Emagic's Logic Audio family of sequencer packages has evolved into a very powerful set of tools integrating MIDI and disk-based digital audio recording/editing. Here are some processes I've adapted to save time in various situations.
TRANSFERRING PROJECTS BETWEEN APPLICATIONS
I often encounter clients who started projects on either Pro Tools or Logic Audio, and wish to complete work on the other app. Transferring projects between the two is a relatively simple process. Since Version 3.5, Logic Audio Platinum has been able to import and export time-stamped information via SDII regions. This simplifies the task of moving compositions between applications, because it allows you to easily restore the time position of a region.
This feature will work with any application that can read and write time stamps to SDII regions. As an example, here's how to move files from Logic Audio to Pro Tools.
- From the Audio window, select the audio files you wish to export. (If you are moving all of the files and regions of a song, then simply use the Select All command.)
- Inside the Audio window under File, select Export SDII Regions. Logic will time stamp the regions according to their position in the Arrange window.
Note: If the same region is used multiple times in the song, then Logic will use the position of the first instance of the region. For this reason, you will generally want to make all regions in your song “individual regions” before starting this procedure. Use Logic's Convert Regions to Individual Regions menu option to perform this task.
In Pro Tools:
- Add the audio “regions” using the Import Audio option found in the File or Region List menus.
- Enable Spot mode and disable the Auto Spot function.
- Drag the regions onto the desired tracks in the Edit window. When the Time Stamp window appears, load the original time stamp value into the Start Point window and hit “OK.” The region will now be located at the same position that it has in Logic Audio.
FROM PRO TOOLS TO LOGIC AUDIO
In Pro Tools:
- Select all the regions in the Region bin that you wish to export.
- Select “Export Region Definitions” from Region List menu.
- Select File inside the Audio window and use the Add Audio File function to add the files that were exported from Pro Tools.
- Select the files imported in the Audio window and select Import SDII Regions under File. The regions that now contain time-stamped info will show up with small clock icons to the left of their name.
- Drag the regions into the Arrange window and place them on the desired tracks.
- With the regions selected, choose the Functions and Regions to Original Record position.
AUDIO FILES TO EXS 24
We recently bought and installed the EXS 24, Emagic's software-based sampler that works within Logic Audio. One feature of the EXS 24 is its ability to read Akai S1000- and S3000-formatted sampler CD-ROMs, copy all of the samples to your hard drive and retain key mapping information — thus avoiding the tedium of manually importing the audio files and remapping key assignments.
However, when it comes to dealing with a sample CD made up of long audio files that contain assorted samples, the process typically involves extracting each sample manually via the Edit Region function in the Audio window — a time-consuming procedure. You can save a lot of time by using Strip Silence, found under the Options menu in the Audio window. By adjusting the threshold sensitivity, you can visually adjust start and end points within an audio file and subsequently divide the file into separate regions much faster than doing it manually. It's really helpful if, for example, you have a 60-second audio file made of 30 different samples. After using Strip Silence to define each sample as a separate region, save each region as a separate audio file using the “Save Region As” command under Audio File and import them into the EXS 24.
Special thanks to Bob Hant and Clint Ward at Emagic for their input for this article. Composer/producer Walt Szalva owns Planet 3 Productions in San Francisco.