Logic Studio apps Using Logic Pro live

horizon

Logician
I do an acoustic solo gig. I was wondering if anyone out there is using Main Stage/Logic Pro as a platform for creating their own backing tracks to use live (what I would need to get this going. An ipad, laptop suggestion interface etc.)? I've never used backing tracks, and I'm totally new to Main Stage (in fact I haven't even downloaded it). Any insight?.
 

Peter Ostry

Administrator
Staff member
Are you new to all of this stuff?
Never used Audio/MIDI via computer, never used a program like Logic etc?

I think for a single backing track for each of your musical pieces you already thought about a mp3 player or something like that. But since you talk about programs, computers and interfaces I suspect you want more than a low-quality playback.

What and how do you currently play and what do you expect from your future system?
You don't have to specify this exactly, just tell us a little more about your needs, wishes and visions. Then we are certainly able to provide some hints or guidelines.
 

horizon

Logician
Thank you for the reply.

I'm currently using Logic Pro 9. Though I might have to move on to X (I think), because I'm currently running/moved up to El Cap, and waiting on ghosts to appear - so yes, I am familiar with the audio interface/Logic aspect of things. As far as MIDI, I have a bit of insight, but as an everyday recording/programing tool, to answer your question, no. As for what I play, I play acoustic guitar, with some tasteful effects, and looping, through a Bose L1 system with Tone Match. The style of the live music I play is all kinds, but pretty much your standard lounge/pub/bar gig. My future vision, is to use Logic, MIDI, and my own musical skills, to create my own unique backing tracks. Not just carbon copies of the original arrangements, but something with more of an improvised live feel, both ambient (if possible), with instrumentation choices other than the original versions, as not to be predictable, and sound like... "backing tracks".

I'm aware these are lofty ambitions. But in the pursuit of the above, if nothing else, it will only broaden my knowledge of MIDI, and other platforms for my own future recordings, as well as maybe coming away with something I can really use to augment my live gig.

Warm Regards
Jimmy
 

Peter Ostry

Administrator
Staff member
I see, thanks for the explanation.

When it comes to looping and you neither want to perform a stepdance on a MIDI foot controller, nor want to use software that is probably not as good as your hardware, you may prefer to stay with your proven hardware. Mainstage has a looper but it might not be enough for you in terms of usability, features and precision (think of software-glitches and MIDI delay). And there is a plugin called "Moebius" which (probably) still runs on todays Macs. It is basically a software-only version of Loop IV as in the Echoplex units. But you have to program it yourself.

If you don't use many and big plugins and preferably just a few and small third-party plugins, MainStage is an option. Although – you only need it if you quickly need to switch sounds in realtime. In short: Simple quick switches can be done in Logic also, when it goes complicated MainStage can be a better option.

Having said this, I suggest that you do not buy new software but rather prepare yourself for a slow migration. Start making your backgrounds in Logic. Bounce them to disk and load all audio files for a single performance into a fresh Logic project and just control the playback by some controller or manually in Logic. This way you get your personal backing tracks while you continue to use proven hardware on stage. The backing tracks (or whatever you call them) will go in perfect quality to your L1 system. Control job is minimal, apart from the transport functions you should be able to control the volume of the backing tracks but this is all for now.

Later you will find out which tasks you want to migrate from hardware to software. Maybe you stop live looping? Maybe you want more control about ambient sounds? Maybe you want to mix several FX chains on demand? Nobody knows yet and ideas will come when you make your tracks.

Computer:
A laptop is still the usual machine on stage. It gives you more flexibility than an iPad because you can install and connect what you want and your setup will certainly change over time. MacBook Pro is ok, SSD instead of a magnetic disk means quieter performance (hopefully) and is less sensitive for transport, vibrations etc. If you have another computer and/or monitor at home, you don't need a big screen on the laptop. A traditional USB backup disk with the full system? Well, your choice ;-)

Interface:
Yes, you need an audio interface. At least I would want it because the L1 is a good system and for delicate acoustics I would not want to feed it through the mediocre built-in converters of a laptop. Get a small interface like a Focusrite or Steinberg with a few balanced audio in/outs and MIDI in/outs. Should cost you less then $300 new. If you use the same interface at home, you may prefer a little more in/outs.

MIDI controller:
The more you migrate from hardware to software, the more you will ask for a controller. I've used a lot of them and finally have my 3 personal preferences: Behringer FCB1010 is big and cheap and after approx. 2 years it may be necessary to change a couple of switches inside (soldering job, easy to do and cheap components). The FCB1010 has 2 pedals, definitely a selling-point in this price range. Keith McMillen SoftStep is an elegant solution with a small and thin ground plate and a big software and has no hardware pedal. For me, the Gordius LittleGiant is the ultimative controller and ultimate ugly ;-) Up to 4 hardware pedals and sophisticated programming possibilities. But by far the most expensive in the row.

Again: Let your pace, visions and growing experience decide what you really need. Everything can be made in different ways. I am far too quick with new gear and finally much slower than necessary. Spent thousands of bucks buying and selling the wrong things.
 

horizon

Logician
Very sound and... (economical) advice.

I'm already using the Focusrite Clarett 2pre for my Logic, as I do single tracking and work alone. I also have my IMac 27, 32GB Ram, with 3TB of space. I know the 32 is way overkill, but when Apple had to replace the hard drive due to a ghost in the original, they gave it to me free, because I complained of down time:0). I'm also with you on... "taking my time". The last thing I want to do is buy a bunch of new gear that's not compatible with my present pedal setup, only to find that I'm doing/spending twice. I like the sounds I'm presently getting through my present hardware, and would like to run it in compatibility with my future choices. Your 3rd paragraph is definitely where I'm thinking, then build on a platform from there.

Warm Regards
Jimmy
 

Peter Ostry

Administrator
Staff member
So you did not really ask for advice but wanted to know if you are alone with your way of thinking. No, you are not. It will work your way.

You are welcome.
 

horizon

Logician
Peter,

Thanks for the reply.

Actually. (I was) asking advice. I had an idea how things should go, but putting those theories together with no experience, and going in blind, costs many hours of self-doubt, redundancy, and once again..., money. The interface product quality info, that alone was worth the time, as well as laptop over ipad. I've actually read your longer email several times, jotting down the important points. No need to worry, I'll most definitely screw up, and start pulling my hair out at some point:)

Thanks Again
Jimmy
 

nilsmusic

Logician
I do an acoustic solo gig. I was wondering if anyone out there is using Main Stage/Logic Pro as a platform for creating their own backing tracks to use live (what I would need to get this going. An ipad, laptop suggestion interface etc.)? I've never used backing tracks, and I'm totally new to Main Stage (in fact I haven't even downloaded it). Any insight?.
 
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