Sonic LAB: Custom AppleLoops in Logic Pro

Take a drum multi-track, mix and loop      20/04/09

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7:47 mins
I had a recent session where my task was to mix a days worth of drum takes from the multi-tracks and cut them up into usuable AppleLoops. Each AppleLoop was also to be supplied in three mixes: Full, Kick and Snare and Overheads. This was to allow the client to have as much control over the drum loops in addition to the usuall tempo change, transposition that AppleLoops provide and allow them to build a fairly complete drum track just using these custom loops. It was an enjoyable task, but required some thought as to how best go about this, including allowing things to be changed, balances, mixes and the like. Here's what I decided was the best workflow:
  1. import audio tracks from ProTools session into Logic Pro
  2. set up the mixes and balances to taste
  3. bounce each mix – Full, Kick and Snare, overheads to individual stems - placing them on the timeline alongside the original multitracks
  4. identify,name and slice the mixes into regions ready to be AppleLooped
  5. export and tune the loops using AppleLoops Utility
  6. move all the AppleLoops into easy to locate folders
All well and good, here's what I found.
  1. Make sure the ProTools files have been Consolidated so that they all have the same start point.
  2. set up a basic mix template with EQ's and submixes etc to load each drum take into
  3. don't be scared to use extreme EQ and compression setting
  4. sometimes, compressing the channel, a bus and the output is okay
  5. for non stereo linked files, send the L&R a bus and use that for overall level and plug-in processing
  6. get the tempo set so that edits are on bar boundaries
  7. when tuning loops, be aware that the drummer may have been a little out of time – you may need to set a tempo for that bar only and then define the loop using the new tempo
  8. name your regions before you export to AppleLoops Utility
Thoroughly enjoyable task, with plenty of scope for creativity, the dull bit is the looping and file admin after the mixes are created. Doing it this way meant that we could go back to any of the session files, tweak a mix or find another drum loop or fill and rebounce while still having access to the original sessions.


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7 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
mikebeck    Said...

Thanks, Nick! I always enjoy a "how I work" video. Interesting and informative. Something like this, as a regular feature, would be very welcome.

20-Apr-09 11:13 AM

Nick B    Said...

Mike, glad you enjoyed it. It would be good to do more. happy to answer any questions about this one too of course.

20-Apr-09 11:31 AM

Kaux    Said...

Hi, nick... sonicstate is by far my favorite website, and with videos like this, in the "how to" mood, it could only be even better. Great work, thanks!

20-Apr-09 05:29 PM

mikebeck    Said...

@Nick The good thing is that it was so well explained that I don't have any questions!

21-Apr-09 12:39 AM

Andre    Said...

Really cool, man! One of the things about Logic I was always curious about. Now i know. Thanks :-)

21-Apr-09 07:28 PM

flux302    Said...

man this is great thanks! hey is there a way I can put this on my pod I know you used to do video podcasts why is this not one of em? p.s. I ove the show! listen every week!

28-Apr-09 09:28 PM

Nick B    Said...

We do publish on iTunes also, should be there, not all our stuff is.

29-Apr-09 11:14 AM

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