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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:25 am

Dave Rowles wrote:Desmond rocks on these sort of things.

On the FlexPitch front, you are right, sometimes altering pitch using it will create audible artefacts or glitches. It's usually when there is a very quick varying of pitch, and the detection system built into logic can't cope, but I've had it before on what I've thought were simple tasks.

Indeed, and my problem is not that having to 'endure' a click or two, but that when you undo the pitch correction, although it returns the original pitch, it does not remove the newly produced click or noise burst! It's there to stay.

It's great that they've built this kind of thing into logic, and it's good for basic projects, or quick easy tasks, but it's not as good as Melodyne. I'm often annoyed that I can see waveform, but Logic hasn't detected a pitch, or gives me any way of altering any part of that signal. If you're looking at doing a lot of pitch correct and want near artefact free, then I highly recommend getting Melodyne. It does the job a hell of a lot better.

I second this too. For instance I was happy to see a formant tool option on each individual pitch, but the sound it produces is not much better than the usual cartoonish versions (Darth Vader vs Mimmie Mouse), it does not 'change gender' or the vocal character.

I suppose it's nice to have Flex (in terms of tuning application) for the occasional adjustment, but for 'proper', release quality applications, maybe it's asking too much...
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:06 am

Hi Desmond, I thought I owned an update on my Logic Pro X experience. And there is news...

I had taken advantage of the COVID-3-Months trial offer to check it out against my 20+ years of Cubase. Well, despite of the problems I was having I decided to take the plunge and buy the 'App'. I have to say that the automated uninstall and reinstall of the paid version went smoothly, quick and painless, keeping all my original settings. But, BUT much more interesting the problems I had seems to have gone! As you suggested, if I now highlight two sound clips on different track I am asked if I wanted to merge them in mono or stereo, which was what I wanted all along!

Also, remember that I had this huge problem with clipping being generated when Flex (pitch correction) 'read' a vocal (for instance) with raspy voice or breathing, which was non-undoable? Now, so far, it seems to have disappeared. I noticed that the software had a minor update, but it makes me wonder if the trial version is "not all of that"... Still.

To wrap things up, in the previous version, and I am not sure if it is going to happen again in the 'proper' one, the orphan files that I asked about and could not get rid of, where created in this way:

When recording with cycle engaged if the L and R locators overlap an already recorded section, the software automatically creates a new track below. Now, if I stopped the software, erased the part and started again, it's all fine. BUT, if I press undo, the sound file disappears as intended but the 'frame' remains in the track but can be deleted as a second step. However, it appears that from now on the software remembers this part and when loading again it cannot find the wav file it is referring to. Clearly a software glitch, and a rather annoying one to booth. I do hope this is not going to happen again in the new paid version.

Last question as a novice: now that I have paid £200 (Sorry, US-STyle £199.99, i.e., "less than 200 pound!"), and I decide to buy a new computer or it needs clean software reinstalling, where is the software going to be found again? In Cubase you had a dongle and serial numbers. Here the software "just installed" without asking me for passwords, SN, or anything. How does it work?

All the same, thanks again.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby dBerriff » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:41 am

Logic Pro X is tied to your Apple ID. You can install it on any Mac computer where you have "logged in" to your ID. Just download and install Logic from the App Store.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:43 am

dBerriff wrote:Logic Pro X is tied to your Apple ID. You can install it on any Mac computer where you have "logged in" to your ID. Just download and install Logic from the App Store.
Fab, thanks!
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:15 am

VOLOVIA wrote:Also, remember that I had this huge problem with clipping being generated when Flex (pitch correction) 'read' a vocal (for instance) with raspy voice or breathing, which was non-undoable? Now, so far, it seems to have disappeared. I noticed that the software had a minor update, but it makes me wonder if the trial version is "not all of that"... Still.

As far as I know, the trial version is no different to the regular version in any way other than the time limitation.

VOLOVIA wrote:To wrap things up, in the previous version, and I am not sure if it is going to happen again in the 'proper' one, the orphan files that I asked about and could not get rid of, where created in this way:

When recording with cycle engaged if the L and R locators overlap an already recorded section, the software automatically creates a new track below. Now, if I stopped the software, erased the part and started again, it's all fine. BUT, if I press undo, the sound file disappears as intended but the 'frame' remains in the track but can be deleted as a second step. However, it appears that from now on the software remembers this part and when loading again it cannot find the wav file it is referring to. Clearly a software glitch, and a rather annoying one to booth. I do hope this is not going to happen again in the new paid version.

Yes, even if you remove regions from an audio file in the main window, the reference to the audio file remains in the project (you can see it in the audio inspector which lists out all the used audio files in the project) unless you actually remove it - this is expected and intentional. As to not finding external audio files referenced in the project, this again comes back to where you are recording to, which we never troubleshooted, but if you follow the procedures I outlined previously, you shouldn't have any problems with Logic not being able to find external assets, as they will always be contained within the project.

VOLOVIA wrote:Last question as a novice: now that I have paid £200 (Sorry, US-STyle £199.99, i.e., "less than 200 pound!"), and I decide to buy a new computer or it needs clean software reinstalling, where is the software going to be found again? In Cubase you had a dongle and serial numbers. Here the software "just installed" without asking me for passwords, SN, or anything. How does it work?

The same as any AppStore app - just redownload it from the AppStore should you need to. :thumbup:
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:53 am

Thanks again Desmond. Yes, if you're curious, and if the problem occurs again, I will try to document it and share. But believe me, the paid version feels 'smoother' on my computer and again everything works as expected. Maybe, just maybe, this time it installed 'better' (the previous version towards the end of the trial period started crashing!).

It will remain a mystery I suppose. Thanks again and, as you say to the doctor, I hope not to bother "you" again.

Cheers
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:10 am

No worries, glad it's going smoothly so far! :thumbup:
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:24 am

Ok, now after a couple of months with the full version of LPX I can repeat the problems I keep having. I knew how to resolve the issue in Cubase but I cannot find a way to do it in LPX.
I wrote that sometimes when flexing for pitch correction created clicks or noise bursts if I edited a neighbouring note. Worse, even undoing the edit, the pitch would have gone back to its original state but the new clip/noise could not be undone (not even by 'resampling' it).
Now I think I know what happens. When I sing using a 'husky', breathy voice, Flex cannot work out the note. Fair enough. Now, if I edit the note part of it, let's say the ending, the problem is created. What I think is happening is that the software is adjusting automatically the notes' lengths, i.e., time-stretching as well. By doing so, the 'breath', white noise is granulated. At this point, there is no way back but to reload the original. Question: is it possible as in Cubase to pitch correct WITHOUT time-stretching or the two are inexorably linked (and why if so?).

I have also worked out the problems with the undeletable 'ghost' tracks that when loading "are not found". I used to highlight the sound file that had a question mark next in the explorer, but the 'delete' function was not available. Now instead I go to "delete unused files" and it seems to do the trick. Still, a bit illogical not being able to do it from the file inspector (with a '!' next to it).

Last, and this is driving mad now, is the scrolling function's shortcut. I searched the web and found that it might be the "Scroll in Play", with the shortcut in the UK keyboard of Ctrl+~. However, this does not work. I have also tried to create a new shortcut and it does not work. What am I doing wrong? Isn't it call "Scroll in Play"?

Thanks for the help, I really try to RTFM before bothering others.

Cheers, Rob
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:11 am

VOLOVIA wrote:Now I think I know what happens. When I sing using a 'husky', breathy voice, Flex cannot work out the note. Fair enough. Now, if I edit the note part of it, let's say the ending, the problem is created. What I think is happening is that the software is adjusting automatically the notes' lengths, i.e., time-stretching as well. By doing so, the 'breath', white noise is granulated. At this point, there is no way back but to reload the original.

Flex time and flex pitch are completely non-destructive, they don't change the audio files at all - which is how you can "reload" the original.

If you want to reset the flex edits back to the original, non-flexed audio, you can control-click on the region in the main window (with flex view enabled) or region background in the track/flex editor (or on selections of notes) and choose "Reset All" which will reset all the flexing, including any timing changes.

Image

Or you can turn off flex completely, in which case your original audio plays as recorded with no flexing.

VOLOVIA wrote:Question: is it possible as in Cubase to pitch correct WITHOUT time-stretching or the two are inexorably linked (and why if so?).

If you're using flex pitch, then you can (just like Melodyne) move notes around in time (eg, move the beginnings or endings etc), but you don't *have* to. Logic shouldn't change timings just by enabling flex pitch and analysing the notes but it may be that's it's having difficulty in cases where the note pitch is indeterminate so sometimes what it identifies as notes isn't entirely correct (Melodyne has the same issues but is a little better at this.)

If you have an example of a piece of raw audio, that when you turn on flex pitch, the timing changes, upload it and I'll take a look.

It's possible of course that in the process of flex editing you are changing the timing by dragging the notes or note boundaries when you didn't mean to, or you are using the "Time quantise" option which will quantise the audio when used (Make sure this is Off and strength at 0).

VOLOVIA wrote:I have also worked out the problems with the undeletable 'ghost' tracks that when loading "are not found". I used to highlight the sound file that had a question mark next in the explorer, but the 'delete' function was not available. Now instead I go to "delete unused files" and it seems to do the trick. Still, a bit illogical not being able to do it from the file inspector (with a '!' next to it).

When you load a project and audio files are not found, the references to those remain in the project, which is as intended and desirable. It's up to you to manage things though if you're doing a bunch of stuff and moving assets around etc. This is why my previous recommendation of always copying assets to the project folder setting is valuable - it means you don't have to think about this stuff, and all your assets will be in the project bundle/folder and will never be lost.

VOLOVIA wrote:Last, and this is driving mad now, is the scrolling function's shortcut. I searched the web and found that it might be the "Scroll in Play", with the shortcut in the UK keyboard of Ctrl+~. However, this does not work. I have also tried to create a new shortcut and it does not work. What am I doing wrong? Isn't it call "Scroll in Play"?

You can go into the key command window (Logic Pro X -> Key Commands -> Edit) and browse, search and reassign whatever commands you want. There's a lot of stuff in here. If I just enter "scroll" as a search term, for example, in my copy I get: (my key commands won't necessarily be the same as any one else's, mine have evolved from 1993, I don't use the defaults that come with recent versions).

Image

In my case, you can see there is no key shortcut assigned to that command, but I could do so if I wanted to. In you case, if you have a key shortcut assigned it you'll see it in the Key column, or you can assign/change/add it if you want to.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:25 am

Wow, this is great Desmond. Thanks. I will try to recreate the 'granular' problem and document it for this forum, which is easier to explain.

In terms of the shortcuts, I had another go on the interweb and found that the right jargon is 'Catch up', in terms of what I need. In essence, I just need to control the playhead button with a shortcut, that's all. Once I figure where it is I will curse myself how easy was to find, but for now...

Thanks again.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:28 am

"Catch Playhead Position" is the term, but a search for "catch" will find it.

Also check Preferences -> General -> Catch for default options (or control-click the catch button).
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby VOLOVIA » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:02 pm

Hi Desmond, I sorted the shortcut issues by just searching for the right keyword (in this case, "playhead", not 'chase' or 'catch' or whatever).

The 'granulation issue' (it sounds like a BBT episode) is recurrent. I have developed a theory: when the 'raspy' voice, i.e., kind of pink noise is present and Flex is called on to pitch a note around it, if it is pitched up the granulation occurs (by stretching the 'noise', even if it is not included in the 'box'), while if the note is sharp (thus lowering the pitch), clicks are generated (because it time compresses the sample). This is the example that I include below. It is extremely annoying and the only way to overcome it is to cut the word out and pitch the rest. Unfortunately, if the word contains the 'husky' note, there is nothing one can do but to sing it again (maybe a blessing in disguise).
Also, the most puzzling issue is that you cannot undo the created artefact: by 'undo' the pitch returns to its original state but the noise, clicks, remain. You have at this point go back to the original wav.

Before:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tswi03vzsk4a5 ... 6.wav?dl=0
After:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/i29jeugcgj1ix ... r.wav?dl=0

However, a much bigger problem now has risen in regards to delay compensation. Out of the blue, my admittingly ancient Alesis interface got out of sync when recording. It is very consistent, I record anything and then I have to shift the track 10 ms or so back to make it sit perfectly. I thought it to be a problem with the interface so I plugged in a brand new Shure USB microphone, which has always worked with no issues. The same ~10 ms offset. The 'delay' compensation is on. I looked at the settings carefully and nothins seems 'odd'.
Please, be aware that I am not a novice and taught Music Technology at college level for years...

This is puzzling. I recorded in a computer for over 20 years but I never met this kind of issues before and feel 'frustrated' not to be able to sort these things out by myself. Great believer in RTFM myself!

I have to say that I don't regret sure switching from Cubase to Logic, Flex is great for timing fixing for instance, and most things are .... logic. But these issues are stopping me from enjoying it fully. Cheers again.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:09 pm

I'll have a look at your example files a bit later on.

As for the delay, check your recording offset (Preferences -> Audio -> Recording Delay) and also check if you have any latency-inducing plugins on various buses or outputs that are pushing the signal back.

You can always compare with your Mac's inbuilt audio interface to see if the behaviour is the same or different to the Alesis.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:56 pm

VOLOVIA wrote:The 'granulation issue' (it sounds like a BBT episode) is recurrent.

Ok, I had a quick look/listen to your files. From the differences between your two files, I can clearly hear what you are referring to in your source files. It does indeed sound pretty bad.

VOLOVIA wrote:I have developed a theory: when the 'raspy' voice, i.e., kind of pink noise is present and Flex is called on to pitch a note around it, if it is pitched up the granulation occurs (by stretching the 'noise', even if it is not included in the 'box'), while if the note is sharp (thus lowering the pitch), clicks are generated (because it time compresses the sample). This is the example that I include below.

I'm not sure I agree with your theory, but I don't really know the exact DSP that's going on under the hood - it's certainly not quite that simple as there are both format shifting and unpitched signals going on. Let's skip over our speculations for now.

Anyway, I loaded both your files into Logic. Firstly - you've got a great sounding voice! It's only a short sample, but there's a weird honky harmonic thing going on there in the middle (nothing to do with noise) and that probably isn't helping the flex pitch algorithm.

In any case, turning flex pitch on on the recording, and playing with various settings, pitching things around and so on, and I could not duplicate your "granular" effect that you display in your "after" file. With flex pitch on, I would say the audio was marginally affected (which is fairly normal) but not overly so, but regardless, with both zero pitch change, or 100% change to absolute pitch, with or without formant processing, I do not get that breaking up "granular" thing anywhere near what you display in your after file. It *is* sort of there on the source file - vocals can do some weird things harmonically sometimes, and as I said that's just a factor of the recording (for this particular sample, at least), but I can't get anywhere near to your "after" sample whatever I do.

If you format shift the vocal up quite a bit as an excercise you can get a different perspective of what's going on harmonically in that section too - this will sound artificial of course, but it's interesting nonetheless.

(Of course, I don't know what you did to get the "after" sample without the actual project, so it maybe that you've done some other processing or stretching which has contributed to this. Certainly if you get that output just by turning flex pitch "on" on that vocal, then I cannot replicate that here.)

I can do some some samples if you don't believe me. If you want to investigate further, it's more helpful if you could make a simple project example with that file and your flex pitch edits that's producing this effect on your system, and I can then see exactly what you're doing, and see whether it produces the same effect here, and that may give some clues as to the weirdness going on.

I was going to compare the results with Melodyne on the same phrase, but given Logic isn't giving me the artifacts you are getting I'll skip that for now.

What version of Logic are you using? I also notice the files are 16-bit - I don't know if you've bit reduced these down just for demonstration purposes, but I strongly recommend recording at 24-bit.

VOLOVIA wrote:It is extremely annoying and the only way to overcome it is to cut the word out and pitch the rest.

There are indeed times where DSP on acoustic material can result in various artifacts (not just in Logic's flex pitch, I mean in general). I'm particularly sensitive to this - try seamlessly looping thousands of difficult to loop samples - it's really easy to confuse the brain. I have certainly found that while I don't tend to use Flexpitch (or flextime for the same reasons) that much, when I have done I've found the results... variable. Sometimes, for some audio, and with what needs to be done it works fine, others, not so much. There is enough doubt for me that the results will be ok that I tend to use different tools for these tasks that have a (for me) more predictable outcome.

VOLOVIA wrote:Unfortunately, if the word contains the 'husky' note, there is nothing one can do but to sing it again (maybe a blessing in disguise).

Or try a different tool or approach - there are a variety of ways you can repitch things. There was a time before Melodyne etc :)

VOLOVIA wrote:Also, the most puzzling issue is that you cannot undo the created artefact: by 'undo' the pitch returns to its original state but the noise, clicks, remain. You have at this point go back to the original wav.

Did you read what I wrote above regarding flex pitch resetting? Turning flex pitch *off* complete should play the audio unprocessed (ie normally) so you can always split the vocal at the word or phrase causing problems and keep flex pitch off for those - from what you wrote above it sounds like you are doing that already. Sometimes you need a composite approach on material that's proving tricky to process.

It's certainly a weird one, but I can't replicate it here yet, I'm afraid.
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Re: New to Mac-Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:57 pm

I played around with it a bit more.

The only way I could get it to sound obviously granular and artificial is by stretching the unrecognised sections significantly so Logic has to invent audio material to make it work. For example, at the section of your vocal where it has that weird harmonic activity (just before the granular stuff in your after file), Logic doesn't detect a clear note there, so the main long note is split into two:

Image

(This is common for all these kinds of tools, though some tools are better than others in this regard.)

If I now for example shorten the first part of the detected note, or move back the start of the second section, Logic timestretches the inbetween stuff, and if that gets extreme then the timestretching artifacts are obvious and unnatural sounding.

However, this is not affected if you are just repitching and not moving starts and ends signficantly (because there is no real timestretching involved). Small movements are ok too, but there's no reason in this case to stretch the note portions in the middle anyway.

You are supposed to be able to "glue" separate notes back together but this doesn't work in this instance because of the unrecognised section in the middle. So it means this particular note is tricky to process completely - but for subtle pitch changes, in practice it doesn't really seem to matter. I didn't really have much of a problem improving the pitch of that phrase in a relatively natural way, even with the unrecognised portion of the note in there.

But the source of this unrecognised section is not the "noise" as you refer to in previous posts, but imo the weird harmonic movement that's happening at that point - just an artifact of that recording, or your voice+mic combination in general, perhaps.

Edit: As perhaps expected, Melodyne does a slightly better job here - it does recognise the full length of the note and the processing results were also pretty natural sounding. But in this case, at least for me, either tool would be ok for natural processing without doing anything extreme.
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