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Drum Replacement In Logic Pro

Apple Logic Pro Tips & Techniques By David Ricard
Published December 2022

The Drum Replacement/Doubling tool will take your existing drum recording and generate a suitable MIDI track to trigger samples.The Drum Replacement/Doubling tool will take your existing drum recording and generate a suitable MIDI track to trigger samples.

Logic Pro has built‑in tools for drum sample replacement.

Professional mixers use drum replacement so much that you would be surprised to learn how many rock albums contain little, if any, of the original kick and snare in the final mixes. For the most part, sample replacement is used on multitrack drum recordings to provide several worthwhile benefits. Rather than put a badly recorded kick drum through a half dozen plug‑ins to beef it up or give it more snap, simply replace it with a sample that has all of the characteristics you need — or enhance it with just the attributes that your original drum lacks. Another application is to replace the snare (while keeping the original in the mix) and use the sampled snare to send to reverb, rooms, and other effects to achieve clean ambience without unwanted leakage.

Isolate The Target

Kick and snare drums are the usual suspects for replacement, but toms (and just about anything percussive) can also yield results worth exploring. Let’s start with your live kick drum track. This method creates a MIDI track while leaving your original audio track untouched, though I still opt to make a copy of the original drum track to work with. Another option would be to create a duplicate Track Alternative. To copy the kick track and its contents, hold down Option while dragging the track downward.

Now that we have our duplicate track selected, let’s make sure our waveform view is at maximum. Click and hold the Waveform Zoom button (Key Command available) to reveal a slider and turn it up all the way.

Rather than put a badly recorded kick drum through a half dozen plug‑ins to beef it up or give it more snap, simply replace it with a sample that has all of the characteristics you need.

Replace Or Double?

Next go to the Track menu and select 'Replace or Double Drum Track...', or use the keyboard command Control+D. As an aside, I imagine that replacing drums would have to be a major part of your workflow to justify using such a premium key command for the task. Control+D falls off the fingertips so effortlessly that I would prefer to use it for something I need more frequently. Fortunately, it can be reassigned in the Key Command Edit window.

Although you can use plug‑ins to tidy up your source tracks, the Drum Replacement/Doubling tool will ignore them, so you have to bounce the plug‑ins first. A quicker way to process the original drums is to use selection‑based processing.Although you can use plug‑ins to tidy up your source tracks, the Drum Replacement/Doubling tool will ignore them, so you have to bounce the plug‑ins first. A quicker way to process the original drums is to use selection‑based processing.A few things happen once the command is selected: the Library pane opens up and a floating dialogue window appears. Set the top drop‑down menu to the drum you’re working on (in this case, Kick) and choose Doubling. The only difference between Doubling and...

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