Learning new software is always rough, but learning upgraded software isn’t easy either. Key commands change, menus change, workflows change, and you still hold your habits from the previous version.
Here are steps you can take to get the most out of learning the changes in Logic Studio or learning any software with big, thick manuals.
Make a Plan
Commit to making some progress every day. Even if it’s as little as 10 pages a day, some movement is better than none.
Realize That Fundamentals are Important
While Logic 8 has an upgraded interface and workflow, most functions behave pretty much the same as Logic 7. It’s encouraging to know that all the time you spent learning the previous version still has value as you learn the ins and outs of the latest version.
Your Books Aren’t Sacred
Mark up your books. They aren’t bibles. If you’re religious you should probably mark up your bibles anyway.
Buy a highlighter and use it. Everytime you read something different or new, highlight that section. Even if you never refer back to that text just taking the action of giving it special attention gives that information a better chance of staying in your memory.
If you reach a section on a new feature that you want to refer back to, simply attach a bookmark to the page. If you’re at the section about Logic 8’s new Comping feature, take a post-it note and write “Comping” and have it stick out of the book.
By the time you’re done you should have highlighted all the important and new material. And if you’re already familiar with the fundamentals you should be well on your way to understanding those new features – or at least know where to look.
Note what you don’t understand
It’s impossible to get up to speed immediately, so make sure to write down what you don’t understand. This way you can fill the gaps when you can devote more time.
It helps if you’ve got Logic open while you’re going through those manuals. You can’t completely understand a new feature while you’re reading the reference manual at a library or on the toilet. Simply performing the action will get you farther than reading about it.
If you do read at your desk, bus stop, toilet, or any other place where you can’t access Logic, make a list of the things you read that you should actually do.
Print out those key commands
The Logic manuals will not go through every key command available, so you may want to consider exporting your key commands and printing them. Read through the list and see if any commands could assist your workflow. Learn the command and assign keystrokes to unused commands that could be helpful. List them in a text file or on a sticky on your OSX Dashboard. Now everytime you check the weather or stocks you will see that key command.
You could also change your key commands. In Logic 7, I think Shift+Command+M loaded a movie for scoring. I never did anything with movies, so it made more sense to assign that command to “Create Marker”.
This changed in Logic 8. Shift+Command+M does neither movies nor markers. Now it fits into general OSX software guidelines: Zoom (or Maximize Window). The key command for creating markers is Ctrl+K…obviously for “Kreate Marker.”
Get Involved With User Communities
Your understanding and comprehension will be incredibly accelerated when you discuss the software with other users.
In the case of Logic Express and Pro, here are some forums you can start contributing to:
- Logic Pro Help
- Apple – Support – Discussions – Logic Studio
- Big Blue Lounge – Logic Forum
- Sonikmatter – Logic Studio / Express (Logic 8 Series)
The key word is contribute. Don’t be shy. Ask questions and answer them when you can. You’ll find that you’ll learn a whole lot about something when you have to teach it.