Software Training

For the past 2 months I’ve kind of hit a brick wall when it comes to creating any new music. Not that I should concentrate on making new music because I’ve got material that I should be working on before moving into something new, but even with that material I’ve been feeling that I haven’t really been doing anything original.

This has really been frustrating me, making me wonder if there’s any point in trying to create when in this kind of state. So I’ve decided to take a step back. Instead of working on projects or trying to come up with a new idea, I’ve taken some time to just learn my software. In this case, Logic.

I had attempted to write a lesson plan for myself during the summer, but I never wrote it, nor do I believe that I would have followed it if I did. But this time it’s different – I have a yellow highlighter.

I have three books on Logic.

  1. Logic 6 Power! – Orren Merton Merton writes for a number of magazines I like, including Electronic Musician. I bought this book way back in 2004 when Logic 7 hadn’t yet been announced and I was still on my Logic 6 Big Box. The problem with this was that back then, some of the features covered were over the head of that entry level version. Now that I’m going through it piece by piece with Logic Pro 7, some features simply don’t apply. For instance, there’s a chapter on the transport window and how you can bring up the markers of your project by clicking a button in the transport. Cool…except Logic 7 doesn’t have those buttons. At least I can’t find them. It kind of puts things into perspective with Logic 7. Most of the options and features that were removed seem to have been redundant, making Logic 7 a bit more consolidated and easier to work with. I keep wondering if using this book is a mistake, but what I like about it is that it follows the 80/20 rule. It explains very well how to use maybe 20% of Logic’s features. With that 20% knowledge you learn about 80% of everything you’ll ever need to do with it. Something like that. It comes out to about just over 400 pages. I’m on page 89 right now…the arrange window. Some people say that this isn’t a very good book on Logic. They might be right.

The other two of course are:

  1. Logic Pro 7 – Reference Manual


  1. Logic Pro 7 – Plug-In Reference

There are also a number of forums I visit: • SonikmatterLogic Pro HelpMac MusicApple Support Discussions – Logic Pro & Express

I’m pretty convinced that part of my frustration comes from the fact that I simply don’t understand a lot of the plug-ins included with Logic. I’m pretty good at finding my way around the program, but I don’t know much about customizing effects and soft-synths.

I’ve read a bit of all these books, but reference manuals in general are pretty rough. Add these two manuals together, you get about 1300 pages of material.

Usually I don’t learn about a feature until I find that I have a need to do something that requires it. This means that my knowledge of the program may be very blotchy. I know some advanced stuff, but some fundamental features have slipped through my fingers.

For instance, in Logic’s Matrix editor, you can input Midi data through your midi keyboard without being in record mode. You set your rhythmic division and just press your keys! Logic will write the pitch and velocity. You can do this up to values of 192nd notes, which can make for some very cool Nintendoish sounds.

Also, this weekend I made my Matrix editor more readable by customizing the color of piano roll and rhythmic divisions. Also learned some good key commands and am going to print out what’s assigned and what hasn’t been assigned, go through it, and see where that takes me.

Yet, what’s strange though is that while researching learning resources (Like MacProVideo. Seems very good, but I don’t think I’m ready to drop $40 on something I have to watch in a browser window) I came across pages for Apple Certification. From the looks of it I could actually become Level 1 certified in Logic Pro without much effort. Maybe I know more than I think I do.

I also have another book on Reason, but since I’ve gotten Logic I’ve been using Reason less and less. I still like to use some synth sounds here and there, but Rewiring it is sometimes a pain, especially if you’re using ReDrum.

1 thought on “Software Training”

  1. Don’t worry about the dry spell man. We all go through that, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you can’t force creativity. So just take a brake as you’re doing and it will come to you. I hope you’re doing well, and hope we can all hang soon. Much love and testicle flicks.

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