Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

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akpasta
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Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by akpasta » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:06 am

I am trying to learn about tempo in Logic X Pro and I'm pretty damn confused. Let me explain what I'm trying to do:

My project is analog based in a tascam 388, with a drum machine app (DM1) as the rhythm (2 tracks audio). It's been moved to Logic where it exists now. First I sent an audio 2-track out mix from the DM1 drum machine app onto two tracks on the Tascam 388 tape deck and dubbed instruments onto the remaining 6 tracks. Then I dumped all 8 tracks to Logic with an 8-track interface and did some more overdubs, effects, mixing, etc. Later on I realized my drum machine app is capable of exporting each individual drum track as an audio file; they're sequence-based so you just line up the beginning of each region in Logic and you can have individual tracks for every sample in the drum sequence. You can pan, effect, everything individually. It sounds great, way better than a 2-track mix down straight from the drum machine.

I thought I could just import new audio files for each drum track into Logic and line them up at the same starting point with the old drum machine region as the bpm was the same going onto the analog 388. HOWEVER, there seems to be some "tape stretch" on the analog 388 transfer; so even if everything is lined up at the beginning in Logic, by the end it's not in sync anymore.

I've heard there's all these tricks in Logic to solve this type of situation, but I have no idea how to do it. I've messed around with a few of the features but it didn't really work.

First I thought I'd need to get rid of the "tape stretch" and make all of my 388 analog mix in Logic the same bpm all the way through (I made a smart tempo multi-track set as an attempt of doing this), and then import my drum machine audio files and make them match that bpm. But they were still out of sync by the end. As far as I know, this is the only technique to make these things match, but I'm not really sure.

I also heard that you can "stretch" audio regions to match tempo, but I'm not really sure how that works.

Can anyone point me in the direction of how to do this the "Right" way? Is there even a way to do it?

Thanks!

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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by kslight » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:39 am

All tape machines I've used have some degree of wow and flutter...this is not isolated to the 388, just a nature of the beast. The only luck I've ever had in correcting this is manual editing..yes in a 4 minute song this could easily reach hundreds of edits if absolute rigidity is required. Why I always recommend going to tape once, transferring all of your tracks to computer at once...and finishing there. Or doing your whole song in the DAW then submix down to 8 tracks to the 388, then re-record back to the DAW.


If you dedicated a track on tape to something resembling a click at the time you recorded all the other tracks to 388 you could probably tell your DAW to chase that as the click (I don't use Logic so don't know what it can do) and then try to have your drum machine sync to that.


In your situation if all you are trying to replace are drum hits you could try do some kind of separation of the elements (through filtering/gating?) and then key a drum replacer off of those...still would require some manual fixing I'm sure unless your drums aren't very complicated.

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alexdingley
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by alexdingley » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:56 pm

If I'm reading you correctly — you had the electronic drums printed to a pair of tracks on the 388, and then the other 6 tracks with overdubbed instrumentation...

...all of that (and it's 388-imparted wow/flutter) is now dumped into Logic as 8 individual audio tracks (or maybe some are stereo pairs, etc... not the point)...

... and onto that digitized version of the analog tape recording, you've now recorded even more tracks (but the "even more" were tracked directly into Logic.

And now that you have realized you could be pushing the drums out of the DM1 app (from an iphone/iPad, I gather?) you want to line those up with the originally dumped-in-from-analog Logic session.

— — definitely a tough situation to get "right" — — 

Here's my questions:
1. are you REALLY married to the performances you'd dubbed onto the 388 and then dumped into the 388 & subsequently dumped into Logic & overdubbed more onto? (I have to presume you are — or you wouldn't be asking for clever tricks to preserve them... but I thought it was worth asking). If not — record the whole thing over, as it could be a good exercise.

2. Is the wow/flutter of the 388-imported audio so wild that you can hear it? If so... it is helping or hurting the song?

3. Have you explored the "Beat Mapping" feature in Logic? (here's a quick support article that explains a) how to enable it and b) what it's for)

It sounds like what you've already tried with the "smart tempo multi-track set" was approaching it by trying to squish/stretch the dumped-in 388 tracks to get them to "be right", but I think that is a) gonna cause notable artifacts that are audible and b) destroying some tiny timing things that may be contributing to the vibe of your track... so I'd try to get the rest of the world to bend to the 388-dumped tracks.

— — Here's what I might try, if I was really trying to preserve the takes that I brought in from the 388 — — 

1. don't yet import the newly isolated individual drum audio files from DM1 — we'll come for them later.
2. Start with the DM-1 Stereo Track (that has the 388-wow/flutter) and enable the global track for "Beat Mapping".
3. Slide ALL audio tracks so that the very first downbeat (of the DM-1 Stereo track) is lined up with some appropriate measure (maybe measure 2)
4. (if needs be; learn how to & then) Use Beat mapping to ensure that Logic's tempo flexes to have the measures of the session snap to the waveforms of your wowed/fluttered stereo track... do the WHOLE song from start to end. You don't have to do EVERY single hit of the drum track. Typically, when I'm beat-mapping, I only place mapping-markers every measure or two... so long as the measure-lines seem to land tight with the waveforms of my drum hits, I won't sweat the small stuff (your mileage may vary with this... and it depends how exacting you need to be)
5. Once you've "mapped" the Session tempo to (as tightly as needs be) follow your once-analog tracks... then I'd go bring in the isolated files from the DM-1 app.
6. Once you have the DM-1 app iso tracks brought in... you will have two choices.
a) You could create a multi-track set out of them, and have them conform to the now ebbing/flowing tempo of the track.
b) You could slice & dice the multi-track audio to land where the 2-track DM-1 audio is landing.


There are tutorials online of how to work with Beat-Mapping... I'm sure some of the youtube ones are fine

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:18 am

Ok friend.

Welcome to Hell.

I will tell you how to get out of it. But first, you need to fry in there for a bit. LOL.

Here is how Tape plus DAW works:
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IT DOESN'T.

This is what you need to make it work:

A tape machine that has a strong enough tape transport motor, and attending accessories in it (capstan etc), so you can slave it to the DAW,
or slave the DAW to it, in a SAMPLE ACCURATE MANNER.

The Tascam whothingy doodad, cannot do this. You need some pro stuff. Can you say STUDER? Can you say MCI?

Yep.

ALL tape machines have wow and flutter. Some have less. Some have more.

The trick is to have a LYNX. Specifically a MicroLynx. A whole system.

And a 2" tape machine with a pair of HUGE transport motors, that can be servo controlled by the aforementioned Lynx.

Why?

Because, no matter what, the tape machine WILL CHANGE SPEED (DRIFT) even a small amount. And your DAW NEEDS to change speed with it.

That is what the Lynx system enables your DAW to do: Speed up and slow down at the same rate as the tape machine.

UP < DOWN > UP < DOWN > UP < DOWN > no matter what the tape does, the DAW matches it.

Because the tape machines will have HUGE motors and good electronics, this drift will be MINIMAL.

The Lynx SMPTE controller will be able to easily match the speed of the tape, and spit out SMPTE code that drifts along with it,
so that your DAW also speeds up and down with it.

Oh, sorry, you will not be able to use Logic Pro for this. Because it does not properly resolve SMPTE time code. Nope.

Try Avid Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, hell, even Reaper can do this better.

You will also need a SMPTE reader for your DAW computer, to read and slave the DAW from the lynx system.

Cheerio!!!
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

analogika
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by analogika » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:55 am

Have Logic's Smart Tempo analyse the imported 388 tracks and apply the audio's region tempo to the project (control-click on region).

Set the project's Smart Tempo to "Keep" ("Automatic" might work as well).

THEN import or record the additional drum tracks into the project. It should "Just Work".

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:58 pm

analogika wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:55 am
Have Logic's Smart Tempo analyse the imported 388 tracks and apply the audio's region tempo to the project (control-click on region).

Set the project's Smart Tempo to "Keep" ("Automatic" might work as well).

THEN import or record the additional drum tracks into the project. It should "Just Work".
Nope. Because each individual tape pass will vary in speed differently than the last one. Sometimes, by too much.
This is a random drift, not connected to anything and not predictable.

Cheers.
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Your "fix" is to just use the Stereo Drum track, the one you did overdubs to that work and are synched to that drum track,
and forget about passing the individual drums through the tape machine.

Those will all be out of synch.

I think that will allow you to move along in the song production.

You also now know a very valuable lesson.

Cheers!!!
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:03 pm

Your 2nd "fix" would be to indeed print the individual drums onto the tape,

Then import them to Logic.

Then you groupd all these new tracks.

Then you edit them to MATCH the original Stereo drum track exactly, hit by hit, until you are done.

DO NOT EFF WITH ANY OF THE OLDER TRACKS THAT ARE OK.

It will take you a couple of hours if you are fast at editing.

Ps: If you are going bonkers, you can send this to me. But I will do it on Pro Tools. And export consolidated files back to you,
to use in a new session.

Cheers
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

analogika
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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by analogika » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:07 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:03 pm
Your 2nd "fix" would be to indeed print the individual drums onto the tape,

Then import them to Logic.

Then you groupd all these new tracks.

Then you edit them to MATCH the original Stereo drum track exactly, hit by hit, until you are done.
If you have set Smart Tempo to follow the originally recorded drum track from the tape machine and set the project to "keep tempo", that is exactly what Logic should do automatically when you import further drum tracks from another session and tell it to adjust them to follow the project tempo map (you can tell Logic to align beats, as well, if you want).

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Re: Logic X Pro - Tempo and Audio Files

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:01 am

I have yet to ever see any DAW do this with any precision.

You can, of course prove otherwise...
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