Audio Tips


  • Make the performer comfortable both physically and psychologically; put them at their ease. It is better to say  “That was great but I think you can do it just a bit better” than “that wasn’t right we have to do it again”). Musicians who aren’t used to doing sessions often don’t realise that many takes are normal and may get worried if they don’t get it the first time, but don’t patronise.
  • Make sure musicians remain silent at the end of the take, you do not want people shuffling around, coughing or dropping drum sticks while a cymbal is decaying.
  • Use a pop shield to minimize breath noise on the mic
  • Ask the singer to move slightly to one side of the mic if  P and  B consonants are problematic.
  • Keep all takes of a vocal and compile the best bits
  • Unplug unused headphones in the live room or mics will pick up  spill
  • Some performers like to hear reverb while recording, some don’t, so find out what they want.
  • Think carefully about whether you need separation between the instruments. If the is very little separation it is hard to fix just one instrument afterwards if there is a mistake, especially if it is loud as it will be on the other mics. If separation is not an issue don’t try and achieve separation at the cost of sound quality or performance (e.g. using cardioid instead of omni or placing musicians in different rooms when they are happier playing in the same room too far apart. On the other hand if a performer is worried about the performance (e.g. trumpet player with high notes) you may get a better performance if there is separation so he/she knows it can be fixed afterwards.
  • Decide whether you want room ambience or not before recording and place mics accordingly. (Closer mic = less room ambience)


  • After merging two regions, the original file may be redundant and can be deleted (check  select unusedin the audio window)
  • Be careful when using normalise, change gain or audio energiser where other audiofiles are on the same track, the dynamic performance of that instrument may be affected
  • Use the anchor in the sample edit window to make an audio peak play at the start position of a region
  • When using the sample edit window, create a cycle around the region to play from outside the sample edit window
  • When playing from inside the sample edit window, the audio defaults to playing on track 1. (You may wish to reserve track for this use so that you hear the audio without any plugins on the track that the audio is on.


  • If the vocals are too high relative to other instruments in a mix, there will will obviously be no problem hearing theme, but the backing may not be as “punchy” as you require. Vocals too low will be indecipherable, but the rest of the track (e.g. guitars/drums) will sound loud (Sometimes appropriate for indie music).
  • Bass, bass drum, snare, lead instruments and vocals are usually panned centre.
  • Avoid long reverb on bass instruments
  • When recording includes ambient stereo mics and close mics, pan the close mics to the natural acoustic position, e.g. if recording an ensemble with stereo mics and a single mic is placed on a flute, pan that channel towards the geographical position of the flautist so that the boosted sound appears to be coming from the correct position. This also applies to dose miked drum kits; a mic on the hi-hat should be panned to the place at which the hi hat appears on the “overheads”.

Optimising Disk Space

Optimising Files (trimming unused portions of audio)

  • Audio bin Audio menu: Optimise audio files to remove  dead areas (usually the beginning and ends of files). You need to select the files you want to optimise.

The best way to tidy up files and regions:

  • Audio bin Edit Menu: select unused (ie all files not used in the arrange)
  • Audio bin Audio menu: choose “delete files” or CTRL + backspace key (sends to the trash)
  • Audio bin View Menu:Show all regions (shows all regions of remaining used audio files
  • Audio bin Edit Menu: select unused (again). This shows unused regions
  • Hit the delete/backspace key: deletes unused regions

Your Logic project will now be nice and tidy: no unused audiofiles on the hard drive and no unused regions in the bin. You did remember to back up first of course, didn’t you?

Storing samples on an external drive

EXS 24 instruments can be anywhere as long as you have an alias called  Sampler Instruments in Library/Application Support/Logic

EXS 24 should find any samples wherever they are as if by magic. As long as they are somewehere on you computer that is. If you have problems, try re-indexing spotlight.

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