Music Production Tutorials

Introduction To Logic Pro For BeginnersMarch 30, 2011

Grant ʻSTKʼ Fosbraey gives his insights on getting the most from Logic Pro for beginners...

Why Did I Choose Logic Pro?

Well there are many reasons. For starters Logic's interface is very user friendly, and everything is pretty easy to find. You can also use it for many different aspects of production, for example recording, production, mixing, songwriting and mastering. It very easy to find samples and open them in logic, allowing you to load new drum kits and samples. I personally use synths that do not come with logic, however logicʼs stock plugins are great also. Enough talk - letʼs move on to the business...

When you open logic youʼll be presented with a few basic choices. There are three main categories: Explore, Compose and Produce. ʻExploreʼ allows you to create an empty project. ʻGuitar tonesʼ loads a large variety of tones - good for creating new guitar sounds, and finally ʻInstrumentsʼ which loads up a series of diverse instruments in a project. Next we have 'Compose' with a larger variety of presets, but with an empty project. These presets are great if you are looking to get started quickly, and are split up into genres. For instance choosing the ʻHip-hopʼ option will give you dark sounds, punchy drums and funky bass lines. Using presets is good to help you find your way around logic, and get used to the sounds. 

Once youʼve selected an empty project youʼll be presented with this screen :

At the bottom of the window you have your track controls (skip, record, stop and play). In the middle you have your global parameters and outputs. This includes your BPM (Tempo), what time signature your track is in (4/4) and your outputs. To the right of this you have some useful tools however, you wonʼt need them to begin with apart from Metronome. A Metronome helps keep you in time whilst recording, and also can be helpful to find the BPM of a track. Now iʼm sure youʼll want to quickly get to the production - so if you have an instrument in mind, heres how to open it.

Selecting a Sound :

Option 1: Go to the top right corner and click on media then click libary and select your sound (to play your sound either plug in a Midi keyboard or press your capʼs lock button to open a built in keyboard.)

Option 2: Click on the insert above the ʻstereo outʼ, a pop down menu will appear - continue to choose your sound from here.

Creating/Opening Drum Kits:

So iʼve told you how to open instrumentʼs now iʼll quickly explain how to open drum kits. Creating drumʼs on logic are really simple, add a insert and choose ultrabeat. This patch is really simple to use, you will be presented with a easy interface - just click where you want your hits and on what instrument. Alternatively use the preset drum patterns that come up and edit them from there. To create your own, in the bottom left corner click the (c-1_ sq) button and choose any one that doesnʼt have SQ after it. SQ stands for sequence. With
Logic you get given around 20-35 different drum kitʼs ranging from minimal to Hip-hop etc. Now these are cool to use for awhile - however you will soon 'outgrow' these sounds, and may wish to purchase some new drum sample sets. To put your drumʼs into your track, click the small button in the left hand corner next to the word pattern - then drag this into your arrange window.

Opening Samples:

To open samples, create a new channel, and add EXS24 sampler - then click edit. Click Zone, and then New Zone at the top of your screen then select your sound from your hard drive. For example say youʼve loaded the producers choices ʻhip-hopʼ kick drum, you can now play this using your keyboard, and change pitch, and velocity. Then proceed to create a new channel and do the same
whilst opening a snare. Itʼs good to layer your drums (Iʼll show you guys that in the next article). Another way to open samples is using ultrabeat. When you open ultrabeat, click on sample in the bottom left corner as you can see here:

Next, click ʻNo Sample Loadedʼ and once again choose what you like. The only other way you can open them which isnʼt as beneficial is dragging the audio files straight into a channel from wherever they are saved.

So now you know how to make basic sounds, and drum kitʼs as well as knowing how to open samples which I personally recommend the oneʼs available from as iʼve used them in many industry standard mixes. They are great qulaity, and have a large variety available.

Production? Where to start?

Now this is a question everybody askʼs me - as a producer, where do you start? Itʼs a hard question because it can be different for every session. If I think of something quick like a melody, iʼd open a synth and get that down first. A good drum pattern is also key to building a good track, itʼs a good focal point allowing you to develop and build around it. 

Next i add the bass as this is a dominant instrument coupled with the drums. It is good to balance these to start, you donʼt want them
clashing later on. So my advice would be try getting them to work together (Donʼt let them share the same frequencies, Iʼll explain in a further issue). From here on out add what you feel necessary - I also slightly mix my track whilst going, so when I get to post-production my soundʼs aren't totally wild.

Thatʼs it for this issue - I hope iʼve given you a basic insight to how things work. My next issue will be more in depth. If you have any ideaʼs or suggestions, please email them to:

Alternatively you can leave me a tweet @MR_Stalk

Thank you for reading, and watch this space for the next issue.

Grant ʻStkʼ Fosbraey.
Better Drum Samples


  • Nice article Grant, deff be reading the next one as I use logic as well and looking to further my knowledge.

    Posted by James Hurno on March 30, 2011

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