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4/23/2014

Apple Logic: Pedal Power

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In  this  article:
Set  Up  For  Success
Taking  Control
Incorporating
Hardware
Pedalling  Ideas

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Apple  Logic:  Pedal  Power
Logic  Notes  &  Techniques
Technique  :  Logic  Notes

You  can  get  the  amp  and  stomp-­box  collection  you’ve
always  wanted  now  that  Logic  offers  Pedalboard  and  Amp
Designer.

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Published  in  SOS  June  2010
Printer-­friendly  version

Stephen  Bennett

T

raditionally,  the  world  of  computer-­based  recording  has  been  inhabited  by  geeks  rather  than  the  archetypal  axe-­
wielding  guitar  hero.  Logic  Pro’s  initial  foray  into  fret-­based  processing,  Guitar  Amp  Pro,  was  a  rather  lacklustre  affair
and  can’t  have  brought  many  guitarists  on  board  Apple’s  flagship  DAW.  However,  the  company  obviously  believe  that
there’s  a  whole  world  of  fret-­fiddlers  out  there  who  could  benefit  from  using  Logic  Pro.  So,  with  version  9,  they  introduced
two  major  new  plug-­ins  aimed  directly  at  guitarists:  Amp  Designer  and  Pedalboard.
Amp  Designer  really  does  do  what  it  says  on  the  tin.  Not  only  can  you  select  several  model  types  —  which  are  based  on  a
wide  historical  selection  of  successful  guitar  amplifiers  —  but  you  can  also  edit  the  amp  and  speaker,  thus  creating  models
that  have  never  existed  in  the  real  world.  At  the  end  of  the  chain,  there’s  a  virtual  ribbon,  dynamic  or  condenser  microphone
whose  position  in  front  of  the  virtual  speaker  cone  can  be  adjusted.  However,  the  most  important  improvement  over  earlier
incarnations  of  guitar  processing  in  Logic  Pro  is  the  sound.  The  amplifier  simulations  are  excellent  and,  in  my  opinion,
comparable  with  the  best  from  the  likes  of  Line  6  or  Native  Instruments.  Pedalboard  isn’t  that  hard  to  grasp,  either,  allowing
virtual  guitar  effects  to  be  assembled  onto  a  virtual  pedalboard.  It’s  like  having  Pete  Cornish  inside  your  Mac!

Set  Up  For  Success
The  first  thing  you  need  to  be  aware  of  is  that  you  can’t  just  connect  a  guitar  to  a  line  input  jack  or  microphone  XLR  on  your
audio  interface.  Guitars  need  a  high-­impedance  input  (sometimes  labelled  ‘Instrument’),  and  failure  to  use  one  is  often  the
reason  why  people  complain  that  their  DAW-­based  guitar  simulations  sound  weedy  or  thin.  If  you  don’t  have  the  correct  type
of  input,  you’ll  need  to  use  a  suitable  preamp  or  a  DI  box  designed  for  use  with  guitars.
Playing  a  guitar  live  through  Logic  Pro  (or  any  DAW)  also  immediately  raises  the  thorny  issue  of  latency.  Inserting
Pedalboard  and  Amp  Designer  on  an  audio  track  introduces  an  audible  delay  between  the  plucked  string  and  the
processed  sound,  so  you’ll  need  to  get  this  delay  as  small  as  possible,  by  reducing  the  buffer  size  in  the  Audio  Preferences
window.  A  value  of  64  or  128  should  be  perfectly  acceptable,  while  values  of  256  or  higher  might  be  usable  if  you’re  playing
Durutti  Column  covers.
Logic  Pro  will  only  record  the  raw,  unaffected  guitar  sound  on  the  track  to  which  the  guitar  is  routed  and,  while  this  allows
you  to  re-­process  the  sound  during  mixing,  guitarists  often  like  to  permanently  ‘print’  effects  and  amp  sounds  when
recording.  You  can  simulate  this  technique  by  right-­  or  Ctrl-­clicking  on  the  region  after  recording  and  selecting  Bounce  In
Place,  making  sure  that  Destination  is  set  to  ‘New  Track’  and  Source  is  set  to  ‘Mute’.
An  advantage  of  working  in  this  way  is  that  the  original,  unprocessed  guitar  recording  will  be  retained,  so  you  can  easily
set  up  a  simulated  double-­tracking  effect  by  copying  this  unprocessed  region  to  a  new  track,  adding  some  new  amp  and
pedalboard  effects  and  setting  a  delay  value  in  the  new  track’s  Inspector  column.  Panning  this  track  hard  left  and  the
‘printed’  region  hard  right  creates  a  passable  imitation  of  two  different  guitars  with  a  widened  stereo  image.

Taking  Control
The  controls  on  the  amps  are  pretty  simple  and  include  very  basic  tone  knobs.
This  may  beg  the  question  as  to  why  anyone  would  bother  using  these  simple
bass,  mid  and  treble  EQs  when  Logic  Pro  has  much  more  sophisticated  frequency
shaping  on  board.  Amp  Designer’s  tone  controls  —  just  like  ones  on  the  amps
they  model  —  have  been  created  to  provide  control  over  the  most  useful  guitar-­
friendly  frequencies.  Like  many  modelled  EQs,  they  are  designed  to  have  a  specific  ‘sound’,  which  is  obviously  also  an
essential  part  of  the  original  amplifier’s  appeal.  The  reverbs  on  the  amps  are  often  based  on  spring  types,  while  the
modelled  tremolo  and  vibrato  have  been  designed,  tonally,  to  specifically  suit  the  associated  virtual  amp  circuitry.
Unlike  the  originals,  Amp  Designer’s  modulations  can  be  synchronised  to  Logic  Pro’s  tempo.  However,  for  the  ultimate  in
emulation,  it  might  be  better  to  set  these  by  feel  and  ear.  Pedalboard’s  time  and  modulation  controls  can  also  be  made  to
follow  the  beat  of  Logic  Pro’s  drum,  but  the  same  caveat  applies  as  for  the  amps,  though  echo  can  often  benefit  from  being
more  closely  tied  to  tempo.  Pedalboard’s  controls  will  also  be  familiar  to  anyone  who  has  even  a  passing  relationship  with
the  real  thing  and,  visually,  they  are  a  something  of  a  psychedelic  smorgasbord.  Pedals  are  dragged  to  the  virtual  board
from  the  browser  box  on  the  right,  and  their  physical  arrangement  can  be  adjusted  by  simply  dragging  with  the  mouse.  The
signal  path  is  revealed  by  opening  up  the  virtual  ‘lid’,  and  it  can  be  re-­patched  in  the  same  way.  Pedalboard  has  two  virtual
buses,  so  effects  can  be  inserted  serially  or  in  parallel  by  dragging  the  relevant  boxes.
Clicking  on  the  little  arrow  at  the  bottom  left  of  the  Pedalboard  window  reveals
the  MIDI  Controller  assignment  window.  Setting  MIDI  control  of  the  pedal’s
parameters  is  initially  a  bit  confusing,  as  the  basic  setup  is  performed  in  Logic  Pro
itself,  rather  than  in  the  Pedalboard  window:
1.  To  assign  the  Rate  and  Depth  controls  of  the  Retro  Chorus  (for  example),  select
Auto  Assign  and  click  the  Rate  control.  This  will  be  assigned  to  the  ‘Macro  A
Target’  field.

You  can  view  the  signal  path  of  the  virtual
pedalboard  by  lifting  a  virtual  ‘lid’,  and  re-­
patch  by  clicking  and  dragging.

2.  Back  in  Logic  Pro  proper,  select  Learn  Controller  Assignments  for  Rate  from  Preferences  /  Controller  Assignments  and
turn  the  hardware  MIDI  controller  that  you  wish  to  use  to  control  the  Rate.
3.  Close  the  Controller  Assignments  window  and  you  should  then  find  that  the  Rate  knob  on  the  Chorus  turns  in  tandem
with  the  hardware  control.
4.  Repeat  this  for  all  the  Macro  Targets  you  wish  to  assign  to  hardware  MIDI  controllers.  Mappings  are  saved  with
Pedalboard  settings.

Incorporating  Hardware
If  you’d  like  a  taste  of  real  speakers  moving  air,  you  don’t  need  to  do  your  entire  guitar  processing  completely  within  Logic

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun10/articles/logicnotes_0610.htm

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Company  number:  3015516  VAT  number:  GB  638  5307 26                   Current  Magazine News Web  Edition Buy  PDF  articles Magazine  Feedback Search Podcasts New  Search Forum  Search Search  Tips Competitions Articles Subscribe Subscribe  Now Web  Subscription  FAQs Home Reviews Technique Sound  Advice People Glossary Help  +  Support Forum My  SOS Today's  Hot  Topics Forum  Channel  List Forum  Search My  Forum  Home My  Forum  Settings My  Private  Messages Forum  Rules  &  Etiquette Change  Password Change  My  Email Change  My  Address My  Subscription My  eNewsletters My  Downloads SOS  TV About  SOS Contact  SOS  Staff Advertising Controlled  Circulation Licensing  Enquiries Magazine  On-­sale  Dates SOS  Logos  &  Graphics SOS  Site  Analytics Privacy  Policy Watch  exhibition  videos.  while  the  L100 EVB3  organs  through  the  distortion. There’ll  be  some  latency  induced  by  sending  out  audio  to  the  amp  but.  you  can  use  the  plug-­in  to  give  you  some  pointers  on  how the  different  models  and  positions  will  affect  the  sound  —  although.  recording  the  unprocessed guitar  from  the  input  channel  strip  along  with  the  miked-­up  guitar  will  generate  a nice  visual  aid  if  you  zoom  in  on  the  waveforms.  The views  expressed  are  those  of  the  contributors  and  not  necessarily  those  of  the  publishers.  Bar  Hill.com After  the  sound  is  adjusted  to  taste.  United  Kingdom.  All  rights  reserved.com/sos/jun10/articles/logicnotes_0610. The  contents  of  this  article  are  subject  to  worldwide  copyright  protection  and  reproduction  in  whole  or  part.soundonsound.  1985-­2014.  I  particularly  like  the EVP  88  electric  piano  through  some  of  the  Tweed  simulations.  of  course.  CB23  8SQ.  whether  mechanical  or  electronic.  For  the  rest  of  us.  the  guitar-­based  effects  open  up  a  world  of  noise. Web  site  designed  &  maintained  by  PB  Associates  |  SOS  |  Relative  Media http://www. this  isn’t  too  much  of  an  issue  with  a  low  buffer  setting  and  when  using  very processed  guitar  sounds.  tutorials. The Guitarist time saver Check it out Follow  the  steps  shown  to  assign  MIDI controllers  to  Pedalboard  functions.  but  no  pedal  effects  to drop  in  front  of  it.  is  expressly  forbidden  without  the  prior  written  consent  of the  Publishers.  I’ve  found  that  Amp  Designer’s  microphone placement  feature  is  a  brilliant  teaching  aid  and. interviews.  a  microphone  can  be  used  to  record  the sound  back  onto  a  new  track.   Home  |  Search  |  News  |  Current  Issue  |  Tablet  Mag  |  Articles  |  Forum  |  Subscribe  |  Shop  |  Readers  Ads Advertise  |  Information  |  Digital  Editions  |  Privacy  Policy  |  Support  |  Login  Help   Email:  Contact  SOS Telephone:  +44  (0)1954  789888 Fax:  +44  (0)1954  789895 Registered  Office:  Media  House.  they  are  also  fabulous  on  other  instruments.  I  have  a  really  nice  Crate  V5  five-­watt  valve  guitar  amp.  you won’t  actually  be  using  the  modelled  amps  themselves  if  you’re  using  a  real  amp.htm 2/2 . grit  and  grunge  often  missing  from  purely  electronic  music.  If  it  does  sound  out  of  time.     0 Published  in  SOS  June  2010 Amp  Designer  features  adjustable microphone  placement.  wah  and  echo  are  instant  Dave  (‘not Eurhythmics’)  Stewart.  make  sure  the  channel  output  is  set  to  ‘No  Output’.  real-­time  interface  they are  used  to.  guitarists  should  easily  be  able  to  obtain  the  tactile.  if you’re  unfamiliar  with  amp  recording.  but  you  could  also send  the  channel  strip’s  audio  directly  to  the  same  output.  so  I  use  Pedalboard  when  the  raw  guitar  sound  isn’t  enough.  masterclasses Readers  Classifieds Submit  New  Adverts View  My  Adverts SOS  Directory Information All  contents  copyright  ©  SOS  Publications  Group  and/or  its  licensors. Logic  Pro’s  I/O  plug-­in  (found  in  the  Utility  menu)  allows  you  to  send  audio  through one  of  your  interface’s  output  jacks  and  then  on  to  an  amp.  Logic  Pro’s  many  nudge  key-­ commands  can  then  be  used  to  bring  the  processed  guitar  back  into  line.  Because  you  can  use  MIDI  controllers  to  control  your  virtual knobs.  Great  care  has  been  taken  to  ensure  accuracy  in  the  preparation  of  this  article  but  neither  Sound  On  Sound  Limited  nor  the  publishers  can  be  held  responsible  for  its  contents.4/23/2014 Apple Logic: Pedal Power Cubase Digital  Performer Live Logic Pro  Tools Reaper Reason Sonar Pro. Pedalling  Ideas While  the  guitar-­based  effects  in  Logic  Pro  9  sound  excellent  when  used  with  their intended  source. Guitar Pedalboard Planner dboards.  Trafalgar  Way. Cambridge. Sound  On  Sound  Ltd  is  registered  in  England  and  Wales.  which  actually acts  as  an  excellent  teaching  aid.  If  you  use  the  I/O  plug-­ in.  again.  if  you’re  inexperienced  with recording  guitar  amps.