6. Adjust Sounds in Mixer
After (or during) composing, you have to adjust the position (pan) and volume of each track so that it won’t get messy or noisy.
[⌘2] or [X] to open the mixer.
So damn complicated…
At first, you don’t need to edit all of them. Instrument settings and effect parameters have been already well tuned by developers.
But at least you have to adjust Pan and Volume.
The key to the good mixing are:
- L-R volume balance should be of close loudness.
- Have the courage to pan maximum right and left. It’ll sound more dynamic and punchy.
- Similar sounds should be separated so that it may not get messy.
- If one sounds too loud, it spoils the song. Even if it’s a main melody, a lead phrase or anything, keep it fit in with other tracks.
- If you cannot make it sound clear anyhow, have the courage to delete some tracks. Instead, make the rest of tracks louder and impressive.
- Be extremely careful not to make any unexpected distortion. It happens when too many sounds ring at the same time. If it does, decrease some velocities or just mute some notes.
Use existing songs (especially the same genre!) as a reference.
Before mixing, you’ve got to insert a certain effector into the master output track; Adaptive Limiter.[su_video url=”https://plugmon.org/files/uploads/2014/10/03-limiter.mp4″ poster=”https://plugmon.org/files/images/logic/03-limiterthumb.png” title=”Insert Adaptive Limiter” height=”400″]
Open mixer. Click an empty slot in Output track. Go [Dynamics] – [Adaptive Limiter].
What is Limiter?
When the master volume is too loud, A noise or distortion issue could happen (This is called “Clipping“).
When a track clips, the level meter will warn you with a red signal.
Clipping must be avoided anyway, and the best tool for this is Limiter.
Limiter solves this problem by limiting the audio signal. What is more, you can boost loudness safely.
There are two waveform pictures below. One is without limiter and the other is with. You can see how powerful the limiter is.
Only the sound of the snare drum is too loud, and it can’t get any louder for fear of clipping. This is exactly what we call “Bottleneck”.
So by cutting down these peaky signals, the whole song can get much louder and achieve great punch.
Surprisingly, the sound doesn’t get bad (unless you limit it too much). The technology is beyond our comprehension.
Loudness is really important to get listeners satisfied. So boost it with “Gain” knob.
And you should set “Out ceiling” -0.1dB. It’s also for a clipping protection.
Finally, finally export the song!! Exporting a song is called “Bounce“.
[⌘B] to bounce.
If the cycle playback is active, the cycle range is set as the default exporting range!! So before bouncing, set the preferred range.
Select the format, bitrate (sound quality & file size).
Done!!! This time I made this.
Add tracks, choose sounds from library, add notes, adjust pan & volume.
Only with these, you can make some kinda song.
Of course Logic has a lot more functions.
From the next section, I’ll introduce them.