Is logic a big jump from garageband?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jayare23, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. jayare23 macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    So, Im looking to get the best out of my music recordings for a demo and possibly and album. I use garageband as of now, and have a pretty good MXL usb mic. But listening to songs by known artists (Jay-Z, Drake, etc.) I can tell that my recordings are "less quality" so to speak. So I was wondering two things.
    1. Will purchasing logic, as well as creating a good recording environment get my recordings to the quality level that they should be at?
    2. Is logic a big transition from garageband? Cause garageband was very easy to learn.

    I would GREATLY appreciate some feedback. THANKS!
  2. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    Recording utilities could also influence the sound quality.
  3. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
    Logic Pro is a professional tool, and yes - the music you hear on mainstream radio was recorded mainly in ProTools or Logic Pro. I don't know if your mic will sound better in logic. Make sure you record with 24bit, I don't know if Garageband supports it. The better the gear, the better soundquality of course. So you won't reach the quality of high class produced music with your USB mic at any chance..

    And this brings us to the next point:

    Mixing and Mastering is also something that has to be learned to bring the best transparency out of your tracks. The best recording gear will not improve really much quality of your sound if you don't know how to mix/master it. Simply said, creating a song that sounds as good as one of your idols is a very complex procedure that takes years for getting into that and having the know-how !

    Logic has a very simple user interface design and the basics are easy to learn, aswell. It has some small similarities with Garageband.
    Check some videos out on YouTube or go to your next Apple Store to test it. There is also Logic Express. It's between Logic Pro and Garageband.

    But if you want to improve your quality,don't hesitate and make one step after another. You can do really great sounding recordings with cheap gear today which wasn't possible at any chance 10 years ago. My advice is, get yourself Logic Pro, because it's not expensive at all and learn how to add Equalizer and Compression, this will improve your sound a lot !!
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    The things that matter the most are those which are closest to the sound. The number one most important thing is the musician or vocalist. Then comes the "space" in the room between the sound and the mic. In other words the room and mic placement. Next comes the mic itself and hen what the mc is plugged into, the preamp and so on. From a recording point of view the software is last on the list.

    From a production point of view, that is after you have the tracks then the better software gives you more freedom to do what you want, lots more options.

    If you have limited funds put the money into things close to the source of the sound.

    Is Logic hard to learn? Not if you understand the concepts. It does have about 10X the number of controls and you would have to learn about many of them.

    Seems to me like you could use a better room and Microphones

    One importent thing. make only one change at a time.
  5. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    I mainly agree with Chris. What's important is the recording process which involves the room, mics, preamps (and musician!). But you mention comparing your songs to commercial artists. Well, they have used expensive recording studios and equipment to record. You can get close using decent mics and equipment. But, after the recording process the songs were mixed and mastered. Knowing how to use effects like compression, eq, reverb, etc and understanding balance and levels by ear will help to mix better.

    Mastering can help to give your finished mix more polish... change the dynamics to make it louder. It's an interesting learning curve.

    Logic is much more complex than GB. But sure if you have the time and as Chris says get the basic concepts you can learn it. The manual is alot better than it used to be. But now theres training videos which can cut your learning time to hours and not months! easily have the best Logic videos around. You can preview some there for free.

  6. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Yes Logic is a big jump. Sort of like going from iMovie straight to Final Cut Pro.

    But it's easy enough to slowly get started and build up your chops.

    As said above, some of these major albums are recorded in $100-200,000+ studios with single microphones that cost more than your computer and Logic put together.

    So extremely nice gear is one reason some of the mainstream music sounds good. Also these studios use different software plugins for reverb, etc. many which cost in the hundreds of dollars themselves.

    That said - I know a lot of professionally sounding music that is produced by simply Logic alone. Lots of indie video game scores and indie film scores are done in Logic by their home.
  7. SFXsource macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2009
    Get Logic Pro, it will change your life! Its a fantastic program and if you "get" Garageband then you'll "get" Logic, have no fear.

    Good mics (compression mics for voice, acoustic guitar etc), quiet recording environments are very important

    But, as has been stated in this post, it is the mixing and mastering process that is ALL important

    You should study the concepts of mixing/mastering, eq, panning, compression and dynamics etc at least as much as you study Logic Pro ... knowing what you are doing will save you tons of headaches and disappointment as you record and make your music
  8. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    This is horrible advice. Without hearing the tracks there is no way in hell that you can possibly know that his stuff needs compression or equalization.
  9. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    Logic might help you if you understand the tools you need to shape the sound you want. Despite the less than glamorous 'sound' of this - fixing the acoustics of your tracking and mixing room is the first step - accurately hearing what is going on with your tracks is huge. The Second step (IMO) is to get accurate and clean monitors - those two things will put you on the road to getting a better recording at your place.

    As for getting the quality of what 'Jay-Z, Drake, etc...' are producing - well there is a back story there that involves people who are highly skilled engineers, programers, and players who can help produce and hear what those people envision, hear and write. Again it's not what is cited by many - but the education, experience and real world work those teams bring to the table help produce great sounding tracks. I have no idea what your level of talent is - so don't be discouraged - a lot of folks came out of the gate ready to roll with intuitive talent. You should also find a mentor that can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses in your productions.

    Learning where things are is pretty simple as the two packages are cousins.
    Learning what the stuff does in Logic, and how the stuff works with music, as well as when to use and not use the plugs and snyths....that can be very difficult to learn. There are a lot of great resources on the web with which you can avail yourself - and self teach yourself to get up to speed. Then
    doing some real world work and finding people with Bat Ears to listen and critique your music would also be beneficial.
  10. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    To start of by strictly answering your question,

    Buying Logic and proper playback equipement and a good room to record with won't directly make your stuff sound better. Though it will give you the potential to make you sound a big deal better than with GarageBand while mixing on an alarm clock. Most of all I think you can learn a whole lot more and faster with this improvement in equipement.

    Personally, I didn't struggle by switching to Logic. Mind you It took me a while to start using some of the more advanced things that are possible with Logic. Even then, I feel like I'm just scratching the surface. But it mainly comes down to how you understand GarageBand and producing in general. I've seen some people understand producing by "you twist this knob and it sounds like this" rather than "you twist this knob, it does this to the sound to make it sound like this". If you understand what's going on at a deeper level and most things seem to be magic spells, you'll be okay.

    Also, comparing your stuff to comercial release is being hard on yourself. You probably don't have access to the same talent and mastering as they do, and to a lesser extent the playback equipement and recording equipement.
  11. philipt42 macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2009
    In a word, yes.

    Amen. So much to learn in Logic. It's not hard to use for basic functions, but there is simply so much one can do with the program.
  12. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
    I am sorry, what ??!!

    Except for classical music, the most important tools in mixing is EQ and COMP, don't tell me the opposite. Or else you must have a magic button to bring transparency in your mix, which you don't have.

    SIMPLY know how to use COMP and EQ is the MOST important thing to learn for creating a trasparent MIX.

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