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Apple Logic: Drum Synth & Drum Machine Designer

Apple Logic Pro Tips & Techniques By Stephen Bennett
Published April 2021

Screen 1: Drum Synth, with all its kit pieces housed in a Track Stack.Screen 1: Drum Synth, with all its kit pieces housed in a Track Stack.

Logic’s drum instruments offer powerful ways of laying down percussion and more...

Logic Pro’s Ultrabeat electronic drum plug‑in has been around almost as long as humans first hit a stretched animal skin across a hollowed‑out tree. Although powerful, it can be confusing at times, so an update was long overdue. What Apple effectively did with the release of Logic 10.5 was to split the Ultrabeat’s concept into two parts: the relatively simple Drum Synth and the more complex Drum Machine Designer.

Drum Synth

The way to approach Drum Synth is to think of each instance you load into Logic Pro as a single drum in itself — a bit like how, in the early days of electronic drums, you could buy a hardware device that only generated claps or snares. You then use several versions of the drum synth to build up your kit. To get started, load a Drum synth plug‑in onto an Instrument Track.

Screen 2: The Drum Synth kit piece variants.Screen 2: The Drum Synth kit piece variants.You can load in many other drum instrument presets from the usual Logic Pro plug‑in menu or Library, but the Drum Synth is so easy to programme that I suspect most of you will want to create your own bespoke ‘kits’. The default percussion instrument is the kick, but if you click under the Kicks button, you’ll see a pull‑down menu with some ‘starter’ sounds. Each of these has associated parameters that differ between instruments, with some common ones being shared amongst them. As these parameters are basically the same as Logic’s Smart Controls they can be changed — but more about this later. Each drum sound has a pitch and volume control, but the other default parameters have been selected to be the most useful for that particular sound. So, for example, you can shape the ‘pew’...

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Published April 2021

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