Batch Inserting Inserts to Save Time in Logic Pro
Got a simple tip for you guys, something I did by accident yesterday (should have read the manual ages ago, but that’s a lost case) that will save you time: in Logic Pro, you can add the same insert to a bunch of audio channels simultaneously through the Mixer.  For example, I use Voxengo’s free and awesome spectrum analyzer ‘SPAN' on all my inserts audio channels, instrument channels, aux channels, and, of course, the Master channel. Before, I had to insert the insert into one of the channels, and option-command-drag to each channel one by one.  Tedious as all hell.  The easy way: 
In Apple Logic, go to Window > Mixer
At the very bottom of the mixer, click and drag across all your channels
On any of the channels, click an empty Insert slot and navigate to the Insert/Plug-in you want
Voila, now all your channels have the same plug-in in the same slot position, without extra hassle

Batch Inserting Inserts to Save Time in Logic Pro

Got a simple tip for you guys, something I did by accident yesterday (should have read the manual ages ago, but that’s a lost case) that will save you time: in Logic Pro, you can add the same insert to a bunch of audio channels simultaneously through the Mixer.  For example, I use Voxengo’s free and awesome spectrum analyzer ‘SPAN' on all my inserts audio channels, instrument channels, aux channels, and, of course, the Master channel. Before, I had to insert the insert into one of the channels, and option-command-drag to each channel one by one.  Tedious as all hell.  The easy way: 

  1. In Apple Logic, go to Window > Mixer
  2. At the very bottom of the mixer, click and drag across all your channels
  3. On any of the channels, click an empty Insert slot and navigate to the Insert/Plug-in you want
  4. Voila, now all your channels have the same plug-in in the same slot position, without extra hassle
Not heavily using this yet, but Logic’s Ultrabeat is really powerful.

Not heavily using this yet, but Logic’s Ultrabeat is really powerful.

Parallel Compression: A Lethal Secret Weapon
This is one of the sweetest production techniques out there.  First, here’s some background: according to The Producer’s Manual, parallel, “in terms of signal flow, means connecting two or more circuits together so that their inputs are fed from a common source and their outputs are then mixed together.”  Compression is “signal process[ing] designed to reduce the dynamic range of audio signals.  The usual mode of operation is that signals exceeding [a] threshold set by the user are reduced in level.”  Together, you get parallel compression: a technique that, when used with restraint, can really amp up your mixes.
Mixing a song with small amounts of a heavily compressed (or even distorted) version of itself can make the original one sound larger than life, punchier, denser, or clearer.  It’s a bit counterintuitive: by itself, the heavily compressed version sounds like crap, but when you add a small amount of it back into the original, the two combine very nicely to yield a superior mix.  This technique can be applied to a whole song or to each instrument in it.  Pages 173-177 of The Producer’s Manual are devoted to this.
For a tutorial on how to do this in Logic, try here.  For a video, try here.

Parallel Compression: A Lethal Secret Weapon

This is one of the sweetest production techniques out there.  First, here’s some background: according to The Producer’s Manual, parallel, “in terms of signal flow, means connecting two or more circuits together so that their inputs are fed from a common source and their outputs are then mixed together.”  Compression is “signal process[ing] designed to reduce the dynamic range of audio signals.  The usual mode of operation is that signals exceeding [a] threshold set by the user are reduced in level.”  Together, you get parallel compression: a technique that, when used with restraint, can really amp up your mixes.

Mixing a song with small amounts of a heavily compressed (or even distorted) version of itself can make the original one sound larger than life, punchier, denser, or clearer.  It’s a bit counterintuitive: by itself, the heavily compressed version sounds like crap, but when you add a small amount of it back into the original, the two combine very nicely to yield a superior mix.  This technique can be applied to a whole song or to each instrument in it.  Pages 173-177 of The Producer’s Manual are devoted to this.

For a tutorial on how to do this in Logic, try here.  For a video, try here.


Mysterious Flange Solved
One of the basics of sound on sound is that when two identical pieces of music are played at exact the same time, but with one of them delayed ever so slightly, you get the famous flanging effect (a type of phasing effect).  At the waveform level, flanging comes from the sweeping comb filter effect caused by that tiny delay between the two pieces, but it’s not supposed to happen if the two sounds line up exactly.
And yet, a few moments ago, I ran into a mysterious flanging in Logic Pro (in which I make my tunes) when overlaying the two yellow tracks above.  As you can see, the two match up exactly within the cycle region (that green bar up top), so there shouldn’t have been any phasing whatsoever (I confirmed their alignment by zooming in as far as Logic would let me).  
To troubleshoot, I first turned off the Platinum Verb insert in my Vox Aux bus, as well as the Fuzz-Wah I was using.  Still flanging.  
Next, I muted the Aux Send altogether.  Still flanging, so it wasn’t the Aux at all.  
I even tried muting the Stereo Delay on both tracks; not that it should have mattered, since it’s not a Flanger unit, but this, too, yielded no change.  Failing all of this, I solo’ed just the two tracks and kept starting & stopping the cycle loop—and I finally found a clue: sometimes the flanging happened; sometimes it didn’t.  That’s when I isolated the culprit.  
In Logic, when a cycle starts, if there is active audio right before the cycle region, a little bit of that audio is activated during playback.  In my case, a millisecond of audio from the leftmost audio region was spilling (Stereo Delay and all) into the actual cycle region—and that one millisecond of extra audio is all it took to cause flanging, perhaps abetted by the Stereo Delay effect.  After I muted the yellow piece in red, the flanging went away.  Yay!
So, the moral of the story?  Watch out for adjacent audio regions, even they’re outside the cycle region, and beware of flanging if you have two identical audio regions playing simultaneously!

Mysterious Flange Solved

One of the basics of sound on sound is that when two identical pieces of music are played at exact the same time, but with one of them delayed ever so slightly, you get the famous flanging effect (a type of phasing effect).  At the waveform level, flanging comes from the sweeping comb filter effect caused by that tiny delay between the two pieces, but it’s not supposed to happen if the two sounds line up exactly.

And yet, a few moments ago, I ran into a mysterious flanging in Logic Pro (in which I make my tunes) when overlaying the two yellow tracks above.  As you can see, the two match up exactly within the cycle region (that green bar up top), so there shouldn’t have been any phasing whatsoever (I confirmed their alignment by zooming in as far as Logic would let me).  

To troubleshoot, I first turned off the Platinum Verb insert in my Vox Aux bus, as well as the Fuzz-Wah I was using.  Still flanging.  

Next, I muted the Aux Send altogether.  Still flanging, so it wasn’t the Aux at all.  

I even tried muting the Stereo Delay on both tracks; not that it should have mattered, since it’s not a Flanger unit, but this, too, yielded no change.  Failing all of this, I solo’ed just the two tracks and kept starting & stopping the cycle loop—and I finally found a clue: sometimes the flanging happened; sometimes it didn’t.  That’s when I isolated the culprit.  

In Logic, when a cycle starts, if there is active audio right before the cycle region, a little bit of that audio is activated during playback.  In my case, a millisecond of audio from the leftmost audio region was spilling (Stereo Delay and all) into the actual cycle region—and that one millisecond of extra audio is all it took to cause flanging, perhaps abetted by the Stereo Delay effect.  After I muted the yellow piece in red, the flanging went away.  Yay!

So, the moral of the story?  Watch out for adjacent audio regions, even they’re outside the cycle region, and beware of flanging if you have two identical audio regions playing simultaneously!