal for theater playback with ability to build complex fx cues. I use the full version in live theater with 16 output channels for fx (can handle 48 if you have the interfaces for it). Can be controlled by external MIDI so you could still fire from a keyboard.
    Works just dandy on a Macbook Pro, I use an iMac as a dedicated FX playback machine.

    As to the thumb drive - I strongly recommend never playing live from a thumb drive - I use thumb drives to move stuff around, but always put the final audio either on the computer drive, or on a robust firewire or USB drive. (usually with another full copy on another drive for safety)

    Dave Tosti-Lane
  7. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Senior member

    Using Mainstage to trigger samples in Ultrabeat is another possibilty.
  8. Mehdi

    Mehdi New Member

  9. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    I'd have to second this idea as the best one listed so far. I think all the other suggestions are more complex than they have to be.

    Select you samples, drop them into the EXS, tape the names of each sample that is triggered to your keyboard keys, and you are ready to go.
    You have the ability to play as many samples as you need just by adding an additional instance of EXS to a new channel. Do you think you need more than say 25 sound fx, or a better questions would be: what is the total number of FX that you wish to use during the show?

    George Leger III
  10. okcomputer

    okcomputer New Member

    Dave, QLab is awesome! It's exactly what I'm looking for.

    I will look into the other options when Logic Studio arrives later this week though.

    We will probably only have 10-20 sound effects cues for the show, and they will all be sent to the main speakers, so QLab is perfect. And free!

    Thanks everyone - my first post on the board is a success! :)
  11. horselesspaul

    horselesspaul New Member

    Soundboard by Ambrosia Software may be the droid you are looking for.
  12. Dave Tosti-Lane

    Dave Tosti-Lane New Member

    Great - it's really good stuff, and fabulous support as well - make sure to check out their user forum.

    I think the Logic options are terrific when you are playing from the keyboard of course, but when you are in a typical theater situation with called cues and an operator, it's sometimes best to use software specifically designed for the job!

    Dave T-L
  13. okcomputer

    okcomputer New Member

    Ooh, that looks good, too. Haha. I'll check that one out for sure. Thanks!

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