Tempo Management in Logic

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Tempo Management in Logic

Post by blakedirksen »

I have been struggling with managing tempo in Logic. Here is the situation.

Band rehearses the song and have a rough tempo we want to use. Once we are ready to lay down a track we enter that tempo in the project so that the marks are close to the tempo played. Our drummer is amazing but hates playing to a click track so we record the drums and as much as we can live and then over dub vocals, solo's, keeping the click on mute and follow the drum track.

Usually this is fine and I like the live feel of some of our tracks. Sometimes, however, we get pretty loose (usually the band and not the drummer). We don't get together very often so I can't simply call the crew back and re record and don't always notice while we are in the session.

I've been playing around with the features in logic that attempt to map the temp track to a selected track in the mix. I have had very little luck (using the drum track either in MIDI or bounced to a wav file). Has anyone successfully gotten the temp mapping feature to work and then were able to tighten things up in a somewhat automated manner? I would love a good reference as the apple users guide isn't very clear on this topic and finding helpful information on YouTube has become impossible.

Thanks everyone!
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by muzines »

There are many different tools and tempo-related functions, so it really depends on what you are trying to do.

If you are aiming for tight tracks, learning to play to a click (or at least, some existing audio content) is probably your best bet. It doesn't have to be a cold metronome, you can make some percussion loops and other things, and any musician should be able to play along with other musicians, even if one of them is a drum machine! ;)

Failing that, if you've recorded a loose performance, most people want to keep that loose performance, but map Logic's grid onto that free-tempo performance. This means you can add other loop-based content in time, and use Logic's quantise tools etc to tighten things up, which you can't do if your performance is off-grid.

I don't know which of Logic's tempo-related features you are using to, but it helps to define exactly what you want to do. It sounds to me like above, in which case you want to map Logic's grid to your performance, and then be able to tighten things up a bit. So you really want to use either the Smart Tempo feature, or a flavour of beat-mapping (there are a few different ways to do this) if that's not working out so well to modify Logic's grid to your performance, which is the first step.

I'm sure there have been some SOS articles on this, so I'd do a search on the Logic Notes articles, and I'm also sure there are plenty of decent Smart Tempo and Beatmapping videos on YouTube - check out sflogicninja as a start. I know there are some commercial videos from companies like Groove3 and others specifically on these tempo features, which walkthrough various use cases and how to use them - the automatic "magic" stuff is fine when it works, but more often than not it's a bit more finicky than a one-click "fix it" tool, and some of the ways of using it require a bit of experimentation and watching how other people do it is quite instructional, if you've not really got to grips with it yet.
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by blakedirksen »

Thanks for the comments. I was able to find a couple references and the best suggestion was to record a MIDI track playing the temp on a single note, and then beat map from that. Nice to have a grid to work from!
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by muzines »

blakedirksen wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 7:03 pm Thanks for the comments. I was able to find a couple references and the best suggestion was to record a MIDI track playing the temp on a single note, and then beat map from that. Nice to have a grid to work from!

That's one of the ways you can beat map yes, and there are a bunch of others. It's a good tool set to play with and understand... :thumbup:
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