Am I doing it wrong??

As I continue to unfold the insanity that is Logic X (I mean that in a good way), I find myself wondering a bit about a question. I build orchestral pieces with many tracks and as I continue to add them on, I continually have to select all the tracks and bring the entirety of the track's volume all down simultaneously or things start clipping and peaking at + numbers. This starts to cause all kinds of problems for I turn all these tracks down, I have to turn my BigKnob volume up and up and up as the piece grows to I can continue to hear things. Then I get an email and the new message sound damn near knocks me out of my chair, i'll forget and click on a youtube or something and the volume is SOOO LOUD...this is very annoying and probably fixable in Yosemite...but why doesn't logic compensate this in some way or do some sort of auto balance of tracks and volume to compensate for this? I find myself having to adjust volumes on faders that are turned so far down that accuracy doesn't seem very good to I doing something wrong here or do others have this same problem? 


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  • I would be very happy to help you with this problem, as I find myself teaching others how to use Logic, not only on this forum  ...


    I started using Garageband, five years ago, and gradually moved on to various incarnations of Logic.  Like you, I currently use Logic X.


    I have encountered various problems here and there, but I am on the whole extremely pleased with Logic, in too many ways to mention here in this brief space.


    So my first words to you are, don't give up.  There are so many features (and Logic X presents so many more new features) that it takes a bit of time to get used to everything.  In fact, if I hadn't become very familiar with some of the features of Logic Pro, and some earlier versions, I think I would find Logic X a bit imposing.  Some of the newer ways of organizing the system appear unnecessarily complex, though one can master them with a bit of patience.


    I have to admit, however, that I have never encountered the particular problem you describe, in all my work with the program.  Still, I have some ideas, and I am absolutely sure this difficulty will be easy to address.


    You said,


    "I build orchestral pieces with many tracks and as I continue to add them on, I continually have to select all the tracks and bring the entirety of the track's volume all down simultaneously or things start clipping and peaking at + numbers."


    I will offer one small suggestion, and you can see if this helps.


    Your difficulty may stem from the fact that the first several tracks you created are simply a bit too loud.  If you don't do this already, it's wise to keep your initial instrument track creations down at a level so the highest volume sounds do not peak much above -12.   [See the inspector setting on the far left, the one associated with the particular track you are working with.


    You shouldn't ever have to adjust the master track volume setting (I almost never do. In scores of pieces I have written, I think I used it once. )


    There are many ways to adjust the volume of individual tracks, and if you wish, I could lead you through several of these.  These can be set globally for the whole track, through the entire composition, or just through brief moments, via automation, or by using the EXS setting – which I almost always use, since it conveniently gives one wide control, not only of volume, but of many features of the individual instrument track.


    I'll stop now, in hopes that is of some use to you. 


    I would be happy to offer you more help if you would like.  You need only ask.





  • Thanks for the reply, but my issue is more about having to make all of the delicate volume adjustments so far down at the bottom of the faders and why this is. I'm actually fairly versed in Logic and how to use it but worried that I might not be dealing with "many track volume" in the most or correct way. If I were why would I be having to make those sooooo far down on the faders? Seems really strange is all.

    Thanks O for the response and willingness to help. Many thanks!
  • Hi Sean,

    I believe I originally misunderstood your question. You may know a great deal more about Logic X than I do.  I just upgraded at the end of last year. Perhaps I should be asking YOU the questions. I thought for some reason that you found yourself continually having to lower the master volume as you added more tracks.


    When I get to the point where I have large numbers of separate tracks, I find myself adjusting the volume as meticulously as possible, through the EXS controls, or through automation controls (drawing or adjusting the relative and the absolute lines, even point by point, if necessary, using the virtual pencil ).  I simply assume this is what the careful construction of a complex sound file entails.  I constantly adjust timbre and pitch and overall orchestration, throughout the composition process, which means velocity will also have to be adjusted quite often, to compensate for overemphasis or underemphasis due to the change in some other parameter. 


    Is this a bit like what you do, or would you describe your composition process differently?  Right now I am using automation, in a kind of experimental way, to adjust the acoustical properties of each room for each track, so that the acoustical properties of the sound spaces will actually change over time.  Obviously, that will also entail proper volume adjustments, within individual instrument tracks, in order to achieve desired aesthetic effects.  Variables like reverberation and sound dampening have to be taken into account.  For example, Solo cello and especially solo violin sound better when there is a little more reverberation "in the room," but that means volume has to be taken down a bit, at certain points. (The sound sculpture settings are good for that kind of precise work, when you "create your own instruments"—do you use that function at all?)


    Frankly, I don't actually use "fade" at all, since it seems to me that strict automated control (or use of the of the relative and absolute volumes, and "touch" and "latch" functions—under "read"—are more precise).  Would you agree, in theory, or do you think it's too much trouble to automate that much?  [I seem to recall using "fade" once, a long time ago, and not liking it that much].






  • Thanks! Olmnilnlolm. My process is mostly built around creative flow first. I tend to get really sloppy within the first 30 or so tracks as i'm formulating the concept melodically. Most of the time, i'm mad-scientist style adding tracks and building the melody from a few sections (ie, piano, strings, brass and some percussion). What I will do once i start feeling like i've forgotten to leave a bread crumb trail is go back and start summing tracks, labeling, coloring etc.., then i'll typically go back and start cleaning up section by section. I will go back and tighten up strings and typically mix libraries together (same with brass) to try and bring the realism elements up as much as possible. Then i'll go through and look at automation for volumes etc. All along, i'm constantly needing to go into my mixer and select all the tracks and continually turn down as more tracks are added. That is my process typically. When I mention faders, i'm actually speaking about the volume up/down for each track not automation (just in case that was confusing :))

    I suppose there are ways to monitor but from a raw usability standpoint, when you need to make volume adjustments to all tracks, the adjustment ability so far down on each fader is a bit difficult and seems like Logic should have something in their software that would all you to make those adjustments without having to be so far at the bottom that you have very little room. :)

  • A shot in the dark because i don't use Logic, but something i've seen in other DAWs.  What sample library are you using?  For example, i use East West and no matter how many instruments i load up in one instance of Play by default they all all output to a single audio channel.  The more instruments that get added the more it can overwhelm that audio channel in my DAW, even though in the Play mixer they're all at proper levels.  

    Just went and checked and it's the same with Kontakt too.  

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