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Apple Logic Pro X: Tips & Tricks By Paul White
Published April 2023

SilverVerb offers a pleasingly retro alternative to Logic’s more obvious reverbs.SilverVerb offers a pleasingly retro alternative to Logic’s more obvious reverbs.

Behind their basic user interfaces, Logic’s legacy plug‑ins offer some serious sonic magic.

Every day we’re faced with a bewildering choice of third‑party plug‑ins, some costing more than the entire Logic Pro X package. Yet, in many cases, there’s something in Logic Pro that will do the job perfectly well. Typical examples include the compressors, EQs, reverbs and delays, but in this column, I want to shine the spotlight on some of the other included plug‑ins that easily get overlooked, either due to their age or their uninspiring user interfaces.

Silver Surfer

One of my personal favourites in this regard is the humble SilverVerb, a low‑CPU algorithmic reverb that has been part of the Logic plug‑in arsenal for as long as I can remember. It was designed at a time when computers were far less powerful than they are today, and it also has a fairly limited control set. However, its retro and slightly grainy algorithmic texture can sound wonderful on vocals, guitars, synths and so on, and for many of my projects I actually use it in preference to the far more elaborate Chromaverb or Space Designer.

You don’t get a choice of rooms, halls, plates and so on: there’s just one algorithm, called Room. This has a conventional Pre‑delay parameter, but what you won’t find is a traditional reverb Decay control. Instead you have to juggle the Reflectivity, Room Size and Density/Time controls to achieve the length and texture of reverb that you need. There are also basic low‑ and high‑cut filters for shaping the reverb sound. Increasing Reflectivity and Size change the reverb length as well as the apparent size of the space, while turning the Density/Time control anticlockwise reduces the reverb density to the point where it sounds almost like a multi‑tap delay. To the right there’s a useful modulation section; modulation in the left and right channels can be offset using the Phase control. SilverVerb also works very nicely when used together with the Tape Delay plug‑in.

Spectral Gate can create some interesting modulation effects that you can’t easily achieve otherwise.Spectral Gate can create some interesting modulation effects that you can’t easily achieve otherwise.

Another charmingly quirky plug‑in is Spectral Gate, which works by dividing the incoming signal into upper and lower frequency ranges that sit either side of a central band. The Center Frequency and Bandwidth parameters control this division. A Threshold control determines at what level the frequency division takes place. The frequencies above and below the defined band can be individually processed using the Low Level and High Level parameter controls, as well as the Super Energy and Sub Energy parameters. Modulation can be applied to the centre band, and if all of this sounds as though the results might be unpredictable, you’d be right. The best bet is just to dive in and see what happens. Adjust the Threshold and at the sweet spot the sound takes on an obviously spectrally filtered, watery quality, with modulation adding an interesting rhythmic element to the effect. The only...

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