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Using Logic's Time & Pitch Machine

Apple Logic Pro X Tips & Tricks By Paul White

Logic's Time and Pitch Machine offers a  number of different time-stretching algorithms to suit different types of material.Logic's Time and Pitch Machine offers a number of different time-stretching algorithms to suit different types of material.

Here's how to manipulate pitch and time in Logic Pro X.

While programs such as Ableton Live are well suited to those who work almost exclusively with loops, Logic Pro X is quite adept at 'making things fit' when necessary. This month's Logic column is mainly about fitting things in the time domain, but I'll include some of the related pitch features as I go along. I don't claim this to be an exhaustive examination of the subject, but rather to shine a light on the features that I use on a regular basis and to point out some of the pitfalls.

Both time and pitch can be manipulated in a number of different ways in Logic Pro X, primarily via either the Time and Pitch Machine or via Flex Time/Flex Pitch. However, before you can use these you'll need to make sure Logic's Advanced Tools are turned on in Logic's Preferences, as when you first install Logic Pro X, they are turned off to ease the learning curve. There's also a basic Pitch Shifter plug-in as well as a Pitch Correction plug-in, plus the ability to stretch individual audio and MIDI Regions without having to invoke any special features if you don't need anything too complicated.

Machine Learning

The Time and Pitch Machine is located under the Functions menu of the Audio File view (Command+6). When you open it, you'll see at the top of the window that you can use either Free or Classic modes. There's also a choice of algorithms to best suit the type of material being treated, the default being Universal. For drums or percussion the Beats and Percussion options preserve timing best, while the Pads and Complex settings prioritise smoothness of pitch-shifting. Free mode, which is the default, allows pitch and tempo to be changed independently of each other, while Classic mode works like old-school tape varispeed, increasing the pitch as you increase the tempo. As a rule you'll want Free mode, where you simply enter a destination bpm and the audio in the selected Region will be converted to fit without changing pitch once you hit...

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Published March 2020