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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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by Terrible.dee »

blakedirksen wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:32 pm 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!

Way too much screwing around.

Get your drummer to stop being a princess and play to the damn click. He's supposed to be play THE SONG not doing things to make himself "HAPPY" and if those two things are mutually exclusive?

FIRE HIM!

Either that, or the rest of your band should be well enough rehearsed that you don't need "On the grid" audio in order to finish a track.

Either way, you are making the process to convoluted by trying to do both.

Pick a method and DO IT RIGHT!
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by blinddrew »

Terrible.dee, you've plainly got a lot of experience in this field and have advice to share but please can you do so in a less aggressive and angry way.
Posts like the above don't make the forum a welcoming and friendly place.
Thank you.
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by MOF »

If you’re happy with the drummer’s performance/timing and there are moments where other tracks are too loose then it seems to me that you need to use flex time after mapping the bars to the drum track. I use it to tighten up double tracked vocals in particular.
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by blakedirksen »

Fire my drummer? I would rather sound like crap and have my best friend at my side.
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Re: Tempo Management in Logic

Post by ManFromGlass »

Sometimes I am my drummer and wander from the tempo. I’m not ready to fire myself so instead I have Logic save the day. I still find some of the ways to deal with tempo in Logic confusing and some, after a bit of youtube research, are really great.
Logic also fixes my guitar playing, my bass playing, my shaker playing :D

One thing to be careful of - it is possible to remove the human feel. Don’t do that or you might as well use loops.
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